Author Topic: Off-hand flourishing  (Read 6736 times)

Offline ErikH

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Off-hand flourishing
« on: February 01, 2014, 01:52:33 PM »
Well... for now it's still too studied and deliberate to be worthy of the title "off-hand", but it's called practice for a reason :) I'm really looking forward to the day when I can come up with these myself, rather than copying them from examples. The decorations around the bird are a first careful attempt at that.

These were made specifically for sharing (ie not on ruled paper :p). As the comments with the images say: Guillot 303 nib in a straight holder, with black Parker Quink (easy to get, flows nicely, and if you leave it lying around where the light can get to it it fades to an old-looking brown relatively quickly).

http://venefyxatu.deviantart.com/art/2014-01-24-Quill1-429361736
http://venefyxatu.deviantart.com/art/2014-01-24-Quill2-429362008
http://venefyxatu.deviantart.com/art/2014-02-01-Bird-431091546


(if there is a general preference for attaching images rather than linking to them, please let me know and I'll change this post).

Offline NikkiB

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 03:20:41 PM »
These look great Erik, I like quill 2 the most, it looks very even and is beautifully executed
Nikki x

Offline Estefa

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 05:09:41 PM »
Hey Erik, nice work!! What book or source are you learning from, if I may ask? I am also trying to learn this, I use Zaner's "Gems of Flourishing". And also out of couriosity, do you use this reverse-penhold that you do the swell strokes away from the body? Like explained on page 15 in the booklet? Because I tried it (not very hard, to be honest) – now I am using an oblique penholder and do the exercises the wrong way around, if you know what I mean.

Another question – what do you mean about the ruled paper? Are you doing off-hand flourishing practice on ruled paper?

Stefanie
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Offline Roseann

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 02:44:33 AM »
Erik,
That's really great work!
Thank you for sharing.

Roseann
Roseann

“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”   R. L. Stevenson

Offline ErikH

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 07:58:26 AM »
Thank you for the kind comments!
Nikki, the evenness of that particular quill is what I'm happiest about as well. That is what's responsible for making me feel like I'm getting the hang of it :)

Estefa: I'm learning from Ornate Pictorial Calligraphy by E.A. Lupfer, which is a republication of 'Fascinating Pen Flourishing, containing a complete course and a collection of masterpieces produced by leading penmen of the penmanship profession' (published by the Zaner-Bloser Company - they apparently did not mess around when it came to titles :p). I can only assume that Zaner's Gems of Flourishing is a summary of that book, as even a quick comparison shows that there is a lot of overlap in the texts. As far as exercises and images go: the book I have contains the same exercises and most of the examples, and adds to that a whole lot more beautiful (and very advanced) examples :)

I do use the hold as described - it took some getting used to (and some VERY shaky shapes), but I find that it works very well for this. I think I know what you mean (though I'd get confused if I would try it) - your way is probably just as good; the important part seems to be whole arm / forearm movements.

Oh, and I probably should have written grid paper or squared paper (Clairefontaine course paper). I mainly started using it because it's about half the price of the sketching paper I used to use (and used for the images above), while being much smoother. As an added bonus, the grid can be helpful in making shapes of the same size, though I did have to draw extra lines while I was starting out with the basic exercises!

Offline Estefa

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 09:53:56 AM »
Thank you very much for your answer! That's interesting about this penhold … I just thought I'd try it this way because mainly I hope to use this one day to "decorate" my writing, and I guessed changing pen holders could get annoying, apart from the fact that the flourishing penhold is again something new and difficult to learn ;)! Also I saw Barbara Calzolari use a regular oblique pen holder when she did the flourishing during the workshop I attended some weeks ago. Would be interesting to know how others do it today.

I am all the more impressed ;)

Thanks also for the tip with the book! (Oh yes, I also think some of these guys tended towards a quite pompous style of writing :D – which is why I like the little booklet, it's quite short and to the point … but I guess that just was the time!)
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 06:37:58 PM »
Wow - so impressive! Beautiful work!  :)
Truly, Erica
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Offline ErikH

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 04:10:13 AM »
Thank you very much for your answer! That's interesting about this penhold … I just thought I'd try it this way because mainly I hope to use this one day to "decorate" my writing, and I guessed changing pen holders could get annoying, apart from the fact that the flourishing penhold is again something new and difficult to learn ;)!

My pen holders have three flat surfaces on them - normally used to give an easier grip while writing. I do find that I need to insert the nib at a slightly different angle for writing and flourishing to get my thumb to rest comfortably against the flat surface while flourishing - which means that, once I start combining the two, I'll probably be switching pens as well - let's see how long until I give up doing that :)

Thanks also for the tip with the book! (Oh yes, I also think some of these guys tended towards a quite pompous style of writing :D – which is why I like the little booklet, it's quite short and to the point … but I guess that just was the time!)

They do! I rather like the style though - maybe because it invokes images of a penman sitting in an oil-lamp lit study writing down his memoirs with a quill :)

Erica: thank you!

Offline Estefa

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 05:11:35 PM »
My pen holders have three flat surfaces on them - normally used to give an easier grip while writing. I do find that I need to insert the nib at a slightly different angle for writing and flourishing to get my thumb to rest comfortably against the flat surface while flourishing - which means that, once I start combining the two, I'll probably be switching pens as well - let's see how long until I give up doing that :)

So you are using a straight penholder for writing too? Or a QUILL? Haha, no need to insert a nib there. No, I am just curious. I started writing Copperplate-ish with a straight holder (mainly because I didn't know obliques existed). I am now a happy convert though ;) …

They do! I rather like the style though - maybe because it invokes images of a penman sitting in an oil-lamp lit study writing down his memoirs with a quill :)

True ;) – there is a very funny one where he says one should better learn flourishing than using tobacco and and hanging around with "undesirable people" (it was expressed a little differently, but that was the essence).

But very beautiful examples, I got the book you recommended, it is nice to have a hard copy.

Thanks!
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline ErikH

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 02:51:01 AM »
Hah, no quill, though I do have a few feathers I intend to cut just to have tried it.
I use a straight - gave oblique a (very short) try, but didn't really get into it. I gave it up rather quickly and went back to the comfort and safety of the known straight :)

Offline Estefa

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 07:21:11 AM »
Thanks for your answer! I also tried a quill – it is lovely to write with, but wears out pretty fastly (especially if you let a 6-year-old who just learns cursice write with it …). I think they are so hard to cut. I tried it after it wore out but I think I would need someone to show me. And I think I simply am too impatient for that also!

In the Scriptorium am Rheinsprung you can buy ready-cut quills – but they are too expensive for everyday-writing!

http://www.kalligraphie.ch/store/index.php/language/en/XTCsid/hetelogvgppc8ffir5va7v8ge6/cat/c79_Federkiele.html/?xe85e3=t8hakapndq7t3nh4pm9di6r091
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Off-hand flourishing
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2014, 11:24:11 AM »
We cut our own quills at a guild meeting once - they are fabulous for broad edge calligraphy. Nice, crisp lines.
Truly, Erica
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