Tutorials > Copperplate Tutorial by SMK

Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3

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Salman Khattak:
@Anjali N

Great job on matching the slant of the 'q' and the 'g' - this is a challenging area for most people. You are a natural.

Here's my feedback:

- Your inverted 'i' and compound strokes have suffered - in the 'n' in 'anjali' has both turns at the top miss hitting the waist line and the spacing between the 'a' and the 'n' is actually less than the two stroke of the 'n'. The word 'talon' is off slant - most likely because you extended your hand to write further away rather than move the paper so your hand remains in the sweet spot.

- The shade of the rounded strokes in the 'o' shape start too early. The curve should start as a hairline developing to full shade no earlier than 1/3rd of the way down from the waist line. The first 'a' in 'anjali' is better in this respect - but then it misses the waist line :-(

- You are not lifting your pen at the base line when making the 'o' as well as pulling the shade too low. The shade should start tapering 1/3rd of the x-height before you reach the base line.

- The secondary shade in the eye of the 'e' should be very delicate. The almond shape of the eye is hard to get if you start the main shade too early so I think it will improve with practice.

Shall we have another go at it?

- Salman

Anjali N:
Hi Salman, happy Monday! Here is my next attempt at group 3. As always, thank you!

Salman Khattak:
@Anjali N

Nice work Anjali. You have a good handle on the letter forms and are hitting the base and waist lines consistently as well as maintaining good slant. I think it is time for the next step in refining your script. This is where things can get a little frustrating as we will take on things that are not readily visible.

We will work on spacing and joins. Spacing and joins are fairly natural in Copperplate but an awareness of certain elements adds another level of refinement to your script. Not only that, you will be able to analyze the masters' work with better understanding.

Your round shapes are just a tiny bit wider than mine. That is just fine as long as they are consistently so. The thing to note with the round form is that the bottom turns of all letters, even the straight stemmed ones, should all be like the 'o'. I know this sounds a bit whack but it really isn't. The image below shows the bottom halves of three words 'ice', 'lit' and 'tie' - can you tell which one is which?

(you can see the revealed image here)

Now look at the bottom half of the word 'tot' in your exercises - do the bottom halves all look the same?

The interesting 'side-effect' of getting the bottom turn right is that your exit hairlines will naturally be at the correct angle (i.e. the slant angle) when they meet the following letter at about 1/2 x-height. Also, they won't 'impale' the following letter even if they meet a bit lower.

Your next exercise is to write the words 'ice', 'tie', and 'lit' paying attention to this.


Anjali N:
Wow, Salman -- so many different layers and details to this!  Very fascinating and eye opening.  I'll work on this next area of refinement and be back (FYI, I'll be away for a while - out of town until Sunday without my supplies!).

Thank you again for time, patience, and teaching.

Anjali N:
So, I ended up bringing my supplies on vacation and snuck in some practice. Here is ice, tie, and lit - look forward to your thoughts!


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