Author Topic: How to achieve the right nib position?  (Read 3721 times)

Offline evad

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How to achieve the right nib position?
« on: December 27, 2015, 12:26:19 PM »
Hi all,

this has puzzled me since I started learning Copperplate and I hope someone can advise. I'm right-handed.

I keep reading everywhere that the nib should be aligned with slant lines (in order to produce smooth, even lines), as seen in this image from Nina Tran's blog: http://i0.wp.com/anintran.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/image8.jpg

However, I can only get my nib in this position if I move the paper to the left (for close to 90 degrees), and then it's impossible to write because of the angle:







I know that the rule of thumb is to do what works for you, but I wonder what everyone is doing to have their nibs parallel to slant lines and be able to write normally!

Offline evjo

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Re: How to achieve the right nib position?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 02:52:33 PM »
I've heard teachers of Spencerian say that first, while holding your oblique pen, put your arm on the table as if to write.  Then adjust your paper so the slant line are matching the line of the nib. 

When I do this, my paper is turned almost 90 degrees. 

I think using the nib this way prevents using just one side of the nib and, more importantly, allows you to have the best chance of writing the script correctly. What your grip is like will probably make a difference also.  Someone with more experience could confirm these ideas.
Ev

Offline dancingfish

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Re: How to achieve the right nib position?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2015, 04:00:03 PM »
I found it helpful when I watched Schin's "Pointed Pen Calligraphy 101" video #2:



It's great to watch the whole thing (as well as her other videos in that series), but the portion on sitting, holding the pen and the angle of the paper starts at about the 12 minute mark.

Basically, you want your arm to be in a comfortable and natural position on the desk, then you line up the paper so that it is in alignment with your arm.  Most oblique holders will have the flange set at a 55 degree angle from the axis of the pen, so it should naturally align with the slant lines if you normally hold your pen in alignment with your arm.  If you hold your pen differently, you may need to adjust this process.


Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: How to achieve the right nib position?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2015, 04:51:14 PM »
The objective is to have the nib pointing at the angle of the slope line, with the hand and arm in a comfortable position and with the tines opening evenly when pressure is applied.

I turn the paper anti-clockwise until the slope lines are pointing directly down the page. This isn't too extreme an angle, and it doesn't take long to accustom  oneself to writing 'uphill' like this.

If fact, I use this technique for all my writing, regardless of style; turning the page counterclockwise so that the slope lines are always at right angles to the edge of my desk.

For example, for Italic at a 5 degree slope, the paper is turned very slightly whereas, with Gothic which is an upright script, the paper isn't turned at all.

In this way, my nib is always held in the same position on the paper, regardless of style, with the paper turned to accommodate the various slope angles. I believe that this produces  greater consistency to writing, in general.




« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 05:12:23 PM by Ken Fraser »

Offline evad

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Re: How to achieve the right nib position?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 05:20:54 AM »
Ken, this is a really helpful tip, I tried it yesterday and writing was much easier. Thank you!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: How to achieve the right nib position?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2016, 08:46:58 PM »
My paper is almost always slanted to the left - sometimes almost a full 90 degrees.  :)
Truly, Erica
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