Author Topic: Shading letters  (Read 410 times)

Offline signcarver

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Shading letters
« on: January 11, 2018, 07:26:50 PM »
Are there specific rules on which letters (miniscules and majuscules) are shaded?

Offline Katie Leavens

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Re: Shading letters
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 11:48:23 PM »
As far as I'm aware, there are not many hard and fast rules for shading in Spencerian. But I will share what I know.  ;)

Majuscules are pretty much always shaded, and it is usually the stem of the letter that is shaded. This makes sure that something is 'holding up' your letter and it doesn't look weak. Of course, this will often depend on the direction your letter is thrown, but the letters that are written backwards are pretty advanced moves. So you probably don't need to worry about that at this stage of your work.

For minuscules, you can shade almost every letter. But use it sparingly. Generally, flat stemmed letters (t, d, some forms of y, j, g) are shaded. I don't think I've ever seen an i, s, or u shaded. I've very rarely seen b or l shaded. Ms, ns, and As are probably the most commonly shaded.

This obviously doesn't cover everything, but I hope it helps!

Offline signcarver

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Re: Shading letters
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 03:12:29 AM »
Thank you Katie! That is exactly what I was looking for. 🙏

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Shading letters
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 09:49:16 AM »
Are there specific rules on which letters (miniscules and majuscules) are shaded?
@signcarver
Yes, at least initially.
You may find the following interesting.
The first three comprise a section of the Spencerian Key to Practical Penmanship , 1866 by H. C. Spencer et. al. only the a was sometimes shaded among the 1-X height letters, the ascenders and descenders being mostly shaded as shown in the fourth scan, from The New Spencerian Compendium, 1876, Spencer brothers. You can also see how the caps and numbers were shaded here.
As time went by and Spencerian became more ornamental, more miniscules were/could be shaded as shown by Michael Sull"s Learning to Write Spencerian Script , 1993. Note that the "new" shades are more delicate than the ascender/decender shades--see m, n, v, b for example, in Sull's exemplar.
I've seen every letter shaded, except maybe i and e, in some ornamental Spencerian examples.
Unless you are writing shaded Spencerian, a modest use of shading of x-size letters looks best to my eye (that's a personal view), and avoiding putting two shaded miniscules in a row.
Use exemplars from the masters as a guide and to your taste.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 10:25:20 AM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Shading letters
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 12:03:14 PM »
Another comment on shading, from a copy book from 1859, so during P. R. Spencer's lifetime (from the inside cover). There was always some judgement involved in how much and where to shade.


Offline signcarver

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Re: Shading letters
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 05:25:00 PM »
Thank you AnasaziWrites - this is perfect.

I had never seen it written anywhere. I noticed that majuscules were always shaded, but i couldn't find a pattern for the minuscules other than ascenders and descenders. The other parts of the letters always seemed sort of random.

I really appreciate you taking the time to post this information and i am saving this information for future reference.  :)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 05:26:56 PM by signcarver »

Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Shading letters
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 06:35:05 PM »
@AnasaziWrites That's a loadful to read ... being Chinese I have to d/l your scans,  rendering thru an OCR program and then have it translated by Google.

Would this suffice from Payson Dunton & Scribner?