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C == alligraphy I N T R O D U C T I O N

T O

F E A T U R I N G

© A N E W F O N T B Y C A R O U S E L AT E L I E R

C H R I S T I N E

K I R B Y


Photo Credits: COVER courtesy of PEXELS.COM Image on page 11 courtesy of Jessica Bellinger Images on pages 7, 9, 15, & 36 courtesy of Blair Bush INSIDE BACK COVER courtesy of Blair Bush

Designed and produced by Ripley Fox Creative www.ripleyfox.com

Copyright © 2016 by Christine Kirby All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

CAROUSEL ATELIER

8123 Pacific Loon Street Winter Garden, FL 34787 www.carouselatelier.com Ordering Information: Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above. Printed in the United States of America


WELCOME.

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n this workbook you will find everything you will need to know on your journey to becoming a fine art calligrapher. Calligraphy is an ancient and precise art dating back centuries to the dawn of the written word. Civilizations began to realize that not only were the content of the words important, but the way in which they were written—the beauty, the utility, and the design—were equally so. Today, calligraphy is reserved for the most special events in one’s life: stationery, announcements, invitations, and so on. It is a truth universally acknowledged that the art of calligraphy itself is distinguished and greatly admired.

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sing your talents will no doubt come in handy, whether you’re preparing gifts and cards for yourself or if you’re thinking of becoming a professional. Mastering the art of calligraphy takes time and practice, but with dedication you will undoubtedly discover a hidden talent within yourself. I truly hope you complete this course both learning a new skill and learning a new side of you.

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Supply List........................................................................................3 Anatomy of the Nib & Penholder. . .............................................. 4 Penholders........................................................................................5 Ink.......................................................................................................6 Paper. . ................................................................................................6 Pen Angle + Pressure.....................................................................7 Guidelines.........................................................................................8 Assembling & Preparation.............................................................9

SECTION T WO: WRITING Beginning to Write. . ...................................................................... 10 Types of Strokes............................................................................ 10 The Alphabet. . ................................................................................ 12

SECTION THREE: EXERCISES Strokes. . ........................................................................................... 13 Alphabet . . ........................................................................................ 16 Words. . ............................................................................................ 22 Sentences. . ......................................................................................27

SECTION FOUR: TROUBLESHOOTING Frequently Asked Questions.. ..................... 37 Writing Lefthanded . . .................................... 40

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

SECTION ONE


Supply List

In this course we will be going over the basics of calligraphy, from pen and nib selection to how to hold your pen and how to make basic shapes like letters. Below is a list of the items you will need throughout the workshop:

Pen Holder Three Nibs Black Ink Notebook with Calligraphy Paper Vellum Tracing Paper (three pages) Guideline Sheets (three pages) Instructions with Alphabet Colored Ink Pen

From Christine

“Calligraphy” translates to “beautiful letters.” It has a rich history, starting back in about 600BC with the Romans and about 200BC in China. When you think of historical calligraphy, you might picture European Monks hand-writing the Bible cover-to-cover, or perhaps maybe you think of the Declaration of Independence. Both of these are fantastic examples of different styles of calligraphy.

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Base Imprint

BASE This is the wide, rounded side of your nib. It connects to your pen holder.

Vent Shoulder Tines Tip

IMPRINT This is the manufacturing information: the nib name, the company of production, and the metal from which it is made. Sometimes this information can be located on the body of the nib or on the side of the nib.

VENT

The vent is an opening on the nib where air is able to flow through the ink, allowing the ink to flow.

SHOULDER The vent is formed by the tines connecting to the body of the nib. The shape of the shoulders determines how flexible the nib will be.

BODY This is the main part of the nib.

TINES Created by a slit, the tines are two separate legs. They allow the ink to flow and with practice, you will be able to draw them apart to create thicker lines.

TIP This is the sharp, pointed side of the nib. This will be the part that actually touches the paper to create your writing.

Anatomy OF THE NIB

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a note about

Pen Holders There are two main types of pen holders: straight pen holders and oblique pen holders. We will be using universal straight pen holders. This means that a wide variety of nib sizes will fit in your holder, reducing your limitations in regard to nib choice. You will notice that they look very similar to a regular pen or pencil and you will hold them the same way. The second kind of holder is called the oblique pen holder. Right-handed people are actually at a disadvantage when it comes to practicing calligraphy due to the angle at which they hold their pens; left-handed writers hold their pens at the ideal angle. The oblique pen holder was developed so that right-handed writers can better duplicate that angle. There are left-handed oblique pen holders, but arguably that could be a bit redundant. The outside of the nib (the convex side) will touch the metal ring of the pen holder. There are four curved metal flaps that look like rounded flower petals - those will the inside (or concave) part of the nib. The metal flaps can be gently adjusted using pliers.

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Ink

the colorful, versatile world of

As calligraphers, there are a few nontraditional calligraphy inks at your disposal, such as paint or watercolor. It is important that the ink that you choose to use is thin enough to flow through your nib, but thick enough that it can be read when you finish.

INDIA INK India Inks are typically the types of inks used when the artist desires a shiny, shimmery sort of finish. Often India ink will use gelatin or shellac as a binder. Additionally, India ink comes in a variety of colors and is extremely versatile, making it a favorite among calligraphers. India ink is fairly waterproof in some cases, although there are water-soluble variations.

SUMI INK Sumi (Japanese) Inks tend to dry a bit on the matte side. While more cost effective than India ink, Sumi ink is generally only found in black or red and dries lighter than other inks. Sumi ink is water-soluble.

Paper

choosing the perfect canvas

The standard measurement of thickness is measured in pounds and abbreviated as “#.� You will want to work with papers that have higher weights; nothing less than 80#. 92# is preferred. For practicing, computer paper is usually a safe bet. You’ll want to choose a paper that is relatively smooth so that your tines do not catch on the tiny fibers found in rougher paper. Some computer paper also causes ink to bleed and run, while other types work beautifully for calligraphy. Georgia Pacific 20# is a fantastic practice paper. For commissioned projects, watercolor paper is often a popular choice because it is typically heavier than other papers, but the fibers can make writing difficult. 70# or 80# drawing paper is perfectly acceptable for commissioned pieces and can be found at any craft store.

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Pressure

pen angle and

The two skills notorious for making calligraphy challenging for beginners are pen angle and pressure. Past students confide that these are the areas of highest difficulty While there are some exceptions, calligraphy is not straight up-and-down like your everyday pen. It is written with a rightleaning slant (called either the “slant” or the “angle.” For the purposes of this exercise, you will focus on angling your paper to help create the slant. You will be writing away from your body. The pressure you apply on your pen will be the determining factor on the product of your letter strokes.

From Christine

Warming up is extremely important to your success as a calligrapher. You may experience some shakiness and unsteadiness the first few times you try to write, and that is completely normal. Take five to ten minutes before you begin to l etter random letters, words, and flourishes to prime your hand for the task ahead.

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Guidelines it’s all about the

A common mistake is confusing calligraphy for hand lettering. If you have spent any amount of time surfing through Instagram, you have seen videos of people writing. It was most likely hand lettering. Calligraphy has rules and strives for perfection, or at least creating your letter forms to be as identical as possible. Hand lettering throws the rulebook out the window and is generally less stringent. For calligraphy, guidelines are the rules. There are six basic guidelines:

CAPITAL LINE Historically, this line is between the waistline and the ascender line, but it can depend on the style of writing that you will be using. Make sure that you identify it prior to writing so that you can remain consistent.

WAISTLINE This line is above the baseline and is the height of your lowercase letters.

BASELINE This will be the line on which your letters rest.

ASCENDER LINE Above the waistline, this is the line that your lowercase ascender letters reach (with the exception of the lowercase “t;” it will reach to the midpoint between the waistline and the ascender line.

SLANT LINE Since most calligraphy styles are not straight up-and-down, the slant line helps ensure that your letters are uniformly angled. This line is at a 45° diagonal to the other guidelines.

DESCENDER LINE Below the baseline, this will be the line that your lower case (and some upper case) descender letters will reach.

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Assembly + Preparation To begin with the assembly of your pen, you will need to prepare your nib. When nibs are manufactured, there are oils on the metal. Those oils interfere with the ink you will be using. When you are at home, you can soak your nibs in boiling water or wash with water and dish soap. When you nib has been properly prepared, gently guide the nib into the pen holder. It will not slide all the way in, which is fine. Make sure it is not loose or wiggling in the holder. Begin by dipping your pen into your ink. You will not want to overdo it. Leaving too much ink on your nib can unleash a glob of ink on your work. You will only want to get ink on the lower 1/4” of your nib, just under the vent. The ink should cling closely to the shape of the nib­— not bubbling out. If you have too much, gently tap your nib on the inkwell.

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SECTION TWO

Writing BEGINNING TO WRITE When your pen is assembled, begin your pen strokes. There are three types of strokes to focus on: down-strokes, up-strokes, and mid-strokes. Complete three, evaluate our work against the model strokes, and then adapt your findings for the next three strokes. As with almost everything in life, you will need to hone these skills. The goal is to work slowly and your objective is to create the letters to be as close to the model strokes as possible. If you have problems when working on your own, please refer to the Troubleshooting section at the end of this book.

Down-stroke

Up-stroke

Mid-stroke

TYPES OF STROKES DOWN-STROKES This is the name of the thick line created when you apply pressure, widening the space of the tines of your nib, while you guide the pen holder in a downward motion. UP-STROKES This is the name of the thin line created when you take the pressure off the nib so the tines are close together, as you guide the pen holder in an upward motion. MID-STROKES These lines will be used to cross your “t� and will be the same as the thin lines of your up-stroke, since your tines will be close together.

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The Alphabet Introducing BRASS RING © by Carousel Atelier

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SECTION THREE

Exercises

Now that we have explored how to assemble your pen, how to create various strokes, and how to use your guidelines, it is time to put all of your new knowledge to use. Work through the following pages to begin honing your skills, starting with the basics of strokes, continuing to the fundamentals of the alphabet, and finishing with the more complex exercise of stringing words together.

STROKES

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ALL DOWNSTROKE

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ALPHABET

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17


18


19


20


21


WORDS

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23


24


25


26


SENTENCES


28


29


30


31


32


33


34


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SECTION FOUR

Troubleshooting You should not feel like you’re fighting your calligraphy. If you are ready to crumple up your page or throw your pen holder out the window, take a deep breath and read the following. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to email me directly at carouselatelier@gmail.com

WHY DOES MY HAND SHAKE AND/OR I WRITE SHAKY LETTERS? This is truly something that we all have (and still can) suffer from. Taking a few minutes to go through the warm up exercises in this booklet will be a great place to start. By building up your muscle memory of the shapes (and how to hold the pen, how much pressure it needs, etc.) you will build up your confidence in tackling that letter. After you’ve warmed up, take a deep breath, and go for it. Don’t overanalyze too much. If you’re still producing shaky letters, try avoiding caffeine. As for me, I just embrace it, since I won’t be giving up my morning coffee anytime soon! A little wiggle here and there will add character to your work.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “PRESSURE”? As we have already explored, calligraphy is made up of varying line weights from thick to thin. You achieve this through the pressure you apply on your pen to write. You will want the pen to feel comfortable in your hand. The pressure you apply on the pen to the paper should also feel comfortable to you; if you press too hard, you can jam your nib into the paper, and if you don’t press hard enough you can lift your nib off the paper, leaving a space in the middle of your letter.

WHAT IS THE “ANGLE”? The angle is between your pen/pen holder and the paper. If you were able to look at your hand from the side, your pen holder would make a 30-45 degree angle from your paper. If your pen is too vertical (or if you are holding your pen closer to a 90 degree angle), you run the risk of digging your nib into the paper. If your angle is too horizontal (or if you’re holding your pen closer to a 5 degree angle), the nib does not make contact with the paper.

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HOW IS THE “ANGLE” DIFFERENT FROM THE “SLANT”? The slant is referring to the letters on the paper. Most calligraphy styles will favor a right-leaning slant, meaning the letters are tilted to the right, rather than being straight up-and-down. It is extremely difficult to create a slant with your paper laying perfectly in front of you. Rotate your page; the more you rotate it, the steeper you will be able to lean your letters.

MY INK WON’T FLOW. Oh, for inks’ sake! If you have checked and double-checked your angle, then this one is super easy to combat. Always keep a small bowl of water next to you. You can “kiss” the very point of your ink on the water (a little ink spot appears on the water’s surface). If you’re accident prone, keep a damp paper towel next to you and simply touch the point of the nib onto it (do not drag the nib or attempt to write on the paper towel - the fibers can get caught in your nib).

MY INK FLOW IS UNEVEN. There are a few reasons that can cause your ink flow to ebb and flow. Firstly, did you prime your nibs? Those manufacturer’s oils do not play well with ink. If the ink on your nib looks a lot like trying to mix oil and water, then go clean that nib. An old toothbrush & some dish soap will make that nib really work. If it’s not your nib (and you’ve re-primed it for good measure), then let’s take a look at your ink. If you ink is too runny, it’ll spread quickly on your page, making a splotchy effect. Make sure that you are not putting too much ink on your nib. It should not be in a large bead! When you dip your pen, gently run your nib on the inside of the jar to remove any extra (I caution against tapping it on your jar... spilling a jar of ink is a huge mess!) Another tip on controlling the ink flow, is to control gravity - practicing calligraphy on an inclined surface will reduce the pull of gravity on your ink.

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If it’s not the amount of ink on your nib, let’s look at your ink. Get a small jar (those tiny jam jars, cleaned are prefect!) to mix your ink with gum arabic. You’ll want to start with a small drop or two of the gum arabic to start. Mix this new ink well and give it another test. Still too thin? Add another drop of the gum arabic. And seriously, only a few drops will do the trick. Otherwise... If your ink is too thick, it can create chunky lines - you want your down-strokes to be thick, but not this thick, kind of chunk! Mix in distilled water, a few drops at a time, until your ink is revitalized. Another cause can be your nib. If you have been writing for a while, take a few minutes to clean your nib. Dried on ink can coat the nib’s surface and even interfere with your vent hole. For envelope calligraphy, I suggest wiping down your nib with water and a clean towel after every envelope.

I CANNOT GET A GOOD THICK-TO-THIN LINE WEIGHT. Try experimenting with different nibs. A more flexible nib (meaning with pressure the tines have a wider span) means that you’ll be able to get thicker downstrokes. A sharp, pointed nib will achieve those thin up-strokes. A mid-flex nib will not have much variation between your strokes. The Nikko G, with which I recommend you begin this course, is a mid-flex nib. If you feel as though you’ve mastered the letter forms, it’s time to find a fun, new nib.

MY NIB KEEPS CATCHING ON THE PAPER. Fibrous papers can wreak havoc on your project. While you are learning, I really suggest that you stick to smooth surface, high-pound papers. You can really focus on perfecting your style when you don’t have to yell at the paper because it’s making your lines fuzzy or catching your nib. If there is no way around the paper selection, then you will want to select a blunt nib and opt for a thicker ink.

MY NIB IS CREATING INK SPLATTERS. They are caused when the tines separate (like one catches on a paper fiber, or you go over a bump on the paper, worn down nib), and it snaps back, flicking ink all over your work. Take a look at which nib you’re using: if it’s a flexible nib, switch it out for a mid-flex nib. Ink splatters are frustrating but can be avoided. Also, try using less pressure on your nib. If that doesn’t help, it might be time for a new nib.

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THE INK IS ONLY DRAWN BY THE TINES ON MY DOWNSTROKE, INSTEAD OF BEING ONE SOLID LINE. This is called railroading. It just means that your nib needs some more ink.

Writing Lefthanded Let me start with saying that I am not left-handed. I wanted to be, and I spent a few weeks trying to learn in elementary school, until my teacher told me that using my left hand to write was wrong. Public school in the 90s! While I might not have the dexterity of my left hand, it does not mean that I have not studied (and therefore appreciate) the struggle faced by lefties. As with calligraphy in general, it will take dedication and commitment from you in order to master it. This is art, so try to focus on having fun and enjoying the journey. With time, you will make it to constantly beautiful letters regardless of your dominant hand. Firstly, there are two types of left hand writers: over-writers and under-writers. This refers to the hand in relation to your writing. An over-writer’s hand is over the writing, whereas an under-writer’s hand is under the writing. You should focus on writing from the under-writer position, so that your hand is not touching the wet ink. When you try to write from an over-hand grip, you will be pushing your pen. Start with making sure that you have plenty of space around. You will want to focus on using your arm to write, not relying on your fingers. Put your forearm on the desk and dig in with your elbow to allow you to pivot your whole arm. You will need to do a lot of experimentation on how to hold your hand - It might be easiest to start with holding your pen at a 30 degree angle. Trying out different angles is a great idea. And just like righties, you can rotate your paper as well.

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About the Artist “My name is Christine and I am the calligrapher of Carousel Atelier. I have been practicing calligraphy for over 20 years. I started my journey as a calligrapher with the early support and encouragement from my Grandma. She collected carousel horses, so it was only fitting that I name Carousel Atelier in her memory. When I am not busy creating art, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our young daughter. We enjoy going out for sushi, strolls through Magic Kingdom, or visiting the farmers market together.

ABOUT CAROUSEL ATELIER The goal of Carousel Atelier is to create stunning works of art. I handwrite each piece in my contemporary calligraphy style. I believe that for events as important as your wedding day, your invitations should be something your guests experience the moment your envelope arrives in the mailbox. While I specialize in wedding stationery, I enjoy creating unique, custom works of art. I have had the honor of combining watercolor and calligraphy for the creation of logos, family name artworks, and even hand lettered globes for baby showers. There are so many ways to incorporate calligraphy into everyday moments. With this workbook, I look forward to seeing how you are able to share calligraphy with the world around you.

e n i t s i Chr


Introduction to Calligraphy  
Introduction to Calligraphy  
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