I have just come across a wonderful calligraphy resource called The Flourish Forum, and I hope that anyone who wants to learn more about calligraphy finds it and joins. It was started by Erica McPhee, lettering & design artist at Paperwhite Studio, in October 2013 and it already has over 1000 members from across the globe! All I can say is THANK YOU Erica for sharing! An amazing feat!
The forum itself is packed with tutorials – totally perfect for calligraphers of any skill level…. and brilliant for beginners – it’s all inclusive and chilled, I imagine I will be lurking around on there on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, I do have plans for a calligraphy post next week… Calligraphy Tips no.2.. it is something to do with this old piece of work I did in 2003…
I’d better get on with it then.
These days I mostly get enquiries from people wanting to know how to learn calligraphy, my answer is to point them in the direction of CLAS, who provide a comprehensive list of accredited teachers. I also tell enquirers to visit Scribblers who advertise calligraphy courses in copperplate, roman capitals, italic etc. Janet Smith at Oakleaf Calligraphy also provides an online learning course. It is no good asking me to teach you… I am entirely self-taught, which means I have probably taught myself some appalling bad habits. I wish I had learnt properly from the outset, as it would probably have been quicker, and cheaper.
I learnt copperplate calligraphy from a book – Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy by Eleanor Winters and I taught myself quirky calligraphy from following the advice in Lisa Engelbrecht’s wonderful book – Modern Mark Making. I Recently purchased Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe – which is a superb book covering everything you need to know about writing quirky modern calligraphy… it has a great projects section as well, which ranges from how to write on chalkboards to making water colour gift tags for weddings, parties and special occasions.
Calligraphy books for learning…
I usually buy most of my supplies from Scribblers, I mostly use a Gillott 303 nib… but to start with I used a 404 because a 404 is less flexible and therefore easier to control. The nibs from Scribblers are HERE. When I started learning copperplate I did use an oblique pen holder, but I now only use straight pen holders… all pen holders are HERE. When starting out there’s no harm in trying a straight and an oblique just to see which you prefer, I like short pen holders like the school pen holder. I am cheap and cheerful 🙂 For general calligraphy and practice I use Higgins Eternal permanent black ink; for ‘best’ I use Schmincke calligraphy gouache.
Some would imagine that the calligrapher is neat, tidy and organised… I wish I was. My desk always looks like a bomb has hit it… don’t work like this, it is hellish and I never know what I’m doing….
My new studio…
Meanwhile, my mantelpiece is tidy….
On my mantelpiece….