Author Topic: The importance of guide and practice  (Read 258 times)

Offline Ruben77

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The importance of guide and practice
« on: December 12, 2022, 07:11:34 PM »
Even though I've been fascinated with calligraphy for a long time, it was only last year when I became really interested in learning how to do it. That was the reason I joined this forum.

After watching some Youtube videos and getting the proper tools, I started trying to do some copperplate.  I just relied on replicating a random exemplar I found on the web. The result can be seen on picture #1. It was done on December 20th, 2021 (almost one year ago) using a Leonardt Principal. At that time I considered it an achievement to wield an oblique holder to write the letters with a nib. But the errors are evident to anyone. And to me as well. I had no real guide, didn't know any of the basic manuals, and to be honest wasn't practicing much those days.

After a few weeks, and feeling I was just replicating mistakes I decided to slow down even more and watch more carefully the videos, and to read a lot more the many useful threads in this forum and on Facebook groups. This year's first semester was a bit busy, and I left the calligraphy for later.

But on July this year I decided that if I was going to learn copperplate, I should really do it. Found a calligraphy teacher in my city, and started taking classes with her every Saturday starting on August.  During the week I allotted a daily time to practice. I committed myself to at least 30 daily minutes.

After a couple of months learning the basic strokes and their proper order, and also learning warming exercises and practicing the alphabet I knew I had improved. The result can be seen on picture #2. It was written with pencil, as the teacher's method called for mastering the shapes and train the hand with pencil, before approaching the metal nib. That was very useful in the sense of not slaughtering nibs too early in the learning process. But even if it's pencil, the difference with the first image is evident: a lot has changed.

A good guide is very important to improve. And while on-line tutorials can give an insight and a help to understand many things, having a teacher continuously checking your work, correcting and suggesting changes is really helpful to be on the proper track.

On the other hand, practice and a personal commitment are also needed to improve.  My first approach a year ago wasn't too serious, and didn't care to do a daily practice.  But my hand really improved with the continuous and almost daily practice during this last months.

Today's practice can be seen on picture #3. This is just 8 days shy of a full year after the 1st image, and again using a Leonardt Principal. I was able to draw much better letters.  Improvement is noticeable in many aspects.  My calligraphy is not perfect yet, but is surely is much better than it was a year before and seeing it now it really gives me hope of someday becoming good at it. It also encourages me to attempt many more things besides the alphabet and the practice pangrams. I'm already thinking on some personal projects for gifts and for the family. I will surely start diving into flourishes soon.

The basic copperplate course I followed with my teacher is finished now, but I really enjoyed it and learned from it. It also gave me a much needed discipline. And it also gave me an amount of good knowledge that I will surely use in the following years to keep drawing beautiful letters. Hopefully more beautiful every time.

The last picture shows some of the daily exercise sheets of this year, most of them from the past 4 months. I counted more than 120 in total in the folder. Copperplate calligraphy is certainly an art that needs attention, time, devotion, and practice. I'm really happy to be doing it, and I hope to improve in the future by doing it and by learning from all the wonderful people here as well.

Kind regards and thanks for reading.

Offline tiffany.c.a

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Re: The importance of guide and practice
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2022, 11:07:28 PM »
Ruben, thanks so much for sharing this. It is truly inspiring to see your work and hear your thoughts, what youíve learned so far including about practice. And what wonderful progress is evident in these photos. Itís looking good!

Offline Zivio

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Re: The importance of guide and practice
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2022, 04:01:42 PM »
I enjoyed reading your calligraphy journey, and your progress is really astounding!  A desire to create anything of beauty is merely a velleity without dedication and practice. Looking forward to seeing more of your work. 
Foment Compassion, Practice Peace

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: The importance of guide and practice
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2022, 05:05:52 PM »
So fun to see your calligraphic journey and progress. Bravo! Your last sample is a beautiful Copperplate. Proof that putting in the hard work and careful study pays off. Thank you for sharing!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: The importance of guide and practice
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2022, 08:17:40 AM »
Very impressive progress.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2022, 08:22:12 AM by Ken Fraser »

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: The importance of guide and practice
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2022, 09:28:49 AM »
Very nice to see your solid progress.

Offline Tasmith

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Re: The importance of guide and practice
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2022, 02:09:04 PM »
Very inspirational!
Todd

Website: www.tasphoto.com  Instagram:  @toddasmithphoto