Author Topic: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?  (Read 14466 times)

Offline Jakmo1935

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2015, 12:48:37 PM »
Thank you for the kind words Linda  :)
One of my favorite books (in general, not just about Fraktur) is Fraktur Mon Amour. It's a beautiful Fraktur specimen book with over 300 font variations that range from traditional to contemporary. Check out a Google Image Search of the book contents, as a designer im a sucker for this stuff so I had to have it. You might enjoy it Linda if you havent seen it already 
heebs... Received my 'Fraktur Mon Amour' today.  I wondered why the postage was so high; now I know. If you can't find something you like in the many excemplars, you aren't looking.

I have never taken a formal class in Blackletter but I became fascinated with Fraktur in particular and so began my obsession with the broad-edge pen   ::)

I don't do much (as in almost none) of the illuminated/illustrated fraktur, however, I love textura. I am a big fan of Luca Barcellona so much of my early exposure was to his contemporary takes on Fraktur and other calligraphy and most of what I have learned has come from looking at work online and breaking down the strokes and methods. Since I havent found a book dedicated to Fraktur, in the same in-depth instructional style as the Copperplate/Spencerian ones, I have looked at general calligraphy books that happen to include Fraktur. One of my favorites is The Art of Calligraphy: A Practical Guide to the Skills and Techniques (Used hardcover for $6-8  ;)). It goes through different alphabets in a stroke by stroke breakdown without becoming mundane. The Art of Calligraphy & Lettering is a similar book which also goes through some basics and has a good number of examples while Color Decoration & Illumination in Calligraphy goes more into the decorative aspect.

One of my favorite books (in general, not just about Fraktur) is Fraktur Mon Amour. It's a beautiful Fraktur specimen book with over 300 font variations that range from traditional to contemporary. Check out a Google Image Search of the book contents, as a designer im a sucker for this stuff so I had to have it. You might enjoy it Linda if you havent seen it already  ;D

I would also consider investing in a Pilot Parallel pen or two, they come in four sizes from 1.5mm-6mm and are great for practicing anywhere as they are cartridge loaded.
a voice, crying in the wilderness.

Offline Briana

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2015, 01:02:18 PM »
AHHHH! Thank you, Heebs! I keep wondering if my Parallel Pen was bad because I see everyone else making beautiful thin lines and mine always looked so clunky. :-[ Now I will do some research! I love the Apache Sunset and Soft Mint ink colors.

I'm glad you asked that question because I've felt the same way! I was super excited about the pen, but then it never worked quite well. Mine always seems scratchy, regardless of how I position and hold it.
Briana, aka Pickles 'N Vodka-- landscape designer, aspiring calligrapher, top-notch goofball
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Offline Wolf

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2015, 06:53:12 AM »
Thank you Linda Y for the tip. At the moment I use ecoline and just dip my parallel pen in it. works great!

Offline Blotbot

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2015, 02:11:59 PM »
My big tip is use good paper.  Absorbant paper will make the most delicate hand look chunky, particularly with fountain pen ink.  Try Rhodia papers and see if that helps.

Offline Alphabetguy

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2015, 12:07:20 AM »
This is a caps study I recently finished for a Primitive to Modern workshop assignment in Chicago. Lettered with Speedball C1 nib and watered down Moon Palace ink on piece of 32 Lb paper. Scanned and inverted as a digital file.

It took about 15 months to  learn how to letter with a broad edge nib and I still have a long way to go with it all. At this weekends workshop we learned how to letter with quills on vellum. One small step at a time in the learning process.

Alan

Offline Roseann

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2015, 01:16:59 AM »
BEAUTIFUL!
Roseann

The world is so full of a number of things, Im sure we should all be as happy as kings.   R. L. Stevenson

Offline NikkiB

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2015, 05:32:37 AM »
Gorgeous Alan! 👏👏👏
Nikki x

Offline Alphabetguy

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2015, 12:20:43 AM »
I recently made some automatic pens as I wanted something wider than a parallel pen. I know these are crude looking but they leave a beautiful paintbrush stroke appearance on the paper. The cool thing is the brass fold can be blunt or fine sanded to a sharp edge for a variety of stroke effects.

Alan

Offline Wolf

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2015, 06:37:25 AM »
those look awesome!!

Offline Alphabetguy

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2015, 12:30:11 AM »
those look awesome!!

Hello Wolf,
After a number of trial and error nib studies I now have a basic understanding of making a brass broad edge nib. Depending on the gauge of brass and the shape of edge cut I can adjust the ink flow and hairline to thick quality of the nib. The longer the piece of brass the more flexibility the nib has and very similar to lettering with a flat brush. Opens up a lot of potential for lettering styles I have been after for quite some time.

I have also experimented with different reservoirs on Speedball nibs to get ink flow in the corner of the nib. All of this nib making has had great effect on my pen grip. Currently lettering with pens that are only .25" OD. I am now hooked on Blacklletter and luv practicing broad edge lettering.

Alan


Offline Mosh

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2015, 11:44:31 PM »
(sorry for resurrecting this one) ; )

In my opinion, the Parallel pens are overrated. Yes, they are amazing if you don't want to mess with loading nibs in ink bottles, cleaning them up every time after use, but they tend to produce (as many of you have noticed) less-than-sharp lines and edges. Particularly the smallest one: the letters I have produced with it are quite a sorry sight. They perform better if you do quick strokes on a not-very-absorbent paper. I think nothing beats a good traditional nib.

Offline AndyT

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2015, 04:53:44 AM »
I think the Parallel is a good effort on Pilot's part, but there are technical limitations, especially with the ink.  But some people really don't like dipping or feeding the pen with a brush, and they are easily portable.

Reeds are well worth a try, especially if you can find some which will give a decent amount of flexibility ... not bamboo, in other words.  There's an added element of fun in making them, and a metal spring reservoir can be made to work surprisingly well with a bit of fiddling.  My next door neighbour's kerria hedge turned out to be a good source of free pens.  ;)

Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Blackletter/Fraktur - where to start?
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2015, 08:24:25 AM »
I agree completely that traditional dip nibs are the only way to get really crisp, fine lines.
For beginners, there is so much to learn about the construction of each letter and the new method of putting marks on paper.
Often times they have to learn a new grip and how to reorient the direction of the paper.
It can be an overwhelming number of details to work on all at the same time.
In my classes, I found it very helpful to have an assortment of tool options so that students could see if they got better results with a parallel or cartridge pen or even a marker.
In many cases, the less complicated pen was of huge benefit in the learning process.
Some people think the marker or cartridge pen looks easier so they try it first and the results aren't very good.
So, I give them a dip pen and -voila- they suddenly do much better.
It is entirely unpredictable which people will do best with which tool.
Trying all of them is the only way to tell which one is the best beginner tool and after that, it is fun to figure out ways to make all the different tools work for you.
Markers do not get a lot of respect, but they are very useful in some situations.
I've had people show up with some slick paper intended for commercial printing and the only ink that will stick is a Sharpie Calligraphy marker.
Of course, you can't get any fine lines with the marker.
But, if they have their place cards and need the job done, it is better that I have had some experience with the marker.
No, it is not an ideal situation, but I can make it look very nice and the client is happy.

If you intend to turn your lettering into a business, I highly recommend you learn to warn any client who is providing the card stock that you do not guarantee anything until you have the stock in hand and can find the ink and tool that will work.

The other advantage of the parallel pens is that they are portable. If you practice more because you can take a fairly good pen with you, then it is a fair trade off. Getting the super fine lines is important, but putting in the hours to build your muscle memory is essential and you can build muscle memory without the lines being the finest.