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Script Analysis - Script Practise 7

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23 July 2007

Script Analysis - Script Practise 7

I've finished copying the page of the Bedford Psalter.

This is a scan of the copy of the page I've been using at my desk - not the clean copy that I've got stored on the computer. Poor dirty page!

I could do the other 3 pages that I have. The script there is not as dense, and not as 'curlicued' (not one to be seen!) but I think using my list of pangrams (in English) would be more valuable.

If anyone reading this wants my list of pangrams - there are 4 A4 pages of them, including some in Latin and French, and some with lots of S's - just drop me a note. They are from a cyberscribe originally.

I've seen some evolution of my use of the script as I've done this practise.

* I've decided to do long 'ticks' for the apostrophes for the 'i's. I was doing a kind of caret thing. Part of the beauty of the script is the heaviness of the letters combined with the lightness of the flourishes and extra bits and pieces, and I think a thin straight line for the apostrophe will fit in better. The apostrophe's on the source are all sorts of shapes - it's not a set thing.

* I had to do a "l l" in the practise above and hit a problem - literally. The serifs hit into each other.
It eventually occurred to me that using a variant of the ascender serif - one that didn't stick out to the sides - would be a good idea in these cases! And also to use such an alternative when descender flourishes of letters from above are hitting into the letter and creating a tangled muddle.

* When analysing the letters I talked about the 'drip' from the top of the 'long s'. I don't know where that came from! I didn't find any during the practise. I've been using a serif, same as the rest of the letters.

* I'm occasionally going non-straight with my verticals. I think it's because I'm not moving the page as I go along and so not looking at it straight. At least, I hope that's the problem.

* I need to watch

- the shape of my ascenders
- the shape of my descenders
- that I don't do a standard G.T.Q. 'u' instead of a B.P. 'u'
- letter width
- the ticks are placed correctly
- the crossbar of the 't's are straight
- length of first vertical of a versio n 1.

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Anonymous beard5 said...

Argh, I posted a long comment and it seems to have been devoured by the system.

Thursday, July 26, 2007  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...


Thursday, July 26, 2007  
Anonymous beard5 said...

Drop me an email, at, I'm curious about what type of nib you're using, and the size. Also, are you using a reservoir, and what kind of ink.

(Reason for the last two...I loathe reservoirs, they seem to encourage blobbing. If you're writing as slowly as the hand demands, the ink will start to set in the nib, that little coagulated bit of ink screws things up. The ink will also affect blobbing. It's all surface tension, if it's a watery ink, there's a greater chance of letters blobbing together (which you've conquered masterfully. Far better than I have. If I were to guess, you're writing slower than I am, which is a good thing, and I should start doing again) If it's a lacquer style ink, like Sumi, it can congeal on the nib while you're working. Though, even with that flaw, I think Sumi has a more period look to it on the page, it rises above the paper slightly and has a gloss that I can see in the manuscripts I like). Comments continued ....

Thursday, July 26, 2007  
Anonymous beard5 said...

The "ticks" for the 'I's is what I see most. I started with diamonds and couldn't figure out why they didn't look right, changed to ticks, and there we go.

In my first, devoured, comment, I pointed you to Art of Calligraphy by David Harris. There's a page of the Metz Pontifical in there, that you might like.

I *LOATHE* double 'L's hate, hate, hate, they always look wrong to me, Not as bad, however, as "SL" or "SH" those drive me nuts.

continued in comment three (this time I'm not losing everything)

Thursday, July 26, 2007  
Anonymous beard5 said...

Regarding wobbly verticals. I don't know if you've tried drawing vertical lines on your practice pages. I do that when I notice I'm going particularly wonky. I'll put lines every quarter inch, so that I have a guide as to what vertical is. I have a natural lean to the left when standing, it's no wonder that I have it in my calligraphy.

Regarding letter width, bluntly, take that off your list. You've really nailed it. You occasionally have an odd shaped letter, like a g or an a that's a little wide...guess what, the period manuscripts did too. Apparently the scribes back them had the same troubles we do.

I think that's it for tonight :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007  

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