Author Topic: Trying to learn flourishing  (Read 659 times)

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2021, 05:43:05 PM »
Itís already starting to improve. Yes, it looks like an E. So next version, use that for your E!  :-*
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2021, 01:45:45 PM »
Whenever the topic of flourishing comes up, I always add a link to John Steven's IG because his flourishing is dreamy.

https://www.instagram.com/calligraphile/?hl=en

My suggestion for adding flourishing to italics is to learn the basic capital letters first.
You'll notice on John's looser variations of italics, he doesn't stray too far from the basics.
There is still a lot of symmetry to loose italics.

Before you add full flourishes, learn how to add just a swash to each capital letter.
Notice that both swashes and flourishing will have basic shapes.
Sometimes they are more elongated - other times they are rounder.
It's pretty tricky to mix the two until you have mastered both.

If possible, try to learn a couple basic flourishes and then gradually add a few more - one at a time.
Flourishing is often compared to ballet - start with basics - and plan on putting in a lot of time if you want them to look professional.

Successful flourishing is often done quickly with your hand not quite touching the paper - using whole arm movement.
Most teachers will show students how to do a couple practice *swoops* in the air - just above the paper - and then do the actual flourish on the paper.
It's a way to help you relax so you don't choke.

When I was first learning the figure-8 flourish used on the tails of y and g -
I would leave the ascenders off the h k l - and then turn the paper around and add the figure-8 strokes.
Eventually, I could make the flourishes in both directions - but it was a helpful trick til I got there.


Offline Ngaire_W

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2021, 10:41:09 AM »
This seems like very solid advice, thank you @jeanwilson:) I will follow your steps. I'm familiar with John Stevens, thinking of taking one of his classes.

Offline Trazo

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2021, 02:58:14 PM »
@Ngaire_W John Stevens has announced an italic class for May. Enrollment will start in April. If you are interested, stay tuned to his newsletter, because his last class sold out in hours. I am working in italics myself, so I may try to join if the time suits me.

Offline Ngaire_W

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2021, 05:59:05 PM »
@Trazo yes that's the exact one I'm thinking of taking! If I can get a seat that is  ??? Thank you for the warning!!!

Offline Trazo

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2021, 06:16:56 PM »
@Ngaire_W By the way, I think I have seen your name in Carl Rohrs' class on Oldrich Menhart which have just finished. How did you like it? I just loved it.


Offline Ngaire_W

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2021, 03:00:04 AM »
Yes, that was me! Loved it! I attended a one day workshop with Carl Rohrs 10 years ago and loved it. Back then he told us about Menhart, Toots and others, which inspired me to read more on them. Seeing that he had this workshop this last week, I couldn't resist because I really love these older calligraphers' work. A lot of it is too advanced for me at the moment but I will use Menhart's Italic as a reference when developing my Italic further and also try some of the other techniques on for size  ;D

Offline Trazo

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2021, 11:39:15 AM »
Well, as Rohrs showed, Menhart can serve as inspiration for italics, uncials, romans, versals..., because he put his hands (an his flavour) in everything. I live in Czech Republic and Menhart is quite well known here among people interested in calligraphy, typography and print culture in general. However, I don't think he is much known abroad and for that reason Rohrs' enthusiasm really impressed me. I studied book history, so I know a bit about typefaces, but I am completely new at calligraphy and all that pen trickery Rohrs showed in the workshop is quite far beyond my skills. I loved it anyway. It is very interesting to see how one can approach an exemplar without knowing how it was executed. Very different stuff from the usual tuition books, where you have every stroke explained in detail. By the way, I have several books on Menhart, so I can send you some pictures with inspiring exemplars if you wish. When all this nightmare ends, I could even send you a copy of any of his books, as they are not so difficult to find around. I posted some pictures of his work on Instagram the other day: https://www.instagram.com/p/CLzN3lsDjGO/

Keep practicing your italics. Maybe we meet again in John Stevens' class.

PS for @Erica McPhee I know this threat was about flourishing in Italics. Please, give another chance before kicking me out the forum. From now on I promise to be a good boy and respect the topic of the threads. :)

Offline Ngaire_W

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2021, 02:45:17 PM »
Hi Trazo, that would be great, maybe we can start a Menhart thread :)
Yes, I also enjoyed learning from his 'typographic archaeology' and hearing his take on the forms. Also his explanation of what happens to a calligraphic script when it is made into a typeface/font and then how he sometimes tries to make them back into calligraphic scripts. So interesting!

Offline Trazo

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2021, 01:13:35 PM »
Definitely the class was very instructive and inspiring. Let's see if anybody is interested in the topic and we can start a thread about Menhart and family. Keep practicing!

Offline patreads

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Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2021, 04:34:06 PM »
Thank you for all the examples. I tried to buy the Hildebrandt book on flourishing and the least expensive one available was $70. Until I find a less costly one, I'll have to make do with the examples here!