The Importance of Exemplars

One phrase that I keep seeing used in regards to learning calligraphy is “Study as much as you practice.” To be honest, that’s tough for me. One of the things I enjoy about doing calligraphy is making something – having a pretty thing exist where there wasn’t a pretty thing before, and frankly a few pages of repeated letters and practice strokes doesn’t scratch that itch.

But that’s my hang-up to get past, because it’s still important to look at excellent examples of what you want to do and emulate that to the best of your ability. Over on Reddit, we’re beginning a weekly study session wherein we take a look at an exemplar alphabet and then do our best to copy it. So far this month we’ve been working off of this one, by Claude MediavillaMediavilla

The idea is to take a close look at the exemplar and see how he made each letter. You can see in the lower-case letters how there are a lot of repeated patterns, strokes that go into making more than one letter. In the upper-case this is less common, but you can still see some strokes being re-used over again.

It’s going to be hard to get these exact, but we can at least try:

Quadrata Practice 01 Quadrata Practice 2

As you can see, it got a little messy. This was my second shot at it, by the way. Not only did I learn more about Textura Quadrata, I also learned that your walnut ink doesn’t have to be thick and deep brown. In fact, it’s probably better if it isn’t. Anyway, this is a decent emulation, I think. There are hiccups – the letter s, small or large, is not my friend. And I don’t think I’ll ever use that wonky k or the long s. I did have someone call my Q “rock star,” so I have that going for me.

Since we started with this, I’ve been trying to use this variant of Quadrata as much as possible, and it’s working well for me, I think. So there you have it – study pays off. Who knew?

Do you have a favorite exemplar for your calligraphy? Share in the comments and let’s all give it a whirl!

Write All the Names!!

Yesterday I did a very silly thing – I posted on Facebook to see who would want their name done up all pretty-like from the people I know. I also asked them to pick a number from 1 to 6, which would (unbeknownst to them) determine the script that was used.

The response was great, and carried over into Sunday as well.

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Some people chose their own names, or nicknames, or kids’ names, but I certainly had a lot to work with. In addition, it made me work more with all the scripts I have at my disposal, including the notoriously twitchy Romans. Lotsa Romans in there…

Anyway, it’s not something I would do every weekend, but it was good to try out.

 

Darkseid Is

There was someone on Reddit who was asking about getting a DARKSEID IS poster, and that inspired this.

Quotation - Darkseid

To tell the truth, it’s probably more decorative than the Great Darkseid would prefer, but he can pick up a damn pen and write it himself.

That said, this can use work – that s in “Darkseid” is pretty rough, which is probably why that letter is on that list of resolutions for 2015.

2015 Calligraphic Resolutions

When you make resolutions, it’s good for them to be specific and achievable – something you can say either “Yes, I’ve done that” or “No, I haven’t done that.” So here are my resolutions with regards to calligraphy for this year. I’m limiting myself to five scripts – three that I consider myself not terribly incompetent at, and two that I’m really just starting. Without further ado…

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