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Chancery Italic Script instructions



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This is a different approach to presenting instructions for Chancery Italic than I've ever taken before in more ways than one. Usually, I've not begun with the letter "a" but Corien & I decided to go through the alphabet sequentially. I've always started classroom students with dip pens, but this is the FPN! Professional calligraphers do use dip pens due to needing to often use gouache (instead of ink) which can't be used in FPs. But most FPN members will likely want to use their FPs, so we'll take a more informal approach. This will hold true, also, with regard to the rendering of the Chancery hand. In formal italic the letters aren't joined and the ductus (direction of strokes) is different. Here, I'll be showing letterforms, most of which can be joined and used as a running, cursive hand. (My own hand is a combination of joined and unjoined letters--and some letters only appear to be joined!)

 

It's up to you which size italic nib you wish to use, but remember--problem areas are easier for you to see with a broader nib. Nibs broader than 2 mm are not necessary, but I'd suggest that you begin with one not smaller than an 0.9 mm--or larger, if possible. If you can manage it, 45 minutes per day is a suggested amount of time to practice. If you feel any muscle strain in your neck, upper back, arm or hand...Stop! Even a break for a few minutes can make a difference.

 

I could go on & on--but I'll let you ask questions instead! :) Ann

 

The 1st scan gives you some info on the proper size & weight of the letters and how to know how far apart your guidelines should be for a given nib.

http://webpages.charter.net/annletters/calligraphy/nibwidthguideline.jpg

 

Notice the box to the right with the X in it. If you hold your pen so that the thinnest and thickest strokes that the nib can make are made when you make an X, you will be holding your pen at about a 45 degree angle to the writing line (base line), which is correct for italic.

http://img140.exs.cx/img140/7296/basicshapefpn0td.jpg

 

Sunday, 4-17-05 Here is the b, another letter made without lifting your pen.

http://img229.echo.cx/img229/3417/bisabranchingletter1kd.jpg

 

Sunday, 4-24-05 The letter c begins along the waist line and is done in one stroke.

http://img99.echo.cx/img99/3981/chanceryc0hu.jpg

Edited by Ann Finley
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Ann Finley

Keep the wedge open on the chancery d, as with the a. I usually make the back stroke first, then make the basic shape in front of it. If you are afraid this will present a problem later on with judging your spacing you may want to make the basic shape first.

http://img162.echo.cx/img162/1865/chanceryd8af.jpg

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Ann Finley

The chancery e -- 2 options. It is really important to keep the hairline at the same angle as the exit serif when you use example #1 because proper alignment is part of what makes the chancery hand attractive.

http://img46.echo.cx/img46/2200/chancerye5pj.jpg

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Ann Finley

The minuscule f is the only letter that takes all 15 nib width spaces. It starts at the top of the ascender line and continues to the bottom of the descender line.

http://img102.echo.cx/img102/7093/chanceryf8mc.jpg

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Ann Finley

Another acceptable option for the g is to make it as shown below, then continue with a hairline up to the body of the letter. It looks more like a cursive g if you prefer that option. (I don't, so you won't see my g's made that way.) :D

 

Note that the downstroke on the descender is indented a bit from the initial stroke at the waist line. Doing this on the g and on the a makes the letters look more graceful and helps to prevent a "heavy" look at the intersection of these strokes. Do be sure to keep the wedge open between the body of the letter and the descender.

 

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/4773/chancerygvu0.jpg

Edited by Ann Finley
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Ann Finley

The chancery h begins like the b, and is also made in one stroke without lifting your pen. It is the 2nd of six branching letters. When you branch to the right to make the body of the letter, be sure the top of the body is neither too rounded or too pointed.

http://img171.echo.cx/img171/2849/chanceryh5hg.jpg

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Ann Finley

Note that the correctly executed chancery i, below the smiley, is a straight stroke beginning and ending with hairline entrance and exit serifs. Some common errors in rendering the i, follow...There should be no curve at the bottom and no "wiggles" in the middle of the letter, as shown in the last example.

http://img247.echo.cx/img247/1550/chanceryi5le.jpg

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If you can make the chancery i and g, you can make the j. Begin with the lead in serif on the left, going to the waist line, and continue with your downstroke all the way to the descender line where you bring your stroke to the left.

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/757/chanceryj6pf.jpg

Edited by Ann Finley
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The chancery k is the 3rd of the branching letters and is made in one stroke. Begin at the top, as with the h and branch to the right. Notice the 2nd example of k below--the final downstroke goes below the line. This can look nice if k is at the end of a line, or if it's the last letter in a word sometimes, especially on an envelope.

http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/5042/chanceryk0ve.jpg

Edited by Ann Finley
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The chancery l is done as shown below. The formal italic version begins with a thin, short hairline entrance serif and has no fllag.

http://webpages.charter.net/annletters/calligraphy/chancery%20l.jpg

Edited by Ann Finley
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Ann Finley

The chancery m is another branching letter. It is made in one stroke without lifting your pen from the paper. The downstrokes should be at the same angle as one another, and the space between them should be equidistant.

http://img231.echo.cx/img231/5329/chancerym8hi.jpg

Edited by Ann Finley
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The chancery n is much like the m...It's made without lifting your pen and is a branching letter. Often you may read that n is the gauge for spacing. The width of a whole n between words and 1/2 that space between letters. But I've only seen one author that said how wide the n is supposed to be in the 1st place!!! This author said the white space inside the n should be 2 to 2 1/2 pen widths. This is one way to gauge spacing, but I believe there is an easier way, which I will suggest after all of the minuscule letters are posted. Stay tuned!

http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/6452/chancerynos8.jpg

Edited by Ann Finley
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Chancery letters are often described as being in the shape of an oblong parallelogram. The minuscule letters are approximately twice as high as they are wide. You'll notice that the o is not round--it's an ellipse, or oval shape. Notice where the thin parts are in relation to the axis of your degree of slant. For a cursive o, you will want to make it in one stroke. In some books you may see it done in 2 strokes, but this is usually when doing more formal lettering. Right handed folks will likely find it more convenient to make the o counter clockwise and some lefties--especially overwriters--may make it clockwise. The most important thing is to remember what I've said beneath the example below.

http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/743/chanceryo8vb.jpg

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The chancery p is the only 2 stroke branching letter. You can make the tail of the descender either way, as shown. If you choose the 1st way, be sure to angle to the left & move your pen down slightly before moving to the right. Otherwise the tail looks like a heavy bar tacked onto the end of the descender.

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/7899/chanceryp3ni.jpg

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The chancery q begins with the basic shape. You would proceed as though you were going to make a g, but go the opposite way with the tail after moving slightly to the left and down before moving to the right. Often you will see the q made like the 1st example, but with a much shorter tail. The 2nd example is simply an alternate model which is also commonly seen.

http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/5522/chanceryq1wj.jpg

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The chancery r begins like an i--then you trace back up the downstroke without lifting your pen, followed by a branch to the right. You don't want to branch too low, but notice that there is definitely a thin branch there.

http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/9427/chanceryr0ru.jpg

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White spaces within the curves should be equal or with slightly more space within the bottom curve. You don't want a top-heavy s!

http://img162.imageshack.us/img162/5916/chancerys7qp.jpg

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The chancery t is an exception to the rule regarding ascenders being 5 nib widths above the waist line. In formal italic it often appears just barely above the waist line. In cursive mode you are usually writing rather small and you can "eyeball it" with the height of the t and make it about the same height as a capital letter (about halfway between the waist line and the ascender line.)

http://img394.imageshack.us/img394/6106/chanceryt7kb.jpg

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The key thing to remember regarding the chancery u is that the downstrokes should be parallel...But do remember to keep the wedge open!

http://img370.imageshack.us/img370/9415/chanceryu3qx.jpg

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The chancery v can be done in either one or two strokes. In either case, if you don't "break the rule" and twist your pen a bit, the right hand side of the v would be a hairline and tend to look unbalanced. The middle example would be a one stroke v. I use either of the two stoke variants. The third example you'll see less often, but I like it!

http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/7240/chanceryv4lb.jpg

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