Calligraphy project – Italic
Calligraphy comes from the Greek Kallos Graphe, meaning beautiful handwriting. For centuries calligraphy was cherished and used for the most important writing documents and as decoration. In this text we will takl about the Italic, which everybody heard of. But can you do it by hand, not the keyboard? Here is the short introduction on how to start with Italic calligraphy.The Italic handwriting is a quickly written alphabet developed in Italyduring the Renaissance. It is a very elegant handwriting which once you have mastered it, will enable you to achieve some beautiful results. It is easy to read and ideal for things like birthday cards. It is as well to remember when sending cards that the recipient may not be as familiar with calligraphic shapes as you are, so a simple, flowing alphabet such as Italic is often an ideal choice to use.
In order to follow the alphabet, begin at the dot then note the arrows and numbers, which indicate the direction and order of strokes.
To start with, do some flow exercises using the pen, ink and grided paper. Make sure the surface you are writing on is clean and free from grease. To avoid grease on paper, try not to touch it with your fingertips. Try to have a piece of paper under your hand at all times, however clean your handsare,as grease or sweat may rub off on to the paper and make it almost impossible to write on.
Use the flow exercises as a means to get the pen working efficiently. Only attempt the letter once you are confident that everything is working properly for you.
When you start the alphabet, remember to keep the pen at an angle of about 40-45 degrees.
This alphabet is based on a nice oval ‘O’, so practice this letter first. Then, practice the other letters in this groups. Note that the height of this lower case italic is 4 nib widths. The capital alphabet is 6 nib widths high (2 nibs higher than lower case).
One basic rule when trying to achieve good spacing is to remember that two straight strokes are further apart than a straight stroke, and a curve and two curves are even closer.
If you find that your writing tends to lean, don’t worry; it’s permissible to do this with the Italic hand, provided that all the letterslean in the same direction! On the other hand do not force your writing to lean, as you will find the lettering will not flow well and do not allow it to lean backwards.