Monday, March 15, 2010

My First Gothic Characters

Please note that the teaching web site that I am referencing is the work of Katharine Scarfe Beckett. I've just sent off a thank you note for making her wonderful lessons available.

I'm working from this page of instructions, starting off by using the 2.0 mm felt-tipped pen.

First I set up guide lines. The x-height, that is the height of regular characters (x, e, c, i, n, u), should be marked in with 4.5 nib widths (4.5 x 2.0 mm = 9 mm). The ascender and descender heights should each be set in with 2.5 nib widths (2.5 x 2.0 mm = 5 mm). I also dropped in some perpendicular guide lines.

There are a few rules for creating Gothic characters:

  • Hold the nib at a constant forty-five degree angle.
  • Make all straight up lines constantly perpendicular.
  • Relax, making easy strokes. (Prevents wobbly lines.)

After a bit of practice with the felt-tipped pen, I tried out the C-4 calligraphy tip with India ink. This tip is a bit narrower so could probably use narrower guide lines. I did most of the C-4 work (except the last "icicle" on the second line) without guidelines.

And here's another little try with only a base guide line:

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