Author Topic: Please help me with my Copperplate :)  (Read 560 times)

Offline Lucie Y

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Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« on: July 02, 2022, 10:04:57 AM »
Hello everyone! :)

Would you mind helping me with my Copperplate script?
I started learning towards the beginning of 2022. I take in-person classes whenever I can but since I had a newborn, now 8 month old, and the classes are quite far from my home and workplace, that was no easy business.
I practice every night these days, and when I can't I practice visualizing or try to flip through calligraphy books. Still, the progress is incredibly slow.

Because I never seem to feel good enough to actually write sentences, I ask for commissions from my loved one.
The first image is a sentence I am practicing for my cousin. It says "Omnia vincit amor" which means "Love triumphs over all things" and comes from a poem by Virgil.
I have practiced this one several times over and have been learning the capitals that go with it.
I always practice with a height of 1cm for the minuscule.

Below is a text I haven't practiced before. It's the beginning of a poem in French. I have made myself write smaller, which I need to learn but am not used to. I'm fairly frustrated with my work and see a lot of things I need to change. But I need your eyes and perspective!

Would you be so kind as to give me advice based on the pictures below?

Thank you for reading!

p.s. the very last picture is a humble collection of wee things I do. Nowhere close to where I want to be, but it makes the post more personal than my dull practice above.
Oh crÍpe!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2022, 01:40:41 AM »
Hi Lucie,
Your hand is really lovely! Very consistent, nice forms, and has a lovely flow.  I would suggest working on the curves (overturns) of your mís and nís. Also, your connection strokes off the m and n. They are very rounded and slightly impact the integrity of the shape of the letters. It is really mild (and does have a certain charm to it). But if you are looking for things to work on, I would start there.

I did a diagram for you with 6 steps to improve your mís and nís.

1. Your overturn strokes start too high. They should start at or just below the midline. Starting just below gives a nice entry and usually results in a line that stems at the midline.

2. The overturns should be less rounded but not flat. The upward stroke should have the *slightest* curve to it.

3. There is not enough shade at the top of your last strokes on both m and n. The shade should mirror the other shades with equal distant entry and exit at the top and bottom.

4. Lifting your pen at the baseline (and creating an invisible seam) will help keep the shade equal as you will aim to stop at the baseline, lift up, then continue on.

5. Study this diagram. The shades (the shapes in the center) should be equal and the same shape.

6. The first stroke of the v and the second stroke of the n, third stroke of the m are all the same stroke.

I think if you work on just this one thing, you will really see a difference in your already beautiful calligraphy.  :)

P.S. I love your watercolor work!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2022, 10:58:13 AM »
P.S. You can click on the image to see it larger.  :D
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2022, 04:45:50 PM »
Awww Erica, thank you soooo much! My jaw dropped that you took the time to make a diagram. It is now printed and I'm about to get to work.
I see it now, (some of) the obvious mistakes that made my script awkward. I know there are others I can't see yet, but my round M's always bugged me and I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong.

I'll get right to it. Have a lovely week   :D
Oh crÍpe!

Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2022, 10:10:17 AM »
Reporting back!

I have been practicing my m, n and v's. Now I take a step back, I'm a little sad to see I'm still not pressing hard enough at the overturn and the shade comes in too late.
I'm also trying to correct my strokes on the w, u and i.

During practice sessions I try to start with focused exercises and then do some free writing with whatever phrase/emotion comes to mind at the end.

I write on A5 paper, it seems to help me turn the paper and correct my nib angle more spontaneously.

All feedback is welcome. I'm still going to wage war on those overturns, I'm by no means done with them but grateful I have a direction now to improve.

Again, thank you for your precious help.

Cheers!

Oh crÍpe!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2022, 06:10:30 PM »
GREAT improvement! Wow!

When you are ready - the next thing to work on is squaring your tops and bottoms of letters. This is something I still struggle with. I suggest watching these two videos by @anintran on Instagram.

Square bottoms on n and m

And:

Squaring Tops

You are doing great!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2022, 04:08:12 PM »
Hello,

I've been practicing a lot this weekend, hurray for baby naps, she isn't always so good at sleeping ^^
Here is a bit of spontaneous writing, working on squaring and getting the shades right.
Some awkward moments as I have switched to Joe Vitolo's exemplars.

Also, capital I and J practice :)
And setting that Latin phrase on paper, just to see what it looks like on a blank background.

As usual, your feedback is infinitely precious!

I have been using a Tachikawa straight holder, walnut ink, and French writing paper.

My Copperplate is still at it's humble beginnings, but I must say something has clicked this week, I feel much more comfortable and this is thanks to the help I have received on the forum. I am very grateful!

Also, to everybody who is going to Iampeth next week, I hope you have a great time :)

Cheers,

Lu
Oh crÍpe!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2022, 06:19:29 PM »
Look at that! WOW! Yes - you can see you have hit a rhythm. Well done! Keep practicing!  :-*
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2022, 06:23:35 AM »
Hello everyone,

I hope you are well. I'm a bit stuck in my copperplate practice. I have put it off for a while after long practice sessions every day, as I was cramping up and not getting anywhere.

I would like to do oval drills, but I'm a bit overwhelmed. I was listening to the calligraphy podcast yesterday and in one episode the hosts mentioned that drills were often not explained nearly enough. I can't remember the exact words, maybe something along the lines of "the best-kept secret of calligraphy".

Now the internet is reeking with oval practice worksheets, and everyone is telling you to do the drills, but I'm not finding info on how to do them effectively. Would anyone one mind breaking down how they do their oval drills please? Does your elbow graze the desk for instance? do you do them bigger or smaller? do you practice with worksheets or just on blank paper (i prefer the latter).

Any tip would be lovely. Can you tell me what worked for you?

I'm a bit worried about being counterproductive by practicing the wrong way. And now I think I'm overthinking this ::)

Extra question: do you think it is ok to practice with a light box (to see the guidelines beneath extra well)? or does the fact this raises the writing surface by a few millimeters makes this bad for your movements and muscle memory?

As always, thank you for reading have a lovely rest of the day!  :)

Lucie
Oh crÍpe!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2022, 02:18:28 PM »
Hi Lucie,
Sometimes it is very worthwhile to take a small break and then come back to your calligraphy. It helps your muscles to rest and your muscle memory to embed into long term memory. Usually when you go back to it, you will start to see improvement again.

For oval drills, this is such a great question! I see so many ďdrillsĒ on Pinterest and many of them are missing the point. The purpose of drills is to give your whole arm movement muscles a work out and to embed the oval shape and movements into your muscle memory. Some of the drills such as drawing little pictures is fun and does help with practicing shades and hairlines, it does nothing for your muscle movement as it requires small hand and finger movement.

Somewhere in my notes, I have some suggestions for timing, and how to do drills. I will take a look and post it when I find it.  ;D
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2022, 03:24:52 PM »
Hi Lucie,
Sometimes it is very worthwhile to take a small break and then come back to your calligraphy. It helps your muscles to rest and your muscle memory to embed into long term memory. Usually when you go back to it, you will start to see improvement again.

For oval drills, this is such a great question! I see so many ďdrillsĒ on Pinterest and many of them are missing the point. The purpose of drills is to give your whole arm movement muscles a work out and to embed the oval shape and movements into your muscle memory. Some of the drills such as drawing little pictures is fun and does help with practicing shades and hairlines, it does nothing for your muscle movement as it requires small hand and finger movement.

Somewhere in my notes, I have some suggestions for timing, and how to do drills. I will take a look and post it when I find it.  ;D

Awww thank you Erica!
I was embarrassed by my question but now I feel that it isn't so silly after all :)
Thanks for the encouragement, I do think I will be doing progress when I pick it up again, hopefully this weekend!

Cheers!
Oh crÍpe!

Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2022, 11:43:23 AM »
I gues I'm just going to keep feeding this thread, I enjoy seeing others' progress so I figure my little ups and downs can be helpful too, maybe? ;)

Very slow progress right now, but I have considerably taken the pressure off of myself to improve, so as to not get all frustrated. So, a few drills after I've practiced other things, and a bit of writing.
I did a little piece too, for my cousin. Not perfect at all but the process of creating really helps gain some perspective :)
Also, I've given up on capitals for now, I just don't get them  :P
Oh crÍpe!

Offline tiffany.c.a

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2022, 04:54:47 PM »
Lovely! (Love conquers allÖ) Wonderful quote and design.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2022, 04:57:24 PM by tiffany.c.a »

Offline Zivio

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Re: Please help me with my Copperplate :)
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2022, 05:24:50 PM »
I gues I'm just going to keep feeding this thread, I enjoy seeing others' progress so I figure my little ups and downs can be helpful too, maybe? ...

Yes, indeed!  Please keep feeding us. 

Your cousin will be overjoyed!   ;D
Foment Compassion, Practice Peace