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Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3

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Salman Khattak:
Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3

This group introduces the ‘o’ shape. Combined with the strokes in the previous two groups we can make the following letters:

The ‘o’ stroke can either be started at the waist line coming down and left to form the shade or the 1 o’ clock position where one goes up to the waist line before coming down into the shade. Use whichever one works better for you.

It is important to understand that the inside of the ‘o’ stroke does not have much of a curve. The appearance of roundness comes from the gradually increasing and decreasing shade. The thickest part of the shade is a little below the halfway point between the waist and base lines.

The ‘o’ shape in Copperplate is a thin oval with its width about half the height. It is important to pay attention to this as the letters based on this shape can get too wide when we add other strokes to it.

o - the ‘o’ starts with a hairline as in the ‘i’ - the ‘o’ stroke is made so it almost touches the the hairline around the halfway point of the x-height. The ‘blob’ is made about ⅓ rd of the way down coming down to almost half the x-height allowing for a graceful exit hairline similar to the ending stroke in ‘w’ and ‘b’.

c - the left side of the ‘c’ is the same as the ‘o’ stroke. The hairline from the base line goes out to join with the following letter rather than up and around to form the oval. The right side at the top is drawn in the clockwise direction if you started at the waist line coming down about ⅓ rd of the way down. (It would already be drawn if you started at the 1 o’ clock position.) The blob is formed inside the oval in the same place it would fall if we were drawing an ‘o’.

e - the left side and exit hairline of the ‘e’ is similar to the ‘c’. The eye is formed by drawing the closing stroke in the clockwise direction. Once again the eye is not too rounded - the inside shape (counter) of the eye is a flat almond shape. One can add a very slight shade to this stroke if desired.

a - the ‘a’ is just an ‘o’ shape followed by the ‘i’ stroke. Just like the hairline join, the right side of the ‘o’ and  the shade of the ‘i’ should barely touch each other.

d - is just like an ‘a’ but the ‘i’ stroke is as tall as the ‘t’ i.e. between the waist and 1st Ascender lines. The ascenders of the ‘d’ and ‘t’ are shorter than the regular ascender height.

g - the ‘g’ is an ‘o’ shape followed by a ‘j’ - the two strokes should barely touch around the middle of the x-height.

q - the ‘q’ is an ‘o’ shape followed by what starts like a ‘j’ but loops the wrong way around i.e to the right. In order to make room for the loop on the right side, the shaded down stroke moves a bit to the left as it tapers after passing below the base line. The hairline stroke forming the loop at the bottom joins the downstroke at the base line and then comes right out for the connecting hairline.
The hairline strokes connecting to round letters from the left meet them at about half way up the x-height as shown in the example above. On the right side the ‘o’ connects to the following letter in a similar manner to the ‘w’ and the ‘b’. The other letters in this group all have their exit hairlines at the base line so join in the same way as an ‘i’ would. Here are a couple of examples:

How about tot, talon, dice, quench and gauge for practice words? Please feel free to add a word of your choice using any of the letters from the three groups we have covered.

Hello Salman,

Attached is my work for Group 3 letters and words. Thank you for this opportunity.

Salman Khattak:

A good start on the round form. Your slant has started to wander. I suspect because you are using the guidelines under the page rather than writing on the page with guidelines. There is no substitute to having guidelines on the page you are writing on - that little bit of extra effort is well worth the results you will get.

Here's my feedback:

1. You begin the shade on the round form a bit too early. This is most noticeable in the 'e'. The counter shape of the eye in 'e' should be an almond shape - the top part of this shape is flattened when you start the shade too early.

2. The slight secondary shade on the closing loop of the 'e' should be much thinner - just a hint of a shade will do.

3. The 'q' on the practice line is lovely. The one in 'quench' is too rounded at the bottom turn of the descender. Also, the slant of the 'q' and the 'g' is vidually different. They should seem to be at the same slant when they are next to each other. I will leave you to experiment a bit to get that sorted.

Lets have another go at this one. I will be looking forward to it.

- Salman

Thank you Salman! I will work on each of these problem areas.

Anjali N:
Hi Salman, here is my go at set 3. Thanks!


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