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Beautiful writing

Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing. The term comes from the Greek kalos, meaning beautiful and graphos, meaning writing. It can be learned by anyone who can write.

All about techniques in calligraphy
[translated by Michael Brunelle and Beatriz Cortabarria].
Hauppauge, N.Y. : Barron's Educational Series, c2010.
This is the English translation of Toda Sobre la Caligraf√­a, (Parram√≥n Ediciones, S.A., Barcelona, 2009), translated from Spanish by Michael Brunelle and Beatriz Cortabarr√­a. The text provides advanced art students and experienced amateurs with an introduction to the art of calligraphy, including the history of writing techniques; calligraphic tools and materials; techniques and practice activities; stroke-by-stroke guides to various scripts of the Latin alphabet including Roman uncial, Irish half uncial, Carolingian, Gothic, and Gothic Fraktur; and step-by-step exercises demonstrating the use of calligraphy in a diverse range of projects. The volume is illustrated throughout with b&w and color photographs. Annotation ¬©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
     
Modern calligraphy & hand lettering
Lisa Engelbrecht.
Beverly, Mass. : Quarry Books, c2010.
Calligraphy, the art of elegant, beautiful lettering, has increased in popularity over the last several years. From brides who want to address their wedding invitations to do-it-yourselfers who want to prepare certificates or make a family tree, and even for art journalers and scrapbookers who like creative text in their works, calligraphy books and classes are hot. nbsp; This new-in-paperbackbook will spark the interest of the calligraphy novice by introducing a new approach to lettering, one that combines a lively combination of traditional lettering styles, fun and scripty modern styles, and artsy street-style lettering, along with project ideas that incorporate creative lettering. nbsp; The book demonstrates the uses of traditional and cutting edge lettering tools, from classic calligraphy pens to bling-producing metallic foils and glue pens. It introduces a wide array of lettering styles with complete alphabets sample artworks that show an application. Fully stepped-out illustrations break down each letterform, taking the reader through each stroke and a large collection of gallery images provides further inspiration for how to use creative lettering in artwork.nbsp;
     
Calligraphy 101 : a workshop in a book
[Jeaneen Gauthier].
Minneapolis, Minn. : Creative Pub. International, 2010.
Calligraphy is both an art and a skill. Unlike with many other crafts, a person cannot develop good calligraphy skills simply by picking up the pen and practicing. There are many details about how to load the pen, how to hold it at an exact angle to the paper, even how to form each letter of each alphabet style one stroke at a time. Without proper training, the crafter will soon give up and consider it too hard to learn. This book starts at the very beginning, teaching all the fine points about calligraphy with practice drills and easy projects to begin with. Then, new and more difficult skills are introduced gradually through more practice drills and projects. Like other books in the 101 series, the book is written for the absolute beginner with detailed instructions, tips, and quick references all aimed at helping the crafter achieve success.
     
Photoshop brushes & creative tools : calligraphic & abstract designs
Alan Weller.
Mineola, N.Y. : Dover ; Newton Abbot : David & Charles [distributor], 2010.
The modern way to create customized backgrounds and ornaments, this collection of brush images covers a remarkable array of design styles, from Art Nouveau to Asian. Crafted at the maximum size and resolution, the set also includes infinitely scalable shapes plus style effects such as drop shadows, color, and gradients.
     

Learning calligraphy is not expensive. A broad-edge pen and smooth paper are the tools you need to get started. When first starting, use a chisel-tip felt pen. Its tip is similar to the nib, the tip of a calligraphy pen and is easy to work with. Bond paper is best to start practicing your calligraphy. Graph paper will allow you to see the proportion of the strokes and tracing paper is transparent for tracing. Higher quality paper should be used for finished works.

There are five basic hands, handwriting styles of calligraphy.

  • Roman: Made with majuscules, upper case letters. The letters are based on the straight and curved lines of a circle.
  • Celtic: The letters can be squeezed or stretched to fill the space and not lose its readability.

    Tips for lefties

    Try a thumb parallel to the pen grip
    Turn the paper to the left
    Use a left-handed pen
    Caution not to smear the ink as your hand travels across the paper

    more tips

  • Gothic: The letters are box-shaped and very ornate. The main objective is keeping the black stokes and white space equal.
    Italic: Is a cursive form of the Roman hand. The letters are characterized by a slight slant to the right.
  • Bookhand:  During the Renaissance the Roman upper case was combined with the lower case. Is named so because it was useful in the writing of books.

Holding the pen at the proper angle will help you draw the lines correctly. Calligraphy can be used to design personal greeting cards, label homemade goodies and where poems become framed showpieces. With regular practice your works of art can become beautiful writings.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff