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Please help me with my Copperplate :)

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Lucie Y:
Hello everyone! :)

Would you mind helping me with my Copperplate script?
I started learning towards the beginning of 2022. I take in-person classes whenever I can but since I had a newborn, now 8 month old, and the classes are quite far from my home and workplace, that was no easy business.
I practice every night these days, and when I can't I practice visualizing or try to flip through calligraphy books. Still, the progress is incredibly slow.

Because I never seem to feel good enough to actually write sentences, I ask for commissions from my loved one.
The first image is a sentence I am practicing for my cousin. It says "Omnia vincit amor" which means "Love triumphs over all things" and comes from a poem by Virgil.
I have practiced this one several times over and have been learning the capitals that go with it.
I always practice with a height of 1cm for the minuscule.

Below is a text I haven't practiced before. It's the beginning of a poem in French. I have made myself write smaller, which I need to learn but am not used to. I'm fairly frustrated with my work and see a lot of things I need to change. But I need your eyes and perspective!

Would you be so kind as to give me advice based on the pictures below?

Thank you for reading!

p.s. the very last picture is a humble collection of wee things I do. Nowhere close to where I want to be, but it makes the post more personal than my dull practice above.

Erica McPhee:
Hi Lucie,
Your hand is really lovely! Very consistent, nice forms, and has a lovely flow.  I would suggest working on the curves (overturns) of your mís and nís. Also, your connection strokes off the m and n. They are very rounded and slightly impact the integrity of the shape of the letters. It is really mild (and does have a certain charm to it). But if you are looking for things to work on, I would start there.

I did a diagram for you with 6 steps to improve your mís and nís.

1. Your overturn strokes start too high. They should start at or just below the midline. Starting just below gives a nice entry and usually results in a line that stems at the midline.

2. The overturns should be less rounded but not flat. The upward stroke should have the *slightest* curve to it.

3. There is not enough shade at the top of your last strokes on both m and n. The shade should mirror the other shades with equal distant entry and exit at the top and bottom.

4. Lifting your pen at the baseline (and creating an invisible seam) will help keep the shade equal as you will aim to stop at the baseline, lift up, then continue on.

5. Study this diagram. The shades (the shapes in the center) should be equal and the same shape.

6. The first stroke of the v and the second stroke of the n, third stroke of the m are all the same stroke.

I think if you work on just this one thing, you will really see a difference in your already beautiful calligraphy.  :)

P.S. I love your watercolor work!

Erica McPhee:
P.S. You can click on the image to see it larger.  :D

Lucie Y:
Awww Erica, thank you soooo much! My jaw dropped that you took the time to make a diagram. It is now printed and I'm about to get to work.
I see it now, (some of) the obvious mistakes that made my script awkward. I know there are others I can't see yet, but my round M's always bugged me and I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong.

I'll get right to it. Have a lovely week   :D

Lucie Y:
Reporting back!

I have been practicing my m, n and v's. Now I take a step back, I'm a little sad to see I'm still not pressing hard enough at the overturn and the shade comes in too late.
I'm also trying to correct my strokes on the w, u and i.

During practice sessions I try to start with focused exercises and then do some free writing with whatever phrase/emotion comes to mind at the end.

I write on A5 paper, it seems to help me turn the paper and correct my nib angle more spontaneously.

All feedback is welcome. I'm still going to wage war on those overturns, I'm by no means done with them but grateful I have a direction now to improve.

Again, thank you for your precious help.



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