Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Calligraphy--a perfect wedding gift. Part 1, the all-important draft.

Although I am willing to click on a box to buy a gift in a wedding gift registry, sometimes I'm up for a more personal gift.  I've recently been working to handletter a wedding present for a relative.  Most people are thrilled to have a copy of something that was read at their ceremony.  In this case it was a verse from Philippians 4:8.  

Finally, 
brethren,
Whatsoever things are true,
Whatsoever things are honest,
Whatsoever things are just,
Whatsoever things are pure,
Whatsoever things are lovely,
Whatsoever things are of good report;

If there 
be any virtue, 
and if there be any praise,
Think on these things.
Thumbnail sketch. 

Beautiful, austere, and inspiring words, but calligraphers will probably join me in their first reaction; WHAT am I going to do with that one long line!?  I tried focussing on the repeating W, but turning them into six butterflies or nesting swashes didn't work our for me.  Then, sooner than most of my searches for a rough draft, I did this thumbnail sketch at right:  

I saw right away it would transform that long line from a problem into an asset, so I enlarged the sketch from 1" across to 8" across, took a stab at the guidelines, and wrote a rough stab at the word placement, at left below.  Yesssss!  


Check to see if the words will fit the idea.
Get the lines accurate, try colors.
On an overlay, right, I carefully penciled my guidelines, checking the space between lines with a ruler.  I also use vertical lines you can't see to keep the words "Whatsoever things are..." the same length in each line--it's easy to get disoriented on curved or slanted guidelines.  If you are not sure of the color scheme, use colored pencils to hatch in your idea and then squint at it. 



You'll still need to write a final rough draft to get the letter spacing right and make sure the chosen pen nib fits the letter size.    Check tomorrow's blog post to see how that calligraphy turns out.    



3 comments:

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  2. Such good ideas! These presents are something a bridge will treasure and remember. Something useful!
    buy wedding gifts online

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  3. Got "Learn Calligraphy" just yesterday. I'm only a beginner, and have worked on only letter-size calligraphy practice sheets. Hoping to gain the skill & confidence for larger projects like this one. Your blog's really helpful in giving ideas on how to go about it.

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