Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Calligraphy update -- lotsa letters

I don't remember how I got this idea, to make individual letters that would start as dense collections and then fall apart as they tumbled downward on the page.  The first few I made were with a bunch of new polymer-tip pens in bright, cheery colors.

I loved the effect, and the bright colors, except that these pens were relatively thin-line, and I found it hard to get a uniform wash of color on the larger letters with so much drawing back-and-forth.   Also it took quite a while to draw these letters.

So I started making these compositions with a dip pen.  I used my springiest nib, one that effortlessly gives you swoopy lines that go from thin to thick with just a bit of extra pressure.  For most of the letters, I could draw thick lines with just one pass, and the curved letters like S and B looked beautiful as they swelled and ebbed.

It was faster to make these letters, but it also took a while for the ink to dry, so I had to do the day's page in several different sittings.  Particularly nice when I started in the morning, did one color for a bit, went away and came back later for a bit more writing.

My ink supply is all dark colors, so these compositions aren't as light and bright as the first ones, but I think they're more sophisticated.  Now I'm at the same point that I was a couple of years ago when I was making tangles in my daily drawing.  Namely, is it a good plan to keep making the same drawing over and over again, day after day, even if you think it's beautiful and it's fun to do?  Are you losing the opportunity to try something new if you just repeat your favorite theme?

Certainly when you're perfecting a new approach, and certainly when you have ideas for a new frisson in your new approach, it's good to keep going day after day.  But when you have no new idea and just want to make another one like the ones you did before, maybe it's better to move on.

What do you think?


  1. I love these and your lettering is amazing! If you didn't tell us that you drew them I would swear that it was done on the computer.

  2. Quite a corner you've drawn yourself into! I can see myself going to the toy closet, pulling out the A B C blocks, throwing them up in the air, and then taking a picture. Faster than drawing all those beautiful lettets. I could do that over and over and get a different picture every time. You could, too. You have lots of letters from your dad's collection and your own, maybe it's time to "draw" some of those. I would only continue with an endeavor as long as it is bringing me joy. Life is too short to be restricted by my own rules. Break them and continue to have fun. You are so interesting...

  3. I'm going to agree with art quilter. There is a lot more exploring you can do with these amazing calligraphy drawings. Or, you could move on. If I get a project out to work on and I don't feel any enthusiasm for the work, I turn to something else for awhile. Do what calls you.

  4. Wait.... you're drawing all those letters? That's impressive -- and looks cool, too!