Telling the truth behind the skill to learn calligraphy. With conviction you can achieve the skills it takes to create beautiful letters.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between hand lettering and calligraphy? ... While other calligraphers and hand lettering artists may have different definitions and opinions about these, as an SCA scribe I'm sharing mine here.
Inktober is an artist challenge dreamed up by illustrator Jakes Parker. Its original purpose was to improve his personal inking skills. But the challenge has been taken on by others. It's an excellent scribal experiment and personal challenge. A way you can play with new scripts, different papers, unique inks.
Whether you're new to calligraphy or have used cartridge pens for a time here are my info and tips to using them.
Making A Hebrew-English Scroll and what it took for me to create the Hebrew calligraphy.
Recently Marie had the day off from work and we went to Omaha‘s Old Market. We began our walk-about with lunch at Wheatfields and too much tasty food. While I snarfed my Nutella crepes looking behind Marie I spied this wall calligraphy. It wasn’t graffiti but German letter art. It reads “Essen and Trinken halt Leib und Seele zusammen”. Google tells me in English it reads “Eating and drinking keeps body and soul together”. Something we all strive to do. And what better place to find this than in a cozy bakery restaurant offering fruit covered crepes, buttery croissants and fresh brewed coffee. Whoever painted the huge Fraktur letters on the wall gave the room its charm. The beautifully executed thick and thin script style was readable even if you didn’t know German. Heck, I was able to type the letters into Google to find out the translation. Germany continued using Fraktur script for printing and writing until the 1940s. In Bavaria when I last visited in the ’70s you could still find similar calligraphy on quaint shops and “gastehaus” beer pubs. So the artist brought that old world charm to visually tantalize the guests. Wheatfield’s keeps its dinners nourished by its scrumptious food thus keeping it a fan-favorite. And the calligraphy wall painting provided the artist sustenance when the restaurant was originally decorated. All keeping body and soul together. Related Prior Post: 10 Top Calligraphy And Illumination Artists
Luna protesting. Oh no. I’ve done it again! I know calligraphy nibs are not made from sturdy, tough metal. And you can’t expect them to remain looking brand-new forever. But I wanted to keep using my favorite nib. The one that makes the fine strokes just as you like. So how can you prevent your favorite nib from rusting? Is […]
I learned scribal illumination long before I pursued calligraphy. I tried calligraphy, but I wouldn’t do it on a scroll. My problem was I detested drawing the guidelines. I still do. You have to be so accurate for the page to look its best. But I’m not the only one like that. Do you like ruling up? 15th Century French Book of Hours Recently I went searching and found another way to solve that problem. It’s an online guide that will help, and especially good for practicing because it’s quick. It’s Scribblers’ Guideline Generator. This is a snappy approach to creating the distances between your lines with a click of the button. Once you generate one page you can print it from your browser. The best thing is the space between your text-lines doesn’t have to be the same as those for your script. You can suit it to the spacing that’s more like your inspiration manuscript. Scribblers is a store that stocks a wide range of calligraphy supplies and equipment. Unfortunately, it will be years before I get to it. It’s based in North East Suffolk, United Kingdom. While you’re on its website have a look at the many articles it has to help you learn calligraphy. I’m always looking for ways to improve. Theirs are the best. Related Prior Post: How To Draw Calligraphy Guidelines With A Pencil And Ruler
Previously I wrote about drawing calligraphy guidelines with a ruler and pencil. It’s one of the two simplest ways you can rule up a scroll page. The other easy way is the one I’ll tell you today. Use Incompetech.com’s free plain graph paper generator and print off the size grid you want. When using the graph generator you have many options. Unless you want to […]
I’ve been searching all over the web for a metal pen picture I know is out there. It seems to have gone the way of some other historic metal pen pictures. If you’re like me you’re another scribe wanting to know metal pens and nibs are pre-17th Century. While metal pens and nibs have roots in ancient Egypt where they were made […]
When I had two peerage scrolls on my calendar I surveyed my C & I supplies for missing necessities. I ordered them on John Neal Bookseller’s website. I’m a sucker for books so I also looked for their’s on clearance. I found Enrich Your Calligraphy by Diana Hardy Wilson and decided to take a chance on it. Hardy’s book is not an introduction to calligraphy or a “how to” guide. It does not cover scripts or their ductus. It has a niche topic that stimulates and encourages scribes, graphic artists, and modern calligraphers to advance to their full potential. The book is filled with detailed inspiration about scribal topics including developing your creative process and visual awareness investigating spatial relationships developing and reviewing a reference collection I particularly like the information and encouragement on developing visual awareness. While Hardy writes for calligraphers the information on seeing details applies to illumination as well. Enrich Your Calligraphy is an easy to read book for the calligrapher who has more developing and exploring to accomplish, which is most of us. It’s a unique book for a devoted calligrapher or lover of lettering. Related Prior Post: How to Select a Calligraphy Guide Book
Mini Scrolls Prior To Illumination Have you ever had calligraphy practice come out of nowhere and fall into your lap? That’s what happened to me recently. With the new Baron and Baroness, Augustin and Aleit, came renewed inspiration for calligraphy and illumination. Their wish was to have a small 5″ x 7″ hand done scroll to go with the first […]
Surfing YouTube I came across these well presented scribal videos. This series by Patricia Lovett is a perfect place for you to begin or review things scribal. They’re inspiring too. Lovett is a long time professional calligrapher. She also wrote Calligraphy and Illumination: A History and Practical Guide, The Art and History of Calligraphy, and others. Her information in the videos is great, but she also shares items she’s created or is selling. Most of these videos are less than 5 minutes long. Calligraphy – pens Calligraphy – papers Calligraphy – measuring lines Calligraphy – Setting up a calligraphy sloping board Calligraphy – using a pen Calligraphy – inks and paint Calligraphy – three golden rules Calligraphy – Spacing 1 (again) Calligraphy – Spacing 2 Calligraphy – sharpening nibs Calligraphy Clip – vellum and parchment Calligraphy Clip: Colour mixing in the pen Book of Hours Recreation Project 7+ minutes I combined the following videos for you into playlists based on one calligraphy script. Each script is taught by Patricia Lovett in Youtube videos. Uncial Script Playlist 6 videos Gothic Script Miniscules Playlist 7 videos Gothic Script Capitals Playlist 5 videos Italic Script Playlist 6 videos This is such a wonderful bunch of calligraphy videos. I hope you find time for them all or recommend them to a friend. Enjoy. Related Prior Post: The Art and History of Calligraphy, Book Review
Do you have Patricia Lovett’s book Calligraphy and Illumination…? I often refer to it. When I learned she published another book I went online cyber-Monday and bought myself a Christmas present. Her recent book The Art and History of Calligraphy, published last year by the British Library. Since the author is a British professional calligrapher and illuminator you won’t be surprised the book emphasized historic manuscripts’ lettering. Her first chapter shows the high-value of calligraphy shown in her book. There’s a chapter on historic manuscript production including quills, vellum brushes, pigments, and gold. And a section on how the letters are made. The last, most beautiful section traces writing through the ages. It features 50ish detailed pictures of lettering and manuscripts from the British Library’s outstanding collection. You’ll like the pictures of enlarged few lines showing the letters’ tiny elements. There are many photos without illumination, one of writing in shell gold ink on black dyed vellum. The book’s historic manuscripts include information or pictures on the Bosworth Psalter, the earliest surviving manuscript of the ‘New Hymnal’ from England the Lacock Cartulary with its wonderfully flourished letters a two-page spread picturing one page of the Luttrell Psalter. Lovett’s book doesn’t stop with the Italian Renaissance but continues modernly including recent renaissance-style calligraphic art by William Morris Shiela Waters “Roundel of the Seasons” a present-day work by Stephen Raw of Carol Ann Duffy’s poem “Light By Sunlights Glance” Lovett’s book clearly describes and photographs the artistic skill creating medieval manuscripts. I am very pleased with my cyber-Monday […]
My large grid and the computer text example If you have a large peerage scroll to do what do you use for a grid that’s larger than printer paper? What about if you have two scrolls to do? You could make your own oversized grid. You could use 11×17″ Bristol board and make your own. That’s what I did. The good news is the same […]
I read recently that learning calligraphy refines one’s temperament. Well, mine certainly needs refining. But why should you learn calligraphy besides you feel it in your “bones” you want to do it? These are a few reasons I have. Calligraphy is not expensive to learn. It’s a silly reason if it’s your only one. It’s an important factor if you already are […]
I’ve mentioned lettering a scroll using a lightpad and a text mock-up to assist with line spacing for my calligraphy. This keeps me from omitting letters or words, wasting time restarting or using more of my limited pergamenata resources. Sometimes I use a preprinted grid in the same way. Both preprinted methods save time. But what do you do if […]
My first italic script scroll lettering. I have a new script I’ve done on my current scroll. It’s fun but confusing because it doesn’t seem to fit the common calligraphy rules. Sometimes you even push the pen nib, because it’s somewhat cursive. It’s italic, a late SCA period script. Italic lettering is not detailed in “Drogin“, the SCA scribes’ calligraphy Bible. Although […]
I’ve worked on SCA scrolls bent over my art table with my back or hands aching. And that is one page, not a quire or a book. My efforts are minimal compared to the manuscripts I emulate. Still, I wouldn’t want my work stolen or harmed. Medieval scribes, to protect their laboriously created books, penned powerful curses to prevent theft, damage or loss. These writings appear in Latin and vernacular languages, some in cultures other than Western European.Using the vilest threats imaginable scribes heaped excommunication or painful death on possible perpetrators. For stealing a book you could lose your hands or eyes, then spend eternity in the “fires of hell and brimstone.” Marc Drogin compiled the largest book curses collection, publishing them in his 1983 book Anathema! Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses. His collection included curses from ancient Greece, the Babylon library, and extended to the Renaissance. A pricey book I’d love to receive as a gift. Since I don’t own it I searched for them online. I discovered a book curse could be emphatic and short. Hanging will do for him who steals you. It could pile excommunication’s anathema upon the perpetrator. May the sword of anathema slay If anyone steals this book away. British Library, Harley MS 2798, f. 235v What does a book curse do? It is similar to the FBI popup warning on your DVD movie, included by the media’s maker to frighten the foolish. It works if you believe the words cause realistic results. […]
When I was looking at the Scribes of Meridies Resources and Exemplars web page I clicked on their link to a Scribal Pattern Book at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. This is a fascinating complete scribal lettering manual on parchment by Gregorius Bock. It’s Beinecke MS 439 from 1510-1517. And the great thing is I can access this manual online from my couch. This image of the manual is from the Public Domain Review This historic scribal book has two parts. The first has multiple hand-lettered script style pages, many preceded by text lettered in that style. Most of these sections display large decorative initials with white floral designs on black grounds. But also the initial on page 1r has a swirling leafy border with red and green paint. And folio 4r includes heraldic arms. The second section includes alphabetically ordered large decorative initials. This 500-year-old imposing manual has few a stained and rubbed pages, but the great thing for me is I can easily read and study its pages myself at home. Plus! There’s a PDF of it. There’s more. The bottom of the Beinecke Digital Collections’ web page includes clickable links and images to similar manuscripts, just like an online shopping company. You can also seek their manuscripts by its search page. It’s an easily accessed notable 15th-century hand lettered complete scribal manual. Nothing’s sweeter. Related Prior Posts: Why Is The Ramsey Psalter Important To Modern Calligraphers? Wow! Scribal Research Has Changed