Author Topic: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?  (Read 2198 times)

Offline Zivio

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Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« on: November 14, 2023, 10:23:06 PM »
I am currently reading and studying Michael Sull’s most excellent new book “Sull’s Manual of Advanced Penmanship.” If I may, I’d like to plug this book here, but also pose a question. 

If interested in the book, @Erica McPhee has posted a detailed review at this thread: https://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=8051.msg85296#msg85296

The instructions are very detailed and clear, however, I’m struggling with the order in which the compound ending flourishes around the word “Congratulations” is rendered*. It is clear to me there has to be some rejoining of the flourish either back to the final “s” or somehow starting at the “s” and rejoining the “C”… somehow. I can see how the flourish itself can be made in a continuous, non-lifted stroke. 

Besides the flourish, it seems to me the whole word must have had to have been written out completely before making the flourish.  Was it written without the beginning “C” first in place in order to get the spacing right then “C,” then the flourish added after?  If so, that means the flourish would need to join up in two places. Was it likely drawn starting after the “s” or starting after the “C”?

I think I’m struggling with this because I am only familiar with Spencerian as a more “spontaneous” form of handwriting … no pen lifts, so the concept of rejoining is pretty foreign to me.

* This example is on Page 39 of the book.  I’m including a screen grab here, but in case this is a copywrite infringement, perhaps @Erica McPhee might remove it, and I’ll just have to hope someone else who has purchased the book may be able to reply.  Hey!  This is an excellent reason to purchase it — I hope this teases you into it!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2023, 10:26:01 PM by Zivio »
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Offline Cyril Jayant

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2023, 04:58:06 PM »
 

Besides the flourish, it seems to me the whole word must have had to have been written out completely before making the flourish.  Was it written without the beginning “C” first in place in order to get the spacing right then “C,” then the flourish added after?  If so, that means the flourish would need to join up in two places. Was it likely drawn starting after the “s” or starting after the “C”?
@Zivio it could have been two part  in this and this is more into OP writing type and not the spencerian  general penmanship.

I am adding the rough drawing how it was actually made. My Apologise :-X..  it was not Calligraphy ( Beautiful writing  :D) Just undressed it to show what is it's Skelton .
Many older Master penman used lot of pen lifting. Most signatures  that has" infinite flourishing" where  there are many chances to have some pen lifting.  Writing was an art and although there were rules many masters had many tricks to make their writing. So pen lifting is also we have to master in to a certain extent. But it is challenging  as our lifting is clearly visible as it it not perfectly done.   

Offline Zivio

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2023, 07:41:22 PM »
@Cyril Jayant  Wow -- thanks for taking the time to draw this out!  If I may ask a follow-up question: 

The long flourish strokes themselves were not as big a mystery to me. In fact, I think I could make them in either direction: coming off the C, left to right as you show, and then rejoining the exit stroke of the "s."  Here are the two options I can see:

I could also see first writing "most" of the "C" stopping at the shaded portion just before the second crossing, then "ongratulations" and come out of the final "s" and work backwards over the full word and rejoining the "C" on the thick shade.  The rejoin on the thick shade would be easier to camouflage, and the main benefit, though, is you've got the full word already written out so your flourish crossings can be spaced appropriately and might be easier to work with the balance. 

Write the "C" and build the the long continuous flourish, then write "ongratulations."  Just typing this isn't making sense to me. Seems it would be horribly difficult to get the spacing right, and then that final rejoin on the "s" would be precarious.

I'm honestly guessing I may have just answered my own question, because option 1 seems the most logical. I think it's the effect of that "infinite continuous flourish" trick that was baffling me.  And I also think that's the magic effect intended!  It just seemed so weird to me because I've never hazarded anything like this yet.  Also, reading further in the text, Sull does talk about rejoin and retouch technique.  He just hadn't been clear on this example, nor several other similar ones on that same page. 
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Online Erica McPhee

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2023, 08:36:14 PM »
This is a great question. Using images for educational purposes are allowed.

I wasn’t able to get to my pen and Cyril beat me to it with a “real” calligraphy demo. But here is something I did up real quick in ProCreate.

I began with the word first, then went back and did the capital.

As you have deducted - flourishing can take quite a bit of preplanning.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2023, 08:39:04 PM by Erica McPhee »
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Offline Zivio

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2023, 09:31:33 PM »
Ah, perfect @Erica McPhee!  I’m only now getting into some baby flourishing, certainly nothing as complex as this!  Recently took Suzanne Cunningham’s “The Art of the Oval” and learned some good stuff.

Having approached Spencerian as everyday handwriting, (spontaneous writing, as I just learned Sull calls this!) I think my brain was having trouble getting past pen lifts, rejoins, touch ups and adding shade after … thinking very linearly.  But it just didn’t make any sense to me that those flourishes could just hover out in the ether and then writing the word after.  I’m certain if I’d started with Copperplate or some other script this may have been self-evident. 

I’m learning so many new things from “Sull’s Manual of Advanced Penmanship,” and sending thanks again for putting me on to it!  “Book learning” for now, but I have aspirations …


PS: Your “real quick” is blowing my little penmanship mind! I totally get that you might not call it your “best work” but from where I sit, that would be an impressive accomplishment.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2023, 09:35:21 PM by Zivio »
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Online Erica McPhee

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2023, 12:19:31 PM »
Thanks! I thought of this in my sleep last night… I should mention, if doing this with ink, I would have penciled in the Capital C first. At least the structure of it. This would give me a grounding for the rest of the word. When I do this, I don’t always end up making the Capital exactly as I penciled it as once the flourish is done, I work with it as much as possible.

Suzanne’s class is fabulous! Glad you are delving into the deep water!  ;D
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Offline Zivio

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2023, 01:48:43 PM »
Thanks! I thought of this in my sleep last night…

I do some of my best work sleeping! ;D  Nothing like it to engage that second brain (subconscious)!

Yet another great tip that would never have occurred to me, lover of “spontaneous handwriting”* that I am!  I must say, because of that love, or perhaps how it informs my practice, my internal reaction to first doing the “C” in pencil was one of a bit of resistance.   But it makes SO MUCH SENSE!  And there’s no question that a “compound flourish” like in this example just cannot be executed so beautifully without planning and every assist that may be brought to bear.

I know I keep referring back to my interest of practical handwriting. I love the more restrained bits of OP flourishes, the ones that really do look like little flights of the pen on exits and entrances but still suggest spontaneity. But from time to time I would dearly love to highlight a word or two in the style of this example!  Coincidentally, I fairly recently did write two different letters of encouragement with that very “Congratulations” word in them!  The best I was able to bring to bear on highlighting this sentiment was placing it on it’s own line with a flourished majuscule. Baby steps for baby beginner here. I was very self-satisfied to read Michael Sull’s suggestion that one might bring attention to certain words in a written work by simply capitalizing, not just proper nouns and those at the beginning of sentences, but ANY where some interesting emphasis may be brought. In the few notes or letters I’ve written, I had actually done this myself, instinctively, so I loved Sull’s affirmation. It reminded me of certain 18th century printed documents that (amusingly) would capitalize certain words, almost randomly.

Always grateful for you attention and experience,
˜Karl

* I just learned that “spontaneous handwriting” terminology from Sull’s new book! Perfect, and YAY!

« Last Edit: November 17, 2023, 04:25:47 PM by Zivio »
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2023, 09:18:54 PM »
This is a great question. Using images for educational purposes are allowed.

I wasn’t able to get to my pen and Cyril beat me to it with a “real” calligraphy demo. But here is something I did up real quick in ProCreate.

I began with the word first, then went back and did the capital.

As you have deducted - flourishing can take quite a bit of preplanning.
Interesting.
I would have guessed step 1, followed by step 3 continuing to step 2.

Offline Zivio

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2023, 10:22:39 PM »
Interesting.
I would have guessed step 1, followed by step 3 continuing to step 2.

Interesting, indeed, Michael! A complex flourish like this is beyond my current level of ability, but I'm enjoying this thought experiment. Erica's suggestion was making a lot of logical sense to me, but I'm learning there's more than one way.

Erica's order of getting the main body of that "C" in position and then connecting/adding the final flourish seemed straightforward, but now I'm curious. Is there something about making the "C" flourish before the main portion that would make it easier to execute or perhaps join up?  I was liking the thought of adding the final flourish in the context of the space the majuscule takes up as an aid to its shape and position. Placing the flourish first before the letter seems like it would just be kind of hanging out there ... what am I missing?  And thanks for playing along!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2023, 10:28:42 PM by Zivio »
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Offline Cyril Jayant

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2023, 09:12:37 AM »
Thank you Erica ;D. It is a great hand  good structural plan you did.
There are many things in this  piece of work.
For me I love it . As Erica said Need a bit of preplanning  ..That" bit " goes a long list of planing as .. ;)
I guess if you use a pencil and do it several pages on A4 size. and then get the  pen and determine how many dippings you need and control the speed to stop and hide the restarting points to show the tricky Infiniteness.
There's a lot of work. By the time you learn what speed you need to avoid all wonkiness and give more dynamic to the lettering , then it is a masterpiece like the original.
This is also a good start for someone to look at how good he/she is at ovals and maintaining the consistency of the  spacing and how the speed effect  in the process.

Karl , Thank you for starting this thread.
It is quite interesting interesting to look at others writing. Specially those  who pioneered into the penmanship and introduced many forms of writing.  I am studying many work of them on their SCRAP BOOKS, WHICH IS MY BEST INTEREST.
I already  have M.Souls's Big bible of writing never started it as it is too big and hidden among my books waiting to get started on  one day.
Some more older manuals  get my attention  and The first time I saw and heard about this book I just went and put in to a basket and it is waiting to be paid and cleared. But I am not in a hurry. I have to finish some other books that I have started with.
It is always good to see that you are progressing than your are feeling you are struggling.

Keep writing Folks ...  ;D It will get you more pleasure one day and all day.

   

   

Offline Zivio

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2023, 09:31:01 AM »

... But I am not in a hurry...


As I am fond of saying,

“I’m always not in a hurry.”

It doesn’t make sense to want to hasten one’s mortality. You may quote me.  ;D
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Online Erica McPhee

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2023, 03:50:46 PM »
Interesting.
I would have guessed step 1, followed by step 3 continuing to step 2.

And you could with the first part of Step 3 being an entrance stroke and the exception - the extension with shade going to the right. That requires a turn of the paper after initial entrance stroke. If you do that first - you risk a smudge.

However, for me, it also helps me to make a more balanced C in correlation to the already penned word without worrying about hitting the mark with the beginning and end of an already penned first entrance stroke. Hope that makes sense. It is also easier to place that final shaded stroke about centered in the first upper oval of the flourish versus trying to center said oval over an already existing stroke.

That is a really long flourish and requires whole arm movement for fluidity. Much concentration is required (and forward thinking while arm and pen are moving) so the less to think about during execution the better.

Lastly, I would hold my pen delicately to maintain a hairline with no pressure and make Step 3 from the top right of C down and then up around versus starting on the left and trying to hit the mark at the top of C on the right.

Now, of course, that is my thought process. Others may have a different one.  ;)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2023, 03:55:21 PM by Erica McPhee »
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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2023, 04:04:13 PM »
This is also a good start for someone to look at how good he/she is at ovals and maintaining the consistency of the  spacing and how the speed effect  in the process.

YES! This! It’s a great drill to practice. It is also good because you are practicing moving up and down while flourishing to the right. Quite a scratching your head, rubbing your tummy exercise!  ;D

Also, if you have difficulty doing it in one full movement you can rest where the ovals would make a cross. Then pick up again at this juncture to hide the tiny fraction of a glitch the pen placement would give.
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Online Erica McPhee

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2023, 04:07:31 PM »
I was very self-satisfied to read Michael Sull’s suggestion that one might bring attention to certain words in a written work by simply capitalizing, not just proper nouns and those at the beginning of sentences, but ANY where some interesting emphasis may be brought. In the few notes or letters I’ve written, I had actually done this myself, instinctively, so I loved Sull’s affirmation. It reminded me of certain 18th century printed documents that (amusingly) would capitalize certain words, almost randomly.

* I just learned that “spontaneous handwriting” terminology from Sull’s new book! Perfect, and YAY!

Haha - I used to not liking doing this but now I love it! It’s such a great way to add flourishes and emphasis.  ;D
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Offline Zivio

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Re: Compound/complex ending flourish - order of pen strokes?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2023, 05:08:21 PM »
Very much enjoying the discussion and additional tips on this! I thought all I needed was an answer for the order of writing it, but so many more things I hadn’t considered are coming up. 

Thanks, all, for coming to the party!
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