LEARNING A NEW CRAFT


In January of 2017, I started an online modern calligraphy course with thehappyevercrafter.com  Becca Courtice is a local girl (local to me) and she had us begin with practicing drills, which lasted about 4 weeks, then on to minuscules, majuscules, connections and now stylized and bounce lettering. I cant wait to see what comes next! I have been alternating between a flex fountain pen (Noodler Ahab is my pen of choice, (seen above), dip pens, brush pens, acrylic paint, and digital. (seen below) SOOOOOO much fun! Head on over to Special Occasion Signs for more examples. 





HANDWRITTEN FONTS and other fun stuff with letters!!

First let me say, your handwriting does NOT have to be picture perfect, not by a long shot. But poor handwriting it the obstacle that most people mention when they talk about keeping a journal. And you came to this link, which must mean that you are interested in improving it. Ok, here we go. I will try to add photos as I go.  

An improvement is not going to happen overnight, and it is not going to happen without working at it. How long it takes you, will depend on how much effort you put into it. 

I am going to demonstrate a system that worked for me that is loosely based on Architectural Lettering. We will start with some gridded paper. If you don't have any, just make some with a pencil and ruler, quarter inch will work fine. 

Each letter fits IN a box, I don't mean fills the box, I mean fits inside the boxes in  Dia. A 

The exception will be the letter 'I', but don't worry about that now. Spacing will come later. 

There are six basic strokes as in Dia. B

* the dots on these pages are darker than most  journals, but I wanted you to be able to see them

 


Dia.A
Dia.A
Dia.B
Dia.B


some random letters showing direction and number of strokes
some random letters showing direction and number of strokes

                 LET'S JUMP RIGHT IN AND DESIGN A FONT

I prefer all uppercase, but you will develop your own preferences. 

*The key is speed and consistency.. this applies to your regular handwriting, not headers as they can be as inconsistent as you like!!

 

In Dia. C we will start with some letters and see how many changes we can make.

*some letters don't change much, like 'C'

Notice the similarities in each column.

Column 1....is even and straight

Column 2...has a high horizontal

Column 3....has a low horizontal

Column 4...has a long overlapping horizontal

Column 5...is narrow

Column 6... Has a slanted horizontal

 

Now lets look at some vertical changes in Dia. D. 

 

 

Dia. C   Horizontal changes
Dia. C Horizontal changes
Dia. D.  some vertical options
Dia. D. some vertical options


Dia. E   Now for some fun twists. 

I am going to make all of my "O's" tiny and raise them up, and I am going to extend the right horizontals of the R and the K into a swoopy little line.


Obviously, you can use any or all of these ideas or make up your own (instead of a horizontal line you could use a dot?)...make a swirly S? Don't get it too complex though, save that for the Headers!!

Dia. F shows you the final font that I have come up with. 

This is the font I will practice until I am blue in the face, but in time it will become very natural. 

Dia. F
Dia. F




I don't worry about being absolutely neat, speed and consistency (have I mentioned that before?)  is more important for your everyday lettering. Practice, Practice Practice!!
I don't worry about being absolutely neat, speed and consistency (have I mentioned that before?) is more important for your everyday lettering. Practice, Practice Practice!!



Try Some Fancy Headers


We won't go to crazy here, just a couple of easy ones and  a few suggestions. Once you build up your confidence you can get creative...use social media sites as sources of inspiration!

Also head on over to the Special Occasion Signs page...its chalk lettering, but there are some fun fonts to play with. Just remember,  even if you find a font that is not complete, just be consistent...what the left vertical line does in the letter A, will be  the same for the left vertical line in the letter M. The horizontal line in E will resemble the horizontal line in H and so on. 



What an upper and lower case Header might look like using this font. 


Now lets add it to a banner

Try some Shadows!


Start with a simple block letter. Just do the outline. The key, as I have said before , is to be consistent. In this example I am going to have the shadow to the bottom and right of every letter. Start with doing all the angles first. It's easier to keep them the same length and running at the same angle if you do them all at the same time. 

Now join up the lines
Now join up the lines
Fill them in
Fill them in
Now, shake things up a little!!!
Now, shake things up a little!!!