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Please help me with my Copperplate :)

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Erica McPhee:
GREAT improvement! Wow!

When you are ready - the next thing to work on is squaring your tops and bottoms of letters. This is something I still struggle with. I suggest watching these two videos by @anintran on Instagram.

Square bottoms on n and m


Squaring Tops

You are doing great!

Lucie Y:

I've been practicing a lot this weekend, hurray for baby naps, she isn't always so good at sleeping ^^
Here is a bit of spontaneous writing, working on squaring and getting the shades right.
Some awkward moments as I have switched to Joe Vitolo's exemplars.

Also, capital I and J practice :)
And setting that Latin phrase on paper, just to see what it looks like on a blank background.

As usual, your feedback is infinitely precious!

I have been using a Tachikawa straight holder, walnut ink, and French writing paper.

My Copperplate is still at it's humble beginnings, but I must say something has clicked this week, I feel much more comfortable and this is thanks to the help I have received on the forum. I am very grateful!

Also, to everybody who is going to Iampeth next week, I hope you have a great time :)



Erica McPhee:
Look at that! WOW! Yes - you can see you have hit a rhythm. Well done! Keep practicing!  :-*

Lucie Y:
Hello everyone,

I hope you are well. I'm a bit stuck in my copperplate practice. I have put it off for a while after long practice sessions every day, as I was cramping up and not getting anywhere.

I would like to do oval drills, but I'm a bit overwhelmed. I was listening to the calligraphy podcast yesterday and in one episode the hosts mentioned that drills were often not explained nearly enough. I can't remember the exact words, maybe something along the lines of "the best-kept secret of calligraphy".

Now the internet is reeking with oval practice worksheets, and everyone is telling you to do the drills, but I'm not finding info on how to do them effectively. Would anyone one mind breaking down how they do their oval drills please? Does your elbow graze the desk for instance? do you do them bigger or smaller? do you practice with worksheets or just on blank paper (i prefer the latter).

Any tip would be lovely. Can you tell me what worked for you?

I'm a bit worried about being counterproductive by practicing the wrong way. And now I think I'm overthinking this ::)

Extra question: do you think it is ok to practice with a light box (to see the guidelines beneath extra well)? or does the fact this raises the writing surface by a few millimeters makes this bad for your movements and muscle memory?

As always, thank you for reading have a lovely rest of the day!  :)


Erica McPhee:
Hi Lucie,
Sometimes it is very worthwhile to take a small break and then come back to your calligraphy. It helps your muscles to rest and your muscle memory to embed into long term memory. Usually when you go back to it, you will start to see improvement again.

For oval drills, this is such a great question! I see so many “drills” on Pinterest and many of them are missing the point. The purpose of drills is to give your whole arm movement muscles a work out and to embed the oval shape and movements into your muscle memory. Some of the drills such as drawing little pictures is fun and does help with practicing shades and hairlines, it does nothing for your muscle movement as it requires small hand and finger movement.

Somewhere in my notes, I have some suggestions for timing, and how to do drills. I will take a look and post it when I find it.  ;D


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