I’ve let my Copperplate calligraphy go for quite a while. I started practicing again, using the excellent Vitolo PDF handout from online (iampeth.com – “video workshop handout” link). You can compare the two to see I’ve still got a way to go. I practiced the basic forms over and over, then put them together to form letters. Later I did more letters, connecting the same letter together to try for consistency in form. Very difficult to do.
Copperplate Practice, 9-20-2014
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I collected these quotes from handouts given by various calligraphy teachers, from books, magazines, and other sources over the years. Each quote offers food for thought, and helps expand our understanding of our art. Continue reading
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I received a 2-DVD calligraphy set by Denis Brown called Italic Rhythm. It was beautifully filmed, edited, narrated, and demonstrated by Denis. He also supplied the music and designed all the printed work – the box and printouts.
Italic Rhythm 2-CD Set by Denis Brown (posted with permission from Denis Brown)
I entered my handmade calligraphy flag book in the OC Fair this year. I wanted to enter the illuminated manuscript (of the post below), but it wasn’t ready by the time the entry date. So I entered the flag book at the fair and entered the illuminated manuscript in the Muzeo exhibit in Anaheim. The flag book came away with Honorable Mention among the entries. I hope to enter the illuminated manuscript into the OC Fair next year.
I visited the OC Fair to look at the offerings. The only items of calligraphy were my small flag book (unfortunately positioned to make the calligraphy very hard to read, and it was cramped among the offerings), and a larger framed work by Lee Garigmeyer in Celtic lettering, complete with painted ship in the lower right corner and fancy scrollwork on the left side. It received 2nd place.
It was clear that the artwork I’ve seen among members of calligraphy guilds would give this guy a run for his money. If you are in the Orange County, CA, area, I encourage you to enter a work. I will try to enter as many pieces as I can next year. Let’s fill a table with calligraphy over there and show the public that calligraphy is alive and well!
I’m starting on my first illuminated manuscript. I settled on the two verses for the 16 x 20″ piece, and the arrangement of the words. Next, I needed to work on the color and decorations. Here is one of my color samples, after determining the sizes of the letters:
illuminated ms color test
On the left are several ideas for border treatments, but I don’t think I’m going to be using any of them. I’m starting the guilding of the piece today, then on to the lettering. I’ll use Instacoll and gold leaf (patent gold) I’ll post updates when I get further along.
Update: After starting the lettering and adding the gold leaf, I let it all dry. The next day I started the rest of the lettering — and smeared the last word of the third line, brushing my finger to the right. Start over!
My wedding anniversary and Mother’s Day both fell on the same day this year — May 11, 2014. I used the double occasion to practice offhand flourishing around the lettering I that learned in this year’s Letters CA class with Carl Rohrs. Both cards were 8.5″ width by 5.5″ high. I used Fiesta Red ink from Private Reserve on speckled Strathmore Artagain 60lb. drawing paper. I used a Brause nib for the larger lettering and pointed pen for the Copperplate lettering, date, and flourishing. I also added a few gold accents with a Sakura Gelly Roll gel pen. If you compare the offhand flourishing of the two pieces closely, you’ll see I used the same shapes in various configurations. They are part of my practiced repertoire. Continue reading
I had fun designing this Valentine’s Day card for my wife. I had been practicing Copperplate calligraphy, getting ready for a new calligraphy how-to video app, and decided to do more modern-style lettering to loosen up This was the result. Looks great tipped against the vase of roses I got her.
Valentine’s Day card I did in calligraphy for my wife, 2014.
In-class Uncialicious practice, copying a handout.
I had a great two “Uncialicious” classes with Jane Shibata, who taught several varieties of the Uncial lettering style to our monthly Orange County Society for Calligraphy members. Here are several in-class work and homework projects. Continue reading
When you make a thick (“shaded”) Copperplate downstroke, don’t you hate it when they are rounded at the top and not square? I made a video showing how the flat top is made. I show both stroke tops so you can see the difference:
Do you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall with your calligraphy? You feel like you’re never going to be good enough?
Then read this:
Sometimes we would like to get more information about our hobby (or livelihood). I remember back when I started in calligraphy (which was on or not long after 1972, based on the 20th Edition Speedball Handbook copyright, one of my first books), we had few resources; no Internet; there were no discussion groups or YouTube videos, few classes, and certainly no TV shows devoted to calligraphy. The Internet has come a long way to give us articles to read on our favorite topics. Google has a browser tool that will sift through the information it has gathered from around the world for items related to your subject, then sends it to your email box. Continue reading
Barbara Close presented her students with this wonderful certificate, which started out as a blank piece of paper. She gave it to her students who had taken all four of her classes throughout the year.
She used the pointed pen, her favorite tool, and a folded ruling pen for the names, lines and illustration. Colors look like navy blue and sepia. Gold powder (barely visible on this scan) was dropped into each letter of the name before the gouache could dry.
I am just thrilled to have her as a teacher!
Calligraphy Certificate by Barbara Close, 11/2013
I was inspired to create this flag book from the directions in the book, Making Handmade Books, by Alisa Golden, and from my calligraphy workshop series by Barbara Close. Our class did all the paper work, smearing acrylic paint on heavy paper in creative (and messy) ways. While the rest of the class followed the steps to bind their books with thread and needle, I used my pages to create this flag book. All the text are quotes from the Bible on prayer promises.
Flag book by Steve Husting
In the past, I let my spiritual side lead me and waited for inspiration to strike before I started on a calligraphy project. But that way was hit-and-miss, and led to long stretches of time between projects. Now that I’m putting my design training to use, I’m finding that the ideas come more quickly. In this post, I’m going to show you a process I’ve used recently. Continue reading
As soon as we finished singing this song in church this morning, I was inspired with the design and jotted it down in my notes, then came home and created it. All the designs were hand drawn/written with parallel pens and automatic pen, then scanned into Photoshop and the color added.
From a Christian hymn, Moment by Moment
These books in my collection are listed here in no particular order at this time. I noted several books as RECOMMENDED for their particular excellence.
The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering
Softcover. Full-color photos. Instructional.
One of the best-designed calligraphy books in my collection. Favorite book. Many project ideas. Works of many artists included.
Good for: … Gaining a solid foundation in basic letterforms … Ideas for applying your work (techniques) … Gallery inspiration … Owning a lovely book. Continue reading
I videotaped the creation of a calligraphy piece over the weekend. I used John 1:14 for my inspiration.
calligraphy-john-1-14b from Steve Husting on Vimeo.
2 Poems in One
I put my new spiral guideline sheets into practice with this piece. The red text is from The Hobbit, featuring the poem, “Roads go ever ever on,” and the black text is a poem from the Lord of the Rings, “The Road goes ever on and on.” The complete text of both is included. I”m thrilled that I got every word of each to fit! Continue reading
Spiral & Circular Guides
I created a series of circular and spiral guidelines in Adobe Illustrator to help me with my calligraphy work. Click on the link above to download the PDF of several pages of these guides. Continue reading
The Ten Commandments in Calligraphy
I created this after a friend asked for the Ten Commandments for his wall. I was challenged to figure out a way to list them in a visually appealing way. Originally I had listed the commandments in neat blocks, one under the other, in two columns, but it wasn’t visually interesting. Then I had the idea of doing it this way. Continue reading
When my younger brother got married earlier this year, I asked him to send me his wedding vows so I can create them as a calligraphy project. He emailed me two vows, one spoken by the bride and the other spoken by the groom. I put them aside, not knowing how I wanted to execute the design yet.
Then in Barbara Close’s Uncial/Gothic workshop, she gave a homework assignment that I thought would be perfect for the vows. The assignment was to cut out around the letters on a page, with some text written underneath. In my case, I used the first word of the vow, Rebecca, and the vows under the name. Here was my assignment: Continue reading
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Sometimes people from outside the U.S. would like to know how they can get calligraphy supplies in their own country. So I thought I would do a search to find calligraphy sites around the world. The following is only a small sample of sites available. Only a few are stores. If you find yourself belonging to one of these language groups and are looking for a store in your country, contact the people at the site and see if they can direct you to where they pick up their supplies. If you are outside the U.S. and know of a store near you stocking calligraphy supplies, please give the store’s location (city, country) and contact information, such as an email. (This is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of all calligraphy sites in these areas. This is only a sampling.) Continue reading
To make guidelines easily in Microsoft Word (and similar text programs):
1. Open a new page and set the margins all around so they are narrow, like .5″.
2. Hold down the Shift key and the Underline key and “draw” a line all the way across.
3. Highlight the line by clicking in the left margin next to it and choose a type size of 8pt.
4. Copy and paste the line over and over, one underneath the other.
Simple! Continue reading
Barbara Close showed us an intriguing art treatment consisting of abstract text forms cut out as squares and put together in a line, with text above and (if I remember) below. She suggested we do this ourselves in class. When I got home, I decided to pursue the idea and ended up with the project below. I chose the text from Psalm 119:130 because the squares suggested windows to me. I did the entire project on white paper first to get the spacing of the lettering in a circle. I got it fitting just right on only the second try.
Classroom project, Ps. 119:130
Isaiah 53 in Uncial, by Steve Husting
I’m taking another class with Barbara Close as instructor. This 10-week class will cover Uncial and Gothic forms. The text above used a 5th century form of Uncial (pronounced un-shul). The text is taken from Isaiah 53:3-5a, which prophetically speaks of the death of Jesus Christ hundreds of years in advance; hence, the cross shape in the text.
Homework rules include to use lines of text evenly spaced with no space between them, using a mixture of regular broad-edged nib and monoline for the lettering. I used a Speedball C-3 nib, brown Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink, and red Sakura “Gelly Roll” Metallic gel pen on 11 x 14″ Strathmore Sketch paper.
This is my third attempt. Alert readers will find a word in which I formed the first stroke of the wrong letter, then wrote right over it with the correct letter.
Ames’ Guide to Self-Instruction in Practical and Artistic Penmanship, Daniel T. Ames, Author and Pulisher, 1884.
I’m following the above lessons to get better handwriting. I’ve been working on my lowercase letters for the last few days. I normally scribble when I write; as a calligrapher, I could do better than that. This is with a ball point pen on ordinary bond paper. Guidelines were on another paper, illuminated from underneath to use them. This is not calligraphy, but could easily be included in such a piece, especially a certificate, or a love poem. Continue reading
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