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.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #5

Continuing on from the monoline capitals last week, the class has been working with the broad edged pen and drawing Roman Capitals. We'll be selecting a verse or text to write and this will make one of the element in our second assignment.
During the day we also present our work and offer critiques of each other's pieces. We also receive input and advice/direction from our tutor, Cherrell, who helps us to not only form the letters well, but to understand the importance of layout, balance and weight.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #4

We are working up our monoline capitals as an element of our first assignment. Eventually these will be drawn in ink on good quality paper, but for now we are using pencil on layout paper, concerning ouselves with the construction, weight, balance and layout of the written piece. As part of this process we present and comment on our work in progress, and also receive critique from our fellow students and tutor.We comment and make suggestions on each others work, and make notes to fine-tune spacing and balance etc, so that this informs what will be our final piece for the first assignment. Already we see some good quality work coming through from our group.

We have also returned to the pen this week, trying out various nib widths and heights. Working with a broad nib and taking care to form the serifs, with reference to the previous teaching about construction, weight, spacing etc.For the next weeks I'll be staying with my daughter in Romford. Nice to see the great job she has made of her kitchen makeover during the last few weeks!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Beach life!

Everyone's been talking about the unusual for this time of year. It's been so warm that the heat went to my head and my mind began thinking crazy actually going for a swim in the North Sea! This was an almost daily occurence in my youth; down to the beach at 8am and returning home at 9pm...then to be carefully lathered with 'Calamine Lotion' by my mother!

The water today was reasonably cold, but once I got in it was a lovely feeling. Gracie sat on the beach and looked at me as if I was mad. Later on my mind wandered again, back to wonderful beach days like these, and drying off with that great feeling of salt water in your hair and sand between your toes.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Foundation Degree in Calligraphy / week #3

After a couple of weeks working with the Roman Capitals, learning about geometric proportion, weight and spacing with the 'skeleton' letters, there is now an opportunity to work with the edged pen...and some ink. We've been using a fairly broad nib (2) to draw the letters at 2cm high, first trying individual letters and then words. Getting the pen working and the ink flowing give a good feeling, and the nuances of technique and the practicalities involved are noted and will hopefully be lodged in the brain!In the evening a lovely walk around Highbury Fields, near where I am staying with my son during some of these weeks. It's a very nice area of London, and the nice September weather has brought out the cyclists, runners and ice cream vans!During this weeks' session we have also been working to produce the same letters with 'double pencils'. Taping two HB pencils together and drawing the letters is a good way to get an understanding of their shaping and construction. You can achieve the same thick and thin strokes and also develop the serifs (the pointed ends of the vertical and horizontal strokes).The weather has been so good this week that lunch today was taken in the sunshine and warm ambience of Kensington Gardens. Then it was back to work with the double pencils.
On the way back to Kings Cross a stop-off at The British Library to meet up with eldest daughter for a coffee and catch up.