Tutorials > Kind Critique

Please be critical because I want to get better at this! :-)

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Donna:
Hi everybody...waving madly from New Zealand!

I have been loving this forum but have been hesitant to post anything...but here I am...because, well...because you are such a lovely lot :-) and I was starting to feel a little too guilty for only lurking!

I had decided to take up calligraphy with the pointed pen as a New Years commitment and Erica, your wonderful tutoring has been so inspiring.  Thank you so much for all the hard work and effort you put into this forum...it is such a great reference and everyday there is something from someone worth noting!

Many many years ago (lol time does fly!) I did a lot of calligraphy with the broad edged pen.  And than I just stopped.  There was time commitments with children and all of that, but to be honest I think some of the reason for leaving it was pure frustration.  I could write quite nicely but it was (and still is) the layout that gave me the most heartache.  Writing over and over the same thing to try and get it right!  Being here and reading the posts, I am beginning to understand that this is just part of the process lol.  (but I still wish I had a graphic design background!)  So here I am starting a whole new journey with the pointed pen...its so different!  but so much fun too!

Maybe now that my eldest is turning 21 (!) and I am a bit more relaxed about life (lol) I can rekindle my love for calligraphy without throwing so much pressure onto myself.  My motto this time around is that if I do something for a friend or family and it isn't perfect, I'll give it anyways (!) cause its the thought that counts!

I LOVE the idea of being able to post practice sheets and work here for evaluation...and I would like it to be honest and critical so that I can bring things back to the drawing board for improvement.  It can be difficult to judge your own work and know that it isn't right, but completely baffled as to what it is that is making it wrong.  Your trained eyes will be invaluable!

There are 3 practice sheets attached.  The first sheet was on attempting contemporary calligraphy to say thank you to Erica!  The second is where I am at with the copperplate lower case lettering so far.  The third is a rather restrained attempt at more contemporary stuff. 

Sorry for the long post!  x



Roseann:
Wow Donna!
That is very good work!  I really like all of it.  Keep it up!

Nickkih:
Wow Donna ITS GORGEOUS!!!! I don't have a trained eye because I too am new to pointed pen but honestly it's beautiful.

Linda Y.:
Donna, your work is beautiful! I can tell your broad edged pen skills really helped make your pointed pen work beautiful. The third practice sheet is especially wonderful, I love how you combined block letters with script. Just fantastic! And you've only been doing this for a little over a month?!  :o

FrenchBlue Joy:
Wow, Donna!  I agree with the others-- very nice work!  It's hard to see how layout could have been your bugbear in the past, because you've done some really clever and nicely balanced things on these practice sheets and you've only just picked up the pen!

Right now in Reply mode, I can no longer see the jpegs that you posted, so I'll try to just give some criticism from memory--  Thanks Erica for generously sharing your expertise.  I love your caps on "Erica"! 

You've used nice, swinging elliptical shapes for the most part in your lettering that tend to mirror each other-- the lead-in on the T of "thanks" is picked up again on the exit stroke of the S.  That gives a sense of movement and balance.  There's a bit of bounce in your letters which I like.  On the "for generously" line, you might have used another sort of lead-in stroke on your lowercase F to keep that swingy, elliptical form going, I suppose.  Maybe the very rounded entry on the first letter of the last line, "sharing your expertise" is a bit incongruous to the elongated ovals of the rest of your composition, and likewise the lowercase E at the end of that line would have looked nice with a longer exit stroke in keeping with that style. 

Is that helpful?  I think it all looks wonderful and it's very inspiring to realize that you just picked up the pen after a long absence!  And you remind me that I want to do the same thing.  My only teacher-supervised study experience was one online Copperplate class, and I'd really like to post a little bit of the Spencerian that I've been working on here and there.  Two members of this board have just attended a workshop with Barbara Calzolari (I'm obsessed with her ornamental penmanship!), and of course there's the famous Ms. Loong here whose Spencerian regularly has me picking my jaw up off the floor...   ;D 

Hmm.  I'm off to teach my morning yoga class now, but maybe I'll have time to post something for a critique later today. 

xo

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