Author Topic: General Feedback - Copperplate  (Read 7912 times)

Offline Vipul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Karma: 13
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2018, 11:36:35 AM »
@Salman Khattak

Hi,
I've noticed this peculiar thing.... When I write big (10mm and more) everything becomes easier and the strokes are so much better. The moment I go to smaller size (6mm -your guidelines or lower) my consistency is really bad.
Could you please suggest why this is so? I know I can make the proper shapes everytime, but then at smaller sizes, I make stupid and silly mistakes.
Wrote this at 1.2 cm. The interline spacing seems excessive to me, but that's what apparently looks better. That's another issue that's bugging me.... The spacing between 2 lines.
Regards,
Vipul

Offline neriah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Karma: 18
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2018, 04:02:46 AM »
@Vipul - I am not Salman but I'll try to help if you don't mind. Hopefully Salman will correct me if I say something wrong :)

To me it seems as your biggest problem is nib control - it seems that you are heavy handed and working with a very flexible nib (IIRC, you are using Gillott 303?). To have light shade with Gillott 303 you need to have a very light hand. I would suggest you to try less flexible nib such as Gillott 404, I think it will help with your consistency a lot.

Another thing which I notice is that your letters aren't completely consistent on the photo you posted. Yes, shades are much more consistent but that comes from simply increasing x-height. Now let's focus on the first line. Look at 'o' in "you" and compare it to 'a' and 'd' in "hard". First 'o' is much narrower but those should be the same. Now look at 'u' in "you" and 'w' in "work", first part of the 'w' should be same as 'u' - is it in this case? Those repeat throughout the piece.

This is not to say that what you posted isn't good, I had to search for those variations in spacing and consistency, it is not something you notice immediately. From my experience, it takes months and months (and even years) of practice to get to the point where you can be really consistent throughout whole piece. And it is not necessary for it to be perfect. If our writing becomes that perfect it will lose personality and liveliness which differentiate it from computer generated fonts.

If I were you, I would focus on lighter hand and try less flexible nibs. 6 mm x-height is fairly large when it comes to pointed pen and you should be able to have proportional shades with any flexible nib. When it comes to changing x-heights, you should be able to adjust heft of your strokes to x-height rather than increase x-height to match the heft. I don't know what grip you use but what works incredibly well for me is resting my thumb on the flange with my index finger on top part of the holder. When I need shade I lightly push my index finger and it creates shade. Most of the time I hold that holder so lightly you could pull it out of my hand without any trouble. Every now and then I lose focus and grip much harder, but that usually does not change my shades. I would suggest you try to figure out what works best for you. In my experience, lighter hand solves many problems and helps you control nib better.

I hope you find this helpful :)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 04:04:45 AM by neriah »

Offline Vipul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Karma: 13
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2018, 07:16:49 AM »
@neriah
Thanks for your observations. A fresh look and perspective do help.

Yes, consistency is one thing I am struggling with... and that's what the daily practice and focus is on.

Have shifted from Gilliot 303 to Hunt 101. Unfortunately, sourcing nibs in India, where I stay, is a real challenge and takes about a few months to procure them from US or UK. So, changing nibs is not so easy an option. I also know that I have a heavy grip. And believe me, I have really worked at a lighter touch and have improved almost 100%. Still a long way to go, I know, but unfortunately, no one pointed this out to me when I started @Salman Khattak's tutorials and hence I developed this bad habit. Now working hard to break it.

My previous post (previous page) is on a smaller x height, and the issues with consistency are much more obvious there. That's what I am unable to understand...Why at a lower X-height I am not able to have as much control. Any suggestions or insight would be a big help

Thanks
Vipul 


Offline neriah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Karma: 18
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2018, 09:02:29 AM »
@Vipul I keep looking at the previous post and I really don't think there is such a huge difference. I think it looks a bit cluttered due to descenders and ascenders from different lines almost clashing but other than that, it looks good. You have the same inconsistency between 'o' and other oval based letters and 'u' and 'w' like in the 1.2 cm x-height one. The biggest inconsistency I see without nitpicking is variation in shade.

I understand about nibs, it doesn't take me months, but it takes couple of weeks and not so cheap shipping. Hunt 101 also requires very light hand, but it is awesome for large letters.

I am not sure why you feel like you don't have as much control at smaller x-heights, look at the loops from the previous page, you wouldn't be able to do that without control. Look at 'wo' in "wonderful", both of these are really good. I know from personal experience that you may feel like you have less control when writing lighter but trust me, it is just a feeling. The important thing is whether you can execute basic strokes properly. If you can, I don't think the problem is just in the control. It is probably combination of struggling with consistency over longer blocks of text and a different feel - at least that is the case with me.

Personally, what helped me the most with going to smaller x-heights is lighter touch, making sure I can execute basic strokes and slowing down. If I want to be consistent, I have to go really slow, otherwise things get out of control. I noticed that even more on smaller x-heights because there is not much time to "react". For example, compound stroke (last shade of 'n' and 'm') has a curved edge for 1/3rd of way down, then is straight for 1/3rd and again curved edge at the last 1/3rd. I find doing that fast on 4 mm impossible. Also, another thing I did was to just relax and lightly hold my oblique and just pulling lines. Straight, ovals, whatever came to my mind. Just playing around with the emphasis on light touch and girp. It helped me understand how it should feel.

I hope this helps :)

Offline Vipul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Karma: 13
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2018, 09:55:29 AM »
@neriah
 :)Thanks a lot for your insights. Guess I need to slow down too....
I think I'll work on these a bit more and try and achieve the consistency needed, but missing.
Inter-line spacing has been a sore point and I feel that too much spacing takes away from the feeling of cohesiveness that goes with a full quote. Like this last one, it seems to me like isolated words written in 4 lines. I think that's only my perception and need to probably work on playing with different spacing to see what works best.
Thanks a lot...sharing does make things seem easier...though knowing that its going to take hours and hours over the next few months to sort out these issues.  :P

Vipul

Offline Salman Khattak

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 908
  • Karma: 67
    • View Profile
    • Toronto Pen Company
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2018, 02:31:47 AM »
@neriah & @Vipul - It was great to see this exchange above. I loved how clear your analysis was Katja - you picked exactly the things I would have looked for. Thank you so much for stepping up. Your input is much appreciated.

@Vipul - you are struggling with consistency, not capability. You do draw more letters correctly than incorrectly. If you take all the 'i' strokes in the two samples you recently posted, you will see that most of them are done very well. The issue with Copperplate is that is shows up even the slightest inconsistency. While it is important to continue refining your script, it is also helpful to acknowledge the progress you have made. I am confident that most people will be quite happy with what you have achieved.

I don't think you need hours and hours of practice. You just need to get the basics right. I would guess you don't have very many sheets of practice in groups of 5 that I recommend for getting the basics down. It really helps. I do those on a regular basis. Do a couple of sheets of one of the strokes and then the letters based on it every day as your practice. You will soon see the change in your compositions.

Secondly, I suspect you fall prey to writing the letters and not just making the strokes i.e. don't write a 'u', make two 'i' strokes and so on. This is another thing that helps with consistency and should be kept in mind during practice and general writing.

A trick to slowing down is talking through the strokes as if you are doing a demonstration or teaching someone.

I am not a big believer in different nibs for writing smaller or larger. The goal should be to gain good enough control with a nib you feel comfortable with to do whatever you need with it. If I had to suggest one, I would go with the Hunt 101. It is not an easy nib to control but it can do anything from the smallest to the largest x-heights you will encounter. It is slightly easier to use than the Gillott 303 and much more consistent in quality from batch to batch.

- Salman
I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

Copperplate Tutorial :: Toronto Pen Company

Offline neriah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Karma: 18
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2018, 03:49:09 PM »
@Salman Khattak thank you, you taught me how to analyze the script. I cannot put to words how much it has been helping with my progress.

Another thing I do all the time is to follow this tutorial regularly and use it to practice critique. I look at the post, think of what I notice and what I would say and then compare it with your comments. It was (and still is) really helpful for picking up details I used to miss :)

Offline neriah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Karma: 18
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2018, 10:23:53 AM »
Hi!

I have been meaning to post this piece here for quite some time, but life keeps happening and... you know how it goes :)

Here is some background and my own critique:

Piece was done on smooth khadi paper, 210 gsm, with finetec blue (and orange for attribution). I used departementale cementee 2552 for the quote which is 6 mm x-height and Gillott 404 for the attribution which is 4 mm.

I tried my best to do centered layout properly, but I think the main reason why I am always off is because I do draft on my practice paper. This time I measured carefully and even penciled text before to make sure everything is where it should be. It more or less was except for the attribution. But it is still not as consistent as I want it to be and far-flunged hopes was penciled too narrow so I went with it or it wouldn’t be centered.

Apart from that, there are multiple inconsistenices: too wide ovals, changes in letter spacing which gets a bit narrower at times (mostly at the end), a's in first line are much wider than ones in the last line, some square bottoms (m's mostly) dip below base line, last line is full of pointy underturns, etc.

I also wanted to ask about "far-flung" - I know f-l connection is not common, but having looped f with flat l looks really weird. I guess it would be better to have both of them looped? I am not sure flat f even exists, but is there any other option? Or it should be looped f with flat l but with better execution? :)

Looking forward to feedback,

Katja

Offline Foxmorepatty

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2018, 02:36:45 PM »
It looks lovely to me, overall.  The f - l is a conundrum.  I think with this style Salman is teaching, that is just how it is.  I think an f with a straight top and looped bottom with a looped l would perhaps look more balanced.  You are such a good self critic, it is hard to find anything else to point out!

Offline Salman Khattak

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 908
  • Karma: 67
    • View Profile
    • Toronto Pen Company
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2018, 06:32:05 PM »
@neriah 

Katja, this is a well executed composition. I wouldn't worry too much about the pointed turns. The square bottoms, however, should be fixed.

A trick to getting the lettering a bit more consistent is to set things up so you are not thinking of too many things. One of the easiest things to take off your list is spacing and justification. Here's how:

Step 1: Write out the text at the required x-height to establish the length of each line.

Step 2: Fold the paper so each line can be isolated. Mark the middle point of each line of text.

Step 3: Place the folded paper under each line you write to make sure you start and end at the right spot. This also helps avoid missing words and letters. Alternately, you can mark the beginning and end of the line on your sheet.

If you are not sure about your arrangement, you can cut the draft into strips and arrange them in different ways to get the effect you want. You can then mark them up or place them on the fair sheet for copying. I would recommend writing it out on a second draft to make sure you are happy with the layout.

The attached images should help illustrate the process.

This process takes care of the placement of the lines leaving you to focus on the lettering. Also, setting up for each line gives you a nice break.


Regards,
Salman
I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

Copperplate Tutorial :: Toronto Pen Company

Offline Salman Khattak

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 908
  • Karma: 67
    • View Profile
    • Toronto Pen Company
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2018, 06:34:23 PM »
The 'f-l' join does present a problem where the heavy top of the 'l' creates a hot spot near the loop of the 'f'. This can be avoided by using a shorter 'l' or one that has a loop. You can also use an alternate 'f'.

Here is an example:
I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

Copperplate Tutorial :: Toronto Pen Company

Offline neriah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Karma: 18
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2018, 09:03:57 AM »
@Foxmorepatty - Thank you!

@Salman Khattak - Thank you Salman, this was incredibly helpful, especially photos!

I am working on squared bottoms, my problem is mostly that by the time left tine gets to base line, right tine is already over it. I am trying to be extra careful about that but sometimes I forget.

My process was to write it out once and then measure length of every line with a ruler. And mark everything on the sheet. But I love your approach, I think it is much easier to execute and less likely to go wrong. My approach relies so much on measuring everything right and adding and subtracting offsets which is perfect for making mistakes :)

Thank you also for letter 'f' variations, I really like one with bottom loop!

Offline Vipul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Karma: 13
    • View Profile
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2018, 01:00:05 AM »
@Salman Khattak

Hi. Been practicing a bit.... Majuscules still an issue.
However my question is about consistency...... I am able to write a page filled with a letter quite consistently, but when I'm writing a passage or a sentence, there are visible inconsistencies. How can I improve that?

Also, need a bit is advice on the 'ss'. The entry stroke of the second 's' is generally not at the same slope, unless I make a round understroke as the exit from the first 's'. Could you please elaborate on the 'ss'.

Thanks in advance

Regards,
Vipul
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 11:40:46 AM by Vipul »

Offline Salman Khattak

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 908
  • Karma: 67
    • View Profile
    • Toronto Pen Company
Re: General Feedback - Copperplate
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2018, 01:58:21 PM »
@Vipul

Hi Vipul - sorry for the late reply.

About the 'ss' join - the exit hairline of the 's' does indeed start a bit further to the left than in other strokes. This is an excellent observation. One can either draw the stroke a bit flatter from the point where the shaded stroke touches the base line and moving up when the stroke 'clears' the shade. Or just start the exit stroke with a bit of a gap at the base line.

Your script is very nicely controlled - especially in the transitions from hairline to shade and back in the 'o' and compound strokes. The ascenders and descenders play a big role in the overall look of a composition, especially when they are extra tall. The looped ascenders are just upside down descenders (as in the 'j' stroke) and need to be balanced around the slant guide. In the samples above the ascenders lean to the right while the descenders lean to the left - as if being blown by a gentle breeze in opposite directions.

The majuscules follow a similar rule to the minuscules in the proportions of being twice as tall (along the slant line) as they are wide. Yours are a bit too narrow. Make the middle stroke of the 'N' vertical and you will have nice proportions for that letter (you can have a slight 's' curve in that stroke but it should be balanced around the vertical).

Also, not sure if the tiny 'c' ending stroke of the 'r' works - it seems to break the flow to my eyes.

- Salman
I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

Copperplate Tutorial :: Toronto Pen Company

Offline Vipul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Karma: 13
    • View Profile
Happy New Year
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2019, 08:28:38 AM »
@Salman Khattak

Dear Salman,
Here is wishing you a very happy new year and best wishes for 2019.
I am really thankful to you for being a mentor and such a patient teacher, in this journey of pointed nib calligraphy.
So thankful in this new year for your mindful guidance and all your help.

Regards,
Vipul