Over on Instagram, the calligrapher Judy G has started hosting the Calligraphy Boot Camp – a chance to go back to basics and revisit the fundamentals of Copperplate. It stretches over a week and is a really nice way to make sure you know what you’re doing.
Day 1 – m. n. i. u
These are the letters you need for that magic calligraphy word, minimum. Fairly simple, to the point. These aren’t bad, although the cutoffs could be squarer.
Day 2 – w, v, r, x
I did x a couple of times, as there are a couple of ways to do it. The Copperplate version (the one that looks like two cs stuck back to back) versus the Spencerian version is a tough choice do make.
Day 3 – c, e, o, a, s
Oh, the ovals – the ovals! Ovals are so very important, and I’ll need to do more practice with them.
Day 4 – d, t, p
This was not my best day. The t was too low and the d was too high. The p seemed okay, though.
Day 5 – l, b, h, k, f
Oh, those upper loops – those upper loops! The light touch on the upstroke is tough to maintain, as is the long stroke downwards. Everything, basically.
Day 6 – j, y, g, q, z
Finally, on the last day, I think I’m getting the hang of it. It might have helped that I was using a Zebra G nib, which is a little more forgiving of my heavy-handed ways, than a Leonardt EF Principle, which, well, isn’t.
Anyway, that was the Copperplate Calligraphy Boot Camp, illustrating one of the fundamental truths of any creative hobby: sometimes you have to go back to basics, just so you remember how it’s all done. Next up will probably be Copperplate Capitals, which will be an interesting adventure all in itself. See you then!