Author Topic: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic  (Read 1484 times)

Offline supxor

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2021, 04:59:24 PM »
Erica,

Ol' Bill did things the old way. When I showed him my method, he was astonished, and wandered why the "boys at the Zanerian" didn't think of that! The longer it sits mixed, the better and stiffer it becomes, Erica. If it should get too stiff, as taffy, add some water, but do so sparingly. When you do add it to your ink or gouache, do so sparingly.

By the way, I mix my own gouaches and always get better results than buying them. The stiffness of the GA, too, keeps the pigments suspended. The hairlines have a great definition. Overall, the stiff GA creates a perfect opacity to the gouaches--and I am very fussy about scripting, as Bill was, with the max. amount of opacity. ...enough of my blather.  I hope you are well.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2021, 12:42:25 PM »
I am so grateful for this information and happy for this post! I am taking Anne Elser’s Pointed Pen Flora class and we mixed our own gouache. While I have done this on occasion, I typically just use commercially prepared inks (Walnut and McCafferey’s). But I love using the colors. While I was successful in mixing them, there is a wide range from color to color in the viscosity of the ink and overall, they do not produce a crisp hairline. I think your solution will be a good one!  :-*
Truly, Erica
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Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2021, 10:39:16 AM »
 
Although it may be a very clever exercise, there is no virtue in hairlines which are so fine as to be virtually invisible.
By contrast, this is perfect Copperplate from the hand of an English Writing master in 1736.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 10:07:32 AM by Ken Fraser »

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2021, 12:57:28 PM »
@Ken Fraser - Although beautiful, I am having trouble deciphering the letter after h. Is it a w? Or an n? Or a v? I have never seen that style before. Thanks!
Truly, Erica
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2021, 04:08:56 PM »
@Ken Fraser - Although beautiful, I am having trouble deciphering the letter after h. Is it a w? Or an n? Or a v? I have never seen that style before. Thanks!
Oh, it's a "w" for sure, possibly from the "Universal Penman", either referencing George Bickham or by his hand, as he was known as the "Surrey and Southwark writing-master" at that time. Who else could both pen and engrave the work of others with such skill? Here is an introduction to his 1833 work entitled "George Bickham's Penmanship made easy (The young Clerk's Assistant)."


« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 05:32:32 PM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2021, 06:17:07 PM »
@Ken Fraser - Although beautiful, I am having trouble deciphering the letter after h. Is it a w? Or an n? Or a v? I have never seen that style before. Thanks!

This was a form of w in 18th century England. I think of it as the letter n with the second downstroke overlapped by the first stroke of the letter v. This example was written by Willington Clark - my all-time favourite calligrapher.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 04:42:06 PM by Erica McPhee »

Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2021, 08:52:59 PM »
This "w" style is most popular in italic hand, I think...

Offline K-2

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2021, 12:23:33 AM »
@InkyFingers - historically yes(ish) regarding the italics, but more on the later end of their development.  In particular the Cancelleresca from the mid-late 16th century had a similar w.  It became more stylized in the mid-17th century pointed-pen Italian hand that derived from the corsiva forms, and continued from there into the beautiful 18th century English example that @Ken Fraser displayed.

Alas, my paleographic expertise runs out around the same time italics enter the record in the 1400s, except that I end up reading stuff produced in the Papal Chancery.  And since I don't spend as much time looking at italics or Renaissance or Baroque hands, I'm having trouble remembering if it's as prevalent in other hands, historically.  As far as modern italics go, we don't see that w form in Johnston's, but that's all I know about modern italics!

And I feel that this has gone further off the topic of hairlines and gouache than perhaps intended, but I'm a great fan of thickening up gouache and fountain pen inks with gum arabic in order to produce crisper lines with broad edge work too; I am, however, with Ken in the opinion that particularly etherial hairlines are hard to read.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2021, 09:35:56 AM »
@Ken Fraser - Although beautiful, I am having trouble deciphering the letter after h. Is it a w? Or an n? Or a v? I have never seen that style before. Thanks!

This was a form of w in 18th century England. I think of it as the letter n with the second downstroke overlapped by the first stroke of the letter v. This example was written by Willington Clark - my all-time favourite calligrapher.

I should have guessed, knowing your fondness for Clark's work. Southwark from his Round Text Copies, page 90 (of the 1941 Dover reprint of the UP at least). Although not mentioned on the page, "Engrav'd by Bickham himself. This is a wonderful page, if anyone is looking for an exemplar of English Roundhand, you can't go wrong with this one.

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2021, 10:21:15 AM »
Well said! ;D

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2021, 10:25:30 AM »
In addition to the above, I can't resist the temptation to post this example of English Roundhand, later known as Copperplate.
Over many years this has been my favourite piece of Calligraphy by my favourite calligrapher, Willington Clark.  It is one of his many contributions to "The Universal Penman" by George Bickham. I don't know enough superlatives to describe this magnificent piece of writing. A framed copy is the only piece of calligraphy hanging in my work room. For years, I had imagined an elderly 18th century scribe at his desk carefully producing this masterpiece. I was astonished to learn recently that in fact he wrote this page before he was 20 years old!  This was written by a teenager!!
Willington Clark died when ne was only 39 years old. He burned brightly and briefly - what a talent!

To return to the topic - note the fine hairlines which balance perfectly with the weight of the downstrokes.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 03:36:22 AM by Ken Fraser »

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2021, 05:54:52 PM »
In addition to the above, I can't resist the temptation to post this example of English Roundhand, later known as Copperplate.
Over many years this has been my favourite piece of Calligraphy by my favourite calligrapher, Willington Clark.  It is one of his many contributions to "The Universal Penman" by George Bickham. I don't know enough superlatives to describe this magnificent piece of writing. A framed copy is the only piece of calligraphy hanging in my work room. For years, I had imagined an elderly 18th century scribe at his desk carefully producing this masterpiece. I was astonished to learn recently that in fact he wrote this page before he was 20 years old!  This was written by a teenager!!
Willington Clark died when ne was only 39 years old. He burned brightly and briefly - what a talent!

To return to the topic - note the fine hairlines which balance perfectly with the weight of the downstrokes.
What a beautiful piece of work.

Clark's life was brief by standards today, but he fortunately did pretty well in early 18th century England. Average male life expectancy in England at his time was about 33 years, although it did dip to as low as 25 in the 1720's. Would that he could have lived as long as say, Ben Franklin.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2021, 07:09:11 PM »
Fascinating and beautiful! It makes my heart sing to hear your passion for this piece Ken. And it is astonishing that he did the work when he was in his teens. Thank you for the share!
Truly, Erica
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Offline Daniel McGill

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Re: Fine Entrance and Exit Strokes + Gum Arabic
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2022, 12:43:45 PM »
For the best hairlines with copperplate, Engrosser’s script, or Roundhand, mixing dry gum Arabic into your ink is the way to go.  That will thicken your ink something wonderful. The late Bill Lilly (master penman, and last Zanerian graduate) thickened his ink to where it was the consistency of thick of honey.

Having such a difficult time with the concept of THICKENING with GA for wispy hairline strokes.

It is all to do with tension. GA is a binder. For ink and paint, it allows more fluid to gather at a single spot without breaking (the cause for feathering and bleeding). As far as it relates to hairlines, that same tension also permits more ink to stay on the nib, ensuring the minimal amount is released onto the surface.

I, too, was skeptical of its mechanism, but after thickening my Higgins eternal ink to the point beyond cream, it has given me results that I could not have dreamed of.

One instrument I would highly advise you to get along with this method, is a good quality, natural sponge. It will soak up any clumps on the nib you do not want, as well as free up the tip of the nib for writing. Make sure you keep that sponge damp too, otherwise small beads of it will stick to the nib.

I hope that this helps with your endeavour.