Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Checking in on calligraphy 3

Trying to achieve the same character as the Denise Lach calligraphy that I loved, I ventured out to my local art supply store, which had just reopened, to buy a little squeeze bottle with a needle tip in the smallest diameter they sold.  This turned out to have a different character than the eye droppers and coke-can pen -- namely, much more prone to blobs!

Seems that the squeeze bottle has three modes, just like Goldilocks and the three bears: not enough ink flow, too much ink flow, and just right.  Unfortunately the only one of these modes that I am able to control is too-much; if you give the squeeze bottle a little squeeze you get a huge blob.  Just-right mode seems to occur only after you've started with too-much and written out the excess, and after a short while it expires into not-enough mode.

One of the advantages of this method is that if you keep the squeeze bottle quite empty, you can add more ink of a different color tomorrow -- or even midway through one day's page -- and change the color.  I put too much red in a while back and am still writing it off, waiting for a chance to transition over to blue or green.

I've experimented with doing my letters straight up and down and on a slant. Some days I'm happy with what I come up with, other days not so much.  But none of the days are even close to the Denise Lach exemplar that I am trying to emulate.

You can see all my daily calligraphy here.


  1. I am finding your process fascinating (I have never done this before so am no expert,) Looking at Denise Lach’s marks, she has a beautiful way of going from thick to thin in the same line but looks unhurried, but with skilful control. The line seems to taper off to nothing, and then she makes a decision about next line. Should you start with just focusing on that and don’t worry about the whole effect at this stage? Just a suggestion- I am enjoying watching your improvements.

  2. I am a fabric artist who spent many years as a professional calligrapher. There are two pen styles you might enjoy playing with. One is called a ruling writer. The others (in various sizes) are called folded pens. One cool thing about both these is that you can write with the tip and the sides to get unlimited width and coverage. One source is Another is Prices run the gamut. I am enjoying your journey with calligraphy. Best. Karen