Author Topic: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3  (Read 16553 times)

Offline Salman Khattak

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Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« on: September 12, 2016, 06:16:38 PM »
Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3

This group introduces the ‘o’ shape. Combined with the strokes in the previous two groups we can make the following letters:



The ‘o’ stroke can either be started at the waist line coming down and left to form the shade or the 1 o’ clock position where one goes up to the waist line before coming down into the shade. Use whichever one works better for you.

It is important to understand that the inside of the ‘o’ stroke does not have much of a curve. The appearance of roundness comes from the gradually increasing and decreasing shade. The thickest part of the shade is a little below the halfway point between the waist and base lines.

The ‘o’ shape in Copperplate is a thin oval with its width about half the height. It is important to pay attention to this as the letters based on this shape can get too wide when we add other strokes to it.

o - the ‘o’ starts with a hairline as in the ‘i’ - the ‘o’ stroke is made so it almost touches the the hairline around the halfway point of the x-height. The ‘blob’ is made about ⅓ rd of the way down coming down to almost half the x-height allowing for a graceful exit hairline similar to the ending stroke in ‘w’ and ‘b’.

c - the left side of the ‘c’ is the same as the ‘o’ stroke. The hairline from the base line goes out to join with the following letter rather than up and around to form the oval. The right side at the top is drawn in the clockwise direction if you started at the waist line coming down about ⅓ rd of the way down. (It would already be drawn if you started at the 1 o’ clock position.) The blob is formed inside the oval in the same place it would fall if we were drawing an ‘o’.

e - the left side and exit hairline of the ‘e’ is similar to the ‘c’. The eye is formed by drawing the closing stroke in the clockwise direction. Once again the eye is not too rounded - the inside shape (counter) of the eye is a flat almond shape. One can add a very slight shade to this stroke if desired.

a - the ‘a’ is just an ‘o’ shape followed by the ‘i’ stroke. Just like the hairline join, the right side of the ‘o’ and  the shade of the ‘i’ should barely touch each other.

d - is just like an ‘a’ but the ‘i’ stroke is as tall as the ‘t’ i.e. between the waist and 1st Ascender lines. The ascenders of the ‘d’ and ‘t’ are shorter than the regular ascender height.

g - the ‘g’ is an ‘o’ shape followed by a ‘j’ - the two strokes should barely touch around the middle of the x-height.

q - the ‘q’ is an ‘o’ shape followed by what starts like a ‘j’ but loops the wrong way around i.e to the right. In order to make room for the loop on the right side, the shaded down stroke moves a bit to the left as it tapers after passing below the base line. The hairline stroke forming the loop at the bottom joins the downstroke at the base line and then comes right out for the connecting hairline.
 
Joins:
The hairline strokes connecting to round letters from the left meet them at about half way up the x-height as shown in the example above. On the right side the ‘o’ connects to the following letter in a similar manner to the ‘w’ and the ‘b’. The other letters in this group all have their exit hairlines at the base line so join in the same way as an ‘i’ would. Here are a couple of examples:



How about tot, talon, dice, quench and gauge for practice words? Please feel free to add a word of your choice using any of the letters from the three groups we have covered.
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Offline Mamashag

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 12:50:47 PM »
Hello Salman,

Attached is my work for Group 3 letters and words. Thank you for this opportunity.

Offline Salman Khattak

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2016, 01:12:10 PM »
@Mamashag

A good start on the round form. Your slant has started to wander. I suspect because you are using the guidelines under the page rather than writing on the page with guidelines. There is no substitute to having guidelines on the page you are writing on - that little bit of extra effort is well worth the results you will get.

Here's my feedback:

1. You begin the shade on the round form a bit too early. This is most noticeable in the 'e'. The counter shape of the eye in 'e' should be an almond shape - the top part of this shape is flattened when you start the shade too early.

2. The slight secondary shade on the closing loop of the 'e' should be much thinner - just a hint of a shade will do.

3. The 'q' on the practice line is lovely. The one in 'quench' is too rounded at the bottom turn of the descender. Also, the slant of the 'q' and the 'g' is vidually different. They should seem to be at the same slant when they are next to each other. I will leave you to experiment a bit to get that sorted.

Lets have another go at this one. I will be looking forward to it.

- Salman
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Offline Mamashag

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 01:19:08 PM »
Thank you Salman! I will work on each of these problem areas.
RC

Offline Anjali N

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2016, 11:48:53 PM »
Hi Salman, here is my go at set 3. Thanks!

Offline Salman Khattak

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2016, 03:53:45 PM »
@Anjali N

Great job on matching the slant of the 'q' and the 'g' - this is a challenging area for most people. You are a natural.

Here's my feedback:

- Your inverted 'i' and compound strokes have suffered - in the 'n' in 'anjali' has both turns at the top miss hitting the waist line and the spacing between the 'a' and the 'n' is actually less than the two stroke of the 'n'. The word 'talon' is off slant - most likely because you extended your hand to write further away rather than move the paper so your hand remains in the sweet spot.

- The shade of the rounded strokes in the 'o' shape start too early. The curve should start as a hairline developing to full shade no earlier than 1/3rd of the way down from the waist line. The first 'a' in 'anjali' is better in this respect - but then it misses the waist line :-(

- You are not lifting your pen at the base line when making the 'o' as well as pulling the shade too low. The shade should start tapering 1/3rd of the x-height before you reach the base line.

- The secondary shade in the eye of the 'e' should be very delicate. The almond shape of the eye is hard to get if you start the main shade too early so I think it will improve with practice.


Shall we have another go at it?

- Salman
I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Offline Anjali N

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 10:17:34 PM »
Hi Salman, happy Monday! Here is my next attempt at group 3. As always, thank you!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 10:23:47 PM by Anjali N »

Offline Salman Khattak

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 03:25:27 PM »
@Anjali N

Nice work Anjali. You have a good handle on the letter forms and are hitting the base and waist lines consistently as well as maintaining good slant. I think it is time for the next step in refining your script. This is where things can get a little frustrating as we will take on things that are not readily visible.

We will work on spacing and joins. Spacing and joins are fairly natural in Copperplate but an awareness of certain elements adds another level of refinement to your script. Not only that, you will be able to analyze the masters' work with better understanding.

Your round shapes are just a tiny bit wider than mine. That is just fine as long as they are consistently so. The thing to note with the round form is that the bottom turns of all letters, even the straight stemmed ones, should all be like the 'o'. I know this sounds a bit whack but it really isn't. The image below shows the bottom halves of three words 'ice', 'lit' and 'tie' - can you tell which one is which?


(you can see the revealed image here)

Now look at the bottom half of the word 'tot' in your exercises - do the bottom halves all look the same?

The interesting 'side-effect' of getting the bottom turn right is that your exit hairlines will naturally be at the correct angle (i.e. the slant angle) when they meet the following letter at about 1/2 x-height. Also, they won't 'impale' the following letter even if they meet a bit lower.

Your next exercise is to write the words 'ice', 'tie', and 'lit' paying attention to this.

Salman
I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Offline Anjali N

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 04:19:57 PM »
Wow, Salman -- so many different layers and details to this!  Very fascinating and eye opening.  I'll work on this next area of refinement and be back (FYI, I'll be away for a while - out of town until Sunday without my supplies!).

Thank you again for time, patience, and teaching.

Offline Anjali N

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2016, 01:00:12 AM »
So, I ended up bringing my supplies on vacation and snuck in some practice. Here is ice, tie, and lit - look forward to your thoughts!

Offline Salman Khattak

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2016, 02:06:27 AM »
@Anjali N

You nailed the bottom turns Anjali. Did you notice how regular your spacing is on this one compared to the previous upload?

You are still starting the shade on the rounded letters just a tad too soon and the closing stroke for the counter of the 'e' could be a bit more delicate. Also, the entry hairline of the 't' in 'tie' joins it a bit too low creating an abrupt join.

These are things you can work on as you move to the last group in the minuscules :-) I will be looking forward to your group-4 worksheet.

- Salman
I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Offline Mamashag

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2016, 04:15:45 PM »
Salman,

I wanted to give you an update on my work. I am trying to work on the corrections you gave from last week and would like to know if you notice any change. Some questions I have: How can I join the upstrokes to the downstrokes without the bleeding of ink (c-h, or within a letter h, n, g)? Should my spacing within a single letter (a, g, h or n) be the same as the spacing between letters such dice)?

Offline Salman Khattak

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2016, 02:43:55 AM »
@Mamashag

Very nicely done. There is a clear improvement in this exercise sheet. The 'tot' is written especially well.

There really is no technique to keep the ink from flowing into the hairline when a shaded stroke touches it. You can give the ink a bit more time to dry after drawing the hairline which can minimize the effect. The traditional method is to leave a very tiny gap between the shade and the hairline. This takes a lot of skill but it comes with practice. If the gap bothers you, you can leave your entry hairlines a bit short and then go back and touch them up (very carefully) after the ink is dry - this is arguably harder to do than leave the tiny gap :-)

The spacing is determined by the meeting of the exit hairline with the shade of the next letter at 1/2 x-height - these are your 'regular' joins. Letters that don't have an exit hairline (like an 'o') still follow this spacing guide. Letters that are made up of 2 strokes like 'u', 'a', 'n' follow the same rule. So if you write 'mitt' and cover the top half (after the ink is dry :-) you should see evenly spaced strokes touching the baseline.

The spacing has to be increased by about 1/2 in cases where the next letter begins with an entry hairline ('m', 'n', 'y') so these joins would typically take about 1-1/2 times the space of regular joins. In these cases both the exit and entry hairlines need to be made steeper than usual so as not to take up twice the space for the join. This is explained with examples at the end of the group-2 letters. So if you write 'mint' and cover the top half, you will see a 1.5 times more space between the 'i' and the 'n' compared to the other joins in the word.

Please feel free to let me know if this doesn't make sense. I will be happy to explain any ambiguity.

Now for the feedback:

1. The 'q' still appears a bit more upright than the 'g's. Also, the shape of the counter in the loop of the 'q' should be more almond-like - just like the shape of the counter in the bottom loop of the 'g'.

2. The shades stroke of the bottom loop of 'q' and 'g' needs to taper to a hairline at the 1st descender line. The bottom part of the turn should not be shaded on either side.

3. The crossbar of the 't' is drawn between the waist line and the top of the main stroke. Yours are too low.


These are fairly straightforward fixes and I am sure you can work on them when practicing the group-4 letters. You can move on now :-)

- Salman
I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Offline Mamashag

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2016, 04:26:15 AM »
Salman,
Thank you for the spacing explanation. I want to practice some of the letters while thinking about those details. I will work on the descender loops and make the other corrections you mentioned as well. I look forward to Exercise 4!

Offline baodingball

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Re: Copperplate Minuscules - Group 3
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2016, 07:39:15 AM »
Hi, it took me a while  to get this one posted.  Anyways, happy holiday to everyone in advance!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 03:37:18 AM by baodingball »