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



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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

 

 

“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

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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.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

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Randal6393

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,

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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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?

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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?

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  • 2 weeks later...

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

 

“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

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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...

In Ornamental Writing, the beauty of light line and shade must be harmonious.

... The best ornamental penmen write each word one letter at a time, the best they can, the same as you do.

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inkstainedruth

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.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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  • 5 months later...

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...

http://penemuel.popullus.net/art/InkDropLogoFPN2.jpg <--Member since June 2011
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  • 2 years later...
Anne-Sophie

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.

Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

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AlohaLani787

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.

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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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  • 4 months later...

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

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

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

-Montaigne

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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

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