Author Topic: I have come to the dark side  (Read 6593 times)

Offline Carina_I

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I have come to the dark side
« on: December 16, 2015, 09:40:56 PM »
Alas, I was no match for the allure of Spencerian.

The elegant thins; the swelling thicks -- how could I resist?

I kind of maybe sort of promised myself that I would stick to "one style of calligraphy, learn it, THEN move on." Ha. Right. Like that totally happened. It looks like I'm going to be learning Spencerian now, instead of copperplate. I'm sure that once I "officially" start Spencerian, I'll switch back to Copperplate. It's like I can't help myself  ;D

Anyhoo, does anybody have any recommendations for starting off with Spencerian?

Offline evjo

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 10:19:44 PM »
Wait . . . Spencerian is the dark side? 
Ev

Offline Carina_I

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 10:59:07 PM »
Wait . . . Spencerian is the dark side?

Uh, yeah. You see *clears throat in preparation for one long breathless ramble* spencerian-was-actually-my-favorite-style-but-i-thought-it-would-be-too-hard-so-I-picked-Copperplate-but-I-kind-of-regretted-that-decision-so-I-purposefully-painted-Spenceriean-in-a-bad-light-in-my-mind-so-I-wouldn't-like-it-but-it-didn't-work. Oops.

 :P

Offline Bianca M

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2015, 11:03:48 PM »
Are you telling us the hand that holds your copperplate writing pen and nib has been light-sabered off and is now floating is space somewhere in a galaxy next to Luke Skywalker's hand?

Cool!  Nothing against copperplate, of course.  It's just a funny visual.

Offline Carina_I

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2015, 11:13:04 PM »
Are you telling us the hand that holds your copperplate writing pen and nib has been light-sabered off and is now floating is space somewhere in a galaxy next to Luke Skywalker's hand?

Cool!  Nothing against copperplate, of course.  It's just a funny visual.

Well, um, no. That would most definitely be my right hand, which is most definitely the only hand I can write with -- you know what? I need to go to bed. For crying out loud it's 10:15 and I have 2 finals tomorrow in 2 of my most challenging classes! I cannot believe I am on FF typing about how I need to get off of FF and go to bed -- good night all!!!!!!

Offline AndyT

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2015, 05:54:45 AM »
Best wishes for your exams, Carina.  :)

On learning Spencerian: firstly congratulations on choosing a superior form of handwriting.  In my fundamentalist opinion you now need to find a good high resolution digital copy of one of the original Spencer brothers textbooks and print out upper and lower case alphabets.  By all means read around the subject, but that's all you really need.  Casting aside all thoughts of copperplate, you should then reproduce exactly what you see.  Practice, close observation and ruthless self criticism are the keys to progress.  You should be very wary of slipping back into copperplate habits, especially a tendency to make the letters too rounded and to shade too frequently.  If you decide you need a teacher, find someone who is very, very good: Master Penman level ideally.  Harvest Crittenden is starting her introductory course again soon I believe, and from what I've seen and heard it's money well spent.  That said, if you have a good eye and don't kid yourself that your work's better than it really is, you shouldn't really need steering (I did).  Finally, buy the best materials you can, especially paper.

Remember: only by dedicating yourself to the way of Spencer can you hope to achieve limitless power.

Yours sincerely,

Darth Wotsit 

Offline Estefa

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2015, 06:25:41 AM »
I second what Andy said :). (Love your Avatar btw). What I would add, in the begnneing I would NOT SHADE AT ALL. I got that advice from another Master Penman (Barbara Calzolari) and it was a very good advice. In that way, you really need to concentrate on the form, and can better see what's wrong with them (or not, of course).

I took a Spencerian workshop with Barbara, as mentioned, and then after nearly a year of practice the online workshop with Harvest. That was a great refresher and helped me to see where I had become sloppy with practising by myself :).

The great thing (well, one of the great things) about Spencerian is, that you can use the unshaded, simpler version (there are very nice, simpler capitals too this is called the Business Hand) to develop a pretty handwriting that can be written with any tool, pencil, fountain pen, even ballpoint pen etc. I am still much slower with that than with my regular handwriting, but it's nice to have a backup style that is much better to read then my "real" handwriting ;D.

Good luck, Carina! (Ah, and I really wouldn't learn both at once, Copperplate and Spencerian. I did it and it slowed my progress down.)
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline JanisTX

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2015, 07:23:11 AM »
@Andy:  love the avatar, but that Santa hat is TO DIE FOR!!  Merry Christmas!

Janis

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2015, 08:01:56 AM »
Anyhoo, does anybody have any recommendations for starting off with Spencerian?
Sure. Sign up for Harvest's class--she will start you off right, gives gentle but very precise criticism which is enormously beneficial, and is just a wonderful person to get to know. Afterwards, pick up Michel Sull's book Learning to Write Spencerian Script, available at John Neal here:
http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/s?keyword=spencerian
After you are comfortable with the basics, then I'd say look at Spencer's own work, as there are some different letter forms in his work that are rarely used these days.
You are starting a wonderful journey. Look closely at how your work differs from the examples you are given, yes, but have fun and don't be too critical of your efforts at the beginning. It takes a while.
One last thing. Most teachers start you off with drills, which few people enjoy (they want to get immediately to the writing). Do the drills and your progress thereafter will be much more rapid.

Offline Carina_I

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2015, 09:08:58 AM »
Best wishes for your exams, Carina.  :)

On learning Spencerian: firstly congratulations on choosing a superior form of handwriting.  In my fundamentalist opinion you now need to find a good high resolution digital copy of one of the original Spencer brothers textbooks and print out upper and lower case alphabets.  By all means read around the subject, but that's all you really need.  Casting aside all thoughts of copperplate, you should then reproduce exactly what you see.  Practice, close observation and ruthless self criticism are the keys to progress.  You should be very wary of slipping back into copperplate habits, especially a tendency to make the letters too rounded and to shade too frequently.  If you decide you need a teacher, find someone who is very, very good: Master Penman level ideally.  Harvest Crittenden is starting her introductory course again soon I believe, and from what I've seen and heard it's money well spent.  That said, if you have a good eye and don't kid yourself that your work's better than it really is, you shouldn't really need steering (I did).  Finally, buy the best materials you can, especially paper.

Remember: only by dedicating yourself to the way of Spencer can you hope to achieve limitless power.

Yours sincerely,

Darth Wotsit 

Thank you. I have actually found a pdf of the New Spencerian Compendium. And a pdf of Spencerian drills. Do you think this will be enough?

Offline AndyT

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2015, 10:28:49 AM »
I have actually found a pdf of the New Spencerian Compendium. And a pdf of Spencerian drills. Do you think this will be enough?

In my opinion, yes.  As AnasaziWrites says there are variations between the textbooks, so it's best to stick to one to begin with.  The lower case doesn't vary much (although there's a nasty little "c" which you'll probably want to avoid), but the capitals come in different forms.  If you're happy with the capital alphabet in the NSC, it'll do fine.  You might find this book useful for its step-by-step instructions on how to make the letters, but it's Ornamental Penmanship, not Spencerian, so there are many extra lower case shades.  These are best used sparingly, and if you settle for just shading the d, t and p that'll be plenty to be getting on with.

Stefanie makes a good point about the value of writing without any shades at all: it can look very good.  Besides, if you use a top quality ballpoint pen, you'll find that you can do subtle shades anyway.

Thanks to everyone for the compliments on my hat - snappy, isn't it?  :)

Offline Carina_I

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2015, 12:44:42 PM »
I have actually found a pdf of the New Spencerian Compendium. And a pdf of Spencerian drills. Do you think this will be enough?

In my opinion, yes.  As AnasaziWrites says there are variations between the textbooks, so it's best to stick to one to begin with.  The lower case doesn't vary much (although there's a nasty little "c" which you'll probably want to avoid), but the capitals come in different forms.  If you're happy with the capital alphabet in the NSC, it'll do fine.  You might find this book useful for its step-by-step instructions on how to make the letters, but it's Ornamental Penmanship, not Spencerian, so there are many extra lower case shades.  These are best used sparingly, and if you settle for just shading the d, t and p that'll be plenty to be getting on with.

Stefanie makes a good point about the value of writing without any shades at all: it can look very good.  Besides, if you use a top quality ballpoint pen, you'll find that you can do subtle shades anyway.

Thanks to everyone for the compliments on my hat - snappy, isn't it?  :)

I see. Thank you Andy and everyone else for all your help.

I kind of thought your hat was yppans.

Offline AndyT

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2015, 01:15:39 PM »
... the opposite of snappy.  I see.  :(

Offline Carina_I

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2015, 01:40:10 PM »
... the opposite of snappy.  I see.  :(

That wasn't supposed to be an insult -- that was supposed to be a compliment. Allow me to explain.

Snappy means your hat is nice.

Yppans means your hat is so nice it has to turn around and go back to being nice making it twice as nice.

You see, imagine nice as a straight line. Yppans means the niceness of your hat is so great that the line of niceness must go back and forth over itself in its awesomeness.

Nice (snappy): ________________

Super nice (yppans): _________________
                               _________________
                               _________________

Do you see how the yppans niceness has to go back and forth over itself because its niceness is so great?

Am I making sense? Yppans is a compliment. A huge compliment.


Offline AndyT

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Re: I have come to the dark side
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2015, 03:10:22 PM »
Good heavens - I am learning a lot.  Thank you for your admirably clear explanation, and for the compliment on my hat.  I am now :) again.