Daily lettering: freely written capitals with leftover gouaches

Freely written capitals using that same palette of leftover gouaches and a 1.5mm Brause nib.

I’m thinking that the little meander book (2.5 x 3.5 in or so) in the corner may be how I got this leftover palette of gouache in the first place. The colors match. If so, then I began with three primaries (warm yellow and blue, cool red), and that’s it.

At this rate, I’ll be binding another journal of daily lettering soon.

Exemplar as an exercise in humility

Developing an exemplar is one of the most humbling exercises that a calligrapher can undertake. Having spent hours on this one, a number of thoughts tumble (my original typo “thumble” seems apt) through my head, in no particular order:

  • In most of my work I usually choose Roman capitals to go with italic minuscules, and it shows here. Which leads me to the specific note …
  • G: pick an oval, won’t you? That G bears no resemblance to the C or O or Q.
  • D: doesn’t have much base.
  • U: there’s an awful lot of skinny in the connecting stroke.
  • F: looks like it’s mid-jump on a pogo stick; that’s a paste-up error.
  • M: has a heavy top left shoulder.
  • W: has an awkward join on the right bottom corner; I’m usually better about that.
  • Z: well, I don’t know what exactly, but the base is not straight and it looks wooden; perhaps I should have flattened the pen angle a bit more on the horizontals
  • L: although I didn’t spend much time on kerning, the L is noticeably too close to the M. It’s all crowded but I wanted them as large as possible but still fitting on a letter-size page.
  • J: also wooden, except where it’s wavy when it shouldn’t be.

Sigh. Well, I do like the P and R … That leaves only 24 letters that need work.

I used a partially dried-out 5mm Zig marker so that students can see how the letters are being made.

2015-02-06 italic plain caps exemplar