Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Copperplate at Emerson Adult Center April 28, 2009
Today we learned how to add flourishing to letters and capitals. If you think about it,  the capitals are a big flourish made up of the Elements of Flourishing; oval, figure 8 and circle. With direction changes; full stop, turn about and small loop, you can make the flourishes a little more interesting and contemporary. I suggested writing out a body of text and keep the letters very simple, not finishing the ascends and descenders and leaving them a "stub". Then come back and create flourishing with a pencil around and through out. I recommend that you "over do it" learn to take a risk. It's not brain surgery, nobody will die if you get it wrong, so, GO FOR IT!  This will teach you to go forward with a hunch and see if you can make it work. If it doesn't work, "Oh Well." This is how you will learn when to flourish and when not to. Don't make a Thick over a Thick. So if you are going down and you are about to cross over a thick, then let up the pressure and keep it thin. You really want to avoid "dark spots". A thick over thick creates a dark spot. Too many lines, too close together create a dark spot. So stand a little distance away from the work and squint your eyes at it to see if it has a nice texture and rhythm to it. (And no dark spots!)
Write with all the nibs, all the sizes if you feel comfortable writing the smaller sizes. Not all nibs flourish well. Some of the nibs are too sharp to move freely. You can change nibs to do some of the more difficult flourishes. If you like writing with a Gillot #303 you can always change to a different nib to complete the flourishes, one that won't stick into the paper as much. You will need to practice a lot with a lot of nibs to find what works for you. "Be the Master or your Tools, don't let the Tools Master you!"

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