Sunday, 18 December 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #13

So, as planned this week we went to The V & A to study a painting in order to evaluate colour content and proportion. After a short tour around the Indian gallery, and an introduction to the project, we set to with a picture of our choice. Here's the one I chose...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #12

Following our first venture into colour exploration, we are using 'saturation of hue' to evaluate colour percentages in an image. As if that weren't a difficult enough task for a duffer like me to grasp, there is no 'image' but we have to apply these theoretical gymnastics to a piece of prose!

This is challenging in the extreme to me... but amazingly I come up with something that I am mildly pleased with, and more importantly, seems to please my tutor. From here we will be going to The Victoria & Albert Museum to repeat this process with an actual picture... this is what is commonly known as 'taking it to a whole other level'.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #11

A new term starts, and we are studying colour as part of our second module; 'Language of Calligraphy and Design'. Hazel takes us through some basic colour preparation and instruction, and then its time to mix paint!I realise quite early into the session that colour is my achilles heel... a weak point whenever I approach a design project. I think I rather arbitrarily 'choose' a colour that I 'like', rather than thinking through the reasons and objectives of the project and selecting colour as a contributory element of the whole thing.Apart from learning about colour and how to use/apply it, we are making colour swatches in gouache so that when we study individual paintings later on, we can match the colours we see and reference them against our samples.
We're learning about Saturation, Hue and Value, and we prepare colour mixes to demmonstrate various combinations of these aspects. It's amazing how differently we all approach this, even though we are using the same basic pallette.For homework we'll be attempting to produce images that repesent colour percentage values in a piece of descriptive prose. This will be a real challenge for me. Thankfully I have some good reference from Paul Klee to help me along!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #10

I've been fininishing off my assignments this week and gathering all my final pieces together in readiness for submission next week. The Roman Capitals...The Foundational Hand...
My research book...

And the Monoline Roman Capitals and Miniscules, presented in two small concertina books...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #9

Full steam ahead now with the Foundational text for this element of my assignment. The content is chosen and I've worked out the nib size, line spacing and layout, although I may change this later. I've made some notes to refer to as I write, and I'm always aware of the particular letters that continue to give me problems, including that pesky 'l'.
So... a few exercises to try and stamp out that stupid letter that I seem to have a mental block with....mmmm... that seems better, wonder how long it will last!
Other students are working on various tasks. Here Nathalie dampens a line on a sheet of paper to experiment in developing a decal edge.Meanwhile...I have been writing my text out in chisel pencil. I've decided to change the layout a bit and I'm trying the lines out with various indents and line endings to make the most appealing layout.
I've also made a decision to have a drop capital initial to the beginning of the piece. Again, I try different sizes in pencil only, and separate the top line of the text to see how that could work together with the initial cap.
I decide on this size for the cap initial and I'm much happier with the layout and particularly the line endings. I think I can get cracking now with the final piece!
Nathalie is busy preparing her Foundational piece too, working out the layout with strips of writing and placing them on a sheet of cartridge paper to get the position of each line just right.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #8

Plenty of time this week with the Foundational hand. Nasty habits need eradicating... that wrong 'l' without the serif; correcting the backslant; achieving the perfect 'o'... and 's'... and 'b'...

getting the 'arches' right.... I could go on....After learning how to sharpen a nib on an Arkansas Stone, Ivo gives it a whirl... a study in concentration...A little bit of fun with colour to end the day...

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #7

After spending some time on the Roman Capitals we've been moving on to miniscules during this week. Using similar elementary exercises; monoline letters, double pencils, we finally get to study the Foundational Hand, and begin to practice with pen and ink.The usual feedback and critique session with our tutor help us to understand our approach and techniques on this basic hand.
Plenty of writing practice to get into a rhythm with the writing. Below is an axample of how it should look! We'll be producing another piece of text in this hand for our second assignment, so plenty of writing practice required over the next couple of weeks. (Note - these few blog posts are being written retrospectively).

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #6

During this past week we've been working more on the Roman Capitals and preparing our pieces for the assignment. I chose the verse that I wanted and began at home to layout the page and begin the writing. I worked in pencil on layout sheets to establish the line breaks and spacing, and also spent quite a bit of time actually practising the letters with the pen.
Plenty of time this week during our classes to see what each other has been doing with their Roman Capitals assignment piece. Class critiques help us to affirm our approach to the layout and spacing.
The other thing we've been learning is how to analyse a historical script. In this case we were using pages from the 'The Ramsey Psalter'. The analysis helps us to understand how the original scribe actually wrote the letters, and we can research the pen angle, nib width, spacing etc. We can even decide the 'speed' of the writing and make a judgement about the style of the script.