Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 6, 2012 - Copperplate Class #4 at Sinai Temple

Today DeAnn demonstrated Copperplate basic formal capitals. The handouts were different versions of more flourished Copperplate capitals.

Review of connectors:
(photos to come)

Copperplate Capitals: the size is from the base to the ascender. For demonstrating them on the board, DeAnn didn’t write in the waist guideline. See the handout.

When writing the capitals, think OVAL for the strokes. Many of the letters can be visualized as a combination of ovals.

Primary Stem Stroke: No pressure – Pressure – No pressure – Terminal Dot. This stroke should be slightly thicker than the other lowercase downstrokes and goes with the slant line. The terminal dot is there to stop your eye from continuing to move. Think of the primary stem stroke as the spine or backbone of a letter.


Secondary Stroke: should be the same or less than the thickness of the Primary Stem Stroke. This stroke should curve into the letter so that the eye doesn’t travel away from it.
Remember: Flourishes should be BIG!


Notes on individual letters:
A: starts at the bottom at the baseline with a terminal dot.

B: the flourish should be big, it should come down to about halfway to the base.

C: think of it as 3 intersecting ovals.

D: unlike the cursive “D” that many of us learned in grade school, if you think of the Copperplate “D” as one big oval, the body of it is a small portion and most of it is the flourish.

E: like the “C”, think of it as intersection ovals. Swing the lower half out enough to have enough space for the final loop. When you’re about to start the lower half, pull back further than you think you need to.

F: imagine a straight line from the terminal dot; this is where the left edge of the top bar should be. The cross-bar ends in a small loop

G: unless you know this is the “G”, it may look incomprehensible. Think of the General Mills “G”.

H: start with a #4 stroke that ends in a diagonal upstroke. It shouldn’t curve too much where the primary stem stroke starts.

I: Think of the secondary stroke as an oval shape.
J: Primary stem stroke goes down to the descender
K: the secondary stroke should be parallel to the Primary Stem stroke
L: curve last stroke back into itself, not off into space. You want your eye to be brought back into the letter. DeAnn recommends not connecting to the next lowercase letter and also leaving off the entrance stroke to it.

M: starts at the bottom at the baseline with a terminal dot. Try to keep it pretty skinny.
N: start at the bottom at the baseline with a terminal dot. Think of the downstroke as an s-shape. The final upstroke ends in a terminal dot above the ascender line and should be parallel to the initial upstroke. Both upstrokes should be in the direction of the slant line.
O: Think of the letter as a big oval with a curvy flourish to end it

P: make the flourish big

Q: think of this as an oval plus a figure-8
R: the secondary stroke should be parallel to the Primary Stem Stroke
S: similar to the “L” but ends with a terminal dot

T: imagine a straight line from the terminal dot; this is where the left edge of the cross-bar should be. If the cross-bar of the “T” seems too thin, go over it with a little more pressure
U: the initial stroke curves back slightly, it doesn’t go straight down. Start the curve early so that you have a nice big triangle

V: like the “H”, start with a flourish similar to the #4 stroke but ending on a diagonal stroke; then downstroke. Upstroke ends with a terminal dot above the ascender line. Focus your eyes on the location where the terminal dot should go and your hand should follow. “Look where you’re going.”
W: start with a #4 stroke that ends in a diagonal upstroke. Like the “V”, but don’t put too much white space between the “V”-spaces; letter should be pretty narrow.
X: First stroke ends in a terminal dot. Second stroke should overlap at the center, not be double-wide through the center. If you find that difficult, then don’t pressurize the second side.

Y: doesn’t go down to the descender, but only to the base. Ends in a terminal dot.

Z: this is DeAnn’s modern version of a “Z”. The last touch is a “carrot” flourish: set – press – pull and release.

Observe where those ovals sit in relation to the letter.

Some Capitals are connectable, meaning they can end in the entrance stroke to the next letter, but others aren’t.

Connectable Capitals: A, F (both), H, I (both), J, K, M, R, U, X, Z

Not-connectable: B, C, D, E, F (depends on next letter), G, I (depends on next letter), L (historically connectable, but DeAnn recommends NOT to connect), N, O, P, Q, S, T, V, W, Y

HOMEWORK: Practice writing Capitalized words. Never write Copperplate words all in capitals! See DeAnn’s website for alphabetical Flower Names. Then write text.

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