In recent years, calligraphy has evolved from an esoteric art form to an everyday pursuit for artists, students, and amateurs. This intermediate-level guide for novices with some experience offers the chance to advance to the next level. Well-illustrated, step-by-step instructions by an expert calligrapher explain every detail of the two most popular calligraphic alphabets.
Author Eleanor Winters introduces the Italic hand, which originated during the Renaissance, and the Copperplate style, which dominated European calligraphy during the eighteenth century. Her three-part approach begins with a review of the basics, advancing to variations in letter size, form, weight, and flourishes. It concludes with a wealth of advice on layout and design as well as inspiration for original projects.
Introduction to the book by the author
During the last twenty-five years, the popularity of calligraphy has been growing steadily. Calligraphy has evolved from an esoteric art form to an everyday pursuit for artists, students, and interested amateurs. This gratifying, not to say meteoric, development is witnessed by the ever-growing number of classes, workshops, exhibitions, books, and calligraphy organizations. Just a few years ago, this was not the case. To many, calligraphy was a relatively unknown art, a footnote in the history of twentieth-century art education and, indeed, a word that was unfamiliar to a remarkable number of otherwise well-informed people. An often repeated anecdote concerns a student who sat through an entire two-hour introductory session of an Italic class, only to realize that he was in the wrong room; he'd registered for a class in upholstery!
As with other popular forms of art, there are many possible resources available for the beginner: classes, how-to books, lectures, and demonstrations. It seems that just about every adult-education program and community centre offers classes entitled Introduction to Calligraphy, Beginning Italic, or Copperplate 1. Bookstores are well stocked with manuals and textbooks for these classes, as well as a number of calligraphy-as-art books, showing the work of contemporary calligraphic artists, as well as beautiful examples of writing and illuminating from the past. These art books serve as an inspiration to beginners and experienced calligraphers alike, but they generally don't give any step-by-step instructions.
And that is where Italic and Copperplate Calligraphy comes in. The purpose of this book is to begin where the others leave off, to answer the big questions: "What's next?" and "Where do I go from here?" These are the questions so often asked at the end of beginner classes, when students are familiar with the minuscule and capital letters, have been introduced to the concept of spacing, addressed an envelope or two, and have been given a glimpse of the principles of layout and design. The luckier students are offered an Italic 2 class, or perhaps an Intermediate Copperplate workshop, but the majority of neophyte calligraphers are left without direction or more advanced instruction.
Italic and Copperplate Calligraphy will attempt to provide the map for this uncharted territory. We have chosen the two most popular hands (calligraphic alphabets) as our area of focus.
Italic and Copperplate have many characteristics in common, but also differ in many important regards. It is their position in the educational hierarchy that brings them immediately to mind as the appropriate choices for an intermediate/advanced level book. In the following chapters, we will consider these similarities and differences. We will study Italic and Copperplate in both their shared principles and their individual characteristics.
Although this book is primarily aimed at the non-beginner, we are including a few chapters which cover the basics. These can serve as either an in-depth review for those familiar with Italic and/or Copperplate, or as an introduction for enthusiastic students who wish to start at the beginning and progress to more complicated ideas, exercises, and projects. Whatever your level of expertise may be, these chapters are worth a few minutes—and possibly a lot more than that—of your time.
And finally, this book may also serve as an interesting resource as well as a challenge to calligraphers who are adept at either Italic or Copperplate, but unfamiliar with the other alphabet. It is hoped that the dual focus of this book will help these calligraphers to learn the other style, by comparing and contrasting it with the one which they already know. We hope that whichever group you may fall into, beginner or intermediate in both Italic and Copperplate, or experienced with one of these alphabets but not the other, Italic and Copperplate Calligraphy will offer you a new approach to calligraphy as a living and evolving art form.
This book from Eleanor Winters is well written, well illustrated, and clearly laid out. It is packed with good instructional examples and has a good gallery of completed pieces. It also contains a set of guidelines for your to photocopy and use as you work through the lessons and practice your new skills. Recommended for all new calligraphers.
1st edition, 2011, paperback, 230pp, full colour throughout, 21.3 x 28 cm