Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - K-2

Pages: [1] 2 3
Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Minim Comparison
« on: June 24, 2024, 03:17:43 PM »
Hello, Flourish Friends - I'm preparing for a couple of medieval calligraphy workshops that I'm teaching in July at a conference in Pasadena, California, and thought that fellow script nerds might enjoy this "minim comparison" that I made to show the development of blackletter scripts through the Middle Ages (not all of them, but a fairly representative sampling of the most important moments). A script's minims often exemplify its look and feel, and help us reflect on the qualities of legibility and economy that it offered scribes. The left column gives exemplars; the middle column shows the letters in separate colors; the right column gives the name and century in which the scripts originated. They are all done with the same nib (2mm) at the same x-height (8mm).
--yours, K

Tools & Supplies / Troublemaker - Polar Lights
« on: April 05, 2024, 06:05:28 PM »
Hello, Flourish Friends -- It's been a moment since I've been able to post something. Work got a little nutty, and I've been trying to scare up funding for my research at the Huntington Library this summer, plus I had several art commissions on top of my day job.

Here's one of my commissioned pieces (shared with permission) - a portrait of one of the state's top hockey recruits, headed to play D1 in the fall. Her proud father commissioned it as a graduation present.

The sketch takes advantage of the beautiful chromatography in Troublemaker's "Polar Lights" (as well as having nice thematic resonance). There's a lot going on in this ostensibly "black" ink - bleeding out mauvy pinks, mushroom taupes, and turquoise blue, with multi-chromatic shimmer that reflects green, blue, and purple depending on the angle of the light, and a bright white reaction to bleach.  It's pretty good for both pointed pen and broad edge right out of the bottle*.

* I will add that the bottle is.... suboptimal. It is tall and slender and square/rectangular, and thus very tippy, with a narrow opening that many fountain pens won't fit into. I knocked it over almost immediately and spilled half the bottle. (How come whenever I spill a bottle of ink, it must be a bottle of BLACK ink? At least it didn't get on the rug. much.) Decanting into a smaller, stouter container highly recommended.

Troublemaker inks are made in the Philippines, and you used to have to order them straight from the company and wait for the slow international post, but now they're widely available (Atlas, Vanness, Galen, Cult Pens, etc), and they're very beautiful! Troublemaker were cutting edge formulators of some of haunting duo-tone inks like Petrichor and Abalone (which I've used in Inktober drawings), and now they're giving the Diamine "chameleon" shimmer inks some stiff competition with their multi-chroma shimmer, as in "Polar Lights". Truly, we live in a golden age of ink!

Inktober 2023 / Inktober 2023 - After Party
« on: November 01, 2023, 07:02:34 PM »
Congratulations & thank you to all the folks who contributed to Flourish Forum's Inktober!
@Erica McPhee - How can we ever thank you for forming such a supportive community? Congratulations again on TEN YEARS of Flourishing!

@AnasaziWrites @Lucie Y @tiffany.c.a @Matthew H. @Cyril Jayant @Mark T @Mary_M - Thank you for posting your beautiful work and offering so much encouragement to the process.

@Gary - I see you lurking there! I think we all appreciate your "likes"!

Just like last year and the year before, it feels like we got to know each other a bit over the course of the month. I hope we'll see more of everyone's work, hopes and aspirations elsewhere on the Forum, and that we'll come back for Inktober next year too.

I took a quick photo of my alphabet (with some doubles of the letters that I liked both versions of). Not bad for a month's work, if I do say so myself.

Inktober 2023 / Day 21 - 2023: Chains
« on: October 22, 2023, 12:53:31 AM »
@Erica McPhee - I think you are exactly right about the shading properties of that ink I used for Frost / Rime. The pen literally couldn't hold enough ink on it to saturate the leg on that R. Oh well. @Mark T - I shall indeed stop beating myself up about it. It is adequate. I appreciate your kind words of support (even if you're a Yankees fan, and clearly lack judgement  ;) )

@AnasaziWrites - What a gorgeous photo of that window frost. You must have a terrific camera, as well as exquisite technique. But after last year's winter, in which we had snow from October through April, I'm going to have to disagree with the venerable poet, even if his name is Frost. And we've already had several frosty mornings!

And thank you, @Matthew H. for your kind thoughts for my Saddle / Yoke piece! It might have overtaken "Wander" as my favorite this month. It was tremendously fun to do! I'm actually using Fabriano paper for all of these Inktober pieces. It's a good quality practice paper that's strikes an appealing balance between quality and price, and as you note - not too textured! I'm sure you won't have the same problem I was having on Demon / Imp; I just wasn't being at all careful, and also using the wrong nib for the purpose.

Here is "Chains" - I'm substituting "Links" for "Chains" so that I get an L for my alphabet. I might keep working on the chain drawing detail - I had an achy day after my Covid booster and flu shot yesterday - but I still have a stack of exams to mark this weekend, so who knows if I'll get back around to it.

Inktober 2023 / Day 20 - 2023: Frost
« on: October 21, 2023, 12:06:41 AM »
@Lucie Y - What a start! (for a lot of people that'd be a "finished" hand!). Say, have you come across the book Fraktur mon Amour (2008) by Judith Schalansky? If you're into Fraktur and other blackletter hands, you'll enjoy it!
* Thank you for the compliment on my P for Plump - I'm trying for a modern versal aesthetic, and it's really challenging, not having the rules of medieval versals to go by.

Here is my entry for "Frost" - I changed it to "Rime ice" (which is a type of frost that forms forms when supercooled water droplets freeze onto surfaces. We see it quite often in the woods around our house). I'm still fretting over the "R" in Rise that I didn't like, so I thought I'd try again with a different approach here (since I'm well pleased with my F in Fortune). It's more interesting at least, but I'm still not entirely convinced. Maybe I'm just kind of bad at capital Rs? I'm also fighting the ink a bit - it's Diamine's "Sub-Zero" from Inkvent 2021. I think it needs a little gum arabic to help it out on a big witch pen, but I only have the 12ml bottle, so I didn't want to mess with it.

Inktober 2023 / Day 18 - 2023: Saddle
« on: October 18, 2023, 11:49:45 PM »
Thank you, friends, for all your kind thoughts about my favorite Demon and my favorite Angel.

@Matthew H. - everything was going great on my Demon/Imp until I got to the p on Imp, and the nib caught on the textured watercolor paper, and I had to make the bowl of the p wider than it should be. I'm sure you noticed that though  ;)

@tiffany.c.a - I love seeing your sketchbook pages, and I'm very flattered that I've inspired you to try out decorated capitals and different styles of hand lettering.

@AnasaziWrites - I'm familiar with the "Da Vinci Code" bit from Dan Brown's series, but I haven't read "Angels and Demons". Back when there was a bit of a fad for them, I ended up on something of a lecture circuit with an historian colleague of mine, explaining to regional audiences that no, pretty much none of it is "real". I admit I got tired of the schtick and never got around to reading anything else of his. Perils of the profession, I think.

@Lucie Y - I'm so glad to hear your workshop went well! I often find the best "teaching" situations are the times I'm an active learner alongside my students, rather than the "expert" in front of the room.

@Erica McPhee - so very happy to hear your son's surgery went well, and that he's making a good recovery in your care. Glad he could find some comfort in our finger-trauma story too, and also some amusement in the "Dagger-Knife" bit too (your son would have told you that it's a parrying dagger).

@Zivio - I've got a spot of etymological pedantry here for you:

My entry for "Saddle" is semi free-associating.... I used "Yoke" as a sort of synonym for "Saddle" because I need a Y for my alphabet. Instead of going with the livestock tack in which both saddle and yoke are metaphors for oppressive burdens, I went with the basic sense of "joining" from Proto-Indo-European *yugóm (“yoke”), from *yewg- (“to join; to tie together, yoke”); doublet of yuga, jugum, yoga and possibly yogh. This leads me not only to the shape of the letter Y but also an important part of my favorite mode of transportation, and the terrific German company that produces so much great gear, BikeYoke.

Inktober 2023 / Day 15 - 2023: Dagger
« on: October 16, 2023, 01:06:58 AM »
@Lucie Y - Congratulations on the success of your workshop! I hope you keep teaching; you clearly have so much to offer! I like those s's on Cislak's insta - it's a really clean italic with some of those "Johnston" hairlines. I'm sure you'll present the piece beautifully, with or without a border.

@Erica McPhee - My best wishes for your son's quick and thorough recovery! My oldest son had three of his fingers smashed in a door (on the hinge side!) when he was around 4. He needed pretty extensive surgery and months of rehab, but he went on to a long and successful stint as a classical pianist and cellist in the regional youth symphony, and is now in college, playing guitar too. I hope for as successful an outcome for yours! At any rate - don't let the doctors tell you "never again!. The celebrated violinist, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, once cut off her pinky finger chopping onions! It was surgically reattached, and while it healed, she re-fingered the compositions so that she could persist in her concert career.

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts about my "Castle"!

Here's "Dagger" for me, with another synonym replacement: Knife for Dagger - so that I could get a K for my alphabet.
* and @Matthew H. - by way of encouragement, I'd like to point out that I had a wee bit of blobbing at the bottom of the "e" in Knife, and it kind of spoils the piece, but also it doesn't really. And I think that everyone was so nice about my failed "Rise" - and you yourself said you liked it, even though I didn't. So in that context "perfect" doesn't really matter.

I always tell my students: If you're not failing from time to time, you're not trying hard enough.

Inktober 2023 / Day 13 - 2023: Rise
« on: October 14, 2023, 02:18:19 AM »
Meh. I actively hate this piece, but hey, posting something every day, you can't expect uniform results, and I'm not exactly a perfectionist. (Hey, @Matthew H. - from the perfectionism thread... Maybe try Inktober as a cure for perfectionism? I feel like we discussed perfectionism and errors during Inktober last year - at any rate, just producing a bunch of stuff to nonsense prompts every day can kind of kick start you to a better relationship with your art. It can really help you get over yourself.)

So here I am, in the middle of a grueling 30-hour work stretch, in which I'm giving the key-note talk at an online conference based in Korea, so it's the middle of the night! from 1:30am to 3:30am Saturday; but I've already worked a full day Friday, and I also have to be back in the office to teach a medieval calligraphy workshop at 10am in the morning on Saturday, and then preside over a panel discussion on the scientific and humanistic endeavor of going to Mars in the late afternoon.

Inktober 2023 / Day 12 - 2023: Spicy
« on: October 13, 2023, 03:17:25 AM »
@Lucie Y @Erica McPhee @tiffany.c.a - Many thanks for your kind thoughts about "Wander". I think it's my favorite so far (it might turn out to be my favorite overall). I'm really trying to push myself to try out new things, and I think it combined a couple aesthetic elements that I've been working on separately into something new and different for an illustrated capital.

For "Spicy" here, I'm using Zesty as a synonym, so that I get a Z for my alphabet project. The lettering is in the sassy "Maya" font by Shaily Patel.

It's really a gigantic step away from my normal aesthetic, but it was fun to try something different - I was thinking about the colorful tiles in my Auntie Dora's kitchen when I designed the decorated capital Z.

Inktober 2023 / Day 11 - 2023: Wander
« on: October 12, 2023, 02:40:06 AM »
@Mary_M - that decorative border with Fortune! all of it flawless!

@Erica McPhee - thank you! It's challenging coming up with topical decorations for the capitals that can be executed at this scale. I kept changing my mind about Fortune. Originally I had something more "medieval" (like an illustration from a Boethius manuscript I'm very fond of), and then I had a roulette wheel in there (but it looked kind of crass). The tarot design had the right balance of "mystical" though.

This one though...I've had the design in my head since I first laid eyes on the clues! "Planet" comes from the Greek word for wanderer - hence the orrery. Keeping on the theme, the ink for the drawing background and the lettering is Diamine "Stargazer" (Inkvent 2021); the orrery mechanism & capital W are drawn with Dr. Ph. Martin's in "Bronze"

Inktober 2023 / Day 9 - 2023: Bounce
« on: October 09, 2023, 11:30:39 PM »
Oh, @Mary_M - I'm sorry to hear about your kitty.
* if ink helps take your mind off your worry, I highly recommend Dominant Industry shimmer inks. They have a lot of subtle things going on.
** and thank you (and thanks to @Erica McPhee also) for your kind thoughts about my toad; it was a fun drawing, with a couple of my favorite inks. (the toad itself uses Rohrer & Klingner "alt goldgrun")

@tiffany.c.a - What a great look at your process and you progress! Great to see you here!

@Lucie Y - It's surprising what drawing really big letters shows you about yourself. I never really feel like I completely understand the construction of a letter until I've made it really really big.

Because I'm trying to hit all 26 letters at least once, I substituted the B with a J here, which yields "jounce" a synonym for "bounce", as well as the brand name of a particular type of shock absorber for 4-wheelers. Smaller letters this time x=.5 inch. I'll get back to B later in the month.

Inktober 2023 / Day 8 - 2023: Toad
« on: October 08, 2023, 03:37:59 PM »
@Mary_M - that is very kind of you. And I'd be proud to show off the sort of beautiful technique you have with your work. Lovely lines are their own adornment! It's funny you mention it, because that knot-work dog was a huge disappointment to me at the time; it was meant to have more "strands" to differentiate the colors, but I miscalculated, and then got frustrated and gave up. But in retrospect, I now see exactly where it went wrong, and I'll know how to do it better next time - and I guess that's really the whole point of Inktober for me.

@AnasaziWrites - Mike, I wanted to say about your "golden" seal... what do I have to do to get a note from you with a seal from that?

Here is my "Toad"! (back to my comfort zone, after the hot shame of yesterday's more experimental piece - using a poster-nib for the gigantic letters this time). The ink on the capital T and the lettering is the gorgeous Dominant Industry pearlescent in "Autumn Forest" (a high shading, multi-tone, mossy green-yellow-mushroom with a pinky gold shimmer) - which seemed quite topical. However, up here in the North, we're already on the edge of winter, with a freeze warning through tomorrow.

Inktober 2023 / Day 1 - 2023: Dream
« on: October 01, 2023, 06:00:13 PM »
It is on, Inktoberists!

This year I'm taking a cue from @Lucie Y and working on my decorated capitals. I'm warming up for a project I hope to start early next year, applying a modern aesthetic to medieval-style illustrated capitals. So I'm experimenting! I don't expect them all to be successful, but you never know until you try. My other goal is to do at least one capital of every letter of the English alphabet, so I'll use synonyms or terms related to the prompt list so that I can hit the range of A to Z from time to time.

I drew the figure in "Dream" based on the bust of the god Morpheus in the British Museum. Parker Quink Black & Dr. Ph. Martin's Nickel for the capital D.

Inktober 2023 / Inktober 2023 - Preliminary
« on: September 01, 2023, 09:54:39 PM »
Salutations, Inktoberists!

The Inktober 2023 prompt list dropped today, so you can start planning!

Here's what it's all about:
Inktober "rules":
Inktober FAQs:

In short....
1. Starting on 1 October, ink something (you can use your preferred calligraphic style, or a mix of whatever moves you).  I'll probably also do an ink drawing for every prompt (since Inktober started out in the drawing & graphics world)
2. Post it in this thread so we can admire (one of the most fun things about Inktober is seeing the different interpretations of the prompts)
3. Repeat until the end of the month or as often/seldom as you like.  There are no Inktober police who will come and admonish you for doing Inktober "wrong"  ;)

The point of the list is to constrain your choices and focus your creativity.  Also to make it fun for us to compare how we interpreted the prompts.  I love using the prompts - I find that they remove the question of "WHAT should I ink??"  And turn it a question of "HOW should I ink?"  (see, it helps remove the chores of being "creative" and having "ideas"). But you know, if it's not your jam, just do your own thing.  That's okay too.  The main goal of Inktober is to try to ink more often.

I want to put it out here that I have a full time job.  And it's a super busy job with a stupid number of meetings, and an ample teaching schedule.  And I have a research agenda (I'm writing a book!).  And I have an art & calligraphy side-hustle.  I also have a family, with one busy teen still at home, and one away at university.  And I'm really active in my community.  So yeah.  I know - it's hard to "find time".... but...

I like to think of it as making time for it, because I know it's going to up my skill level (and because it's fun, and I like to make time to have fun).  Seriously though, I make some of my biggest skills gains during Inktober and Inkvent every year, because it forces me to practice in a low-stakes environment.  I mean, really practice, because just working on the things I do professionally can make me a little stagnant, perhaps even a little risk-averse.  Also, people pay me to make things that I am good at making.  But practice means I make things that I am not good at, and thereby get better, sometimes even good!  And I'm displaying the "not as good" practice work - I hope that encourages others who are practicing too.

So how do I get through the 31-Day slog?

Strategy 1: Start Early!  Seriously - they give us the list a month in advance.  Just start inking right away, and then if you miss a day or two or more, you can catch up.

Strategy 2: (if starting early feels like "cheating" even though it's not cheating)  Make the decisions early.  Draft the layout, choose the ink(s), make under-drawings (if you're doing drawings), pick the passages if you're doing text, draw the guidelines for the text.  Whatever you need to get a head start.  Then start applying the ink on 1 Oct.

Strategy 3: Pick a theme.  Further limiting your options for how you will respond to the prompt can help you too.  For example - For Inkvent 2021 I decided to show all the inks in portraits of famous people (taking the name of the ink as the prompt).  In Inktober 2022, I did drawings of animals/birds/bugs for all the prompts; and I practiced copperplate too.  I'm still mulling over what I'm going to focus on this year.

Strategy 4: Pick an ink.  Inktober 2021, I drew all the pictures in monochrome - one ink per drawing.  Not mixing colors makes drawing quicker.  I also made the pictures kind of small (postcard size).  For calligraphy, you can just stick to one ink - maybe a favorite? maybe a new one? maybe use inks you're trying to use up because you want to have a reason to buy the Inkvent 2023 set? (I pre-ordered mine already)

Take a moment to revisit Inktobers past:
Inktober 2021 - our first Flourish Forum Inktober:
Inktober 2022 - starting here:

@Erica McPhee @AnasaziWrites @Zivio @Lucie Y @InkyFingers @Gary @Cyril Jayant @tiffany.c.a @Lyric and everyone else who followed along silently or vocally - I hope you'll join us again. It was amazing seeing everyone's interpretation, the cleverness, the improvements, the style and skill; hearing the encouragement from participants and onlookers; and developing this phenomenal camaraderie with each other over the month.

Who's going to join in making this a threepeat! a veritable tradition!

--yours truly, K

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Gillott No.5005
« on: May 09, 2023, 09:08:25 PM »
@AnasaziWrites made a handsome gift of a vintage set of Gillott "Pens for Ornamental Writing" - Broad edge pens in eleven widths, not quite as flexy as Mitchells, but sharper, and with a bit of an oblique cut. I promised I'd post something that I made with them.

The ink is Pilot's Iroshizuku fuyu-gaki with Diamine's Gold Star (from Invent 2019) to provide the hit of gold shimmer.
The paper is a linen finish Strathmore 400 series for acrylic painting.
The text comes from The Song of Solomon, Chapter 6, KJV 1611

Mike - I'll pop this in the mail for you in the next week or so. I hope it will make a nice present for your wife.

Pages: [1] 2 3