Tutorials > Copperplate Tutorial by SMK

Copperplate Minuscules - Group 2

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Salman Khattak:
Copperplate Minuscules - Group 2

This group has two strokes. The inverted i stroke and the compound stroke. These are shown below.

The inverted i starts with a hairline midway between the base and the waist lines. As it goes up, the hairline curves slightly in the clockwise direction until it reaches the waist line where the shaded stroke will begin. The down stroke starts with a gradual shade that achieves full width about ⅓ rd of the way down. The nib naturally moves to the right during this stroke causing the right tine to form the curve. The stroke is completed by drawing the full width all the way down to the base line.
The compound curve looks a little tricky but becomes simple when you realize that it starts like and inverted i and ends like a regular i. That is all there is to it really.

The most common mistake with this stroke is that the top curve does not match the bottom one. It is very easy to make the bottom of this stroke heavier than the top - a slight difference is acceptable but ideally the top and the bottom should have the same thickness. Watch out for that when you are practising your groups of 5.

Once you have mastered these two strokes, the following letters will be easy to form.



Here is how the letters are formed:

n - an n is formed by drawing an inverted i followed by the compound curve. The rising entry hairline of the compound stroke touches the inverted i in the middle of the waist and base lines.

m - an m is formed by drawing two inverted i strokes followed by a compound curve.

h - the h is formed by drawing a hairline, followed by a full width downstroke that begins at the 1st Ascender line. This line is uniformly thick all the way to the base line. You can go back and square the top and bottom after the stroke is drawn. This is then followed by a compound curve.

y - the y is a compound curve followed by a j stroke.

p - the p starts with a hairline. The main stroke starts halfway between the waist and the 1st Ascender lines. This stroke continues, with uniform thickness, all the way down to the 1st Descender line. Square the top and bottom of the stroke after drawing it if needed. This stroke is followed by a compound stroke.

v - the v is just a compound stroke where the exit hairline goes all the way up to the waist line and is finished with a blob like in a w or a b from Group-1.

Practice these letters until satisfied. Post the following words for feedback when ready.

bin, mint, nymph, vim and one word of your choosing that may include letters from both groups.

Joins

This join applies to some letters in Group-2. The join for letters that begin with a hairline going all the way to the waist line (n, m) needs to be a little steeper than normal. This allows for the letters to be slightly closer than if we drew the exit and entry hairlines are the regular angles.

These letters will still be a bit further apart than letters joining from base line to mid-height (e.g. t-i join in the example) but will still look quite acceptable.
Here is what this word looks without the adjustment i.e. drawing both the exit hairline from the 'i' and the entry hairline into the 'n' at the regular angles where they are expected to join the next or previous letter at 1/2 x-height.

schin:
Fantastic explanation!!! Thank you!!!

Pittipat:
These are sooo helpful!  I've been on and off in studying coppy - mostly because I tend to go back to square one after skipping practices continuously (which is often).

Thank you sooo much for sharing these!

Salman Khattak:
You are most welcome @Pittipat - It is just as exciting for me when people use these lessons.

- Salman

silvereye:
Salman,  this is really helpful.  Wait till I learn how to upload photos of my handwriting for critique

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