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Proof That Instruction And Guides Are Better Than Figuring It Out On Your Own

pointed pen beginner copperplate vitolo

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15 replies to this topic

#1 AAAndrew

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:02

So, about a month ago I began playing around with my first flexible fountain pen, and then for the past few days with some dip nibs and my attempts at shaded writing looked like this just two days ago (the 6th).

 

fpn_1436239470__wm_mitchell.jpg

 

 

Yesterday evening I printed out my first practice sheets and started working my way through Dr. Vitolo's wonderful eBook for the iPad Script in the Copperplate Style.  It's a multimedia compendium of his articles and videos on how to write using the Copperplate or Embossed style of calligraphy.

 

And then today I was able to run over to John Neal (just an hour west of here) and pick up an oblique holder (was using a straight holder with my vintage nibs). 

 

I have a day job so I've only made it through the small letters and a few capitol letters, and only the barest introduction to these forms (no long hours of practice yet), but just that little bit of actually doing it the right way, with the right tools has made my letters only horrible rather than criminal. I still need tons of work on just about every aspect (sizing, consistency, proportion, angle) but already I can see a huge difference.

 

So, if you're wanting to learn, don't try to do it on your own. Find some good instruction, there is a lot out there for free on the internet, and the practice sheets you can get for free on the IAMPETH web site truly make a difference.  And if you own an iPad, download this free book now. It's incredible with great explanations, illustrations and even embedded videos. It will make a huge impact on your progress.

 

fpn_1436409621__july_8_03.jpg

 

fpn_1436409637__july_8_02.jpg

 

 

fpn_1436409649__july_8_01.jpg

 

 

fpn_1436409607__july_8_04.jpg

 



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#2 ac12

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:38

Very nice.

 

I also have trouble keeping the letter slope angle consistent.  I should get a slope guidesheet and put it under my journal pages.


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#3 Randal6393

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 16:25

Hi,  Andrew,

 

Yes, progress is so much faster with a little study and learning. Glad to see you got over to John Neal's yesterday. Isn't his store a hoot? Still set up for mail order only? Haven't been in for years, but I still mail-order items every so often.

 

Jump into YouTube and view a few videos by Shin at OpenInkStand when you get a chance. She is great at explaining the basics of using a dip pen. And has a pretty unique copperplate hand. Might want to get a copy of Bickham's Universal Penman. Excellent exemplar for copperplate and ornamental penmanship.

 

Best of luck,


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#4 Tootles

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 18:46

I'd second the videos of Schin Loong. Found that she explains the basics in a very approachable fashion. I keep meaning to print out some lined sheets but I am dithering over how to construct it.  In my everyday hand my x-heights are about 2mm. For Spencerian that would mean lines 2mm apart plus two more lines a further 3mm from each of those. Adding in some angle guides makes the page look very busy indeed.  Perhaps I should train myself to write a larger font size?



#5 Randal6393

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 01:00

I'd second the videos of Schin Loong. Found that she explains the basics in a very approachable fashion. I keep meaning to print out some lined sheets but I am dithering over how to construct it.  In my everyday hand my x-heights are about 2mm. For Spencerian that would mean lines 2mm apart plus two more lines a further 3mm from each of those. Adding in some angle guides makes the page look very busy indeed.  Perhaps I should train myself to write a larger font size?

Not necessarily. Maybe do a good guide sheet, dark enough to show through your practice paper. And don't discount different colors and dashed lines for the guides.

 

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?
 


#6 AAAndrew

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:26

That was July 8th. Here's tonight's session, July 30th. Improving. The ink is Monte Verde Burgundy diluted 1/2 1/2 with water. It works quite nicely. It has good lubrication, fine lines and is cheap. it comes in a  huge bottle (90 ml) for like $12.95. I haven't tried any of their other colors yet. This was given to me and I'm liking it for practice. 

 

fpn_1438308892__july_30.jpg



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#7 Iso*

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 22:29

While it is true that instruction books are helpful, I often found myself confused (and I still am to some degree) about which way to go. But regardless, I feel that I have read a fairly wide variety of different pen texts, and I am fairly familiar with OP styles of work.

 

The main challenge was that I was everything not of a penman to begin. I was overhanded, death gripped, and left handed to start with. I still write left handed, but I feel that I am too lazy and such to write with my right hand; I wasn't dexterous enough in my right hand to do any sort of penmanship. So I had to do a lot of adaptations to accustom myself with the styles of Spencerian.

 

For most, instruction books are good. For others like me, I feel that we gotta find our own way. According to John DeCollibus, it seems that many left handers are varied in their grip and form styles. Not too many left handers write the same way...


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#8 inkstainedruth

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 04:21

While it is true that instruction books are helpful, I often found myself confused (and I still am to some degree) about which way to go. But regardless, I feel that I have read a fairly wide variety of different pen texts, and I am fairly familiar with OP styles of work.

 

The main challenge was that I was everything not of a penman to begin. I was overhanded, death gripped, and left handed to start with. I still write left handed, but I feel that I am too lazy and such to write with my right hand; I wasn't dexterous enough in my right hand to do any sort of penmanship. So I had to do a lot of adaptations to accustom myself with the styles of Spencerian.

 

For most, instruction books are good. For others like me, I feel that we gotta find our own way. According to John DeCollibus, it seems that many left handers are varied in their grip and form styles. Not too many left handers write the same way...

A friend of mine used to teach calligraphy classes specifically for lefties.  As I understand it, he not only had the students turn the angle of the paper, but also was having them more "draw" than write the letters (not sure I can really explain that).  But these were also not cursive handwriting classes -- I think he was teaching stuff like various Gothic and blackletter hands.

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#9 penemuel

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 21:32

As a leftie who has recently tried some dabbling with dip flex-nibs, I can say that some of us just seem to hold pens *wrong* for the proper calligraphy forms. I've tried turning the paper every direction, and can't get it to work no matter what. I can't get the right angle of the nib to the paper or something - it either won't write at all, or blobs down ink in the middle of closed loops. My scrawled right handed attempts actually look better than my normal not-terrible penmanship with my left hand...

 

It's so frustrating...


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#10 Pterodactylus

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 21:14

Penemual, take a look at this:

This might work also for you
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#11 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 09:19

As a leftie who has recently tried some dabbling with dip flex-nibs, I can say that some of us just seem to hold pens *wrong* for the proper calligraphy forms. I've tried turning the paper every direction, and can't get it to work no matter what. I can't get the right angle of the nib to the paper or something - it either won't write at all, or blobs down ink in the middle of closed loops. My scrawled right handed attempts actually look better than my normal not-terrible penmanship with my left hand...
 
It's so frustrating...


I was never able to made dip Flex-nibs work properly and I am right handed.

I just use a fountain pen with a round nib, I reproduce the letter's general form, not worrying about fine and thick lines.
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#12 AlohaLani787

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 13:16

Stunning difference in an incredibly short amount of time. Had you not admitted to writing both I would have guessed your first couple of samples were written by two different people. Your steep progress is rather inspiring. 



#13 mana

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 18:59

Well look at that... "Pankkikynä" (Finnish) or "Bankpenna" (Swedish) mean "Bank Pen", i.e. a pen meant for use in banks. Where did you come by these? They were most certainly meant for the Finnish market going by the labels. :D

And hey, awesome progress. A bit of a necrothread (originally from 2015) but good going anyhow, wonder how your writing is doing these days? :)

 

So, about a month ago I began playing around with my first flexible fountain pen, and then for the past few days with some dip nibs and my attempts at shaded writing looked like this just two days ago (the 6th).

 

fpn_1436239470__wm_mitchell.jpg


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#14 AAAndrew

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 20:51

This is now my normal handwriting when I'm writing with a pointed pen. 

 

And, BTW, these Hunt #5 Droop Points are quite nice. Smooth and responsive. Not the finest hairlines, but a very nice, inexpensive pen. 

 

fpn_1545338972__2018_12_20_example_of_wr



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



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#15 Redpanda

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 09:16

Wow, that is amazing! Form where did you get the practice sheets? 



#16 AAAndrew

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 22:23

I found the practice sheets up at the top at the IAMPETH web site. The last picture is just some 9mm wide lines on lined stationery I make for myself. 

 

Even if you're not going to be a calligrapher, if you're interested in just writing better with a pointed pen, I highly recommend starting with the basics for calligraphy. That will teach you spacing, proportion and proper form. You can then start to adjust your writing to what looks good to you as well as how you like to write. I've been playing with more vertical writing as well as slanted. I don't worry anymore at what degree, but instead just try and focus on consistency. Sometimes I like the slanted, sometimes I like more vertical writing. Neither is "correct" nor "wrong." Just different. 



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: pointed pen, beginner, copperplate, vitolo



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