Playing, preparing, or procrastinating? Or all three?

Glair and gouache with brushes and pens on various book papers.
Glair and gouache with brushes and pens on various book papers.

The design is complete and the text copy-fitted for my next variable manuscript book edition. I'm ready to start lettering.

So I've spent the past three days trying to decide what paper. I've been testing lettering and painting on various book papers, from Somerset Book to Hannemuehle Ingres to Lana Laid, and more.

All that testing has brought up ideas for other books, and reactivated my attention toward the "other" edition I've been working on. But first things first: I've got a lot of lettering to do on the present design. I'm totally absorbed in this one, but, objectively, these test marks might be more interesting.

I'm loving working in my studio every day. Can you tell?

Starting new work

We calligraphers have so many choices! Size, compression, letter spacing, slant, line spacing, ascender/descender length, color, weight, shape, serif, tool, paper, writing fluid — the list goes on and on. Sometimes I begin by lettering a line in as many ways occur to me within the parameters of the page size. It can be a way in to a new project.

Jump-starting the design process for a new piece. Walnut ink with 1mm Brause nib on a scrap of watercolor paper about 5 in x 7 in. First line of George Marion McClellan's poem, "A September Night".