I rather like your hand.
What you do is to look around for ideas to change the shapes of the letter form. Then start to practice that shape.
Example, I have yet to change the 'A' from a big 'a' to an 'A' like you did...
HI AC...Thank you for the compliment, much appreciated. Yes, I think I've just hit a plateau and am getting frustrated. I've brought an illegible scribble up to something readable but still inconsistent. I do need to keep looking at and I've also started just drawing the letters in my mind when I don't have a pen in hand-this way I'm 'seeing' the angular shape I'm looking for. As to my "A". There are a few letters I picked up through the years, I don't remember where I saw them but my capital A is one I quite like. I've been writing that for almost 2 decades. My "Z" I also rather like, ditto "R". I think we hold the pen the same or similar...I tried to do the glide on the last two fingernails and the grip is just difficult-then again, it's new to me and it would feel difficult. I think I need to start over at the beginning I will learn the glide as I think that's probably the most fluid way to get where I want to be. Thanks for your insight and help!
Agree. An oblique holder and hours of practice are the easiest way to get where you intend to go. The Pilot pen is nice, especially with a Spencerian specific custom nib but still not quite the same flex you get with an oblique holder. The oblique holder is designed to keep your slant at the proper alignment to the paper as well.
Hi httpmom...I got a Speedball oblique holder but there's some beautiful hand turned ones I've had my eye on. I think I will send for it and some nibs and give that a shot. I'm probably approaching this entirely wrong. This will be 3 distinct phases the way I'm doing this now-learning the business hand for every day, then I planned to learn the ornamental version then once I was comfortable with that, switch to oblique holder and re-learn it all with pointed pen-it seems, I don't know. Intentionally difficult? I'll never learn any other styles at that rate. Thank you for the reply & help!
If you are a "purist" , or competing in a "Palmer" contest, don't change anything. Otherwise, make changes as you see fit. It's your Palmer ! I won't judge you.
Write with joy.
I won't be competing in any Palmer contest I'll be happy just to get consistent in my lettering. It's not my Palmer, the school forced that, if we had a choice I'd have chosen Spencerian. Writing is a joy. I'm just sorry it took me until my late 40's to discover the absolute joy of fountain pens and rediscover the art of penmanship. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated.
If you want Spencerian as an everyday hand then you do not need much flexibility. The shading is subtle. So the customizations for Falcon nibs are not really necessary.
If you want to go for a highly ornamental Spencerian style then a dip pen is going to be your best tool.
In terms of practicing shapes, a pencil is your friend.
This is the 'problem' which may not even really be a problem. I do want Spencerian as my everyday hand which is why I thought the Falcon would be my best bet. To learn the basic letterforms, but I also want to learn the ornamental version so I can write passages out and display them, to just keep a notebook of favourite quotes, etc. I know I'll need the dip pen for that-this is why I'm wondering if I'm approaching this wrong. I'll be learning the hand twice-business then ornamental, but I don't see any other way. The ornamental will be the fun one too where I get to use all the wonderful thicker calligraphy inks I've been collecting that I wouldn't think of putting in my FPs. I'll get the pencil out Thank you for your insight and help! BTW- I love your signature LOL! Very cool.
First of all, your handwriting looks very good already! The only thing it needs is a bit of consistency.
However, I really don't understand what you mean by "ugly Palmer roundness?" To me, the basic letter forms of Spencerian and Palmer look very similar. In fact, I often cannot tell them apart, except for the shading used by some Spencerian writers (but not all). Could you give an example?
Thank you so much, I appreciate that. I liked my writing when I was in my 20's but since then, obviously, computers have taken over more and more of our lives and before I knew it, I'd been banging away on keys and a pen seemed foreign, and my penmanship suffered.
The "ugly Palmer roundness" I can only describe as bubble gum letters or balloon letters. I remember the teacher in school often scolding us if the letters weren't properly rounded. Spencerian isn't straight up and down round, it's sort of tipped on it's side. Palmer lowercase "a" looks like it'd roll like quarter, Spenceerian looks more like it'd have trouble tipping over end because of the angular shape-if that makes sense. Maybe they should have given us Copperplate instruction in school instead-at least that's a beautiful one to look at tho I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The only visual I can offer is the woman I've been watching on YouTube do this, her channel is called OpenInkStand Art & Calligraphy~ many examples of what I'm after there. I watch her and it just carries me off at how easy and soothing it looks to do that. Of course it isn't easy. Michael Sull is a pleasure to watch write in this style too. I know the shading in the business Spencerian is minimal but I don't ever recall any shading in Palmer. We were never given fountain pens or dip pens in school, I believe initially we started in pencil and the next year was pen
Thank you so much everyone!