Monday, November 10, 2014

Apache Wedding Prayer

I started practicing Copperplate so that I can create the kind of gift I want to give to my brother and his wife for their wedding. This is the result:


I daresay, I am a bit disappointed ^^; Maybe because I was hurrying in trying to finish this or that there were a lot of mistakes in it. I did not have any special fine papers around to work with, so I only used the Boris Layout Pad (a shame, really) for this project. As with the ink, I only used black gouache paint. The same goes with the blue rose drawing. I did not use the W&N nor the Pelikan black ink I have with me for this project because I do not like the result it makes. 

I did have a previous version made, but it was a practice pad. I don't know what made me choose the bigger flower; I should've sticked with my first choice. Too late, I already gave the gift, anyway. But I'm happy that the bride likes it. I'll try better and work harder on my next project. 

Used this as my cover page in my G+ page



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tools and Materials

Most of the tools and materials I have are bought exclusively from Paper & Ink Arts. I vouch for their amazing service, and they answer every question I have, especially when it comes to shipment. There is another site that sells some amazing tools and materials that you cannot find in Paper & Ink Arts: John Neal Bookseller. I have not bought anything from the latter yet, but they are recommended by a number of professional calligraphers, such as Maryanne Grebenstein (CALLIGRAPHY: A Course in Hand Lettering) and Michael Sull (Spencerian penman).I also joined The Flourish Forum recently. You can find a lot of information about the basics and advanced techniques/tools/materials to use for calligraphy.

Overview

Broad Edge and Pointed Nibs
Broad Edge nibs (left side, from the top):
Speedball C2
Speedball C3
Mitchell Roundhand Square Nib 4
Mitchell Roundhand Square Nib 2.5
Brause C Nib 1.5mm
Brause C Nib 2.0mm

I mainly use Brause nibs for practice and making fun projects, but I often switch with Speedball since they are bigger. I just tried Mitchell recently and my experience with it is not good. I might have heated the nib for too long that it must have distorted the tip.

Pointed Nibs (right side, from the top):
Mitchell Copperplate Elbow
Brause no. 361 Iserlohn
Hunt 56
Brause Steno Pen (but it says Leonardt 40 Steno) needs clarification
Manuscript G
Gillot 170
Gillot 1950
Gillot 303
Leonardt Extra Fine Principal
Gillot 404
Brause Extra Fine 66
Hunt 101

The first pointed nibs I got was the Manuscript G, Brause no. 361 and Brause EF 66 along with the Brause broad edge nibs when I first bought from Paper and Ink Arts. I did not have any idea what the nibs' purpose for, but I used it for scribbling and drawing. By the time I started practicing copperplate, I used Brause no. 361 and purchased for additional nibs to see if I might like other pointed nibs. Right now, I use either Leonardt EF Principal or Gillot 303 for Copperplate.


Straight Pen Holders

Oblique Pen Holders
Straight Pen Holders: Koh-I-Noor Cork Tipped Penholder (top), Speedball Holder (bottom)
Oblique Pen Holders: Oblique Red Peerless Holder (top), The Paper and Ink Arts Adjustable Oblique holder, Rosewood (bottom)

I prefer using Speedball Holder over Koh-I-Noor's, because the latter feels a little large on my fingers, but I use both alternately, especially if I practice different script sizes. For oblique holders, I prefer using the adjustable oblique holder, because it fits almost every pointed nib. I initially wanted to purchase Hourglass Adjustable Oblique, but they were out of stock that time and I needed them right away so I went with their recommendation. The Paper and Ink Arts Adjustable oblique holder is created by the same maker of the Hourglass Adjustable Oblique, but with a different shape.


Non-waterproof Inks
Non-waterproof Inks (from left to right): Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black, Higgins Eternal, Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink Matte Black

I am using Pelikan right now, since my Higgins is already depleted. I tried a little test with W&N and it produced a thick consistency. All the books I have read suggest to use non-waterproof inks over waterproof ones, because the latter clog the nibs after they dry up and will destroy the nibs, unlike non-waterproof inks where you can just clean it off with water.

Containers
Container (from left to right): Clear Dappen Dish with Lid, 4 Dinky Dips.
My leftover Higgins Eternal Ink is in one of those little dinky dips.

Kneaded Eraser
Eraser: I bought this out of curiosity. It turns out to be a good eraser.

Gouache Paint

Gouache: Reeve's gouache. I bought this from a local art supply shop. I did not have any idea about which gouache paints to buy so I settled with this.

I will be providing a detailed review on some of the materials/mediums/tools mentioned here, particularly the nibs and inks, on a future post.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Copperplate Practice: Quotes

When I started practicing the majuscules, they were divided into sets, and the first set was from the letters A to H. I encountered troubles doing the majuscules but most of it was fun to do because I love doing flourishes with the capital letters, especially when I take notes during my primary and secondary education. The image below is a combination of names, fruits, countries and miscellaneous objects.

A-Z Majuscules
Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quote by Andre Gide

Quote by Red Haircrow
These are all quotes I collected into my little journal. The second quote by Andre Gide has a minor mistake (aside from the need for improving consistency), the miniscule letter 'L' in the word 'faithful'. I knew it was l, but when I reached the last letter of that word, what came into my mind was writing 'f', thus the result. I realized it too late, but glad I was able to stop about 3/4 of the complete form. I really love writing the miniscule 'f', so it may have made its way into my brain then to my hand muscles. 

I do not know anything about the authors except Emerson, since I have learned about him during my literature class. Honestly, I have to admit I forgot all about him other than he has exceptional literature work. Andre Gide and Red Haircrow I know nothing about, but their words have profound meaning. I got the quote by Red Haircrow from Google+. Lots of interesting people there and supporters, too. 

Next time, I will share my complete work with the numbers. I hope I am able to make a good project before the tenth month of the year. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Copperplate Practice

Though my last post said that it was the last practice I had with the Italic hand does not mean I'm no longer going to do the script. Just for this time, I am focusing my attention on mastering Copperplate.

Since last January, I decided to focus on mastering Copperplate or Roundhand Script/Engrosser's Script (?) as they call it. I like writing in cursive and my natural handwriting is in cursive. When I was still in grade school, our teachers were so strict with cursive they want our notes to be in one. If not, it would reflect on our final grades. Due to such discipline, my right hand got used to cursive.

My natural handwriting... blown by the wind :)

The book I used for self-teaching Copperplate

I bought it from Book Depository together with other four books which I will be sharing in another post. Book Depository send their books individually, free of shipment. I am very happy to say that the condition of the book are good after they have arrived at my house. Out of the five books I have ordered, this came a little bit late, like more than a month after they have sent out the order. I was worried though since amongst all the books that I ordered, this one was my priority because I needed to learn Copperplate as soon as possible. I sent a complaint to Book Depository and they replied, saying that the item is overdue. They gave me two options: either a refund or they send a new copy. I chose the latter, further adding that I am willing to wait for the book because it is very important to me. A week later after I have made the complaint, the book arrived. I felt happy and guilty at the same time because I got two books at a price of one book! Buy one, take one?I took a photo of the book, together with the bill and sent it to Book Depository. Maybe I can still cancel that resend order but it seems they have already sent the new copy. Since it can no longer be canceled, they say that once I already have the book in my hands, I can keep it with their compliments. Woohoo! The other book is sleeping soundly in my little book treasury :) I recommend ordering books from them. In the first place, this website was recommended to me by Shizu-chan.

Basic Copperplate minuscule strokes

I ordered another batch of tools and materials from Paper & Ink Arts as mentioned in the book (although the website was not mentioned. I learned it from Maryanne's book.). There were a lot of choices but I settled with ones I saw first in the online shop:

Nibs
  • Gillott 170
  • Gillott 1950
  • Gillott 404
  • Gillott 303
  • Hiro 40 
  • Hunt 101 currently using
  • Hunt 56
  • Mitchell/Rexel Copperplate Elbow
Paper Pads: Bienfang 360 Graphics & Rhodia Pad
Oblique Pen Holder: Speedball Red Peerless Holder

While waiting for these to arrive, I practiced using the Brause Steno Nib with a straight pen holder. I had to change the angle of the paper so that I could get that desired slant. The reason why I bought different pointed nibs is to find one that I feel comfortable with. 

Practicing Copperplate was a little bit challenging because I could not write as fast as I can like what I did with my cursive handwriting. If you do get so fast, you will ruin the form of the letters! Most calligraphy books I have read so far has always emphasized that students should go really, really slow.

As of now, I have already finished practicing the minuscules but they still need more practice.
My minuscule practice
F variations

Triple f challenge and other letter variations

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Last Italic Practice

What's this? My blog has been empty for 1, 3, 5.... several months? What have I been doing in those months? And my Google+ page is getting empty too! Grrr...

Okay, I admit. I'm lazy updating my blog. My eyes (brain, specifically) were focused on something else. Blame manga! They keep updating my favorites! <-- Ignore it, they are just lame excuses.

Since my last post I was still practicing italics. Do I still remember what I did in those times? My last work with the italics was this flower poem:

To The Cyclamen by Walter Savage Landor

I got this poem from a book I bought from a used book shop. The book was first published in the year 1991 which makes it quite an old book but still looks new.