Wednesday, January 26, 2005

This is a practice piece that I did in a calligraphy workshop this past weekend taught by Sharon Zeugin. The letters are sans serif Romans written with a Mitchell #6 nib using Winsor & Newton gold gouache (tube) with the tiniest drop of white gouache added to the mix. The paper is Canson Mi-Teintes, and the little drawing at the bottom is done with Prismacolor pencils. Roman capitals are notorious amongst calligraphers as probably the most difficult letters to execute properly. Once you are able to make each one reasonably well, the next hurdle is optical spacing. Most non-calligraphers don't appreciate how hard it is to learn to do these letters well because we've all been writing them since we were 5 years old. I've been actively studying calligraphy for about 20 years, including a number of Roman workshops with a variety of instructors, and I still feel like a novice when it comes to these letters. Posted by Hello


Erica said...

calligraphy is one of the things I've promised myself to learn one day, I really like what you've done with your pages - I was curious as to what you mean by a 'family group' when you mention the capital letters in your illustration

Eliece said...

Family groups refer to letters that have something in common. It may be similarity of shape, particularly in the lower case (such as n, m, h, u). With Roman capitals it generally refers to their widths. The widest ones are M & W, followed by O & Q which completely fill a square; then C, D, G are approximately 7/8 of that width. HAUNTKVXYZ are all about 2/3 as wide as they are tall. Last come BEFLPRS which are half as wide as their height.