Author Topic: No drills club  (Read 10202 times)

Offline ash0kgiri

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2016, 11:56:07 AM »
Haha. Thats some innovative drill exercise @himasf. Thanks for sharing :D
Keep writing, Ash
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Offline handmadeletters

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2016, 02:14:01 PM »
@AnasaziWrites Thanks, Michael! That's hilarious too.  ;D

I have a thing about turning letters into people. :) Pardon the typo!

Offline Ching Yan

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2019, 09:24:29 AM »
Hi, I am new here. This is irene, Spencerian Love and James referred me to this forum. I am not familiar with how this forum works. Hopefully, I am doing something appropriate here. To me James is the king of OP and I admire his work, I recently added him to my OP journey on IG and I mentioned I didnít do those ovals drills nor the push pull drills in the book. I donít find them useful, because I would get confused and I was afraid I would build up bad habit making ovals I could not see clearly.

I believe the perfect form of a letter requires the perfect execution of ovals. And that execution has science behind. I often remind myself the contact point, the gravity, the force, push and pull, the weight, last of all the sound and the hand feel. The sound of a perfect letter will trigger another effect letter execution and so on.

I love to practice because it is how I did in my past life, I practiced on the piano a lot and often required many many hours, daily, like piano practice, I practice strokes benefit me in the contruction  of a letter. Sometime, I made up strokes for the sake of that purpose. I also practice my mind to see the form in my head, to imagine the location of the oval before I execute, at least thatís what I am looking for at times. I only do mindful practice, luckily, I can focus for a very long time. Like piano practice, one good attempt is not good enough, it should be done again and again to get the consistency.

Anyways,
Thanks for this forum.
Irene

« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 09:29:27 AM by Ching Yan »

Offline matteherr

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #48 on: August 03, 2019, 08:44:51 PM »
Since I am self taught at engrossers script, I have not had an instructor to help correct my forms. It is very common for me to practice ovals until I get a few good ones, then I'll practice letters. If the letters aren't shaped right, in my situation it is because I didn't put ovals to muscle memory. I have good fine motor skills to make shapes good sometimes but not the consistently good that comes from drills.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2019, 12:40:00 PM »
I never did drills. Then I relearned Engrosser's Script and started from the beginning with drills. Wow - what a difference. If you just start to try to draw an oval, you will not make a perfect oval. But you don't continue to make ugly ovals, you will develop the muscles to make nice ovals which in turn, help your letter forms.

My favorite drill is to see how many ovals I can make from one dip of the pen. The old masters used to be able to get 2,000 or more out of one dip! I thought, 'impossible!' But now I can almost do it!  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline AmyNeub

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2019, 07:20:00 PM »
Wow, 2000. I always use a pencil to warmup with ovals.

Offline RD5

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #51 on: September 23, 2019, 05:24:04 AM »
I think the purpose of drills in general and not just in calligraphy, is to isolate different parts of what is being practiced. This makes a lot of sense in football, where throwing and tackling drills help one to focus on those different skills much more efficiently than just playing football.

Applied to calligraphy, one than can easily argue that it is more efficient to just practice the letterforms. However, I think for beginners the simple ovals help to learn how to use the pen and vary pressure withput worrying about letterforms.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #52 on: September 25, 2019, 10:49:16 AM »
I can definitely see the argument on both sides. However, let me also say, perhaps the folks who don't need drills are already an artist of some sort. So they already have developed the muscles necessary for good control of the pen. I have found drawing also improves my calligraphy work and line confidence (because that is what it essentially comes down to - line confidence). Drills are just a bit more mindless (although I would argue meditative) and contribute to the form.  ;)
Truly, Erica
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Offline grayharris

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2019, 11:40:40 PM »
Hi All,

I believe that the drills almost exclusively applied to "quickly" written forms using muscular movement. Muscular movement being defined as resting your arm on the edge of the table on the meaty part of your forearm and using your shoulder muscles to push and pull the pen. If you are lettering or drawing your letters, the warm-ups and drills have to be unbelievably exhausting.

I find drills to be very helpful in:

- Warming up my muscles to obtain better control
- Learning the particular shapes you need to make with your arm to form a difficult letter
- Relaxing the muscles

For me, it is always a challenge to completely relax my writing arm. I find that if I tire myself out a bit doing some drills, it's easier to stay relaxed. Additionally, in muscular writing, it's not often you can sit down and whip out some well controlled forms (referred to back in the day as off-hand). Madarasz was famous for being able to just sit down and execute a high level of writing. Most master penman needed some warm-up time before they were happy with what they were producing.

Drills can also help you experiment with how much control you lose or gain when changing the speed of your writing. Almost always, the running ellipsis and push/pull warm ups were to be executed at 200 downstrokes a minute. However, it is near impossible to produce legible, accurate forms at that rate of speed. Most master penman wrote at a speed of 15 to 22 words per minute (five characters a word) in business writing. Ornamental writing was even slower and permitted you to use whatever means necessary to achieve the results, even using your fingers (gasp).

I completely understand why someone would choose not to pursue muscular movement writing. In those cases, I wouldn't recommend an exhaustive exploration or use of drills and warm-ups. However, if you're using any form of "muscular" movement, give them a sincere try and see if it doesn't help!

Gray

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2020, 08:39:03 AM »
Excellent observations @grayharris ! Thank you for sharing with us. I find while doing my drills, I have to consistently remind myself to relax my shoulder. Otherwise, it will continue to "bunch up" as I go.
Truly, Erica
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Offline Zivio

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #55 on: June 13, 2021, 11:51:37 AM »
So happy to have encountered this post! I would like to join the club.   :D

Decades ago when taking classical piano lessons I cut my teeth on all manner of technical scales, arpeggios and other finger exercises. They satisfied some sort of compulsion. It felt like they were something good for a musician to do. I enjoyed them. I practiced them on many other instruments.  It wasn't until thirty years later a luthier friend and classical guitarist said, "do you want to get good at playing scales? Select some music with scales in it!" This totally disabused me of spending so much time on technical exercises and has now informed my recently found challenge of learning Spencerian handwriting.
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2021, 12:00:51 PM »
I have been learning to play the cello and I understand exactly how that comes into play.  ;D However, I would encourage you to try some of the drills (no letters) as it will strengthen your whole arm movement greatly.

In a similar manner to what you are saying @Zivio if one only practices letters and words, without composition or finished pieces, there can only be so much progress.  :)
Truly, Erica
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Offline Zivio

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Re: No drills club
« Reply #57 on: June 16, 2021, 06:50:31 PM »
I have been learning to play the cello and I understand exactly how that comes into play.  ;D However, I would encourage you to try some of the drills (no letters) as it will strengthen your whole arm movement greatly.

In a similar manner to what you are saying @Zivio if one only practices letters and words, without composition or finished pieces, there can only be so much progress.  :)

Ah, cello -- the most beautifully melancholy of strings! I'd love to hear more about your musical journey, although this probably isn't the place.  :D

I recently encountered the "Re: Drills" thread in the Spencerian category here, and am inspired by that, and your encouragement, to get to work!  To continue the musical analogy, it occurred to me that in learning technique on a variety of musical instruments, I really did have to buckle down to rudimentary drills on each and every one of them before even thinking about playing musical phrases.  So, it stands very much to reason that I will benefit from the same with my new instrument, the pen. 
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