Tutorials > Copperplate Tutorial by SMK

Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3

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Salman Khattak:
@Anjali N

You nailed the bottom turns Anjali. Did you notice how regular your spacing is on this one compared to the previous upload?

You are still starting the shade on the rounded letters just a tad too soon and the closing stroke for the counter of the 'e' could be a bit more delicate. Also, the entry hairline of the 't' in 'tie' joins it a bit too low creating an abrupt join.

These are things you can work on as you move to the last group in the minuscules :-) I will be looking forward to your group-4 worksheet.

- Salman


I wanted to give you an update on my work. I am trying to work on the corrections you gave from last week and would like to know if you notice any change. Some questions I have: How can I join the upstrokes to the downstrokes without the bleeding of ink (c-h, or within a letter h, n, g)? Should my spacing within a single letter (a, g, h or n) be the same as the spacing between letters such dice)?

Salman Khattak:

Very nicely done. There is a clear improvement in this exercise sheet. The 'tot' is written especially well.

There really is no technique to keep the ink from flowing into the hairline when a shaded stroke touches it. You can give the ink a bit more time to dry after drawing the hairline which can minimize the effect. The traditional method is to leave a very tiny gap between the shade and the hairline. This takes a lot of skill but it comes with practice. If the gap bothers you, you can leave your entry hairlines a bit short and then go back and touch them up (very carefully) after the ink is dry - this is arguably harder to do than leave the tiny gap :-)

The spacing is determined by the meeting of the exit hairline with the shade of the next letter at 1/2 x-height - these are your 'regular' joins. Letters that don't have an exit hairline (like an 'o') still follow this spacing guide. Letters that are made up of 2 strokes like 'u', 'a', 'n' follow the same rule. So if you write 'mitt' and cover the top half (after the ink is dry :-) you should see evenly spaced strokes touching the baseline.

The spacing has to be increased by about 1/2 in cases where the next letter begins with an entry hairline ('m', 'n', 'y') so these joins would typically take about 1-1/2 times the space of regular joins. In these cases both the exit and entry hairlines need to be made steeper than usual so as not to take up twice the space for the join. This is explained with examples at the end of the group-2 letters. So if you write 'mint' and cover the top half, you will see a 1.5 times more space between the 'i' and the 'n' compared to the other joins in the word.

Please feel free to let me know if this doesn't make sense. I will be happy to explain any ambiguity.

Now for the feedback:

1. The 'q' still appears a bit more upright than the 'g's. Also, the shape of the counter in the loop of the 'q' should be more almond-like - just like the shape of the counter in the bottom loop of the 'g'.

2. The shades stroke of the bottom loop of 'q' and 'g' needs to taper to a hairline at the 1st descender line. The bottom part of the turn should not be shaded on either side.

3. The crossbar of the 't' is drawn between the waist line and the top of the main stroke. Yours are too low.

These are fairly straightforward fixes and I am sure you can work on them when practicing the group-4 letters. You can move on now :-)

- Salman

Thank you for the spacing explanation. I want to practice some of the letters while thinking about those details. I will work on the descender loops and make the other corrections you mentioned as well. I look forward to Exercise 4!

Hi, it took me a while  to get this one posted.  Anyways, happy holiday to everyone in advance!


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