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General Categories => Open Flourish | General Discussion => Topic started by: vince on January 21, 2014, 03:22:18 PM

Title: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: vince on January 21, 2014, 03:22:18 PM
@Linda, @Erica & others, I have a little question: I'm practicing since 1 month now and ... this last conversation made me think about : "what if I had a wrong position during all this time?".

I think I was writing copperplate with thick/thin on the good strokes but my pen wasn't at a 55 angle, more something like 10 maybe (I mean, I write at 55, but the pen's nib isn't at 55). For me it appeared impossible to get the right position to align the nib with the angle.

Yesterday, reading a book, I saw that you have to "stick" your elbow on your stomach, then move the paper to the left as long as you write.

Does this appear good (and also understandable) for you, experienced calligraphers?

(Really sorry if the english is a bit bad, it's tricky to explain the problem for me, I wish you all understand)
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: Erica McPhee on January 21, 2014, 06:04:37 PM
Great question! I keep my elbow in close to my body. And I must turn my paper a good amount to the left. It is almost at a 90 degree angle to the left.

I have trouble doing the tutorials because my tripod will only slant my video camera to a certain extent and I have to have the paper tilted so far to the left or I can't letter properly. That is why some of my lettering is less than stellar in the videos.

I sometimes also find myself leaning left! So I have to constantly remind myself to sit up straight.

Someday I'll get my oldest to video tape me full length.  :o Or at least so you can see more of my position.

If you are achieving the slant you want and the pen is flowing well, I wouldn't worry too much about the exact angle.
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: vince on January 21, 2014, 06:18:05 PM
Thanks Erica! Yes, looks like a good idea (at least one time) because the first thing I did after having this in mind was looking at your videos to find if I could get some evidence. There wasn't ;)

Seems that's not much, but when you're learning alone and don't get somebody to tell you even simple things like that, it's like a big head scratch.

I will continue my practice having this in mind. Thanks again for your time Erica, really appreciate!
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: tmishler on January 21, 2014, 07:27:10 PM
Maybe a dumb question but.....If your a lefty, do these same rules / guidelines apply? Should I stick with a straight holder or spurge for the left handed oblique?
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: Erica McPhee on January 21, 2014, 09:01:59 PM
OK Vince, I will definitely add that to the list!

Tami, the rules are different for leftie. Check out this thread:  Tips for Lefties (http://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=211.msg1418#msg1418)

And also this one:  More leftie members... (http://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=210.msg1660#msg1660)
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: Linda Y. on January 22, 2014, 12:15:39 AM
I turn my paper too - I don't know how to write if the paper is straight :-[ This is why it's so importnt to have guidelines!
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: FrenchBlue Joy on January 22, 2014, 09:24:35 AM
Ideally, Vince, you should find a combination of paper tilt + nib direction that has your nib pointing in a parallel direction to the slant of the lettering.  I mean, the angle of your nib should line up with the slant of your guidelines, as much as possible.  This means that the nib tines will open evenly on the downstroke, and your lines will be smooth. 

Does that make sense?

It's also often said that the pen staff should point over your right shoulder (if you're right handed and using an oblique pen), and when you make your downstrokes, you should be "pulling" the pen toward your heart. 
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: vince on January 22, 2014, 04:01:23 PM
Thanks Linda & Joy for your feedbacks.

@Joy: It does makes sens, definitely =) Yes, it's a bit hard for me because I have to "learn again" (in a way) to write in this position, but now I really feel I'm doing things like I should.

I also understand why in some books I've read that people get tired quickly (like one hour of writing). Before, I wasn't really tired, even after 2hours, but with the bend near the stomach, it's an other story.

I go back to my practice, thanks again for your feedbacks ladies!
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: Mljohnson805 on January 23, 2014, 09:00:23 PM
Vince,
Oblique holders are not easy to use at first, but keep making adjustments until you find a method that works.
Here is my reminder for pen set up.
Place holder on table. Insert nib so that it is exactly at top center, not canted to either side. Next place the oblique pen holder flat on 55 angle practice paper. Move the the nib holder so that tip of nib and end of oblique holder are in line with letter slant guide.
Pick up pen and keep the same alignment when lettering. Move your paper around for comfort when lettering.
Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: Erica McPhee on January 23, 2014, 09:22:21 PM
This is a great tip Mary Lou! I am resizing so it can be seen better. Thank you for sharing that.

(https://theflourishforum.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs5.postimg.org%2F4bfmdqchz%2Fnibangle.jpg&hash=335962a2f16571ce14684e8c22973451)
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: vince on January 24, 2014, 08:06:21 AM
Thanks so much Mary Lou, this is definitely what I understood a few days ago. Had to "learn" again to write letters in this position but I'm felling better and in the good way now.

Really appreciate to have your feedback (also, very nice writing!!), long life to #Flourishforum =)
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: Perfectsettings on January 28, 2014, 09:17:42 PM
Mary Lou, are you left handed?  I'm just trying to make sense of the holder - since I'm a leftie.
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: FrenchBlue Joy on January 29, 2014, 11:02:27 AM
Normally, obliques are for right-handers.  A lefty (if she writes underhand, without the "hook"), can use a straight penholder and create the proper angle of nib to paper naturally. 

Here are two videos for lefties that I posted in different threads of the forums.  The first is Debbie Zeinert, writing with a straight penholder. 

http://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=131

And this one is John De Collibus (Master Penman), who does write with right-hander's oblique, but practically upside-down!  Check out the angle of his pen and the way his non-writing hand is resting on the paper, and you'll realize the extreme upside-down angle of the paper.  Amazing.  It must be hard to get used to judging your letterforms when you're looking at them upside-down, but then again, you have the advantage of being able to "throw" the heavy strokes away from the body, which is a very smooth way of doing it-- like offhand flourishing! 

http://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=275.0

There's another Master Penman named Rosemary Buczek who is a lefty, and writes with a hook.  She has had a special left-hander's oblique pen designed for herself, but I don't know of a video that shows her in action... 

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: Perfectsettings on January 29, 2014, 01:25:32 PM
Thank you so much for that!  I actually had the video earmarked to see later b/c it was 14 min long.  I hadn't seen it.  Soooo after reviewing it (and getting all teary eyed) I was inspired and depressed.  He's more than amazing...
Off to cancel my oblique pen and take some ibuprofen...
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: FrenchBlue Joy on January 29, 2014, 01:35:53 PM
Oh no!  Depression wasn't the desired effect!   :-[

Wait-- don't give up on the oblique yet-- if you're an under-writer you could always give it a try, and if you're an over-writer you can contact Rosemary Buczek for details about her lefty oblique! 
Title: Re: Pen angle and oblique holder question
Post by: Perfectsettings on January 29, 2014, 01:45:32 PM
No worries, Joy.   ;)  I did cancel the order but I'll keep considering it since I do write under.