Author Topic: Keeping track of my practice - more photos every few days :)  (Read 2182 times)

Offline Linda H.

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Keeping track of my practice - more photos every few days :)
« on: January 17, 2016, 09:55:48 AM »
So I started practicing with the help of Eleanor Winters' book and this is my first page of practice. Making those full pressure strokes even is hard and overal it's harder than I thought. And the O's, O O O.. They are hard!

What are your first thoughts and tips for my practice sheet?

(don't look at the big black dot, spilled some ink there haha)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 02:28:25 AM by Linda H. »
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Offline Linda H.

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Re: First day of practice
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2016, 01:47:12 PM »
And here's a photo of all the drills in line.. I think, with a lot of practice, I can hopefully master it pretty quick.

Can't wait to see the results in a few months from now!
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Offline Linda H.

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Day 2 of practice.. I've practiced a bit larger and I have to say: the O's goes indeed easier.. It's still hard tho. And that word, minimum.. Ew, don't like how they turn out..

Please tell me what you think..
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Offline Starlee

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Linda, I have to say that being so fresh out of the gate, you are doing fabulously. While there is so much too learn (that doesn't stop in case you were wondering  ;)), I find it best to focus on one thing at a time instead of multiple letters. And the basic strokes are the best place to start. I know...they're boring. But they are worth it! The importance of being able to execute a perfectly straight line and oval is paramount. I would start with page upon pages of those. Throw in some 'u' and n' curves as well to get a feel of the pen as it turns. Another thing you might want to try is practicing in pencil to master form, then switch to pen to worry about shades. If you try to focus on too much at once, especially at the start, everything suffers and at best, progresses slowly.

That said, you are a natural. Your slant is consistent, as are your shades. Your ovals and some of your overturns are a little pointy with the turn often being a little lopsided with a rightward lean instead of being balanced in the center. This is really obvious in your run of them just before those y's on day 2. On that same page, careful that the prongs of the 'u' are not closer than the spacing at the bottom. The d'...I find the ovals a little too fat for the height of letter...which reminds me, Copperplate is usually a 3:2:3 ratio. The loops of the g's and j's are stunted (but the y's are good). I love your loop width of the y's. That should be the 'thickness' of your ovals (and of the underturns of those y's. They should be equal thickness (here the y's underturn is wider than your loop). Similarly, the u's and n's you practiced are wider than the running string just below them. I like the width of the running string, but find the individual letters a little too fat.

But definitely off to a fabulous start. A lot of the turning issues will come with time and many pages of drills, especially ovals  :)
Star

Offline Linda H.

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Thank you so much, Starlee!! This kind of critique helps me very much!

Yes I noticed the ratio of 3:2:3 wasn't applied to the J's and the G's, you see with the Y's I used an extra block and it turned out much better. I made new practice sheets for myself in the right ratio, so I learn them the good way.

I'm now going to drill the basic lines. I've copied the forms from my book from Eleonor Winters and I'm going to paste them in a worksheet om my computer in lightgrey, a lot on one page, so I can trace those.. I think it will help me to know how the trace the form and then maybe doing it on my onw the same way.

I will keep track of it so if you mind to come back later and check if I'm doing better, that would be great :) Thank you again, so much!
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Offline Linda H.

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Did some drills again today.. Did some in my new Winsor & Newton gold in as well. This ink is a bit thicker and I like the way how that writes..

I also see some tiny tiny improvements in my overturns in just 2 days.. What do you think?
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Offline Starlee

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Oooohh! Shiny! Everything looks better in gold don't you think? ;) But I agree...this is leaps and bounds better! Practice always makes perfect, especially smart practice. One more thing I noticed regarding those upturns.See how as you take off the stroke slants a bit? This still gives it a lopsided look. The take off and downward turn of this stroke should ideally be parallel to the slant. At least that's my understanding of the hand...but keep at it!
Star

Offline Linda H.

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Oooohh! Shiny! Everything looks better in gold don't you think? ;) But I agree...this is leaps and bounds better! Practice always makes perfect, especially smart practice. One more thing I noticed regarding those upturns.See how as you take off the stroke slants a bit? This still gives it a lopsided look. The take off and downward turn of this stroke should ideally be parallel to the slant. At least that's my understanding of the hand...but keep at it!

Thank you for your feedback! I do notice it. I'm paying attention to it. You can see its worse in the black ink from practice day 2 and in gold I improved it. It's a bit hard, my own handwriting is also slanted. So I have to learn new habits in it.. But practice makes perfect and I keep practicing 😊

Thank you again for your feedback, I can't improve myself without it!
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Offline Starlee

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Re: Keeping track of my practice - more photos every few days :)
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2016, 07:06:22 AM »
Oh but Linda you can! The trick is learning to be self critical of your own work. That comes with time and through visual study of the letterforms and past exemplars, not just physical practice. The importance of 'theory' study is to become so familiar with the letterforms that they become burned in your mind. If your mind can't visualize it properly, no way will your hand create the proper form consistently. The balance to self critiquing though is being able to be critical while having patience with yourself so you don't get too harsh with yourself (my tendency). Like all learning, calligraphy is a progressive process and improvement comes in increments. The trick is to be consistent with your practice. Like piano lessons, just 30 minutes of practice each day is often enough. :)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 07:08:43 AM by Starlee »
Star

Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Keeping track of my practice - more photos every few days :)
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2016, 01:04:10 PM »
All of my teachers pointed out that you need to look at the spaces you are creating at the same time you are looking at the strokes. Where you are branching off on the m or n, you are creating a small triangle. You need to make each of them identical. Where you are drawing an oval, you need to see the parallelogram that defines the height and width and then remove the corners, with identical pairs of curves.

For anyone who will not have access to actual classes, you may find it helpful to print out fonts and trace them. This will build muscle memory much faster than trying to eyeball all the lines and curves. When I compare notes with other teachers, they all recommend tracing as a useful tool. After you do one line of tracing, switch to not-tracing, on the line below - and you will probably see immediate improvement.

IMHO, there is no substitute for seeing the white space as well as the stokes.

Keeping your exemplar right in front of your nose helps. It takes a long time to get the shapes imbedded in your hand-eye-brain. If I have been away from any hand for a few weeks I have to go back to the exemplar and brush up.
The fastest brush up is a quick tracing of all the letters, in sentences.

I am not a big fan of doing a full page of one letter. At the very least, group 2 or 3 letters so that you are understanding and seeing the space between the letters.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 01:56:27 PM by jeanwilson »

Offline Linda H.

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Re: Keeping track of my practice - more photos every few days :)
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2016, 02:07:31 AM »
@jeanwilson thank you for your feedback. I was indeed busy in making a traceable worksheet for myself. Still working on those since they are nowhere to be found online. I thought, if I do one stroke drills at the time, they will improve. So thank you for the tip to do 2 or 3 instead of one. Will do that next time :).

It sometimes confuses me tho, when I look on instagram and see professional calligraphers.. Some of them make their overturn pointy too, and that's the way how my own handwriting is too.. Maybe that's why I think its maybe a bit okay to do that too.. Have to get that out of my mind and learn the basics first.

Thank you again, for your feedback and tips :)
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Offline Starlee

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Re: Keeping track of my practice - more photos every few days :)
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2016, 07:56:34 AM »
Hi Linda. A word of caution about Instagram. There is a wonderful community of calligraphers there with beautiful work.....but it is a jungle with many many examples of improperly done form (I include myself in that group as I just like to play). If you are looking for ideal, near perfect examples, stick to the masters of old...or maybe think about taking a class with the masters of new ;)
Star

Offline Linda H.

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Re: Keeping track of my practice - more photos every few days :)
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2016, 09:35:34 AM »
Yet another day of calligraphy drills.. I love doing it, but then I lost track of time and realise I'm practicing for 2 hours and that my hand hurts.. So some of the hairlines are wobbly.

The O's are still hard to do. I have the basic line in my head now, I just don't get it out with my hand. I get into a rhythm where the O start to turn upwards again instead in the 55 degree angle. I find it hard to get it in that angle.

So are the overturns hard, they keep getting pointy at the top instead of round. I do see an improvement tho since last time. I paid attention to those round strokes, but still I need a lot (and I mean a lot) of practice to do. I love doing the underturns. I find them a lot easier then the overturns.

The descendant and ascendant loops are not consistent yet, but I have that in my mind too. Now I have to figure out how I can get the same stroke every single time..

What do you all think this time?
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Offline Starlee

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Re: Keeping track of my practice - more photos every few days :)
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2016, 05:03:16 PM »
Hi Linda,

These look fantastic! Two things to watch still are the loops....keep them consistent by crossing the descender/ascender at the exact same spot each time to help keep them the same size. This is easier said than done...consistently  :P The O's still need some work in consistency as well. Many of your examples are good form though, so that means the form is in your mind, it's just that your muscles haven't caught up yet. What does this mean? Oval drills! And lots of them! You will get it. Just keep pushing.  :) I think you are now at the point where it is a simply a matter of continual daily practice. You did the most important thing. You really took your time to grasp the form. Now it is a matter of building muscle memory, and that takes time.
Star

Offline Linda H.

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Re: Keeping track of my practice - more photos every few days :)
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 07:12:55 AM »
@Starlee thank you again for your feedback! It really helps me to look extra critical at my writing and find out how to improve myself. The most forms are indeed in my head and it's good but when I practice it, it doesn't look like what I had in my head (then again, singing in my head sounds good, in real life not so much 😂).

But I will practice more on those O's, though I don't like them 😒..
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