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 😊

More calligraphy pictures

I’ve been looking for inspiration and ideas and have been having a go at a few more drawings.

This first was an attempt to copy this bird.

Initially I learned that I couldn’t put my hand on top of wet ink! But thankfully hadn’t got very far, so started again!

Annoyingly I added a break in his beak part way through, which then looked odd, but as I added more and more detail I decided I didn’t hate his beak quite so much as I thought! I think I’ve accidentally mixed two different styles though, between his body and his wings.

And then I came across this very cool crane made out of letters. I started with the basic shape and then started to add my own detail in.

I’m so much more pleased with this, apart from the fact that I forgot about where I had got wet ink and where my hand was about to go! More smudging ☹️. I’ll get there with it.

It’s fun just making different marks and swirls though. Now I just need to start taking notice of basic shapes so I have something to start with.

I’m beginning to get a highly attractive purple finger! Might invest in some different coloured inks to mix it up a bit!

Calligraphy practise

A quick bombardment of photos of playing around and working from modern calligraphy by Lucy Edmonds. I attached my pen nib to a pencil and used purple ink. It’s interesting experimenting with how much ink the nib will hold and use before it needs refilling.

Needless to say I’m happier with some of what I’ve done, but I hope that playing around might result in prettier drawings in the future!

Mothering Sunday card

With Mothering Sunday coming up on Sunday i decided to make my Mum a card. She really likes birds, and as I couldn’t find her a bird related present (i got her something else instead!) I decided to make her a bird related card!

I decided to go with a mothering kind of image and represent a bird feeding two chicks (me and my sister!) but I wasn’t  sure if I would go stylistic or realistic. Having just watched the final of ‘the big painting challenge’ and seen how much the painters were encouraged to ‘let go’ and not plan in meticulous detail I decided to start drawing in pen straight on the card and see what happened!  I had a mix of different thickness fineliners and two thicknesses of felt pen.

I started with the adult song thrush, filled in some detail (handily going over and disguising a couple of mistakes) and then drew the chicks.

I’m not sure it’s really recognisable as a song thrush, but In  some  ways I’m not worried. The idea I wanted to convey of an adult bird nourishing its babies is obvious in the picture, even if the exact species of bird is not!

Hopefully my mum will like it (both on here and in reality!)

I love You Mum and am very grateful for everything you did in bringing me up, as well as for your ongoing support. Thank you xxxxx

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Card, and thoughts 

Yesterday i had a fab day! I met with a friend who i hadn’t had contact with for just over 6 years. She got in touch before Christmas and yesterday we met up at a spa and spent the afternoon catching up. It was a real blessing to spend this time with her and to be able to talk about anything and everything. I love relationships where you feel you can be yourself, and not have to try to hide the bits you don’t like for fear the other person will desert you. Immediately we seemed to be able to open and honest with each other. 

During our time together she told me about her daughter who i used to spend a lot of time with, babysitting for her and just hanging out. Now she’s at uni but struggling with constant back pain that no one seems to be able to help her with. I decided to make her a card, and used ideas from henna designs. I love this type of drawing and love including symbolism in my designs. This card took thoughts  about waiting, and about not knowing what might happen… Themes I’ve been reflecting on in my own life recently as I’ve had another battle with bouts of depression.

Here I started with a sunrise… Linking to the idea of the cyclical nature of life… Things never stay the same for long and even in dark patches the sun will rise again (though that’s not always so easy to remember or to believe when you’re in the middle of them). But my sunrise also use elements of flowers within it, and i wanted to represent the idea that underground, plants are still growing even when we can’t see it. Here i added roots reaching out in different directions. For me i always want to be blossoming like a beautiful flower, but today as i was praying and looking out of the window into the garden i noticed one of the bulbs growing in a pot. It’s tall, with leaves, and i know a fantastic hyacinth flower will develop soon. For that flower to develop the bulb has spent months underground, lying dormant, germinating and growing without me seeing anything. I recognised that God could see that happening, and that God can see what is going on under the surface in each one of us, even when we think nothing is happening. Or Maybe nothing is happening, but maybe that is needed rest time before growth can occur. 

Of course, once the flower has blossomed it dies back again, and that can be hard to deal with, but then there is the hope that it will grow again, and that is worth waiting for. 

Finally i included dragonflies in the design. I like the idea that living things can help to give sustenance and life to other things, and i also like the idea of joy and freedom that i see represented in a dragonflies darting flight. 

So, design done, I’ll now send the card to my friend’s daughter, and hope that it blesses her as much as reflecting on these themes has blessed me. 

Playing with colours

This evening i had a bit of time after chilling out watching a film so i decided to put on paper what i had been thinking about for  the next pictures in my draw every day book. 

The first was an aerial view of a tidy French garden. I found a picture online, i think of Versailles, and was taken by the pattern in the hedges and pathways. I found it odd that the pattern wasn’t symmetrical as i think it might be in an English knot garden? But i loved how the pathways were also  part of the design. Seeing as most of the drawing would be green i decided to take my lesson from yesterday and go multicoloured. 

Here i realised the issue with blogging… That i feel the need to post stuff even if I’m not happy with it! But it could be worse. I’m glad i did the different colours (i started with orange and purple in honour of Benjamin!). I’m not so happy that my paths aren’t neat like the photo. In the photo they’re very even widths, which they’re not in my drawing. But i do like the different colours and how they make me think of an abstract piece of art. 

Having decided i wasn’t impressed with that i moved on to the next picture… A bunch of lavender. 

I’m  not overly keen on the stalks, but i enjoyed ‘stamping’ with the brush tips to get the buds of lavender and playing around with putting other colours under the purple to get different shades. I definitely think the blues worked better than the pink! 

And that’s me for today! I’m pleased my blog has motivated me to be creative when otherwise i might have just sat  and read my book, but I’m also rather amazed (and a bit freaked out!) that when i arrived at church wearing my infinity/mobius scarf  people were greeting me with ‘ooh, is this the scarf?’! (not everyone actually went ooh!). I didn’t think anyone would really read this, and i’m grateful that some people actually are!