Messy calligraphy practise

I thought it was time to have another go at some more calligraphy. Especially because my lovely friend Christine thought of me while on holiday in Venice and brought me back this beautiful venetian pen nib holder. It came with its own nib but the nibs can easily be changed.

I’d bought myself some different coloured inks, and had a play with them. Here are the results. I’m not sure if it’s the inks that are the problem or the nibs… Though I did put my old nib that I’ve used before I and seemed to have similar problems. Immediately after I’ve dipped the nib in the ink that first down stroke releases far too much ink. Maybe I’m just over filling the nib?

I worked on some lettering. I didn’t really enjoy the capital letters but much preferred the look of the lower case letters. Maybe I need to try copying some different styles of lettering. I also didn’t like the look of the words when I wrote them but it’s funny how you get a different perspective when you photograph things (I was really impressed with it when I photographed it!!). I maybe need to learn from this and build in time to step back from my work and look at it with fresh eyes as a whole, rather than each separate letter.

I had a final play with little drawings. I most like the little fish I did!

I can’t say I’m overly impressed with most of what I’ve done here but I’m blogging about it as this blog was always meant to be about keeping a record of all the craft I did… Not about showing off my best pieces of work. Hopefully it will show improvements as they occur ๐Ÿ˜Š


20 thoughts on “Messy calligraphy practise”

  1. So glad you have been using the pen holder! It must have been frustrating to get the blotches and problems from various nibs but your pictures show your letters getting better and better as you go on, and by the time you get to words, there’s really something happening. And the little fish has such charm and personality! Once again, your recognition that the blog is about recording your adventures in crafts, not about “showing off my best pieces,” is a reminder to me that it’s important to rediscover the PLAY in creativity. The experimental, the failures as well as the successes, the fun of trying something new…all this is part of the creative life!

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  2. I think your lettering looks fabulous Julia. With practice, I think you will be doing very fine calligraphy work.
    I often have the same experience with my paintings that you describe here. I will leave my studio disgusted and then be amazed at how well the painting looks when I come back in from a different angle. Sometimes I don’t like it until I have posted a photograph on my blog. It’s funny how our minds get bogged down in the frustration of wanting the art to look a certain way, to the point of not being able to see how well it looks.


  3. yes, you are looking too closely! I can definitely see an improvement. I seem to remember, from the calligraphy class i took, that you turn the nib and wipe the excess on the edge of the bottle before doing the first stroke – this should eliminate the excess ink.


    1. Thank you. I’ll try doing that. I guess it’s about finding a balance between getting enough ink to be able to write a few letters, and not so much it blobs on the first stroke! I’ll keep experimenting. Thank you for your lovely encouragement ๐Ÿ˜Š


  4. My grandmother used to do beautiful calligraphy (some 20/30 years ago…). I seem to remember her always taking that first downstroke on a piece of scratch paper.


    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š. The fish was fun as I just did two lines and then thought it looked like it would make a good fish so then decorated it from there… I hadn’t planned on making it a fish at the start


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