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Messages - Dries

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Yes, thanks for sharing – it's nice to know our art form is attracting attention.

Flourishing / Re: Wedding gift for my art and physics teacher
« on: June 11, 2015, 04:00:21 AM »
Very nice – a great gift idea.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Calligraphy Haikus
« on: June 10, 2015, 02:55:32 AM »
My pen like a sword
attacks the waiting paper
Letters become art

Edit: I changed the last line to five syllables instead of the original six: "Letters become beauty"

Don't know if this will work, but perhaps you could pique their interest by showing them a completed piece (a certificate, maybe?) and telling them that you will teach them the skills they'll need to create one of their own. Your project can be designed to cover the basic skills you want to teach. Doing this might give them something to aspire to as opposed to just learning some random skills.

Show & Tell / Inspired by music
« on: June 07, 2015, 07:45:15 AM »

Up to now I have been hesitant to post my own work because the standard of work on this forum is so high. However, I am quite happy with how this came out, especially since it was a spur-of-the-moment doodle while listening to music.

The image is from

Show & Tell / Re: Pen made from bullets!
« on: June 05, 2015, 05:55:10 AM »
Aha! Finally, proof that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.

It is beautiful, as is your writing. May I ask where you got it?

Edit: I think the most suitable phrase to write with it is "Si vis pacem, para bellum" (If you wish for peace, pepare for war).

You know you're a calligrapher when...

- You'd rather calligraph than sleep

Or you spend half-an-hour flourishing the line "Go to bed already!" in a feeble attempt to convince yourself to stop practising.

I guess I won't start my novel like this, then:

Reginald dipped his pen into the inkwell, preparing to add the last, crucial line to the flourished dove-and-baby collage he had been working on, but stopped cold when he heard an almost metallic sound – somewhere between the wailing of a demented infant and the screech of an Angry Bird – apparently  emanating from the sheet of vellum before him.

Digital Design / Re: Review: Calligraphy Art for iOS
« on: June 05, 2015, 01:45:13 AM »
Cool, I was wondering if there was something like that for Android. If possible, can you post a screen shot or two?

Digital Design / Re: Review: Calligraphy Art for iOS
« on: June 04, 2015, 03:12:21 AM »
An interesting IOS app to check out as well is Inkredible – the advantage of this one is that it is vector-based. And free (although there are in-app purchases for additional pens and backgrounds).

Show & Tell / Re: Bene Gesserit Litany against Fear
« on: June 03, 2015, 11:41:49 PM »

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Thank you very phonetic
« on: June 03, 2015, 03:02:44 PM »
Aha – a compliment, so...

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Calligrapher Guilds we would like to join
« on: June 03, 2015, 02:39:29 PM »
The Calligrapher Motorcyclists' Guild?

Digital Design / Review: Calligraphy Art for iOS
« on: June 03, 2015, 08:12:31 AM »

The term “digital calligraphy” seems to have become more applicable to creative typesetting of decorative fonts than skilful hand lettering, but it is actually possible to come close to traditional calligraphy using a tablet computer and a stylus. In this review, I am looking at Calligraphy Art for iOS, and app that is remarkably good within the limits imposed by not using an actual pen. A complete review of the app would result in a very long article, so I will limit myself to the most important features.

On opening the app, you are briefly presented with the splash screen before going into the main menu:

The majority of the icons take you to practice pages where you can learn and practice the different hands, complete with applicable ruling. The example below shows the practice page for what the developers call “Foundational Italic”.

Tapping the left-most icon on this page takes you back to the main menu. However, there are actually
additional lessons, which you can access by tapping on the right-most icon.

For me, the most useful feature is the “free-writing” page accessed via the left icon in the bottom row. This presents you with a 1024 X 768 pixel “digital practice sheet”. You can change both the background texture and the width of the guidelines in this view. The screenshot below also shows the pen nib selection menu.

From left to right, the icons along the top of the screen have the following functions:
  • main menu
  • nib size (I assume in pixels)
  • nib angle
  • flat nib type
  • round nib
  • brush type
  • eraser
  • cut-and-move tool (allows you to move a selected are to a different position, resize it, flip it or copy it).
  • background and grid selection (it is possible to import your own backgrounds)
  • decoration (flourish) selection (again possible to import your own)
  • undo
  • “ink” colour
  • redo
  • options and settings
  • “ink” textures and effects
Among the nib types, there is something almost like a copperplate nib (bottom row, right; I think the developers call it a flourish nib). This I've found to be counter-intuitive, because quick movements create a thicker line and slow movements a thinner one. I would have preferred it to work the other way around.

And that’s about that – you select your pen (or brush), its width and angle and you write away. The “ink” and the backgrounds are treated as separate layers, so erasing the “ink” doesn’t affect the background, and changing the background doesn’t affect the “ink”. On the downside, the app is a little aggressive with the anti-aliasing of some pen types which results in a lack of sharpness. However, it saves your work as a standard .png file, so it is possible to sharpen it in an image-editing app.

The image below shows a quote I wrote using the default background, which I changed to an image of a scroll before saving my work.

Unfortunately it is not possible to change the defaults, so if you prefer a different background or nib, you have to change it manually each time you open the app.

The app is inexpensive, costing less than a decent fountain pen, but worth every cent of the price in my opinion. I credit Calligraphy Art not only with rekindling my interest in calligraphy, but also with allowing me to practice, experiment with layouts and design flourishes with the benefit of being able to undo and erase with ease.

If anybody else has experience with this or other calligraphy apps, I would love to hear about it.

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Where in the World?
« on: June 02, 2015, 03:11:07 PM »
Seems that it falls upon me to represent South Africa, specifically the city of Pretoria.

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