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Learning Italic Vs Learning Blackletter

learning calligraphy blackletter italic

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33 replies to this topic

#1 patrickfp

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 13:52

I've been wanting to learn some variants of the Blackletter family for some time now, even if my italic is far from where I want it to be. I guess, perfection is something we always try to achieve but will never achieve.

 

So, I ordered a second-hand copy of BlackLetter Primer by Paul Shaw, which arrived yesterday. After a quick glance, I realised that this is going to be a steeper learning curve than the italic learning curve.

 

I would be interested to hear about others' experience learning Blackletter, and also from people who have used the BlackLetter Primer book.

 

It's going to be a long journey for me, but I think it will be worth it to have more than one weapon in my arsenal.



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#2 Randal6393

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 00:34

I used Marc Droggin`s Medieval Handwriting. Margaret Shepherd`s Learning Calligraphy also has a good section on Blackletter. There is a good reason Italic supplanted Blackletter. I suspect you are learning that now.

Best of luck,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?
 


#3 patrickfp

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 18:36

Thank you Randal.



#4 Uncial

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 17:41

Get a Pilot Parallel and then subscribe to the Uvulus channel on youtube. Makes it very easy, and pretty (so long as you don't mind that it isn't quite true -  it's not for the purists!)



#5 patrickfp

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 13:04

Thank you Uncial. I am currently working on a list of products to get from John Neal. I will include a Pilot Parallel.



#6 patrickfp

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Posted 30 May 2015 - 22:41

Learning Blackletter reminds me of the time when I had to study the French revolution. It was frustrating, and complicated at first. Everything started to make sense only after I cam to the conclusion that historical events don't happen one after the other in a nice order so that historian could have it the easy way. Events took place concurrently.

 

The same thing can be said about BlackLetter.  I have three sources currently: Marc Drogin, Margaret Shepherd and Paul Shaw's books. None of them is a complete start to finish book, but together they can be good sources.



#7 patrickfp

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 13:51

Yesterday was my first time writing some gothic letters. They are not perfect, but I was very happy to have at least got the ball rolling.

 

IMG-20150530-00364_zpsnzja1io9.jpg



#8 Uncial

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 19:14

Good start; I like the curl on your 'a'.



#9 patrickfp

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 23:13

Thanks Uncial. I got this a from Margaret Shepherd's book "Learning Calligraphy."



#10 patrickfp

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 01:01

What the "right" height of gothic alphabet in pen width? Some books say 5, but I have also seen 4 on some websites.



#11 Randal6393

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 17:19

And the hand can be easily done at 3 or 2 pen widths as well. Go for the height and look that "feels right" to you.

 

Enjoy,


Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?
 


#12 patrickfp

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 17:23

Go for the height and look that "feels right" to you.

 

I think I like 4-pend width better.

 

I am thinking of getting a Pilot Parallel for practise but I am not sure o which size to get. Is the 1.5mm wide enough to practise? Part of me thinks that the 2.4mm would be a better choice.



#13 pepsiplease69

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 18:50

I'm also in the same boat as you. Trying to learn blackletter.

I definitely need a lot of practice.

I'd recommend starting with larger nib sizes first so you can perfect your letter forms.

Pilot parallel 1.5 size or higher would be my recommendation.

I personally use rhodia reversebook, it's large enough to play around without being too big like A4. French ruling is a good start but I quickly grew out of it and currently find too many ruling lines a bit distracting.

Good start though. I like your consistency here which is key for making blackletter look good.

#14 patrickfp

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 18:58

I will get the 2.4mm one. French ruling is indeed nice to have at the beginning. I am too scared the 1.5mm one will not be wide enough for practice. I have been using the widest nib in my Manuscript set, but would like to have different nib sizes available instead of having to switch nibs.


Edited by patrickfp, 03 June 2015 - 19:19.


#15 kenfraser

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 22:10

I became really attracted to Gothic Blackletter when I took German at school, and this love of the style has never left me.

 

It looks far more complicated and difficult than it really is. In fact, I think that it's probably the easiest script to master.

 

All you need is a steady hand; the ability to draw straight, parallel lines; and an awareness of balanced, inter-stroke space. Italic is a far more subtle hand requiring many hours of practice to achieve the easy, beautifully balanced, deceptively simple flow on paper . This version of Blackletter writing is based on the "Tudor" font.

 

Gothic%20900.jpg


Edited by Ken Fraser, 04 June 2015 - 22:11.


#16 patrickfp

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 22:28

I became really attracted to Gothic Blackletter when I took German at school, and this love of the style has never left me.

 

It looks far more complicated and difficult than it really is. In fact, I think that it's probably the easiest script to master.

 

All you need is a steady hand; the ability to draw straight, parallel lines; and an awareness of balanced, inter-stroke space. Italic is a far more subtle hand requiring many hours of practice to achieve the easy, beautifully balanced, deceptively simple flow on paper . This version of Blackletter writing is based on the "Tudor" font.

 

 

 

I could not agree more with what you said. I always wanted to learn Blackletter, but did not have the books to help me. Even after I got the books, I was still "scared." Blackletter looked very hard to master to me. Then I saw a similar comment from you in another thread and decided to give a go. The models supplied in Margaret Shepherd book is good in the sense that it is a "simple" version. A good version, in my opinion, to start with.

 

You are also right in saying that italic is deceptively simple on paper.



#17 pepsiplease69

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 02:12

The way I started out with it is probably not the best way, but I downloaded a Truetype font called English Towne font.

 

Link is here:

http://www.1001fonts...towne-font.html

 

I used it to create a document in MS Word, a letter to someone. Printed it out and put a tracing paper like Onion Skin paper over it and traced over that. It helped me get more exposed to the letter forms for everyday use.

 

I'm still very terrible at it but you have to start somewhere right?



#18 patrickfp

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 02:25


I'm still very terrible at it but you have to start somewhere right?

Right, we all have to start somewhere. The photographer Zack Arias likes to tell new photographers that it was okay to produce bad work at the beginning. He likes to say: "We all sucked when we started."

 

I just did this five minutes ago. My X and Z need more help than the other letters I think. I have not started working on capital letters yet. The whole experience reminds me of when I started to learn italic. My italic letters at the beginning were REALLY bad, but I kept working on them until I became proud of them.

 

IMG-20150604-00370_zpskz7rxrn5.jpg



#19 pepsiplease69

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 16:11

Here's some of my work (don't laugh)

 

In the first specimen I wrote a few lines with the Pilot Parallel 1.5 nib but I wasn't feelin' the love, so I switched to the 2.4 nib size. Then I started doing some color transitional work between orange and black.

 

fpn_1433520309__img_2319.jpg

 

 

 

Heres another sample.

 

fpn_1433520354__fullsizerender.jpg

 

 

I was using the Franklin Christoph size 1.9 music nib.

 

Did some daily practice here with the majuscules, full set of alphabet every day.

 

Notice I'm undecided about how to do my lowercase letter 'a'.

 

On the second line from the top all my a's are pretty squarish.

 

On the 4th line from the bottom I'm doing my 'a' differently.



#20 patrickfp

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 17:07

That's  very cool. I have not tackled  capital letters yet.

 

I tried using my Manuscript 1.6mm but was not happy with it. Much prefer the Manuscript 2.8mm. This is why I have not bought the Parallel 1.5mm. I waiting for my local store to receive their Pilot order next month. I could buy it online, but I prefer to once in a while help their business.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: learning, calligraphy, blackletter, italic



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