Putting modern calligraphy into practice

After months of procrastinating, I’ve finally made a start on my modern calligraphy practice.

Joyce Lee, from Artsynibs, was kind enough to give me some worksheets from her classes after we met up in York in June.

I’d still like to make it down to Manchester and be taught by the lady herself.

But for now, this is the next best thing.

Watching the ease with which some people write modern calligraphy can be slightly intimidating.

But then a couple of calligraphers I follow on social media posted their first attempts at writing in this style – and they didn’t get it right first time either!

This gave me the confidence to pick up my dip pen and get cracking.

We’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

It helps that I’m already confident with copperplate script.

Modern calligraphy follows a similar writing style, with the amount of pressure applied to the nib determining the thickness of the stroke.

It also involves the use of a pointed nib and I have Joyce again to thank for supplying me with two Nikko G nibs to get me started.

(I use a Brause nib when writing copperplate.)

I started copying Joyce’s outlines in pencil first, just like I did when learning copperplate, then switched to walnut ink – my current favourite!

I worked my way through the miniscules in one sitting and the majuscules in a second.

It was lovely to take the time out and write for myself for a change.

I shared my efforts with Joyce and was spurred on by her compliments.

I’m going to attempt to set aside some time each week to keep practising and play around with the various styles of modern calligraphy.

Joyce recommended I invest in a copy of Modern Calligraphy, by Molly Suber Thorpe, and I can’t wait to try some of the lettering projects in there.

Hopefully I’ll be feeling a lot more confident about it in time for Christmas!


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