Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Copperplate Flourishing & design

Today at Westchester we learned how to design a piece of calligraphy. It is called a "broadside". These are the steps that you would take to develope a page of calligraphy.
  1. Thumbnail sketch. Vertical or horizontal format of your paper.
  2. Comp., Dummy or Model. This is where you write the text out on the good paper, good ink or paint and cut it up and tape it to a page the correct size. This way you can write it many times and pick the best parts and combine them on a page. You can tape up the illustrations or large illuminated letter or other elements to the page. Make all the measurements and note them onto the page. Get all the details worked out on this step.
  3. Finished piece. When you line up the paper, line at least 2. This way if you make a mistake you can easily move on to the next sheet without breaking your rhythm. 
REMEMBER THE PRACTICE YOU DO IS THE "REHEARSAL" FOR THE PERFORMANCE. So rehearse with the same materials and paints and determination. This will determine how the performance will be.
The finished page will be in paint; gouache, watercolor, or ink. The initial capital will be much bigger and decorated with a choice of  techniques to embellish the letter. You will most likely need to line the paper. We are going to use  140 lb. hot pressed watercolor paper. This paper is easy to work with and you can correct mistakes, or write on the other side if needed. 
We learned how to flourish within the text itself and around the text. We will be working on this project for a couple of weeks. I suggested that you use song lyrics for text because it's easier to get a rhythm with words that you already know and don't have to look back and forth to a book with words. 
Margorie brought some samples of books and decorated papers to share with us. Metallics and rubberstamped images inspired many students to make a completed piece. 
The Roman people are working on pencil capitals. Margorie made 2 very nice pieces on black paper with color pencils. She wrote first with white then went over it with color pencil.  and added a little color to the text. She drew a little illustration in white that enhanced the design.
Francine has a piece that she's been working on that she xeroxed and played with placement on the page and background enhancement. She found that just having more white space around the words made it look better all the way around. She added illustration to her original and didn't like it as well as the mock up. We suggested that she smooth out the watercolor so it didn't have the "straw-ation" that she had as yet. Also, she needed to darken the lettering that has the illustration behind it. 
Gail has a piece that is nearly done with the name in large writing stacked on the left with text on the right. The author is set on the left, letter-spaced, oriented from bottom to top and she has added gold dots between letters. Nice touch. I'll learn how to upload pics and post them.

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