23 posts tagged calligraphy
Rather a lot of people have been asking about tools and how to get started in calligraphy. This post is an amalgam of information I’ve posted before on Facebook, Tumblr and elsewhere online.
Firstly I can recommend some good books. ‘Foundations of Calligraphy’ by Sheila Waters and ‘The Calligrapher’s Handbook’ by Heather Child. ‘The Speedball Textbook’ is also a good and inexpensive source of inspiration and instruction for beginners.
Choosing calligraphy tools is a very subjective business. It all amounts to personal preferences and circumstances. If you go to a specialist calligraphy supplier they are unlikely to sell bad tools but they may sell tools that don’t suit you for one reason or another. For example a very good calligraphy tutor recommended nibs that didn’t suit me because I’m relatively heavy handed.
I think the tools listed below would suit most people wanting to give calligraphy a try. They reflect my personal needs as someone who does a lot of calligraphy away from my desk in cafes, libraries, on trains, in parks. They’re a trade off between practicality and performance. I can’t sit in Caffè Nero with a goose quill and a pot of ink I made myself to a medieval recipe. People would think I was a lunatic.
‘Manuscript’ brand calligraphy fountain pens are cheap, widely available and convenient. I started with those and still use them today. Pilot Parallel Pens are great fun and easy to use. They’re also easy to carry around and don’t clog easily or need constant cleaning or refilling like traditional metal nibs. The main trade off is a slight loss of crispness, which becomes more pronounced the smaller the nibs get. Mitchell Copperplate pens are a great starting point for everyone asking about pointed pen calligraphy because they’re not too sharp and so don’t get stuck in paper as easily as finer nibs. I’d recommend trying a variety of nibs though and finding out what works for you. As I say it is a subjective business and other calligraphers would probably recommend completely different pens. As you progress you’ll want to experiment and find your own path, but I think these tools are a good starting point and I still use them all today.
I don’t often reblog things to my art blog, but for those of you who are following my calligraphy and would like to have a go yourself, the information above is great.
I also recommend the Pilot Parallel pens—they’re lovely. :)
And free-to use (under Creative Commons) vector of my brush pen writing of “Grimdark”.
I got a case full of brush pens, a drawer full of nice paper, and a head full of no ideas what to write whatsoever.
I was unable to resist playing with the other brush pen I bought.
No drawing updates yet (but I’ll get on that), but I got some new brush pens today! I’m fond of my nice disposable Kuretake ZIG Clean Colour Real Brush pens: I’d worn my other one out and wanted a replacement.
I had to try out all the colours. They’re lovely: very bold. I hope to try to learn some more brush lettering with them.
Not really my best handwriting/calligraphy (a bit sloppy in a few places).
Every day at work, I write a to-do list in Copperplate/English Roundhand. It’s excellent daily practice and it helps me keep on top of what I need to do (and what I have done and when I did it!)
Today it is my 32nd birthday, so I added it to today’s list. I feel old today but perhaps I just need more caffeine.
Tools: Spencerian-customised Namiki Falcon (customised by John Mottishaw), Sailor Jentle Blue-Black ink, Clairefontaine life.unplugged paper.
Considering a brush script title for this blog, so I wrote a few, but I am not sure which one I like the best.
I think I like the one at the bottom left the best, but the other question is how I go about extracting it (tracing it in Illustrator?)
EDIT: You know what, I should go find one of those many non-lined notepads I have around somewhere, and try writing on one of those so I don’t have to remove the lines when I try to make this digital. Yeah. I have the dumb.
Terrible video of me writing something! It is hard to record something with your left hand and write with your right hand at the same time… if I record my handwriting again I’ll see if I can get an assistant with a better camera.
Paraphrased. See video.
My pen sorta-kinda works! The exact quote seems to be hard to pin down with this one but you get the idea.
I need to find time to draw something.
Not my best handwriting, but I am glad my pen works… mostly.
I slipped and bent the nib of my Falcon over when I was inking it. Lacking appropriate tools (or knowledge) I have managed to get it working again through a combination of gnawing on the nib and smooshing it into stuff. Nibmeister, I am not.
My repairs result in a fairly delicate, but usable, pen. I think I need to arrange a replacement when I am less broke.
EDIT: Oh wow, that nib looks even worse now I can zoom in on this photo more. The end is supposed to be closer to the… feed… thingy. Now I’ve included a picture (top) of how it SHOULD be. :/
Also I do not recommend gnawing on your fountain pen nibs.
This quote has been making the rounds on Tumblr. It’s attributed to Bob Ross.
The actual quote (as far as I can find) is: “I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn’t know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.”
But I like the version that is making the rounds on Tumblr as well. <3