For all my calligraphy students, in your first lesson you will be taught how to hold the pen. Establishing a way to hold the pen that allows a light, yet firm grip that enables you to change the pen angle when needed.
Resting the pen on the first joint on the middle finger and using the thumb and forefinger to guide the pen to maintain its angle. The barrel of the penholder rests on the knuckle of the forefinger. The exact position will vary a little from person to person. This is the approach used for the broad edged nib.
When you want to flatten the pen angle, this resting place can be changed to rest as far over to the left as the knuckle of the thumb and positions between.
Understanding and maintaining the pen angle is the first problem for the beginner calligrapher. It is important to constantly check the pen angle at first. As you progress through the different writing styles, the pen angle changes. Then low and behold you learn that pen angle changes are required in some of the letters too. This can be a challenge for right handers so spare a thought for left handers who have a whole set of different challengers to overcome.
Positioning of the pen in the hand, your wrist position, resting the side of your hand on the paper, the grip you have on the pen holder and the position of the paper on the desk are all things that enable you to find your “sweet spot”.
These are considerations for both Left and right handers
Hints for left handers
Each individual needs to experiment with hand, pen and paper positions, make adjustments that work for them to find their own techniques. In the classroom I find that by observing the student as they write enables me to see what’s happening and therefore I can suggest ways to tweek their technique.
Stroke direction: Standard strokes are aimed at right-handers. Most often the pen is pulled across the paper instead of being pushed. It is not possible to simply use mirror a image of the right hander positions. Try pushing some strokes in opposite direction to your instructions.
Oblique left handed nibs can help achieve accurate angles.
Oblique pen holders, flipped from their normal hold as for copperplate, will also assist to maintain correct pen angles.
Arm position: An under arm position, the same as for right handers, is considered the most effective. If this doesn’t work, try the hook position or turn your paper, placing it at 90 degrees to the horizontal. This way it’s difficult to judge the letters, but enable strokes to be rendered the same as for right handers.
Paper Positioning: Maintaining the correct pen angle may be solved by turning the paper up to the left. This may disturb writing the verticals and constant slant
yFlourish – a decorative extension to a letter – usually an ascender or a descender, but also at a termination or added to a Majuscule. A flourish can also be used as a stand alone ornament.
The simplest form of flourishing is through slight extensions of the ascenders and the descenders. Italic and other script hands lend themselves to these extensions beautifully, but flourishes can also be added to other styles.
Remember though that “Less is More” and never a truer work has been spoken. As usual there is always an exception to the rule. The thing is you must – Learn the rules, then learn how to break them successfully.
At first flourishing can be almost like a study of a new alphabet. Line and white spaces (counters) are where you can begin your focus. Build up your muscle memory through the practice of simple curves, extend these curves to accommodate the flourish. Watch the line and the white space that the drawn line creates. Ascenders and descenders provide the main basis for flourishing of minuscule: some letters allow extension at the end of the line. Keep the shapes fairly similar within any one design.
When adding flourishes to a final design, leave off all the flourishes from ascenders and descenders within the body of text until the whole piece is completed - adding them later possibly with a smaller nib.
Hello Fellow pen Pushers,
2016 maybe drawing to an end BUT, there’s no slowing down for many of us. By popular demand I am squeezing in a few exciting workshops so we can all end this wonderful year with a bang.
So here's a chance for you to unleash your creativity in a couple of fun workshops. You may have tried flourishing and are floundering a bit with the shapes and just getting into the rhythm and
flow with it. I've come up with an interesting way to get your muscle memory really happening. Recently I tried out my techniques at an RMIT Uni mini workshop. SUCCESS !! Yeah, the students had fun and all of them got it. The work was beautiful to see. Woo Hoo!! wonderful to see!! So now you too can learn to flourish the easy way through a series of simple strokes and shapes.
And as we are coming into the silly season and it'll be the time for giving, here's one answer for your card and gift ideas. I have an action packed day for you, whether you want to mass produce the cards to sell or make a one off original to give as a gift, you will find this workshop great fun and an education on many fronts. As well as having ready made designs to inspire you I will show you how to design your cards and how to set yourself up to make multiples of cards so you have them ready to go at any stage when you may need a card or special gift. Because lets face it your handmade cards are made with much love in mind. They are little works of art and are definitely a great addition to any gift, if not a gift in themselves.
A great way to end your year and fabulous inspiration for the year to come. Be there or be square!!
No experience required. This workshop is beginners & experienced letter lovers.
The brush pen is fun to learn & the pointed brush is so versatile as a lettering tool.
See loads of demonstrations & the different approaches to handling the brush.
Learn how to use watercolour and coloured inks to create beautiful creative artworks that "Pop"
Happy New Year to you all
It may be getting a little late to say Happy New Year, but it still feels fresh and exciting with all the fabulous prospects ahead!
I’m hoping you've had a good start to the year so far.
I wanted to let you know about a few things that are coming up!
See the pdf below.
Lettering or Calligraphy or whatever you choose to name the beast - it's become the new flavour of our techno times for young and the older amongst us!. Or really for some of us, it's been a fabulous place to dwell for years and the learning never stops as the art evolves into it's "modern" incarnation. Woo Hoo !!
I am now teaching classes and workshops from my studio in Hampton. The workshops are for anyone and everyone who’s interested in calligraphy, lettering and the many related artistic skills.
I have some scheduled to begin in March. To begin with it’s all about calligraphy (pen work) and lettering (Brush work) and a bit later I’ve got some arty workshops where you’ll have fun producing creating cards and Nature Printing, which is the printing objects to use as images with your calligraphy. My courses run on a Thursday evenings and weekends and are limited to approx. 6 students.
Check out the link to see what’s up: http://thegraphicquill.weebly.com/workshops.html
I am very excited to announce a new collaboration with Moya, a past RMIT student. Great at her calligraphy and more!! She has fabulous skills in copperplate in particular. Moya will be on-hand at my classes and workshops giving a helping and taking part. Stay tuned for other events we have on the drawing board!!
Here's news about RMIT
RMIT has made some changes to their course format . There is a beginners course concentrating on historical alphabets and all the technical stuff, layout etc. The other “Mastering Italic” will be also for beginners and experienced. This course will be and intensive study centered around italic and script styles and capitals of course. It’s been designed so students may return after their first course to continue studies and advance their skills. The courses has be more lettering directed and a lot of the other content will be taught as one and two day workshops. This means students will get a chance to choose the extra skills they want to add to their repertoire. The workshops will be all day events Saturdays throughout the year.
Check out the RMIT link to see what’s up: https://shortcourses.rmit.edu.au
CALLIGRAPHY & LETTERING & Related Arts
Classes & Workshops March to May 2016
Tutor: Lauchean Duncan
0417 326 406
LAUCHEAN’S HAMPTON STUDIO www.graphicquill.com.au
Mastering Italic From 17th March - 5th May 6.30pm - 9.30pm. Costs: $350
Brush Lettering 26th 27th March EASTER 2 days 10am – 4pm Costs: $350
Nature Printing 10th April $125.00 (CSV Member Price $110)
Vintage Cards Sunday 17th April $125.00 (CSV Member Price $110)
Introduction To Calligraphy 24th April $125.00 (CSV Member Price $110)
RMIT CALLIGRAPHY & LETTERING COURSES
Mastering the Art of Calligraphy and Lettering
15th March 2016 12 weeks Fee: $520.00
Fundamentals of Calligraphy
4th April 12 weeks Fee: $520.00
Brush Lettering with the Pointed Brush
Workshop 2 days – 19th March & 20th & April 2016 Fee: Costs: $350
Saturday workshop 30 April Fee $175.00
Basic Colour Theory for calligraphers
Saturday workshop 28th May Fee $175.00
Calligraphy becomes part of a moving story of love, romance and the beauty of wonderful people showing their love for each other.
I recently had a phone call from a very kind man desperate for my help. Could I put a few words onto a wine barrel? He had tried all over town to find someone willing to give it a try. He explained that his very special girl had just lost her dearest old horse, Louey. He wanted to demonstrate his love for her with a very special gift. Could I burn the words "Loueys Apples" into the side of a wine barrel? He would then plant an apple tree in the barrel so that she would, in the future be able to feed apples to her horses from the tree. Thus she would have an ever present reminder of her very much loved and dearly departed horse Louey. The story was more than enough to draw me in.
Gerrard could not express just how much this meant to him or what it would truly mean to his girlfriend.
The gesture said it all. Words put into a gift as an expression of deep love, this time, came in a very different form.
The job required pyrography - the process of burning designs into wood or leather with a heated tool. A first for me yet again and what a pleasure to play a small part in a big story of love and loss - love of a partner and of a beloved companion, simply portrayed in this loving gesture.