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Messages - JessicaC

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I've been doing pointed pen for about 10 days and now I'm afraid I've been doing it all wrong!  I've watched Joe Vitolo's video, and looked at Don and Ron Tate's photo and I'm still have questions.

First, do I "have" to sit square with the writing surface?  I came across this teacher who writes that it's acceptable to sit sideways as long as the torso isn't contorted.  See this post:

Second, I just realized today that I curl my hand in slightly as I write, although I think the nib axis does line up with my right shoulder.  If I don't curl my hand in a little, when I make ascenders, I have to move my whole hand up, rather than just extending my fingers with the pen.  Is that normal?  Also, if you've seen Joe's video, he has the 55 deg lines pointing to his stomach.  To get my nib to line up with the 55 deg line, I have to turn the paper so much that I'm practically writing vertically!

Third, when I'm writing, I feel like I can't see what I'm doing.  I'm on the short side, only 5'4", so I know that's part of it.  But if I'm supposed to have my whole forearm, including my elbow, on the table, as well as have the 55 deg line point to my stomach, it puts my paper so far away from me!  That sounds really stupid, doesn't it?  (maybe I need a booster seat!  lol)

I could just ask more and more questions, but I guess I really need to see a video or series of photos of someone's whole upper body as they are writing and so far I haven't found one.  If anyone can offer me any help or opinions, (or sympathy, heh) I would be so appreciative.  Today's practice session was one of those discouraging ink spattering ones.   ::)

Tools & Supplies / Re: Need help deciding on a black ink, please
« on: April 20, 2014, 09:38:24 PM »
Thank you, Salman, Ellen, and Daisy.  You've been very helpful!  I'm going to try the Winsor Newton first and will see if my local Michael's has the Higgins Eternal.  I've used that before in broad nibs but not yet tried it in pointed pen.  Would be interesting to see which I like better.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Favorite Practice Paper
« on: April 19, 2014, 02:34:10 AM »
Great, sounds like it should work!  Thanks Heebs and Brad!  :)

Tools & Supplies / Need help deciding on a black ink, please
« on: April 19, 2014, 02:32:41 AM »
I'm putting in an Amazon order and need a black ink.  I've tried Moon Palace Sumi Ink and I just can't bear the odor, so thought I'd try one of these since I'm ordering some other stuff from Amazon anyway.  Are any of these worth trying?  Would love some opinions.  Or maybe something entirely different, as long as it's on Amazon, is good too!  Thanks!

Winsor Newton Drawing Ink Black Indian
Dr. Martin's Black Star India Ink Matte
Speedball India Ink Super Black

Tools & Supplies / Re: Favorite Practice Paper
« on: April 18, 2014, 08:22:39 PM »
 Has anyone tried printing guidelines on HP Laser Premium Choice paper with an inkjet printer rather than a laser?  I only have an HP Photosmart inkjet printer and don't have a light box (yet!)


Thanks everyone, for your responses!  I appreciate them all.

Brad- You're right, markers are the easiest to use.  Maybe I'll get her a couple different colors to play with.

Gary-  I totally forgot about fountain pens as being an option.  I think I was about her age when I got my first fountain pen and I felt so grown up using it!  Still have it, too.

Erica-  thanks for the book recommendation.  The price is certainly right!  :)

Linda-  One just never knows when a gift might have that kind of positive impact, especially on a child.  I'm hoping a calligraphy set will keep her interested in art and lettering, just as it did for you.  It so happens that this little girl's Chinese-born grandma is a graphic design artist and also amazing at Chinese calligraphy and lettering in general.  So artistic talent does run in the family!

My best friend's little girl just turned 12 and I want to get her into calligraphy as a (belated!) birthday gift.  She loves arts and crafts, and her mom told me she'd love to do calligraphy.  I'm not sure what to buy though.  Do you think starting her out with a broad nib script is best?  Such as foundational?  If so, should I get actual nibs and ink, or just go with chisel tip markers?

Also, any recommendations for a good instructional book for tweens?

Thanks for any help and suggestions!

Kind Critique / Re: Please tell me what you think of my work :)
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:06:11 AM »
I think your work is lovely!  I'm a newbie as well and I think you have a natural gift.  I agree that getting a proper slant is one of the hardest things starting out, especially for Copperplate.  Can't wait to see more of your work.  :)

Show & Tell / Re: Calligrapher Videos - Watch some great talent!
« on: April 16, 2014, 01:52:41 PM »
Marlean Tucker is one of my favorite calligraphers to watch on YouTube.  She is one of the reasons I decided to get back into calligraphy and try pointed pen!

She also has a website

Schin should be on here, too!  She is another calligrapher who inspired me to try pointed pen and I was a bit star-struck to find out that she's a member of this forum.  :)

Tools & Supplies / Re: Sumi ink
« on: April 12, 2014, 01:47:57 AM »
Did you not like the Sumi ink ? I particular do not like the Higgins  ink. I have never tried the walnut ink.

I haven't had a chance to actually try the Sumi.  I just don't think I can bear the odor.  I used Higgins about 15 years ago when I took a Foundational calligraphy course but, of course, that was using a completely different kind of nib.  Maybe I wouldn't like it as well for pointed pen. 

I have some walnut ink crystals I bought years ago for "antiquing" paper for my card making.  The consistency seems watery for using as ink, so I may have to add some gum arabic I guess.  I was going to check the forum to see what I should do.

Introductions / Re: Hello from Northern California
« on: April 12, 2014, 01:38:53 AM »
Hi my name is Nickki - I've been in love with Calligraphy since I was in middle school- I'm in my 40's now. I never tried pointed pen calligraphy until about 3 months ago. I always loved cooperplate but was intimidated by it. Anyway I purchased Modern Calligraphy and I've been inspired ever since. Wow. I'm excited everyday for more learning and practicing.

I have a very serious chronic illness and this is so therapeutic for me mentally and physically. I have neuropathy in my hands as well. So this is helping me in so many ways.

I'm excited to be a part of this group and I look forward to sharing and learning.

Thanks :-)

Nikki, I can really relate!  I have neuropathy in my legs and feet because of a chronic illness.  It's hard to cope with it every day, but art is my escape!

Introductions / Re: Hello from western NY state!
« on: April 12, 2014, 01:34:59 AM »
Hi Jessica,
Welcome to the forum! I did a lot of rubber stamping some time ago (still have a huge bin of rubber stamps sitting in the garage). It's great your creativity has blossomed from this craft. It's a perfect gateway to other art forms.

You are lucky to have had foundational as a good foundation (haha) to learning calligraphy. I'm not a huge fan of the hand either (I'm more the flourishing type!) but it is monumental in terms of developing a good foundation for learning other styles.

I also have a lot of experience with ME/CFS so I understand very well how difficult it is. I think it is great you have the determination to learn in small segments.  :)

Thanks, Erica.  Yes, I was very lucky to learn the basics of Foundational.  My teacher got to learn from Bill Lilly, so I was doubly lucky!  I find now that I'm practicing it again, I'm better at it, even with such a large time gap.  Maybe I just got smarter.  ;)

That's neat that you're familiar with M.E. (I hate the name CFS so I'm boycotting it!)   I'm looking into some alternative treatments right now, including Terry Wahl's protocol.  Not sure I can do it, because it's so drastic!
We look forward to seeing your work!

Introductions / Re: Hello from western NY state!
« on: April 12, 2014, 01:30:31 AM »
Welcome!  Erica's forum is a fantastic resource!  :)  Would love some watercolour help so maybe you can help me!  LOL!

Thanks for the welcome!  I would be much better help at rubber stamping and coloring with Copics!  Watercoloring doesn't really allow for second chances and I have a tendency to work the paper to death.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Sumi ink
« on: April 12, 2014, 01:27:34 AM »
I finally got my Sumi ink and I love the way writes but the smell is atrocious is this normal?

Brad, I just opened my first jar yesterday and was overwhelmed by the noxious odor, too.  I'm highly sensitive to smell, so I don't think I can use it.  Not only that, but whomever initially poured the ink into my jar got it around the rim and it was dried shut.  Of course, as I wrenched it open ink spilled all over my hands and in the sink!  What an inky, stinky mess.   ::)  I transferred it into a baby food jar, which leaked all over my hands and in the sink today because the lid wasn't on just right!  I can't win with this stuff.  LOL!  Think I'll be trying walnut ink or Higgins next!

Introductions / Hello from western NY state!
« on: April 08, 2014, 01:50:51 AM »
I'm so grateful that the Lord led me to this wonderful forum!  Thank you, Erica, for creating such a warm and welcoming environment. 

I've been primarily a rubber stamper and card maker for the past 16 years and have amassed quite a collection of stamps, paper, and ink!  Through rubber stamping, I've discovered artistic talent I never knew I had.  I've learned to use watercolors, colored pencils, and my beloved Copic markers. 

I took a 6 week Foundational calligraphy course 15 years ago with a wonderful teacher, but I didn't keep it up unfortunately.  Partly because it wasn't really my style and partly because my health took a turn for the worse.  I struggle with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, which causes severe exhaustion, poor stamina, the inability to recover normally from mental or physical exertion, and affects every system of the body.  It literally took me all day to write this post because I had to take a break between almost every sentence.  Despite all this, I think I can devote 10 minutes a day to learning Copperplate and can't wait to get started on Erica's awesome tutorials.  Now and then I hope to post my progress for gentle critique.  :)

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