the tactile experience of calligraphy | Skillshare Projects



the tactile experience of calligraphy

A long time ago, I aquired a dip pen and nibs-but found the resources to make anything besides traditional calligraphy lacking so I lost interest.

Now there are so many wonderful artists breathing fresh life into lettering and I found myself digging out my pen and ink.

When I saw that Molly was offering this skillshare, I was in!  Having a chance to learn from such a wonderful artist from my desk had me sold ;-)

I'm so glad for the recommendation on nibs-I am in love with the Nikko!  I do have a variety of nibs but I like the ease with which you can obtain varying line thickness over the other nibs in my collection.  

Over the past week I have dived in and played around a bit so here's a glimpse of where I'm starting from

Definitely room for improvement!

So first practice rounds from course material:

I was so not being particluar when I started doing the first stroke. I think I'll revisit that with a little more attention to detail and patience!

By far my sideways s needs the most help (at least to me!).  I tried various ways (i.e. more upright, more italic) to see if I could find a more effective approach but alas, I feel like my strokes are all over the place!

In my excitement to get going, I know I forged ahead more hasitly than I ought to have, making for a less than uniform set of practice marks.  I did find that if I simply focused on it, I was able to do whole rows of nearly identical marks (at least the o's!) so I know I can do it :-)

I feel like such a messy little kid today too-not only are my strokes all over the place but my hands are covered in ink!  I have never had so much ink on my hands, even when I lettered our wedding invivations. 


I find dip pen writing so cathartic. There is something about writing this way that is so incredibly tactile-even more so than just pen and paper.  The beautiful rhythm that has to occur is so calming, I find my thoughts joining the pace and becoming less frantic!  Truly a lovely experience.

So, I can't stay away! I'm enjoying it so very much.

A few peeks into tonights work

I also decided to play around a bit with a sheet of stickers that were teasing me from the edge of my desk. They're so small that trying to get the line weight to shift is a bit messy-end up with way too much ink. Still, I kind of like them.

They also have a strange absobancy which makes writing on them a bit of a challenge. 

Still plenty of room for improvement so I'll be practicing a little every day.  I'm feeling a bit hesitant about moving on to capitals since there is so much work to be done here in lower case land still ;-) 

Love writing on the bond paper-so smooth and lovely! I can tell already I'm going to need another pad of that soon.

///////// UPDATE 9.27.13 //////////

Problems: even, consistant spacing (sorely lacking!), wavy baseline...and of course, need to continue refining my form!

///////// UPDATE 9.30.13 //////////

I'm rapidily moving through my paper-I'm completely addicted to writing slowly!

I've been working with several nibs but primarily the Nikko and Gillott 303. I appreciate the incredible flexibility the gillott 303 offers, allowing incredible hairlines and bold down strokes.  It is, however, a nib that does catch more frequently so I've found that it works best well inked so that the lightest feather touch leaves a beautiful hairline.

The Nikko is a wonderful nib as well and I am in love with the smooth writing experience it offers. The more rigid structure means more pressure is required for bold strokes but it is well worth it for the beautiful way it glides across the page very much the way a bulb tip nib does. 

A bit more practice of the basics over the weekend. The straight line seems to still ellude me...

Alphabet still needs work but getting better!  In this draft I was particularly bad about not anticipating spacing needs properly! Whoops.  

In writing, I'm finding that I prefer a slightly more expanded writing style vs. condensed as it feels more "open" to me though I think I will keep all styles in my toolbox so to speak for certain applications. :-)


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