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Hello Earth

Hello! I graduated from a graphic design degree in 2013 and have since started a design studio with a fellow graduate (taking a different Skillshare class). We have a couple of regular clients but it's all too easy to turn to the computer and get results - this class seems perfect for developing and honing a skill that would mean we have more to offer our clients.

I did a very short calligraphy workshop a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, but other than that I've not got much experience. We aren't taught the cursive style of writing in the UK, but I have done a bit of research in preparation for this class. There are some letterforms - like the kinky r - that obviously lend themselves to more fluid strokes.

[11 Sept 2014]

I went to the art shop down the road to see what kind of equipment they have - I got a pen holder and the only kind of  pointed nib they had. I also ordered a Nikko G nib and a 3mm chisel nib online - the nib I got from the shop was about a third of the price of the Nikko G so I'm interested to see how they compare.
The pen handle has quite a nice gold marbled finish on it... For now I'm going to use this Parker ink that I've had in my drawer for years. I don't know how it compares to Sumi ink, if I really get on with this I might upgrade!

Here I'm getting used to the pen - finding a comfortable position. The big heavy words were done with a big chisel-tip marker that my colleague got for his class, the aim is to develop some t transferable skills!

These are the results from using the first worksheet - I was definitely getting used to the physics of the nib. I think the beauty is in getting the right contrast of hairlines and thick down strokes... 

In some cases I've got a bit of a shaky hairline when I'm not putting pressure through the pen. This is something I've noticed before when drawing, but I'm hoping that this kind of exercise building up the muscle memory and control will iron it out. I also found some gold ink in my drawer - it needs a good shake to get the sediment up, but I think this means the reservoir fills with bubbles instead of smooth ink so it was quite hard to get a good long flow.

I've been using an A3 pad of layout paper left over from uni which seem so to be great - the ink dries reasonably fast and doesn't bleed. I had a go on an A4 pad to see if it was a bit more managable but it was crap! The ink bled and the nib kept scratching!

I've noticed that the nib has already got a sort of bias to it - the two halves have scissored apart fractionally. It was only 78p though so I'm hoping that when the Nikko G comes I will feel and see the difference - I wanted to get something so that I could get started right away.  I'll definitely start over with the exercises when I get the new nib as well.

That's it for today... tomorrow I will re-watch the later videos and have a go at the other worksheets, and have a think about what phrase to write. I think it will be a couple of lines from a Kate Bush song, hence my 'Hello Earth' project title. 

[16 Sept 2014]

The nibs that I ordered came on Friday, I got a Nikko G, a Zebra G and a 3mm Brause chisel nib.

Initially I didn't get on with the Nikko G - it was a bit unweildy! I swapped to the Zebra G and found it a lot easier, but when I'd warmed up a bit I went back to the Nikko G and  go on much better. I came to a bit of a conclusion that the Zebra G is better (for me) for writing smaller - it has a very thin hairline, while the Nikko G is generally a bit thicker and better for bigger writing once I've freed up a bit. 

The quick brown fox worksheet has been very helpful, I've been writing over the sheet and trying without. I will find a couple more pangrams to have a go on. 

I've alos been finding it easier to write random words than single shapes or letters - it's good practising a whole range of different letters joining. I will have a look over these sheets and pick out which words I particularly like.

My weakness at the moment is maintaining parallel downstrokes - they're all over the place, and generally preempting what a letter is going to look like. More practise!

I think I will see if I can find a guidesheet with less slanted slant lines...

[7 Oct 2014]

I've lost my way a bit with this but I did a bit more this morning. I'm trying to decide what letter shapes work best in the words. There are a couple of sailors in there that look alright.

I think perhaps the problem with a quote that has lots of the same words in is it's quite easy to spot awkward differences.

I'd quite like to get some more water in there somehow. Maybe some ink splats would help.

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