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Letter Writing Makes Good Company


Erica McPhee:
Love this quote! Letter writing also makes good memories.  :-*

I think my final flourish is a bit too rounded up on the left as it creates a trapped white space. Would have been more effective if it was a bit more horizontal but I canít bring myself to write it again.  ;D

Hunt 101
Tom Nortonís Walnut Ink

 Thanks for posting up your recent Spencerian pieces! I know youíve said that this is practice to restore your skills in this script, but I really benefit from seeing them and learn something I otherwise would not simply by looking at exemplars.  Keep sharing!

Tom Nortonís Walnut has so far been my best, and for a long time only, viable option. Iíve recently begun trying a few new ones.

Iím just now beginning to experiment with a few flourish ideas, so itís nice to see how you use them. Your ďsĒ flourish on the first line is one Iím now playing with.  Hereís a first attempt in Sandserian with a  stick thing I made* that can somewhat mimic pointed pen thick and thins. It will take some practice; sand, stick and the large scale are tricksy. Requires whole leg movement among other things.


PS:  The sand does not count for one of the new inks.  ::)

* Credit to Andrew van der Merwe who invents and makes all kinds of tools for beach calligraphy:

Erica McPhee:
Aw, I love this! Bravo! I think there is something to the whole body movement as it really allows your entire body to encapsulate the shape!

Thanks for your feedback on my Spencerian. It is good to know it is helpful! Let me know if there is ever anything in particular you would like to see.

Itís been a great exercise for me as well because it really helps me hone in on what I need to work on. For example, that s flourish - it could use a bit more roundness as it curves around. And I have a propensity to add the shade all the way to the end when it really should lighten by the time it is finished. Iím working on the balance between speed and accuracy while maintaining smooth strokes.

The other thing I am working on is spacing in composition. I try a variety of line spaces and have learned there is a delicate balance between too much and too little. I have always just practiced words and sentences but never putting it altogether in a composition unless I was doing a finished piece. This is a great way to practice as it also improves those skills.


--- Quote from: Erica McPhee on April 16, 2023, 11:29:32 AM ---... Let me know if there is ever anything in particular you would like to see...

...  it could use a bit more roundness as it curves around...

--- End quote ---

I'm attaching an image of the "other" simple letter flourish I've been playing with -- referring to the terminating flourish at the end of most of the sentences here.  Simple, because it only goes in one direction, doesn't cross, and is unshaded. But not easy! Your self-assessment of the "roundness" issue describes the learning challenge for me on these little ovals. While it isn't important for me to necessarily replicate them perfectly (even Knowles doesn't -- look at the ones in the final lines), I'm amazed that missing the mark on a symmetrical roundness has a big effect on how pleasing they look. 

I've chosen this one as a beginning flourish to learn, not necessarily that it is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, but to train my eye and hand. 

Also, "When in doubt, smoke fruits and flowers."  WHAAA?  ???

Erica McPhee:
Great one to start with - and yes, it seems like it would be easy but is definitely not. I have one word - drills! You have to incorporate that oval into your muscle memory. Iím going to spend some time on drills this week, too. It always results in improvements!  :-*

P.S. Gorgeous sample!


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