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Copperplate Minuscules - Group 4

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Salman Khattak:
Copperplate Minuscules - Group 4

The last group of the Minuscule letters contains the misfits i.e. letters that don’t follow a pattern. These are:

They will be easy enough to form with the skills you have developed so far.

f - After drawing the entry hairline, the letter ‘f’ starts about halfway in the 1st Ascender space with a hairline that expands to full width by the middle of the x-height. This width is maintained until the 1st Descender space. Now the top loop is formed by drawing up from the starting point of the first stroke about ⅓ to ½ of the way into the 2nd Ascender space and looping over. A small shade can be added on the way down if desired. The downstroke of the loop meets the first stroke about ⅓ of the way below the waist line. The ‘crossbar’ starts with a ‘blob’ in the triangle space formed between the entry hairline and the main stroke and ‘exits’ on the other side in the same manner as if it was an exit hairline from an ‘i’. You can think of this crossbar as the very bottom of the ‘i’ continuing into the exit hairline.

r - The ‘r’ starts with an entry hairline that goes all the way up to the waist line. At this point you form a tear-drop shaped ‘blob’ that goes about ⅓ of the way about the waist line. The shaded stroke is like a deformed compound curve that starts with a slight hairline from the bottom of the tear-drop going to the right until you reach the point where the shade can be drawn. The shade is they drawn down at the same slant as other shaded strokes. The finishing hairline is the same as the one after a compound stroke.

s - The ‘s’ starts just like the ‘r’ up until the tear-drop above the waist line. The shaded stroke of the ‘s’ is an upside down ‘c’. The exit stroke is drawn separately from the point where the bottom of the shaded stroke meets the base line.

NOTE: The shaded stroke in the ‘c’ is heaviest just below the midpoint of the x-height. This means that the heaviest weight of the upside down ‘c’ as used in an ‘s’ would be just above the midpoint of the x-height. This last point is important as putting the weight at or below the midpoint will make your ‘s’ visually dissimilar in slant to the other letters.

x - The ‘x’ is just two ‘c’s back to back. Do you see that? The first ‘c’ is shaded and upside down while the second ‘c’ unshaded but follows the same slant as the rest of the letters.

z - The ‘z’ starts with an upside down ‘c’ but instead of curving up at the base line we make a small tear-drop shaped loop and go into a descender that goes down about 1/3rd of the way below the 1st descender line into the 2nd descender space. The overall shape of the descender loop should be like a tear-drop that is aligned with the letter slant.

k - The ‘k’ starts with the same stroke like an ‘h’. The second stroke is the top arm that starts just a bit below the midpoint of the x-height and is drawn like the top part of a ‘c’ but is kept a little flatter. The last stroke is just a small compound curve about ⅔ of the x-height.

There are no new types of joins in this group so there should be no issues on that front. Keep a eye on the spacing and overall texture of the writing.

Please post the following words for feedback:

risk, fox, stork, craze, and one word of your choosing using at least 2 of the letters in the last group.

As a final project, please write the following Chinese proverb:

be not afraid of going slow, only of standing still

Here is a link to a video I made as a follow-up to a workshop: Group 4 Minuscules.

Salman. I didn't complete the final project, Chinese proverb. :D

Salman Khattak:
No - you wrote out the poem 'If' instead 😃

Anjali N:
Hi Salman, here is a go at set 4. Thanks!

Salman Khattak:
@Anjali N

You are quick Anjali :-)

It is great to see the rounded shades starting with a hairline.....but now the shade is a bit too low. This causes the overall letter to 'look' more upright than it actually is. Can you see that? I think you can move the start of the shade back up just a tiny bit and it will fix itself. These are minor adjustments to a tiny bit is all that is needed.

Here's my feedback on the remaining letters:

1. The 'blob' of the 'r' is a teardrop shape that should line up with the slant. Yours is almost vertical.

2. The shaded stroke of the 'r' is starting too far right causing it to be more slanted than the rest of the letters. This is a tricky stroke as it is almost like a stunted compound curve. The 'shoulder' of the 'r' (just before the shaded stroke) is too sharp as well.

3. The 's' in 'risk' is good but the one in 'stork' is too upright. The reason is the shade of the upside-down 'c'. If you turn the paper upside down, the shades stroke of the 's' should look like a 'c' at the correct slant. Do you see it?

4. The shade on the first stroke of the 'f' should start below the 1st Ascender line. You start the shade from the very top of the stroke.

5. The second stroke of the 'k' (that looks like the top of the 'c') could be a bit more rounded.

6. The two 'c's in the 'x are very different  - and neither is a good one. A good 'x' is made up of two good 'c's - the shaded one is upside down, the unshaded on is right side up.

7. Your shades are varying throughout - they are especially heavy on the 'f' and 'k' in 'fork'.

These letters take a bit of time as they don't follow the same pattern - each one is different. I will be looking forward to your next attempt.

- Salman


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