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Learning Italic



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I agree with David.

 

akustyk - your italic is just beautiful. Have you tried writing the faster version with a smaller nib? It looks nice enough as it is but the writing experience might be more flowing at a smaller x-height.

 

Salman

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So here is my first attempt at italics. I grabbed this out of a book I have lying around the house and since it was 1 AM when I did this I guess it's decent. I'll definitely try my hand at the one you posted on the first page Ken. That one seems a bit easier than the one i was using.

 

I wrote this using a 1.1 mm nib but I think I should try it with my 1.9 mm nib next. What do you usually prefer when working with italics?

 

Scan%2520Nov%252019%252C%25202013%252C%2

 

To my eye, your work looks like a careful attempt at italic by someone who in not practiced in the style. Good, a great place to start at. Now, practice, practice, practice. Would recommend watching Lloyd Reynolds's videos on YouTube (the Reed College channel). Maybe studying a book or two on italic handwriting.

 

There is a world of difference between carefully attempting a hand and fluent writing. Not that long in time, I've seen people advance quite a bit in a month or two. So, break out the books, grab pen and paper, and have fun.

 

As for what width, I generally mix it up and use 0.9 to 1.1 mm nibs for most writing. Practice -- wider spacing, wider nibs. a 1.9 mm nib is good, a 2.2 mm nib or so is better. I like Pilot Parallel pens, Rotring pens, and Brause or Mitchell dip nibs for practice. By the way, practice with critique is very important.

 

Enjoy,

Edited by Randal6393

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?

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Some people are blessed with good hands, others with a critical eye. You seem to have gotten both.

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.) Blackstone's Commentaries

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http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m496/gclef1114/Tutuguans/1120131102-1_zps18a96b1f.jpg

 

http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m496/gclef1114/Tutuguans/1120131106-1_zps48127b78.jpg

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To my eye, your work looks like a careful attempt at italic by someone who in not practiced in the style. Good, a great place to start at. Now, practice, practice, practice. Would recommend watching Lloyd Reynolds's videos on YouTube (the Reed College channel). Maybe studying a book or two on italic handwriting.

 

There is a world of difference between carefully attempting a hand and fluent writing. Not that long in time, I've seen people advance quite a bit in a month or two. So, break out the books, grab pen and paper, and have fun.

 

As for what width, I generally mix it up and use 0.9 to 1.1 mm nibs for most writing. Practice -- wider spacing, wider nibs. a 1.9 mm nib is good, a 2.2 mm nib or so is better. I like Pilot Parallel pens, Rotring pens, and Brause or Mitchell dip nibs for practice. By the way, practice with critique is very important.

 

Enjoy,

 

Thanks for the feedback. This was my first attempt at italics and after completing it I thought it was pretty horrid. My normal handwriting ain't much to look at either. :) I thought I would give it a try since this looks like something I would like to use for everyday writing. I will definitely try to get more practice in and check out those videos on YouTube. I was also thinking of picking up Kens book on Italics to help me out as well.

 

Rube

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.
-George Carlin
http://i729.photobucket.com/albums/ww296/messiah_FPN/Badges/SnailBadge.pngfpn_1327044342__postcard_pic_exchange.jp

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Thank you all for your comments! I must credit one of the FPN members for encouraging me to use an italic nib and selling me a beautiful Lamy Safari with a 1.1 mm italic. I started practicing using Tom Gourdie's book,which, sadly, got lost in a recent move.

 

Regarding speed, I think that in calligraphy, it is of no consequence. In fact, the main reason I started doing calligraphy was for its meditative, relaxing character. Well, I guess, if you're a professional calligrapher and you have a deadline for making a hundred wedding invitations then it would be helpful if one could do it fast :)

 

In italic handwriting, speed and fluency are both important such that italic becomes one's default hand when taking notes, making grocery lists, writing letters, etc. For me, developing such fluency in italic is almost unimaginable now. Maybe in ten years, I will change my mind, provided I keep practicing. I truly admire people who have been able to learn italic and make it their daily handwriting style.

---

Please, visit my website at http://www.acousticpens.com/

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Here is my second attempt to write in italics. This is after watching the first video that Randal6393 recommended on italics by

. Thanks Randal!

 

Learning%2520italics%2520attempt%25202-p

 

The text in red was written with a 1.9 mm nib and the sepia was with a 1.1 mm nib.

 

Rube

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.
-George Carlin
http://i729.photobucket.com/albums/ww296/messiah_FPN/Badges/SnailBadge.pngfpn_1327044342__postcard_pic_exchange.jp

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This is after watching the first video that Randal6393 recommended on italics by

. Thanks Randal!

 

http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m496/gclef1114/Tutuguans/1121131038-1_zpsd956313f.jpg

Edited by GClef
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This is after watching the first video that Randal6393 recommended on italics by

. Thanks Randal!

http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m496/gclef1114/Tutuguans/1121131038-1_zpsd956313f.jpg

 

 

But some scripta doesn't merit being manent...

 

Just a thought...

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Here is my second attempt to write in italics. This is after watching the first video that Randal6393 recommended on italics by

. Thanks Randal!

 

Learning%2520italics%2520attempt%25202-p

 

The text in red was written with a 1.9 mm nib and the sepia was with a 1.1 mm nib.

 

Rube

 

Much more confident writing! See, it doesn't take all THAT long to get along in italic. 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?

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Here is my second attempt to write in italics. This is after watching the first video that Randal6393 recommended on italics by

. Thanks Randal!

 

Learning%2520italics%2520attempt%25202-p

 

The text in red was written with a 1.9 mm nib and the sepia was with a 1.1 mm nib.

 

Rube

It's an improvement!

 

If I may: check your x-height (e.g. the 'g', 'e' and 'h' in the top line) and your slant (the 'f' has a very pronounced slant, whereas all the other letters are vertical).

Another thing is that your arches (in 'n', 'u', 'h') and counters (in 'b' and 'g', for example) are a tad too round. Italic is characterised by wedge shapes (see https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/2035-chancery-italic-script-instructions/)

 

Keep up the good work!

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This is such a great thread! I thought I might add some historical examples to counterbalance the utter perfection of caliken's varieties and current FPN mortals' hands.

 

What we call "italic" is based on examples from a rather broad chronological and geographical area. The beginning of the era was before the invention and proliferation of the printing press, and the earliest "italic" (sometimes "Humanistic cursive" in paleographic sources) predates the first italic handwriting manuals of Arrighi and the like by a century. The "model" or exemplar alphabets are missing and just the practical applications in manuscripts remain. Alfred Fairbank, one of the revivers of the hand, lamented the lack of examples of everyday writing -- the Renaissance grocery list and birthday card are rather rare.

 

We often credit Niccolo Niccoli for having "invented" the script, but we have a couple of variations of his actual handwriting. This is around 1410, I think, and not "typical" Nicolli in that it is very vertical and careful:
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5506/10986415356_53d2d3b618_c.jpg

 

Niccoli's handwriting was meant to make clear transcriptions of unfamiliar texts so it had to be quick yet legible. This looks like a "practical" version of his handwriting:

Niccolo_de_Niccoli_italic_handwriting.jp

 

Of course, before the invention of printing, sometimes a clear cursive hand would be used for the actual manuscript too. This may be Niccoli's hand -- in any case it's from a manuscript in his library. Interesting to me is the Carolingian "e" that is slightly taller than the surrounding letters. The cross stroke in e ligatures to the top of the next letter:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3692/10986501943_d614af0af7_c.jpg

Here's an example from a 15th century manuscript. The whole page is sparingly ligatured diagonally like a "proper" italic, and it uses a single-storey "a" but it's not inclined and there are no "f" descenders. I love the three versions of the letter "r" in the third line. Is it an "italic"? Don't know, but it looks nice (IMHO):
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3809/10877588054_12d2cc291c_o.jpg

 

Another cursive but suitable for book production...
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7082/7269060314_57cfe74888_c.jpg

 

I imagine the urgency to quickly produce a book. This pressure must have helped spark the proliferation of the printing press. This is less a formal cursive and what we would call handwriting?
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8488/8201366418_481528a3e2_c.jpg

 

"Our" own Arrighi seems to have had some time pressures too. This is his writing on a Papal bull which looks like it had to go out in the morning's mail. Not the calligraphic perfection we associate with his name, it's highly ligatured and with a more rounded nib perhaps to facilitate speed. I still like it as an example of handwriting rather than calligraphy:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3723/10986187564_3834d61e82_c.jpg

 

Here's a screen shot from a documentary showing a travel journal. This is a really attractive italic handwriting from the period (IMHO):
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8177/8033678847_46ac24ae15_c.jpg

 

I think the printing press in some ways freed handwriting to be something quicker, more personal and more intimate. Perhaps. This is from the 17th century after mechanically reproduced books had taken the task of writing books from the human hand:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3752/9369620324_0d2727bd98_c.jpg

 

Hope you enjoyed one or two of these historical examples.

 

Doug

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It's an improvement!

 

If I may: check your x-height (e.g. the 'g', 'e' and 'h' in the top line) and your slant (the 'f' has a very pronounced slant, whereas all the other letters are vertical).

Another thing is that your arches (in 'n', 'u', 'h') and counters (in 'b' and 'g', for example) are a tad too round. Italic is characterised by wedge shapes (see https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/2035-chancery-italic-script-instructions/)

 

Keep up the good work!

 

Thanks for the link mvarela. I'm also ordering a book on italics which will hopefully help me out as well.

 

 

Much more confident writing! See, it doesn't take all THAT long to get along in italic. Enjoy,

 

Randal6393, the thing I took from the video was that that you need a light touch instead of forcing it like I was doing before.

 

http://i1128.photobucket.com/albums/m496/gclef1114/Tutuguans/1121131038-1_zpsd956313f.jpg

 

 

I concur.

 

 

But some scripta doesn't merit being manent...

 

Just a thought...

 

Like my chicken scratch... :lticaptd:

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.
-George Carlin
http://i729.photobucket.com/albums/ww296/messiah_FPN/Badges/SnailBadge.pngfpn_1327044342__postcard_pic_exchange.jp

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Doug,

 

Thanks for sharing those very interesting manuscripts. I find the examples of "everyday" handwriting the most interesting, as opposed to the scripts used in copying books for sale or on commission.

 

My understanding is that Niccoli was not a professional scribe. The examples of his writing we have were written for his own reading. He was an active correspondent, as we know from extant letters written to him. But, from what I've read, we don't have letters he wrote to others.

 

It seems that, while proto-italic/ sloped humanist scripts were used as book hands early on, the niche in which italic hands were most successful was as chancery hands. But how did it spread? By what course geographically and socially?

 

Have you seen the 2005 Master's Thesis from West Virginia University analyzing the transition in Michelangelo's handwriting from gothic mercantile to humanistic cursive between 1497 and 1502? It provides one example, albeit an extraordinarily interesting one.

 

David

 

David

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Hello all,

 

What a great thread! Makes me feel inadequate about my attempt at italics. I got my first fountain pen just over 2 months ago and have been practicing almost daily since. Can any of you suggest some books with practice sheets in them. I've been using Write Now but would like to find some other books. Also, how much do you practice in a day or in a week. I want to know if I'm practicing enough.

 

Thanks,

A

post-107860-0-77999800-1385096463_thumb.jpg

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