Inktober Is Coming

You may be asking “What is Inktober”? It’s sort of a weird name, right? Something cobbled together from “Ink” and “October”. And you’re right. But it’s more. “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. Inktober’s primary rule was drawing something in ink everyday for a month. Easy right? The website encourages you to take pictures and post them. My goal is to just do it. Because – as in my SCA motto Gloria in Facto – there is Justice In The Doing. You can use any kind of ink. Dip pen, micron pen, cartridge pen. As an SCA scribe you might choose a quill or bamboo. You can use any inks you want commercial or self-produced, modern or medieval. You can do this in a sketchbook or on single pages. You could also use Inktober to practice your calligraphy for a month. Each day a different phrase. Each day a different script. Each day a different pangram. The fun is your efforts don’t have to be perfect or extensive. It’s up to you to determine what qualifies as answering the challenge each day. You’re the only one that will know or judge your effort. Parker’s intent was to improve his illustration sketching skills. But I see it as an excellent scribal experiment and personal challenge. To play […]

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Tips To Using A Cartridge Pen

I remember when I started learning calligraphy. I wondered whether I should learn using a pen that already had the ink inside it or one you dip into ink. As far as I knew they were the same. They both made letters. Cartridge pens just seemed more convenient. So that’s where I began calligraphy using a cartridge pen. If you’re like me, you’ll read about them, maybe feeling lost. Eventually, you’ll decide to jump in. You buy a cartridge pen to see what happens. Like me you make mistakes but eventually your adventure shows you what these pens offer. Or, you give up because of a few hassles perhaps giving up totally on calligraphy. I don’t want anyone giving up. That’s why I decided to write this. To give you info and tips to using cartridge pens. Whether you’re new to calligraphy or have used them for a time you’ll find help with them here. To make sure every one is on the same page here, a cartridge is the ink reservoir you swap out to refill the pen’s ink. Their advantage is they’re easy. When you’re out of ink you pop in a new cartridge and you’re good to go. You can find cartridge pens and their inks easily at art stores or online. If you prefer – although a bit messy – you can buy ink in bottles and inject it into empty cartridges. But remember you need […]

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Keeping Body And Soul Together Thru 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

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A Scribe’s Quick Guideline Generator

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

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Enrich Your Calligraphy, Book Review

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

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