September 21, 2009 by Judy Shibata
Beverly Hills Adult School Class #2: DeAnn reviewed setting up your tools and workspace correctly so that it would be easier to write without any back or wrist pain. Remember to tape down your dinky dip on the right (or left, if you’re a left-hander) to avoid spills and for ease of dipping your pen. Sit so that the angle of the board in your lap isn’t too high. Remember to use your left-hand as an anchor.
Be sure to line your paper before starting. Even if lining the paper seems like a chore, guidelines are necessary for good writing. Think of it as meditation.
To review: for the Brause 5mm nib, the space between the ascender to the waist is 6 boxes, waist to base is 4 boxes, base to descender is 6 boxes. Then repeat that spacing, with the descender becoming the ascender for the next line (think of it as “big-big-small” after the 1st line to make sure you line the paper correctly). Then write in “x” on each waist-base line to remind yourself that is the line to write on.
DeAnn’s tips for practicing your writing: Place your exemplar (example of the alphabet) in front of you (use something like a “page-up” document holder to hold the sheet). Write the letter, then really look at the exemplar to compare. Try it again. Only write a letter 3 times in a row; then move on. Don’t cross anything out; if the letter looks bad to you, just move on. Try again.
When comparing your letter to the exemplar, look at the counterspace (white-space), not just the black strokes. This will help you to see the letter’s shape more clearly.
Forming the letters: The pen angle is 22-degrees with no slant. DeAnn writes the stem-stroke first, then does the “beak”. The beak serif should be small, just a small curve. When writing the stem, especially from the ascender (like the “l”), look at the left-side of your pen.
Carolingian is a branching alphabet, which means that for the letters like n, you start the branching curve from the midpoint of the stem stroke, not at the waist.
For the “b”, write the stem stroke, then make the bottom stroke, so that it looks a little like an “L”. The “o” is more like a grapefruit, not a lemon – think wide.
HOMEWORK: practice the letters.
REMINDER: No class next week, 9/28/09.