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Messages - markc1975

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Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Old practice sheets - what do you do?
« on: January 22, 2018, 01:11:18 PM »
Hello @AnasaziWrites thank you for your kind words.

Apologies for the pictures, didn't realise they were on their side.

A swan takes 12 A4 pages I think.  I am going to do a different model next and maybe make a pen holder to keep my calligraphy pens in.

I have been asked for a tutorial, so I will try and put one together if there's any interest.  It's a lot of folding through!

Kind regards,


Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Old practice sheets - what do you do?
« on: January 22, 2018, 04:26:40 AM »
Hello all,

I saw this thread and thought I'd share what I do, as I like to make things from old practise sheets.  I enjoy origami too, like @prasad, and made this swan from some practise sheets.  It's Rhodia Ivory paper, and the end result looks really nice with flecks of calligraphy showing through the folded paper.

I posted this on the Loveleigh Loops facebook page at the weekend, and it went down well there, so though I would share with the friendly bunch on the Flourish Forum.

Kindest regards,


Hello Erica,

I'd love to see some information or examples on forming flourished majuscules.  For me, I enjoy seeing Copperplate written very plainly but with very fancy capital letters at the start of sentences and paragraphs.

Not very traditional I know!

Perhaps some pointers on envelope calligraphy as well as this is something I have just started exploring.

Kind regards,


Tools & Supplies / Re: Glossy Envelopes & Ink
« on: January 08, 2018, 02:29:43 AM »
Hello Lynda,

Thanks for the advice.  I'm in the UK so my supplies generally come from Scribblers.  Can't seem to find a supplier for Spectralite, but they stock a wide range of Ziller inks, so will buy a couple and give them a go.  I reckon white ink will be ideal for most of them though, as they're all fairly dark.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Kind regards,

Tools & Supplies / Glossy Envelopes & Ink
« on: January 07, 2018, 03:14:57 AM »
Hello all,

I'm looking for a bit of advice before I spend lots of money on different inks.  I have made some envelopes from old magazines, however when it comes to writing on them with my dip pen, the ink sits on the surface/separates/smudges/etc... 

As I'm relatively new to dip pen calligraphy, I don't have many inks.  I have a couple of Speedball inks, Higgins Black Eternal, and some Walkers Copperplate ink, all of which don't seem to be suitable for writing across the glossy magazine surface.

I'm happy to buy more inks, and I realise it's probably worth buying some white ink to go on the darker envelopes.

Can anyone recommend an ink for writing on my home-made envelopes?

Many thanks,


Kind Critique / Re: Copperplate progress
« on: January 02, 2018, 03:37:39 AM »
Hi Janis,

I have a wooden oblique holder with a standard metal flange.  I had to bend it a bit to take the Hunt 101, so would rather get a new holder, put the Brause 66EF, and then leave it set for that nib size.  I'll do the same for the Leonardt Principal as well, so I don't have to keep adjusting the holders.

Thanks for the links, but I'm in the UK, so shipping can be costly from those places.  I'll have a look on Etsy and Scribblers for holders as there's some good ones available.

The next time I write my practise piece, it will be with the 66EF!

 :) Mark

Kind Critique / Re: Copperplate progress
« on: January 01, 2018, 12:12:13 PM »
@JanisTX I just checked the nibs I bought, and I have a Brause 66EF nib.  I haven't tried it yet, it won't fit in my oblique holder as it's a lot smaller than the 101 and Leonardt Principal.

Do you have any recommendations, or is it worth just buying another pen holder specifically for the smaller sized nibs?

Spencerian is next for me, once I have Copperplate at a good standard.


Kind Critique / Re: Copperplate progress
« on: December 31, 2017, 02:01:30 PM »
Hi Janis,

Thanks for your kind comments.  I write the same Pulp Fiction quote out every week or so, and take pictures of my progress, as I find it a good way of monitoring my progress, and also what I need to work on.  I write in my Rhodia pad without guidelines as I don't want to get overly reliant on them in the future.  I'll be happy if I can produce Copperplate without a slant line guide!

I have tried the Brause Rose, but I like the Leonardt Principal EF.  I am using the Hunt 101 at the moment.  I have some Nikko G, however I find they catch on the upstrokes a lot, and you have to press quite hard to get thick lines.

To save having to re-adjust the flange on my oblique holder I am sticking with the 101 in this one, and will buy another holder for my Leonardt nibs.

Watch this space, I'll post another pic in a few weeks!

Kind Critique / Copperplate progress
« on: December 31, 2017, 09:12:16 AM »
I was lucky enough to get a proper oblique holder for Xmas.  I bought myself a selection of nibs to try, and some different inks.  I haven't been practising for very long, but thought I'd post my progress.  I take pictures of my practise sheets as I go along.

The first is after 2 weeks, 4B pencil on standard white laser paper.

The second is after 5 weeks.  It's a Hunt 101 nib using Walkers Iron Gall ink on Rhodia Ivory paper.  I left all my mistakes in, mostly due to my children distracting me!

I have found that good materials make a massive difference to my practise.  I also bought a Leonardt Pricipal nib and a Brause Rose to try.

Many thanks,


Kind Critique / Re: Pencil Copperplate Practise
« on: December 03, 2017, 12:52:27 PM »
Thanks Katie, I'll give the upstrokes a go with a pencil as practise.  I do hold the pen fairly light though, in fact on some of the upstrokes I am literally using the weight of the pen to draw, but it's still scratchy.

Erica - I bought myself the Speedball Set, and it came with a bunch of nibs, for both pointed pen and broadstroke/blackletter writing.  I think the ink that came with it is fairly cheap as well, as I am prepping the nibs by following Schin's excellent advice.  I also clean it regularly whilst writing, so I think it's a combination of cheap ink and cheap nibs!

I bought some Rhodia R paper, and I will get myself a few different nibs, and possibly some decent Sumi ink after Xmas.  The plastic holder doesn't allow me to adjust the angle of the nib on the paper, plus when the nib is in, it is not in the centre of the pen holder either.  Any recommendations for nibs?  I like the look of Hiro 41's, and some of the Brause ones look nice too.

Also, I noticed in your tutorial videos that you're not writing in line with the slant lines.  Someone told me to keep the tines of the nib in line with the Copperplate slant, but I really struggle with this.  My pen angle is more like yours in the videos, which I find much more comfortable.

Thanks for all the advice so far!

Kind Critique / Re: Pencil Copperplate Practise
« on: December 01, 2017, 03:53:36 AM »
Thanks for the kind critique Katie!

I have been working on the letters quite a lot, writing them in isolation, and in full sentences.  I am onto my second pencil already!

I find writing poems or famous quotes really helps... I'm working my way through famous lines from Lord of the Rings at the moment in my practice. 

I bought myself a plastic Speedball oblique nib set, but I'm not having much luck with it.  My upstrokes tend to be scratchy and catch.  I think it's the angle I write at, but I can't adjust the nib/flange on the plastic holder.  My wife has bought me a wooden oblique holder for Xmas, so I'm going to have to wait... she told me not to buy one myself until after Xmas!  So I'm getting a lot of time to use pencil!

I'm mostly going from memory, but will make sure I have printed copies of the exemplars next to me in the future. 

Kind regards,


Kind Critique / Pencil Copperplate Practise
« on: November 30, 2017, 04:02:42 AM »

I practice writing Copperplate with a 4B pencil to learn the letter forms.  I pick poems or film quotes and write them out.

Here is a bit of 'If' by Rudyard Kipling.

Please be kind, I've only been seriously practicing for 2 weeks now.



Introductions / Re: Hello from the UK.
« on: November 30, 2017, 02:22:30 AM »
Thanks for the kind welcome.

@Katie.R - The 4B is good for practice I think.  You can increase pressure when writing to get darker lines, though you sometimes have to draw in the thicker lines yourself.

I wrote out a bit of 'If' by Rudyard Kipling as practice.  I'll post a pic in the Kind Critique section later.  You can have a look, but I've only been doing Copperplate for a couple of weeks, so it's not perfect!


Introductions / Hello from the UK.
« on: November 29, 2017, 02:47:28 AM »

I thought I'd be polite and introduce myself.  I'm Mark and I live in the UK.  I had an interest in handwriting and calligraphy at school, but computers took over my life and I stopped handwriting.  Now I'm re-discovering it, and I'm impressed with the amount of information that is available to learn from these days.

I am teaching myself Copperplate and Madarasz/Spencerian.  I got myself an oblique holder and a selection of nibs, just working out which one suits me best.

I'm looking forward to learning (I've already started with the Pointed Pen Nirvana videos!), and hopefully contributing one day.  At the moment I am practicing Copperplate letterforms with a 4B pencil, just getting the shapes under my fingers before I move onto ink.


PS. Erica... I may have accidentally posted this on your introduction thread too.  Feel free to delete my other post!

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