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Messages - Ergative

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Introductions / Greetings from Berkeley
« on: July 18, 2014, 12:52:12 PM »
Hello! I've been learning Roundhand for about two weeks now. I've done broad-edged calligraphy since middle school, but I'm having a blast learning this completely new thing, whose technique bears approximately zero relation to the broad-edged stuff.  From a slightly perverse desire to be old school, I've been working from E. A. Lupfer's old lessons (posted on IAMPETH here), and I'm very happy to have found you, along with the various instructions on how exactly the different strokes fit together, which are supposed to be up-strokes and which down-strokes, and recommendations for pen and paper. Lupfer might have been a legend, but he doesn't give much guidance on ductus.

 I started out with a crow quill, which I utterly destroyed, and then moved on to a couple of Gillott 303's, which I bought over ten years ago the first time I decided to start playing around with this. They certainly live up to what I now read to be the primary objection --- namely, the scratchiness --- but the shading is beautiful, and if I pay careful attention on the upstrokes I can usually avoid terrible catches. I've been using a recycled drawing paper from the local art store. It's not great, but it takes the ink nicely (without feathering and bleeding, the way printer paper does), and since I have limited desk space I figure I'll use that up before I move onto the fabled Rhodia 80gsm that I've seen recommended so often. I started out using Higgins Eternal ink (which I bought for the broad-edged work), and now I'm adding a few drops of gum arabic to it. I think I'm not really experienced enough to tell the difference, but that will come!

New playing around will include different inks -- either gouache or some beautiful fountain pen inks thickened with gum arabic. I might also try to get a few other nibs to play with, like the Nikko G or the Principal. (I also have a Hunt 101 that I bought ages ago with my 303s, but it's not holding ink so well and keeps dumping huge blobs on the paper. I don't know if that's a problem with my nib, or me, or my ink. I'll try it with the gum arabic solution to see if that helps.)

I'm really pleased to be a member of this community! I'm going to head over to the Kind Critique thread to get some advice on further improvement!

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