Author Topic: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters  (Read 3860 times)

Offline Erica McPhee

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Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« on: September 28, 2015, 08:41:11 AM »
Jean Wilson gave this excellent recommendation for Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters - available from John Neal Bookseller.

Jean wrote:
It is $35 (free shipping in the US) but you get detailed information on italics and variations. Sheila is not only a master of broad edge, but she is a master at teaching. John Neal deserves a ton of credit for publishing this book.

Besides italic, you also get foundational, blackletter, gothic cursive, uncial and half-uncial, carolingian - and variations. There are also chapters on analysis and practice, design and layout, and more. It is the most comprehensive, well-written and illustrated book you can imagine for broad edge. There is much more than what I have listed here. If you take time to self study with Sheila, you will be very pleased with the results.

Broad edge is *less forgiving* than the script styles. With scripts, you can do quirky, non-traditional writing and add some flourishing and it can be charming. With broad edge, there are people who do wild, contemporary variations (Luca Barcellone  http://www.lucabarcellona.com/ )  But, if you look at his work, you can tell that he mastered the traditional forms before he cut loose.

Sheila Waters has a section on How to practice followed by How NOT to practice -and- How to avoid calligraphic depression. That section -along with how to analyze- really explains the nuts and bolts of how to make progress with self study. Even if you have no interest in broad edge, that section (along with the 3 chapters on design, layout, and how to complete actual projects) is worth the price of the book.
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2022, 09:45:20 AM »
Oh I this book looks lovely, but the shipping to France is 30 bucks :( Do you happen to know if it contains material on French roundhand?
Oh crÍpe!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2022, 01:09:36 PM »
I have it upstairsÖ will get it and check.  :)
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2022, 09:47:37 AM »
Oh I this book looks lovely, but the shipping to France is 30 bucks :( Do you happen to know if it contains material on French roundhand?
@Lucie Y
Are you looking for examplars/examples of french roundhand?
If so, check out this thread from 4 years ago:
https://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=6689.msg77705#msg77705

I also have more leaves from Verharne's book. I consider him to be the best of the best, FWIW.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2022, 12:47:22 PM »
I checked and it does not. It has an extensive section on Foundational.

I also put together this Ronde Hand board on Pinterest.  :)
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2022, 06:47:27 PM »
@Erica McPhee and @AnasaziWrites
I'm sorry, I didn't see these answers. I only figured out the "check replies" function today. *Genius*
Thank you for confirming it does not include Ronde. I will purchase it someday, but I can put it off for now.
That board is beautiful! It included posts by a guy named Ravi, I'm considering joining his online class as he has a very delicate and distinctive style. This means splurging again. And looking at my kid, and thinking maybe college is overrated. And also, YOLO. Well, I'll think about it.

@AnasaziWrites thank you very much for the extra material!

Now I have tons of stuff to explore :D

Thank you again!
Oh crÍpe!

Offline Zivio

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2022, 01:11:09 AM »

... Sheila Waters has a section on How to practice followed by How NOT to practice -and- How to avoid calligraphic depression. That section -along with how to analyze- really explains the nuts and bolts of how to make progress with self study ...

@Jean Wilson would certainly know!  She is referred to in our household as my "handwriting therapist."   ;D
Foment Compassion, Practice Peace

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2022, 01:18:50 AM »
@Lucie Y  - Itís closed for this year but check out @Masgrimes French Roundhand program as well. Maybe something to save up for.  :)
Truly, Erica
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Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2022, 03:35:08 PM »
Ohhhh thank you soooo much @Erica McPhee . Yes, a certificate program would be awesome as I think French Roundhand is truly the script that I have an emotional reaction to. It probably is much more expensive but I can save up. If not this year, maybe the next!
I would really like to reach a professional level with this script.
Oh crÍpe!

Offline tokspens

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2022, 08:02:41 PM »
I would absolutely second just how useful this book really is.

Some of what makes this such an important book lies in that the fact that it speaks to things which are relevant whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced. And you'll know when you get there because something you'd glossed over suddenly hits you as massively important.

Case in point: A note in the 'Italic' section talking about appropriate pen angles. Many sources will propose a 45 degree angle. The book explains why the 45 degrees should be measured from the slant, not the baseline. And WHY this matters. After practicing italic for a little while, I was struggling to understand why my letters were slightly off. As a complete beginner, I wouldn't have recognised that there was a problem, nor why the solution was necessary.

I also second the endorsement of the 'Analysis & Practice', 'Design & Layout', 'Applying Design Principles' chapters. Once you get comfortable with basic letter forms, begin looking at how continue developing and how to create a piece of calligraphic work, there is so much of value here. As a beginner, I had glossed over these sections. As I progressed, the nuggets of wisdom helped me not re-invent the wheel or ingrain bad habits which would have been hard to unlearn. They are the kinds of things which would be picked up by a good teacher in person. There is also focus on some things which aren't 'exciting' to do but will help in all aspects of your calligraphy, like spacing: Optical vs Actual beginnings of letters. Once you see the work of someone who's mastered spacing fundamentals and compare it the work of someone who hasn't, you can't unsee it.

Anyway, I'm rabbiting on. My point is this: Foundations of Calligraphy is a gold-standard reference book and well worth the postage. I had to pay through the nostrils to have it sent to Australia, but I come back to it time and time again.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2022, 09:58:28 AM »
Thank you so much for this valuable information. You are on point (see what I did there?)! As someone who was self taught for almost a decade before taking a formal class, I can attest to this as well.

Another must have book that is also full of gold nuggets is John Stevenís Book: Scribe. It is currently sold out but they are taking preorders for the next round. See my review here:)
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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