Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beverly Hills Feb.1, 2010 Gothic

This is what you should think of as "true picket fence spacing" the stroke that you make and the white space that you leave should exactly match, between letters and inside letters. Put just a little more between words so that you know it's a new word but doesn't leave a big "gap" in the over all texture. This is very difficult to read but just do it this way for now and then we can modify it later.

Beverly Hills Adult School Class #3: DeAnn reviewed the “hangover” letters (c, e, r, t, f, x) and commented on common mistakes she saw in the homework.

Be aware of the following mistakes:

  • Making the square – downstroke – square or rectangle into one continuous stroke. Pick up your pen after each stroke so that they’re separate strokes.
  • Making the rectangle stroke too steep: the direction should be flatter, NOT going at the same angle as the pen angle (that’s the square stroke). Think “square goes down, rectangle goes across”.

Today’s handouts were the Gothic capitals exemplar and the illuminated manuscript project template for Gothic. Because we won’t have class for 2 weeks (2/8 & 2/15 are Beverly Hills Adult School holidays), the goal is to move down to the 2 ½ mm Brause nib, practice the capital letters, then move down the 1 ½ mm Brause nib. Start looking at what text you’d like to use in your project and practice writing it out using the template as a guide. You’ll need about 75 words.

Review of Drawing Lines (lining your paper): Both the C-thru 18” ruler and the 17”x22” grid paper we use in class have the same 8x8 grid, which makes lining easier. By having a 2”-inch margin on each side, you only have to make one 18” line as you move the ruler down the page. Place your left hand in the middle of the ruler to steady it, then draw the line from left to right. This sharpens the pencil as you draw the line.

For 2 ½ mm Brause nib, the x-height (the length from waist to base, or the length of an “x”) is ½-inch or 4-boxes. So to line the grid paper, match the darker blue lines to the dark blue lines on the ruler and draw your line. You don’t have to draw a line on top of the darker blue line since those are already visible. The ascender and descender is barely 1 box, so you don’t have to draw those lines; just remember that. Label the lines “waist”, “base”, “waist”, “base”, etc. and put an “x” on every other line so that you can easily see which line you should write on.

DeAnn’s TIP: Once you start writing (practicing), go to the end – don’t cross-out, crumple-up, stop & start elsewhere. Even if you feel like you’ve made a bad mistake, continue writing and don’t dwell on it.

Tips for the 2 ½ mm Brause nib: fill the reservoir ½ - ¾ full of ink. If you feel that too much ink comes out when you start writing immediately after dipping the pen into the ink, place a post-it note by your dinky-dip and make some zig-zag lines to use up the excess ink.

Remember to use your left-hand as a weight and leave the sheet you’re writing on moveable. Don’t forget to BREATHE!

Materials you will need for the Illuminated Manuscript Project:

  • Round watercolor brush with pointed tip; e.g. Winsor Newton Series 7 in size 0 and in size 1 (2 brushes). Because these are expensive brushes, you may prefer to get a version that Utrecht or Dick Blick makes, which will work just as well for this project. Gouache = opaque watercolors. You will need Permanent White and a few other colors of your choice. DeAnn will provide some in class, but if you prefer a certain palette of colors, she may not have all the colors you want to use.
  • Palette for your gouache. This can be a small 6-well plastic palette or one that comes with a cover. Even if the gouache dries, you can reconstitute it with water and it works fine.
  • Micron Pigma 005 Pen in black. This is a very fine tip permanent black ink marker.
  • Pencil with 2H lead (can be a sketch or mechanical pencil; or a 2mm Lead Holder if you have one). A #2 pencil has HB lead. You’ll need one with harder lead for this project so your lines won’t smudge.
  • Pergamanatta paper – DeAnn will provide this.

The 1 ½ mm Brause nib and black ink will be used for writing the text in the Illuminated Manuscript Project. Once you’ve moved down to writing with the 1 ½ mm nib, practice writing out your text on thin paper (e.g. Cotton Comp from Borden & Riley) placed on top of the template so you can see the guide-lines through it. This way, you won’t have to line the paper each time.

When we return to class on 2/22, bring your digital camera so that you can take pictures of illuminated manuscript examples that you like. DeAnn will bring many books on illuminated manuscripts and decorative letters. You can download the photos you take to your computer and resize them as needed to use in your illuminated manuscript project. During the break, search on the web for illuminated manuscript examples; start getting an idea of what style you might want to do your project in.

Gothic Capitals: are just slightly higher than x-height but they are wide.

The decorations are: s-curve, hairline, flag, thorn, horizontal, straight vertical.

Basically, a Gothic capital is taking a Roman capital, fracturing it (hence the German “fraktur”), and adding decorations. The whole idea of decorations is to fill up some of the white space within the capital letter.

O-shape: the initial is not rounded, but goes down so the shape is more like a grapefruit than an orange.

NEVER write all Gothic capitals!

HOMEWORK: Write alphabet words (for alphabet flowers, see DeAnn’s website: Practice writing with the 2 ½ mm Brause nib (x-height = ½-inch or 4 boxes) and the 1 ½ mm Brause nib (x-height = ¼-inch or 2 boxes). At the 1 ½ mm size, line a sheet of grid paper, then tear it in half (length-wise) so that you have 2 pieces you can practice on without having to line them separately.

Reminder: No class on 2/8 & 2/15. Next class on 2/22.

A Amaryllis, Alyssum, Aster, Acanthus, Alstroemeria, Anemone
B Bluebell, Buttercup, Begonia
C Crocus, Camellia, Carnation
D Dahlias, Dianthus, Daisy, Daffodil
E Edelweiss, Euphorbia, Escholzia (California Poppy)
F Forsythia, Foxglove, Forget-me-not, Freesia
G Gladiolus, Geranium, Gardenia, Gerbera
H Heather, Hyacinth, Hollyhocks
I Iris, Impatiens, Ixia
J Joseph's coat, Jasmine, Jonquil (narcissus)
K Kniphofia, Knapweed, Kangaroo Paw
L Lily, Lobelia, Lupine, Lavender, Lilac
M Marigold, Morning Glory, Myrtle
N Narcissus, Nasturtium, Nemesia
O Orchid
P Pansy, Primrose, Periwinkle, Peony
Q Quince, Queen Ann’s Lace
R Ranunculus, Rose, Rhododendron
S Salvia, Snapdragon, Sunflower, Stock
T Tulip, Tigerflower, Temple Bells, Tuberose
U Uvularia, Urbinia
V Violet, Vinca, Verbena
W Wallflower, Wisteria, Water Lily
X Xeranthemum
Y Yarrow
Z Zinnia

This is the x-height example for the 2 1/2mm nib. 4 boxes for the waist to base and one box above and below the line for extenders. (ascenders and descenders)

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