Author Topic: Cherry Blossoms! - And Spencerian Pen Hold for Whole Arm Movement  (Read 993 times)

Offline Zivio

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Re: Cherry Blossoms!
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2023, 12:52:34 AM »
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The first is my Engrosserís hold. You can see the pen is much more upright and it rests just before the third knuckle on my index finger.
The second is my Spencerian hold. The pen rests just after the third knuckle (slightly to the right). It is a much more shallow hold.

@Erica McPhee Thank you for these photos! I've been experimenting with that shallower hold and think it is going to be a game changer for me! It may make possible also using some very fine nibs, read "snaggy," that I'd set aside a long while ago. 

Time and practice will tell, but I think I'm on to something valuable here!
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Cherry Blossoms!
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2023, 09:49:18 AM »
Yes, I do use whole arm movement, especially for the flourishes. The letters themselves I use mostly muscular movement with my forearm on the corner of the desk so my forearm pivots. But I do use minuscule hand movements while doing the lower case letters. I barely grasp the pen and must continue to remind myself to relax my grip. Another thing Ö when I do Spencerian, the pen rests just to the right of the knuckle on my index finger. When I do Engrosserís Script it rests just to the left of it.  ;)

The first is my Engrosserís hold. You can see the pen is much more upright and it rests just before the third knuckle on my index finger.
The second is my Spencerian hold. The pen rests just after the third knuckle (slightly to the right). It is a much more shallow hold.
@Erica McPhee
Very interesting. I've never seen such a vertical hold before, if I'm viewing this correctly. Is the paper resting on the light pad or is it on some kind of slant board? Certainly works for you.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Cherry Blossoms!
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2023, 11:22:59 AM »
Very interesting. I've never seen such a vertical hold before, if I'm viewing this correctly. Is the paper resting on the light pad or is it on some kind of slant board? Certainly works for you.

Yes, Mike, the paper is resting flat on the light pad - no slant board. The old journals consistently diagram the pen hold (for Spencerian) with the pen resting just to the right of the 3rd knuckle for business writing (and Spencerian). This makes sense in that you are using mostly muscular and whole arm movement. There is very little movement in the hand. You will have some finger movement in applying pressure for shade. But the majority of the time, you are using the major muscles of your arm (to ďhold backĒ if you will) to create delicate hairlines.

In Engrosserís Script and Copperplate, you are using mostly finger movement to create heavy shades. The movement relies heavily on finger pressure to create the shades. Placing the pen before the knuckle allows counter pressure against your knuckle. This offers stability for applying the finger pressure for shades. If the pen is past the knuckle, to the right of it, there is less stability, and therefore less control.

I will try to find a reference for this because it was an ďa-haĒ moment for me when I found it. I have one illustration for quill writing (Copperplate) and the pen is before the knuckle (to the left of) as well. Iíll keep looking.

Try it - donít worry so much about your letter forms, just go slowly and concentrate on which muscles you are using and where you feel the pen against your hand. Do it for both Spencerian and Copperplate with both pen holds and see if it feels different for you. It will be awkward at first, but you may find having it more vertical for Engrosserís gives you much more stability.

With that said, where the pen rests will also relate to your hand size.  :-*
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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