2011-05-28

Drawing serif in calligraphy

When you are a beginner in calligraphy, you should find sometimes tricky to draw the serif of some letters. A serif is the small decorative end of a letter, it makes a style beautiful and unique.



According to my observation, there are several ways to draw successfully a serif. The chronology, the direction and the number of strokes depend on each individual skill. It's like drawing a circle, some people will do it clockwise, and other prefer the counter clockwise manner.

Finally, calligraphy is an art, then any artist has thousands of reasons to draw a serif in his/her own way.

Here are some examples of letter with serifs:
And here are some ways to draw them:





2011-05-27

The 7 steps of learning calligraphy

The usal steps for beginners to learn calligraphy can be defined as follow:


1/ Identify and observe carefully the basic forms and curves of the hand you want to learn. Measure the proportions of the letters.


2/ Reproduce the basic forms and curves in the training page of Calligraphy Art app. The guidelines are pre-drawn according to the letter height and the nib width. The default pen angle is also set up. And the digital paper is longer than your screen, its size is 1536x458 pixels.


3/ Draw each letter as much as you nead to perfect it. The digital drawing tool is really convenient for that, because you can undo, erase and clear at will.


4/ Draw one word all in minuscules or majuscules.


5/ Draw words by combining majuscule and minuscules. You can use the helpful « merge font » button (located at the right of the toolbar) to navigate between minuscules and majuscules models.


6/ Draw a short sentence in the training page.


7/ Draw a proverb, a wish or a poem in several lines in the full page. And some decorations. Just be creative !

2011-05-21

Pen angle is the most important technique to master in calligraphy

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When the pen angle is kept constant, only the movement of your hand will give the different sizes to your strokes, then makes it delicately fine.

2011-05-11

How to calligraphy on iPad

Calligraphy Art is created for calligraphy lovers and people starting to learn the art of drawing beautiful letters in both Western and Chinese styles.

This application is not for language learning. It is divided is 3 parts:
  • Western alphabets exercises
  • Chinese words exercises
  • Large pages for free creativity

All writing surfaces are pre-filled with guidelines according to the hand (font) presented. Each style has both lower-case and upper-case letters (minuscules and majuscules). Except for the uncial hand, where lower-case and upper-case letters are mixed.

WRITING WESTERN ALPHABETS


PEN ANGLE.

Calligraphers use large nibs and hold their pen in a specific angle to draw letters and give their characteristic effects. The pen angle is kept constant when writing a letter. Then the thickness of the stroke will vary according to the pen direction.

Each hand (font) has its own pen angle, and it's important to choose the correct angle in order to reproduce the style with accuracy and consistency. Occasionally inside a same letter pen angle can change to produce a specific effect, it's called pen manipulation. In real life calligraphers turn their hand to change angle, here you can simply and conveniently change the pen angle in 2 taps.

LETTER HEIGHT.

Each hand has its own letter height defined for the good proportion. The measuring unit is the nib width of the pen, it represents the thickness of the stroke.

In each exercise, you can find a nib ladder at the left part of the page. The nib width and the pen angle are predefined. You can start writing your first letters without any adjustment. During the lessons, only pen angle and colors can be changed. For your convenience, the writing page is larger than the screen.

CHINESE CALLIGRAPHY

You don't need to learn Chinese to practice calligraphy.

Specially CALLIGRAPHY ART is not giving Chinese language lessons. Our purpose is to provide the basis of the Chinese Art of Writing. The way of drawing a single stroke is different from every day writing method, it produces those specific strokes.

The lessons are chosen according to the essential strokes and their writing application. We have intentionally avoided the very basic Chinese style.

Specially the Kaishu and Caoshu styles are practiced years ago in China, all the models are from the ancient masters. The words were chosen for their beauty and simplicity.


SOME MORE TIPS.

Learning the art of calligraphy takes patience to develop, but the result can be highly rewarding.

Digital tablet is really helpful for keeping your pen in a constant angle. Guidelines are pre-filled for each hand. Other tools can ease your practice: zoom, clear button, erase, undo...

Finger or stylus: you'll find your preferred tool to practice calligraphy on your tablet. The most important thing is to have pleasure to calligraphy beautiful letters.

Creativity: the models are provided for your training. It's hard to reproduce exactly a letter as shown, so the models are not binding. And while progressing in your art, you'll surely have your own style. Specially, the gothic style is subject to individual interpretations.

Specially, in Western calligraphy you may draw letters according to your most usual hand direction. The models shown with direction arrows give you the author's method, you can create your own way of drawing since the beginning. Also, you can change pens and angles to give more characteristics to your letters.

For each hand, start by training specific stroke and letter one by one. Repeat them until you produce the desired effect.

Chinese calligraphy: strokes order is more binding, specially in Kaishu style. You may use 2 or 3 brush size to draw one word.