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Script Analysis - Script Practice

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16 July 2007

Script Analysis - Script Practice

I've still got a bit of script analysis to do (like decide on a set of majuscules, and reminding myself of the ligature rules) but I really wanted to write.

I'm very pleased with how it's going, and I've learnt a lot already, from putting the letters together.

I was having problems with the ink spreading. Pouncing wasn't fixing it. I eventually changed my ink bottle for a clean bottle and fresh ink. The old ink was partially clotted, and had had water added to it to thin it a few times - the proportions of binder to pigment were probably all wrong, because it solved the problem, half way down the page.

Things I've learnt :

* Angles * After the first couple of lines, I went back and marked the 45 degree (and a few 30 degree, where relevant) angles.

I found that I needed to smarten them up a bit. I'm not too worried. Looking at Historical Source Book for Scribes angle-marked up extract of the Bedford Psalter, the angles were all over the place. But still - aiming for correctness is a good thing.

* Vertical Line Spacing * I did all that practise on getting my vertical lines evenly spaced, one pen width apart, using Drogin's "Gods of Snow" quote.
I could feel it kicking it as I did this script practise.

It's not perfect, of course. I've just marked up the edge of a piece of paper with the correct line spacing, and will start using it to check the spacing in my next lot of practice.

* E, C, R and T * Given the verticals are evenly spaced, I've noticed that the letters following the 'e' and 'c', 'r' and 't' need to be placed right up against that letter, because of their empty space to their right hand side.

I've also noticed that the crossbar of the 't' is longer than I thought - extending to the start of the next letter. Which makes sense. If it's 1 p.w. on the righthand side, and the letters are one p.w. apart .....

* Ligatures * I've started doing a few ligatures. The empty space caused by a letter with a vertical on it's right hand side, followed by a letter with a vertical on it's right hand side (eg 'b' 'e') looked a bit sad. (I wonder if that is the rule for what is ligatured? My brain is kind of full at the moment but I'll have to think about it)

* Margin Serifs * I've noticed that the first letter of the first word from the left hand margin of the page have a hook serif to begin with (unless the letter starts with a vertical, like 'l' or 'b') to give the letter a little 'breathing room' rather than being pushed up against the margin.

* Left Hand side Serifs * That letters starting with a diamond, that follow a letter ending in a vertical, have a hook serif added on the left hand side.

Like 'd' followed by 'u'.

Because the 'd' ends in a vertical, there is empty space of one pen width (sometimes this is avoided by using a ligature but not for all letter combinations) before the 'u' starts. The 'd' doesn't finish in a hook serif. So the 'u' has a hook serif on it's left to fill up the space.

* I don't like the descender serif (the fishtail as a descender). There are a few alternatives - I'm going to work on using another version.

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