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Messages - tiffany.c.a

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Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: IAMPETH virtual Nov. 2022: Wrap-up
« on: February 22, 2023, 10:24:09 PM »
Pointed Pen Roman Capitals - demo by Cecilia Boschi

Any Roman Capital writing with any instrument is not an easy task. Cecilia of course makes pointed pen Romans look easy.
Overall, practicing Roman Caps with a pointed pen has been a good experience. It was very hard to not use too much pressure when making the delicate tapered vertical stroke, and not make the serifs too built up. This will take much practice to produce well but it will go a long way to making a more graceful letter.
(My college ceramics teacher used to say we want our ceramic pieces to be ballerinas, not sumo wrestlers. I think the same concept applies here.)

Cecilia recommends using gouache. I was using Higgins and realized that the consistency of it pooled too much ink for making the serifs and tapered verticals. Since the texture of gouache is a little more substantial, it may give more control when sculpting the serifs and subtle swells. I also tried gouache and hand-ground ink, both of which produced better results. The type of paper also made a big difference.

It will take continued practice to figure out what works best, and of course to improve the skill of the letters.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: IAMPETH virtual Nov. 2022: Wrap-up
« on: February 22, 2023, 10:13:27 PM »
Wow, long time no post. Busy, but itís all good, though.
I have two more IAMPETH demos left to cover, and I plan to finish this wrap-up of the conference!

Show & Tell / Re: Cover Art
« on: February 22, 2023, 09:56:42 PM »
Both are wonderful portraits. Congrats! Thanks for sharing and for the history lessons. 

Creative Kinds - Update
Earlier in this thread, I posted about the Creative Kinds demo (reply #8). Hereís and update more specifically about their watercolor paints that make wonderful inks for calligraphy. . .

On Dec. 12, 2022, yes people, my wonderful little package from Italy arrived. The tins were wrapped so pretty in vintage-styled paper that I didnít want to open them. But I did.

The colors are neatly poured in their plastic half-pans. I really like that the pans each have magnets on the bottom so they stick to the tin. Their sets come in tins, plus you can order empty tins if buying loose colors.

Each half-pan has a label wrapped around it with the color name and a swatch of color painted on it. I snipped off the name/swatch from each label and glued the swatches to the accompanying swatch card that came in the tin. (The Eucalyptus color is special because it is the new color that Bas mixed during their IAMPETH demo. They included it as a sample dot card.)

The paints are delightful to use. The first noticeable aspect - they smell good. Second, the colors are very creamy, even the shimmer colors. All came to a good working consistency in a short amount of time. They worked with both a pointed nib and a broad-edged nib.

The colors flowed off the nib so well that it felt like I was writing with a more liquid ink. But since the colors are creamier, I needed to keep in mind that these are watercolors in terms of retouching.

As with using any new paint/ink, there is a learning curve over time to learn any unique writing qualities of each color. Do some need more mixing? More or less water to flow smoothly and write consistently? Are some easier to retouch or write over? Maybe some are creamier than others due to inherent qualities of different pigments?

Overall, Iím seeing nice hairlines from all of these colors. And all are very enjoyable to use. I am excited to try these colors for future writing and flourishing. Below are a few sample pages trying out some shimmer and crema (matte) colors, and ďPeaceĒ was done with a couple of their metallic colors (Prosecco and Antique Brass).

Thank you Ash for stopping by and for your encouraging words.

Thank you Erica for your kind words and encouragement.

The Perfect Marriage - demo by Ashok Giri

In his demo, Ashok used the creative metaphor of a marriage to introduce the idea of how different styles of broad edge calligraphy would wed with engrosserís script. He presented several possible ďcouples.Ē All of his outcomes looked great to me. And what an opportunity to watch him write so expertly in all the chosen options. 

(If you havenít seen Ashokís thread (titled ďPlease RIGHT if Iím WRONG - CopperplateĒ) in the Kind Critique section of Flourish Forum, you might want to check it out. It is evidence that quality practice, the right kind of critique, and the right type of attitude can take your skills very far, and you can see over time how Ashís engrosserís script made its phenomenal progress.)

This matching-making is definitely fun practice. It involves thinking about layout as well as the writing itself. I tried pairing Italic, Uncial, and Gothic along with pointed pen (Spencerian or free-hand). While my matches are more modest in execution, I still got the idea of seeing how different pairs interact. I tried to collage the best ones from a few days of practice Ė sorry if itís blurry.

Ash shared that he uses Ecoline watercolors in parallel pens. I tried it. Works great! I put the color in the empty ink cartridge, but I think you can put it directly into the barrel also Ė in that case I would just put a note on the outside of the barrel to remind myself that thereís ďlooseĒ ink inside.

Ash also discussed the importance of doing thumbnail sketches in working out these designs. I admit, most of the time I just dove in with ink to have some fun. But I also did a few thumbnail pencil sketches of different possibilities, and tried to commit to seeing one through the whole process to ďfinishedĒ piece. (I think Iíll return to trying simpler layouts for now, that donít depend on meshing interlinear spaces, but this was a good learning experience.)

I do like both broad edge and pointed pen. So, this practice is a great way to incorporate both. No need to put one on the shelf while you work on the other. Take both off the shelf, dust them off, and use both for the same project.

Ink: Higgins Eternal, Ecoline watercolor #578 Sky Blue (Cyan). This is a vibrant color, reminds me of Smurf blue.
Pointed Pen: Nikko G.
Broad Edge: Parallel Pen 6.0, Speedball C-0, C-2.
Layout sketches use Striker broad-edge mechanical pencil, helpful for layout design; note that lead is on the softer side.
Paper: Rhodia Graph or Blank, Stonehenge Hot Press Watercolor.

Spiral Filigrees - demo by BenoÓt Furet

BenoÓt certainly produces lovely filigree work. In his workshop he gave clear steps as to how to approach filling spaces with filigree patterns, and a couple keys to remember to make them look their best. For example, lines of spirals should not touch and should remain parallel throughout the spiral. He said think of the spaces within each spiral (and the whole pattern) as a labyrinth in which you can move through the open spaces.

These were very helpful descriptions. At the same time, in practice, it is a challenge to keep even amounts of space between the concentric lines of a spiral, and to prevent lines from bumping into each other, which closes off the space. This is a skill to be learned though, since that is what adds to the look and beauty of the filigree.

BenoÓt said he likes working on a textured cold press watercolor paper - if I understand correctly itís because it makes him constantly have to remember to slowly and actively control what his pen is doing. No easily gliding across the page without a care. I tried this project with cold press wc paper and attest that it did make me have to slow down and work harder to control the pen. (Unlabeled cold press wc paper from my stash, Prussian blue gouache for the ďAĒ, Zebra G nib and Ecoline watercolor #578 for the filigree).

I like the overall look of how this project came out. I definitely need more work on technique and control of the lines, and deciding where to put what type of filigree element. This piece might look nice with patterns extending on the left and right of the ďAĒ as well.

Design-wise, there are many different avenues to explore. Different interior shapes to place filigree patterns in. How airy or dense the overall look is. Different color combinations. Judging from this project, exploring filigrees can be an enjoyable pursuit.

Well, itís been a little while with the holidays and all. Happy New Year to everyone.
I did get a chance to re-watch all the videos at least one more time. I hope to finish up posting about my experiences trying all these styles and techniques.
Thanks for indulging me in this goal.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Calligraphy Goals in 2023
« on: January 03, 2023, 11:53:28 AM »
Great thread. Itís good sometimes to put voice to our goals, and to hear other peopleís goals.

In general, Iíd like to have more fun with all this, not be so stressed out about it. Finishing a piece used to be very rare for me because it was so stressful. I think Iím turning a corner with that. I believe doing little simple projects has helped. And also helpful is having some grace for myself and accepting what my best is at that time.

Specific goals:
-slow down and take time to go through the process from layout to finished piece
-be able to produce consistently nice work with consistently good skills, not because it just happened to turn out nice
-continue weekly practice of Spencerian, and the other various hands/styles I like (find time during each week)
-have regular journal fun with any and all hands/styles/techniques Iím interested in (and thatís a lot of them)
-use more of what I have before buying anything else

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: IAMPETH virtual Nov. 2022: Wrap-up
« on: December 16, 2022, 07:28:59 PM »
Shaded Spencerian Lower-case - demo by Michael Ward

Mike gave a very comprehensive look inside the geometry of this script. Donít be scared off! It was an in-depth but also quite accessible explanation. He explained things clearly and also shared what aspects to keep in mind most to progress in this script. You donít need to memorize any geometry, although the explanation did help me understand the underlying shapes of the script. After the explanation, Mike went through all the lower-case letters.

I really had a fun and worthwhile time practicing this. I already have some experience with business writing and Spencerian, but this style is taller. Since I like to write prose and poetry, I gravitate to regular Spencerian, which I can use to express my thoughts. But when done well, shaded Spencerian is very beautiful, and I hope to attain that level one day.

At this point in time, Iím afraid my best result, attached below, is still rough around the edges. During practice I sometimes used a slightly smaller x-height (as in the photo) to see if I could produce more consistent script. It helped somewhat.

It is hard to prevent the writing from morphing into something that looks more like copperplate/engrossers script. Also difficult for me is making the letters narrower than regular Spencerian (because of the taller height of the letters) but not too narrow. To keep the script properly semi-angular at that large size is a challenge.

While Mikeís instruction was very comprehensive, there isnít much written instructional material on this script, so I am left wanting to see more examples of it to get more of an idea of how it flows, more examples of words/phrases. I suppose, since it was used for signs and titles, maybe it wasnít really used for long phrases and sentences.

Mike made reference to pages in the New Spencerian Compendium: Sign Writerís Script explanation p.45-46, caps shown on plates #41-43, lowercase shown on plates #43-44, example words on plates #45-46. This book can be found in the Rare Books section on IAMPETHís website. Very elegant examples.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: IAMPETH virtual Nov. 2022: Wrap-up
« on: December 15, 2022, 04:16:08 PM »
Pointed Pen Florals - demo by Aspacia Kusulas

Penning these was so fun! Aspacia showed how to make six different flowers. Her renditions of flowers and leaves are simplified yet organic, and somehow both dramatic and cheerful. Her instruction about underlying shapes was right on. Very helpful in being able to produce these flowers. She also showed how to put the 6 featured flowers together in a composition. I think each artist could put their own spin on these florals once the basics are learned, and even use these techniques to render other flowers beyond the ones covered. 

My first attempt was frustrating only because of the paper I was using, which picks up oils from oneís hands very quickly (I wonít mention the brand). Yes, I should have been using a guard sheet. Well, that still served as good practice for understanding the shapes. This second piece, done on watercolor paper, shows improvement (posted below - Nikko G, Higgins Eternal, Stonehenge hot press).

The Anemone was the hardest for me to get nicely shaped petals. I had to really study the placement of the lines in her examples. The Lilac took some time to wrap my brain around - how to make the petals look multi-directional and layered with depth. I do think Iíll try to simplify the Iris a bit but itís getting there. I hope to add these to my existing collection of florals and try them in compositions, and even try this technique to render other kinds of flowers.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: IAMPETH virtual Nov. 2022: Wrap-up
« on: December 15, 2022, 04:09:41 PM »
Thanks Aries M!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: IAMPETH virtual Nov. 2022: Wrap-up
« on: December 14, 2022, 01:24:12 AM »
Hand Embossing  - demo by Viktor Kams

Viktor taught his clear and accessible process for making embossings. I followed the steps as he outlined them, including when to add calligraphy, and tried to heed the tips he gave along the way.

Instead of a stylus, I used a bone folder to do the embossing (which he mentioned as a possibility). I am happy to say that attempt was generally successful. A bone folder will work. It might come out nicer with a stylus though. (They can be ordered online and I think some craft stores have them, maybe not expensive.)

I like the process and result enough that Iíll probably buy a stylus eventually. Right now Iím really happy that I can use something I already have. One must be careful, especially depending on the paper, not to rush and not to press any tool too hard, which could tear the paper.

I believe I will be doing this process again. Itís a pleasant and rewarding process. And fun. Itís almost like opening a gift with the anticipation of seeing how the embossing will look face up. This process will make for great cards and other projects.

Paper in example:
For the ďAĒ stencil: heavy watercolor paper (maybe Saunders 140lb/300gsm) (notice the stencil is backwards)

For the embossings:
Canson Colorline I think the 92lb/150g version (white)
Aquabee Heavyweight Drawing 93lb/150gsm (off-white)
Strathmore Drawing 400 series which is 80lb/130gsm (plain ďAĒ, darker off-white)

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: IAMPETH virtual Nov. 2022: Wrap-up
« on: December 14, 2022, 12:21:39 AM »
Zivio - I remember hearing/reading somewhere that many architects who used ruling pens for their plans also used them incidentally for quick lettering in their plain style, but eventually it was realized how expressively and artistically they could be used for more styles of writing.
The folded pen I have is more like the soda can version.

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