Friday, August 4, 2017

A letter knows what it wants to do

Finished art, 14" x 17"

Song of Solomon: timeless love poetry in contemporary calligraphy. 

Original thumbnail
sketch, 2" x 3"
Sometimes the letters themselves tell you how to lay them out.  After a few drafts with these four rose stems, it became clear that I should just arrange the lines of letters to enable the greatest number of ascenders and descenders express themselves as leaves and thorns. 
By letting the ascender of d opt to follow the 
Celtic style, I introduced a natural curve that
 looked more like the way a leaf grows from a stem. 

Two different Y swashes.  
Even the citation can resemble a leaf.  
The details shown here differ a little because I rendered this whole design twice.  It's almost impossible for calligraphers to copy a design slavishly--the pen just has too many ideas to try out.   

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