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Learning Copperplate...



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fuchsiaprincess

Yes, I do thoroughly clean and dry the nibs. I would hate to have them inky from one session to another anyway.

 

What a fluent script, fuchsiaprincess. Once the Brauses stop breaking, I'm looking forward to writing actually meaningful pieces of text too :P

 

Now, back to figuring out what I'm doing wrong.

 

Thank you for your compliment! Please don't be too disheartened by the breaking nibs. When I first started out, I broke quite a number of Gillott 303 nibs. I tried other nibs, and had no issues whatsoever. Haven't returned to using them again, so cannot say whether is was my technique, or just the fact that the way I wrote wasn't suited to those nibs.

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y331/fuchsiaprincess/Fuchsiaprincess_0001.jpg http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/036/2/2/Narnia_Flag_by_Narnia14.gif

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I thought I would share a scan of my most recent practice session lest people get the impression that I can always reliably do what I preach :-)

 

I normally start off with a few basic strokes to warm up. I was already somewhat warmed up playing with a holder I had just completed so there's only a line of it on this sheet. Typically there will be two or three lines of various strokes.

 

I then go on to write a quotation or a few words - whatever comes to mind. This is followed by a critical analysis of what works and what not. I usually have a good sense of the mistakes as I'm writing but a good check always reveals others.

 

This sheet has a number of things I'm not happy with:

 

  • The curve of the 'T' is too tight.
  • The shade of the 'e' comes too far down (this one is repeated several times.)
  • The shaded stroke of the 'v' is no good.
  • The 'u' in 'jump' and 'quickly' is too thin.
  • The stem of the 'p' is too thick.
  • I don't like the shape of the 's'.
  • My majuscules are in desperate need of help!

 

I then proceed to practice fixing the problems I have noted. I don't always get it in the same session but it gives me something to work on for the next.

 

fpn_1324022603__copperplatepractice-1.gif

 

Salman

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fuchsiaprincess

Salman,

 

You are amazing! Such a perfectionist! I would've given you piece an A+ :notworthy1:

 

Keep up the good work!

 

Warmest regards,

Soki

 

PS - I absolutely love our capital 'T'. I cannot seem to master it, especially the thick tail of the horizontal line.

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y331/fuchsiaprincess/Fuchsiaprincess_0001.jpg http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/036/2/2/Narnia_Flag_by_Narnia14.gif

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Beautiful work, Salman and an honest appraisal of your own writing. I think that you're being too harsh on yourself actually, and I'm sure that most on this thread would be delighted to come somewhere near to your present level.

 

Elsewhere on this thread, I've noticed that there are several instances of letter-width increasing which alters the character of Copperplate. If this grid is adopted, then the proportions of classic, Copperpate minuscules can be easily maintained.

 

If you're interested in studying classic Copperplate, as opposed to flex-nibbed writing, then the following may help:-

 

Draw in base and waist lines to produce the preferred x height and then draw a crossing, vertical line. From the top intersection point, draw in a slope line at 55 degrees from the horizontal, down to the base line. From the bottom, vertical-line, intersection point, draw a second slope line up to the waist line again at 55 degrees. This little grid is shown to the left (below). The second grid is the same, with a minuscule letter n at the correct proportions (height to width) for copperplate. Note how the letter, including shading, is enclosed within the box. The same thing applies to all letters with the exception of f i j l m and t. For these letters, common sense applies, and they are not difficult to judge once the above principal has been used with all the other letters.

 

caliken

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd289/caliken_2007/nongrid300.jpg

Edited by caliken
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That is jaw dropping beautiful Salman and as Ken says, I would be thrilled to be able to produce something remotely similar to it.

 

And thank you Soki for revealing where the great looking capital T originated. I incorrectly ascribed it to GClef.

Hex, aka George

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http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd289/caliken_2007/Aimatimprovement872.jpg

 

 

Here's a line of perfect Copperplate from The Universal Penman.

 

Following on from my previous post, if you're interested in the width-control of your lettering, try copying it out as an exercise - the x height is 8mm. If you reach the end of the line before you've used all the letters, you're writing is too wide!

Ken

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fuchsiaprincess

Beautiful work, Salman and an honest appraisal of your own writing. I think that you're being too harsh on yourself actually, and I'm sure that most on this thread would be delighted to come somewhere near to your present level.

 

Elsewhere on this thread, I've noticed that there are several instances of letter-width increasing which alters the character of Copperplate. If this grid is adopted, then the proportions of classic, Copperpate minuscules can be easily maintained.

 

If you're interested in studying classic Copperplate, as opposed to flex-nibbed writing, then the following may help:-

 

Draw in base and waist lines to produce the preferred x height and then draw a crossing, vertical line. From the top intersection point, draw in a slope line at 55 degrees from the horizontal, down to the base line. From the bottom, vertical-line, intersection point, draw a second slope line up to the waist line again at 55 degrees. This little grid is shown to the left (below). The second grid is the same, with a minuscule letter n at the correct proportions (height to width) for copperplate. Note how the letter, including shading, is enclosed within the box. The same thing applies to all letters with the exception of f i j l m and t. For these letters, common sense applies, and they are not difficult to judge once the above principal has been used with all the other letters.

 

caliken

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd289/caliken_2007/nongrid300.jpg

 

Thank you very much for the science behind the width of the miniscule. I've always just let me eye do the judging :embarrassed_smile:

 

Regards,

Soki

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y331/fuchsiaprincess/Fuchsiaprincess_0001.jpg http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/036/2/2/Narnia_Flag_by_Narnia14.gif

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Thanks everyone for help!

 

Salman, thanks for pointing out the inconsistencies. Spacing is still giving me a hard time, but I feel I'm learning. I still can't believe I'm able to do things like this so soon. Your practice sheet looks marvelous by the way, and I couldn't really spot some of the mistakes you list until I was looking at the sheet for a minute or two! As Ken says, many (including me) would be delighted to be close to where you are.

 

Ken, thanks for listing the exceptions to spacing, that clarified a lot for me!

 

I like how the Brause behaves. I'll try and learn how to not break them, but when I'll be ordering next time, I'll be sure to include some others to try out too.

 

I'm not giving up in any field ;) (thanks to this thread and the people here!)

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Btw, this is what I was able to do in 8mm with the Zebra G when the tip was still not scratchy. After this page, I couldn't really make the hairlines this good anymore. http://www43.zippyshare.com/v/29363394/file.html

 

Oliwerko,

 

Your lettering is attractive with shades which are even, consistent and steady, and are at a good weight for this size of script.

 

IMO your lettering is a bit wide at the moment. If you could condense it a little, the difference would be considerable.

 

I hope that you don't mind my re-posting the above clip of yours, to illustrate the difference when the lettering is condensed to the classic Copperplate proportions. Both examples are at an x height of 8mm and both are at a slope of 55 degrees from the horizontal.

 

You're making great progress IMHO. :thumbup:

 

caliken

 

 

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd289/caliken_2007/cranesgreat171211480.jpg

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Ken, I surely don't mind - quite the opposite, your suggestions are most helpful!

 

The example you gave me is a great demonstration of what to do, thanks :) I don't know why, I just have a natural tendency to make the letters wider than they should be. I always feel as if there was too little space. I'll try and concentrate on this, the clip you posted imprinted itself in my mind immediately by the time I first saw it. Spacing does a great deal of difference!

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Keep up the good work!

...

PS - I absolutely love our capital 'T'. I cannot seem to master it, especially the thick tail of the horizontal line.

 

Thank you Soki. Your companionship throughout this thread has helped keep me on track.

 

I add the thick tail to the horizontal stroke after making it the regular way - the paper needs to be turned a bit for the nib angle to be right for it. It requires a delicate touch and I'm not always very careful with it but it does look nice.

 

I think that you're being too harsh on yourself actually,

 

Thanks Ken. I do try to push myself during practice sessions or I find myself repeating letters I do well which results in a kind of false sense of achievement.

 

I am a bit too strict with the rounded shades in c,e,o etc. I don't like to bring the shade low and I'm not happy even if I see just the tendency for the shade to come down low.

 

The 'v' is a recurring problem. I can make the shaded stroke fine in practice but tend to make the top part of the shade narrow when joining in from a previous letter. This is what you see in this session.

 

The 's' is just not nice looking, it usually is not a problem letter for me so I'm not too worried about it.

 

Thank you for pointing out the letter width principle. My guidelines are structured that way but I was making the two sides of the 'n' that much distance 'apart' rather than fitting both strokes within the slant guides. Now I know.

 

That is jaw dropping beautiful Salman and as Ken says, I would be thrilled to be able to produce something remotely similar to it.

 

And thank you Soki for revealing where the great looking capital T originated. I incorrectly ascribed it to GClef.

 

Thanks George. I'm sure you will produce better than this with time and patience. There is no trick to it.

 

The capital 'T' is pretty standard. I don't know who originally designed it but you can find it in a number of exemplars of Engrosser's script.

 

I couldn't really spot some of the mistakes you list until I was looking at the sheet for a minute or two!

 

Learning to 'see' the nuances of a hand is part of the learning process for me. I find this part takes the longest and provides the most 'A-ha' moments.

 

I think I've said this before but your start is much better than where I was and I have no doubt that you'll be producing envy inducing Copperplate before long. You are closer than you think :-)

 

Salman

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Thanks for guidance everyone!

 

Here's the same page with words where I tried to employ what you told me I'm doing wrong. I still have two strong tendencies: connectors enter the following letter too early, and thick strokes which start with a flat top (mainly "t") are thicker than the rest.

 

http://www60.zippyshare.com/v/11280201/file.html

Edited by Oliwerko
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Spacing is much improved IMO. I did the too thick 't' thing too but it goes away with practice, I still do it from time to time.

 

I have been experimenting with reducing the shade width as shown in Ken's example from TUP above. I think the script looks much more elegant with minimal shading.

 

I have now realized that most of my nibs are too flexible for the reduced shading thickness. I have ordered some Zebra G and Gillot 404 nibs - looking forward to playing with them.

 

Salman

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Thanks for guidance everyone!

 

Here's the same page with words where I tried to employ what you told me I'm doing wrong. I still have two strong tendencies: connectors enter the following letter too early, and thick strokes which start with a flat top (mainly "t") are thicker than the rest.

 

http://www60.zippyshare.com/v/11280201/file.html

 

There's quite a difference - much neater and more elegant.

 

One point; the letter w is more as below, with the short terminal connector otherwise it's difficult to read and looks like u and i.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd289/caliken_2007/doubleyou200.jpg

Ken

Edited by caliken
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fuchsiaprincess

Thanks for guidance everyone!

 

Here's the same page with words where I tried to employ what you told me I'm doing wrong. I still have two strong tendencies: connectors enter the following letter too early, and thick strokes which start with a flat top (mainly "t") are thicker than the rest.

 

http://www60.zippyshare.com/v/11280201/file.html

 

That is great improvement! I really like your line variation, and your 'r' and 's'.

 

Regards,

Soki

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y331/fuchsiaprincess/Fuchsiaprincess_0001.jpg http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/036/2/2/Narnia_Flag_by_Narnia14.gif

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There's one apparently insignificant aspect of writing this script which is often overlooked and yet has an enormous effect on the quality of the finished writing. I'm referring to the hairline curves within letters and at the top and foot of junctions. Salman touched on this problem in an earlier post.

 

There are at least two books on Copperplate which are currently in print, which advocate excessively rounded hairline curves as in the first example.

 

As you can see, when linking between the letters n & i, the rounded curve forces a join which is too low. Similarly, the rounded curve forming the top of the letter n, leaves the first shaded downstroke too late and too close to the top of the letter.

When a shallower curve is properly formed as in the second example, (as exemplified by the lettering of the Eighteenth Century writing masters), the letters are totally transformed, immediately dislaying an elegant flow. The hairline leaves the first shaded stroke of the letter n much earlier and similarly the hairline up into the letter i is a much smoother shape, merging into the shade of the letter at a higher point.

 

This may seem trivial and nit-picking, but the effect is huge IMO. The first example is 'clunky' and clumsy and the second displays the elegant flow characteristic of this magnificent script.

 

caliken

 

 

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd289/caliken_2007/comparisons300.jpg

Edited by caliken
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fuchsiaprincess

Which is the "best" capital W to use, or does it depend on the context?

 

 

I like the third one from the left, top line. However, it does depend on the context to a certain extent.

 

What ink did you use? It is lovely!

 

Regards,

Soki

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y331/fuchsiaprincess/Fuchsiaprincess_0001.jpg http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/036/2/2/Narnia_Flag_by_Narnia14.gif

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fuchsiaprincess

There's one apparently insignificant aspect of writing this script which is often overlooked and yet has an enormous effect on the quality of the finished writing. I'm referring to the hairline curves within letters and at the top and foot of junctions. Salman touched on this problem in an earlier post.

 

There are at least two books on Copperplate which are currently in print, which advocate excessively rounded hairline curves as in the first example.

 

As you can see, when linking between the letters n & i, the rounded curve forces a join which is too low. Similarly, the rounded curve forming the top of the letter n, leaves the first shaded downstroke too late and too close to the top of the letter.

When a shallower curve is properly formed as in the second example, (as exemplified by the lettering of the Eighteenth Century writing masters), the letters are totally transformed, immediately dislaying an elegant flow. The hairline leaves the first shaded stroke of the letter n much earlier and similarly the hairline up into the letter i is a much smoother shape, merging into the shade of the letter at a higher point.

 

This may seem trivial and nit-picking, but the effect is huge IMO. The first example is 'clunky' and clumsy and the second displays the elegant flow characteristic of this magnificent script.

 

caliken

 

 

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd289/caliken_2007/comparisons300.jpg

 

Subtle difference, but makes a huge improvement. Thanks for sharing this with us, Ken!

 

Warm regards,

Soki

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y331/fuchsiaprincess/Fuchsiaprincess_0001.jpg http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/036/2/2/Narnia_Flag_by_Narnia14.gif

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