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Topics - Starlee

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Show & Tell / A new eureka
« on: June 10, 2014, 05:49:15 AM »
One thing I have always been struggling with since I've started learning pointed pen has been shaky lines, up and down strokes both. Tonight while practicing, I forced myself keep my whole arm off the table while writing. It is SO hard to keep in control. I focused solely on muscle movement: forearm for pressure, barely-there pen grip and shoulder for movement control. It felt like learning to write all over again (and it looks like it too!). But, within 10 minutes or so, I gradually started to feel the control come back. It felt like I was using a paintbrush, not a pen. So much flow! I still have a long way to go at re-learning the letter forms, but here is the result after only one night. What felt so awkward at first, but now feels! I may end up doing a combination whole arm and finger movement for good work, but as a beginner, I wanted to share hoping that what I found helps other newbies too. :)

Show & Tell / My first business card!
« on: May 09, 2014, 08:23:34 PM »
I'm a researcher by day, and thought that it was high time to have a card to hand out when I meet people at conferences. The front of the card is just my business info, but I played around on the back. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work in a bit of my new-found love. :)

I've been practicing calligraphy regularly for almost half a year now. I was going through past practice sheets and found comments on the sides of some of them: times when I got really excited because I figured out something critical. I call these 'Eureka!' moments. All of my Eureka moments revolved arout increased understanding of muscle movements in the arm, which is key for proper pen control and beautiful thicks and thins. My most 'change-inducing' Eureka moment was when I recently figured out how to ascribe each arm part a function: fingers for holding the pen only, forearm for pressure and release, and shoulder for form construction. The most challenging part of this has been to not use my fingers and to not tense up while writing, but I've noticed some serious change in writing flow. Now I find the biggest problem is lack of knowledge of what to do!

I am left-handed, and was finding the upstrokes so difficult...until I turned my paper clockwise by 90 deg, which magically solved my shaky upstroke problem!

I'm sure my milestones are nothing those before me haven't already figured out. And that got me wondering....What have been some of your most memorable calligraphy Eureka moments? :)

Easter is such a bright holiday that I thought it was the perfect opportunity to test out my new Twinkle H2O's from John Neal. First I tested them as their original intent (watercolour), and got a little gutsy and tried some spontaneous flourishing. Usually I pencil-plan first, and I still think that this method is best for me until my skill improves, but this was fun just the same. Then, I tried using the Twinkle H2O's as ink. It is possible, and the colours are beautiful (they have a nice metallic sheen and I think they will look amazing on dark paper), but I found it quite hard to 'load' the nib. And now the scary question, how is my flourshing? Is it too much?

I wish everyone a very happy Easter and hope that you are all enjoying time with family and friends! 

Kind Critique / Mother's Day project part 2
« on: April 15, 2014, 05:55:00 AM »
Thank you for the comments on the outside work. I now have the inside done. It's ok. I find as a stand alone it's nice, but that it doesn't transition too well from the outside look. That's where more experience comes in. For now, I'll have to settle because I need to send it off for printing to the card back in time for Mother's Day. Excited to see the final product. :)

Kind Critique / Mother's Day project
« on: April 08, 2014, 06:02:10 AM »
I've started my mother's day project. Here is the front of the card. It was done on watercolor paper as I wanted to play around with that medium, but that's not working out quite as I was hoping. Need more practice. :)

Show & Tell / Second project
« on: March 16, 2014, 05:20:21 PM »
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! I know I'm not the only  one celebrating early. :)

This is my second attempt with a creative free-lance project. I love these breaks from the standard practice drills. This exercise gave me a new appreciation and understanding of the importance of balance and symmetry. The first pic is the raw image, the second is fun with photoshop. :)

Show & Tell / My first freehand
« on: February 15, 2014, 03:44:22 PM »
I picked up a pointed pen for the first time just under two months ago now and have been mostly focusing on Copperplate letterforms as I believe this is crucial for success. But I wanted a break from the drills and with Valentine's coming up, I decided to have a little bit of fun and let the creative juices flow. Here is the result. I know I have such a long way to go (I can't look at it without finding fault in every letter  :o), but I think it's ok for a first time.  :)

The other thing I've noticed is that because I'm left handed, I'm having a really hard time with the upward strokes as I seem to be pushing rather than pulling the pen. It's really noticeable in the 'V'. I've been playing around with paper angle, but it's still quite tricky.

Introductions / Hello calligraphy mates from the great white north :)
« on: December 10, 2013, 07:43:12 PM »

Calligraphy is purely a hobby for me at this point (so is this forum stuff for that matter). I have no formal training of any sort, but I have always loved putting pen to paper, whether it was to draw or write. I enjoyed calligraphy in high school, but lost the hobby in my university/grad school days. Lately I've been drawn to pending wedding in 2015 may have something to do with it. ;) My goal is to do my own invites...or at least the envelopes, depending on my progress this next year. I am really looking forward to participating in this forum. :)

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