Author Topic: Please help  (Read 1752 times)

Offline Bbycllgphr

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Please help
« on: April 29, 2020, 11:07:03 PM »
Ive made a lot of progress since I held that dip pen again this lockdown. But this week, Ive plateaud. And I think I stopped listening to my critiques and just kept chugging along, as a result, my practice is leading to nowhere. I thought I was on my way to being super calligrapher before lockdown ends, lol.

My letters remain shaky— should the wrist be off the table and unsupported (thats a lot of effort for me) or is it resting (but then I cant control my larger strokes very well and the slant goes everywhere).
Ive been reading previous critiques too- there is a wealth of information there! I think I should consider tracing majuscules too as recommneded in another thread.
I guess what I am trying to say is, I think my work is okay. But how do you get this to next level and less amateur looking?

And I like sumi ink because it is smooth, but my letters come out furry even if I add some water. I see other people’s work and their letters come out crisp. Is it still my shaky weak hand that is to blame here?

Thanks
 

Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Please help
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2020, 09:35:47 AM »
Do drills - the most boring type that you can find: ovals and push-pull.

I find it refreshing to go back to the beginning and re-read the instructions.  Adhere to every vice and do each drill with due diligent.
I hope that it will lift your progress by miles and miles.

Beautiful progress.  Show us more after 10 pages of drills.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Please help
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2020, 10:18:07 AM »
The feathered ink is most likely the paper you are using or your sumi is too watered down.

I agree with @InkyFingers - drills.  You have your letterforms down quite well. Now it will be about developing the muscle memory and line confidence to develop a rhythm and add energy to your calligraphy.  Well done!  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline Bbycllgphr

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Re: Please help
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2020, 01:25:39 PM »
Thanks so much for feedback.
Is this what you mean by oval drills?

https://www.pinterest.es/pin/855050679231823946/

I have a lot of respect for the work and attention to detail that all of you put through this. It looked easy when I knew nothing about it!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Please help
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2020, 02:45:49 PM »
There are a lot of calligraphy "drills" out there on the interwebs. But while some are fun to do, they don't really reinforce the muscles you use or the strokes you make. The old masters, while boring, do have it right in terms of developing the control and line strength.

This one is really basic. You can even practice with a pencil.
Drills

Yes, it can take years to perfect your hand. And even for those of us who have been doing it for a couple decades, I am still honing and seeing errors in my hand that I can address. It's all part of the process and practice.  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Please help
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2020, 05:29:20 PM »
When I find myself having shaky lines:
- I am going too slow.
- I was drawing the shape and not relaxing enough.
- I needed more drills to condition my muscle memory.

Also...I find it most helpful to add Gum of Arabic.

After 5 yrs of using only fountain pen ink...I took the plunge and got some Arabic Gum...what a difference it made.

Offline Bbycllgphr

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Re: Please help
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2020, 08:42:45 PM »
I think this is a lightbulb moment for me. I believed I had a light hand because I did better with a hunt 101 than a nikko g, but now I realize I am strangling the pen even if I wasnt pressing down hard. I think I am seeing the direction I should go now— mainly do drills on basic letter strokes until my forearm gets it and stop choking  the pen holder.

I did get some ovals in today, and a good chunk of them looked like potatoes,  but I am seeing what I am doing wrong. Its pretty relaxing.

Many thanks for your input Erica and inky fingers.

Offline Bbycllgphr

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Re: Please help
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2020, 09:39:50 PM »
So Im going back to work next week and Im grateful I have a job, but will miss calligraphy practice, which saved me from insanity. Will just have to make time for it.
I did the drills, and there is a bit of more “confidence” in the lines, but still “off” i think. Not much improvement I think from end of April. I realize now that learning is the easy part, but refining the craft will take a while and may be life long. I just added too my practice sheet from mid March at start of lockdown just to make me feel better that I did not waste my time “doodling” ovals.

Please have at it and roast me :D

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Please help
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2020, 12:04:23 PM »
You are still making progress. I would suggest trying something to see if it works for you. Instead of doing the connector stroke in one fell swoop - stop at the bottom, lift the pen, and then make the upstroke. I think you will find your connecting strokes much more consistent. Also, concentrate on oval shapes. You have a roundness to your letters (which is perfectly acceptable - especially if you are doing Roundhand).

Great news you are going back to work! Will have to make the time to practice in the evenings and weekends!  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline Bbycllgphr

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Re: Please help
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2020, 03:07:12 PM »
Thanks so much Erica. I think making my ovals look more like eggs than potatoes made a big difference— its funny because I am oblivious to it. Its my natural O so Ive been wondering why my copperplate looks susoiciously similar to my cursve.
This isnt perfect, and still has some spacing problems, consistency and a wonky D but working on a proper oval helped with connector issues too. I still need to make my oval slant consistent also, but I think fixing those fat oval shapes was key to moving forward.

Thanks again.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 03:13:23 PM by Bbycllgphr »

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Please help
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2020, 12:14:30 PM »
Oh wow - yes! Great improvement! Amazing what one small change can do. Excellent job!   :D
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline Starlee

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Re: Please help
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2020, 05:17:45 PM »
You are making great progress and are off to a great start.

I disagree that learning is the easy part though. Personally, I find learning physically hurts my brain. That's why we often resist it! lol Plus, the learning never stops. There are so many nuances to this art form that we pick up as we gain experience over time. For instance, once you get the slant perfect, then there is the oval, consistency of loops, letter spacing, crisp squaring of tops and bottoms.... As you get comfy with the basics, then you realize that it's not just about even pressure with each shade, but start focusing on when you add and relieve the shade, ensuring application of pressure occurs at the same position within the x-height for every stroke and not during the turns....etc. These are nuances that experience and practice through drills teach you that are often not relayed well through instruction. In addition to drills, make sure 50% of your calligraphy time is studying. Even when you think you know a form, study it some more. ;)
Star

Offline ash0kgiri

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Re: Please help
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2020, 04:24:45 AM »
Ive made a lot of progress since I held that dip pen again this lockdown. But this week, Ive plateaud. And I think I stopped listening to my critiques and just kept chugging along, as a result, my practice is leading to nowhere. I thought I was on my way to being super calligrapher before lockdown ends, lol.


My 2 cents here!
I like that you are trying hard! Along with this let me add a few things that will help you achieve your goals that you have set for your self till the lockdown ends and i been realistic here. Setting up small and realistic goals in very important. So, instead of perfecting a paragraph or a word focus on one letter at a time. To break this down even further, focus on the 'Letterforms' that make that Letter. This will help you get into study more and not just random pages of practice.

When I started, I was not aware of this and when I joined this amazing forum and things really changed for me. I was a complete beginner when I joined and I learned this script in 60 days. Not kidding! Cant thank enough @Salman Khattak and all others who helped me in my journey. So your goal is quite achievable if you focus your energy in the right direction. Here's my thread for you to see my journey and also learn from... https://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=4833.0

Everyone here will try and help you in best possible way. When you practice consider each point and evaluate what have worked for you, as each person is different all these feedback are mostly from personal experiences and some might or not might work for you. As @Starlee, @Erica McPhee, @InkyFingers all have given their expert opinion and IMHO they would all help you in your progress if you implement them in your 'Study Practice' :)

Keep writing!
Ash
Keep writing, Ash
Calligrapher, Teacher, Creative Director, Part time Cook
www.joyandashcalligraphy.com  |  www.instagram.com/ash0kgiri

Offline Bbycllgphr

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Re: Please help
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2020, 09:36:36 PM »
Thank you for all the encouragement! Your posts are so inspiring. My calligraphy journey has been dotted by trialling multiple nib and paper combinations and figuring out which work, I probably might have obsessed on this way more than I am supposed to, but I know what I like now. Theres been a short detour with business penmanship as well lol. I just need to focus more.

Ash— your work is amazing and so elegant! I see the control and consitency  that you have developed over time. Thank you for sharing your journey, its very inspiring.

Starlee— I know, its just I feel like I know what these letters should look like in my mind after looking them overr and ove again— i have days that i fall asleep with letterforms being the last thing on my mind and then I dream of ovals chasing me. But my hands just refuse to be consistent, I can do a perfect in my mind oval and cant replicate it 3 ovals later. (Helps that an oval should be an oval and not a potato- things that a noob cant see even if they try to).

Anyway I am still at it.. attaching the receipts- basically the pile of practice papers— not proud of them and sorry about the blurriness— not looking for critique with this— its still letterforms which need to be embossed in my mind.. No breakthroughs other than Sumi is now cooperating with me.  No structure in my practice too— I just need to listen to what you are telling me. I Do wonky overdone tryhard flourishes, work stresses me out and playing around can be ... relaxing, I guess? They dont help though with getting better I suppose.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 09:45:41 PM by Bbycllgphr »