Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Roman Style

Roman style letters are the foundations of Western letterforms.  The style is clear, straight and clean.  The Foundation Hand used today is based on the scribe styles used by Romans many years ago. 

Old Roman Cursive means capital letters and New Roman Cursive means lowercase letters.  The new cursive Roman style is easer to read than the old styles versions.

Starting To Write Roman and Foundation Hand Calligraphy

Set yourself up with a firm, hard resting board to lean your work on.  Use smooth paper such as cartridge paper.  Using about 2 sheets will give the surface a softer, cushioned surface when you write.  Secure the sheets of paper with 2 bulldog clips or masking tape.  Draw some faint guidelines with a hard, sharpened pencil, using a ruler and a set-square.

Once you are set up, practice writing the uppercase letters with either a pencil or calligraphy pen.  Hold the nib at about a 30ยบ angle and keep it constant and steady.  Be careful not to press too hard on the paper. 

Once you are happy with the capital letters, move onto practicing writing lowercase letters.  Keep practising and don’t worry if you letters look scrawly or clumsy, if you keep practicing, you will begin to get better results.  Keep the pen movements smooth, especially with the rounded letterforms.

Try to space the letters evenly, not too close together or far apart.  You will find that this will get easier with practice. 

Remember that the serifs displayed at the bottom of the capital letters are typical structures of the Roman style calligraphy.  Try to add them at the bottom of each uppercase letter to enhance the Roman font look.

A broad nibbed calligraphy pen can give effective and pleasing results.

Once you have mastered writing the Roman styles, you can move on to other, more complex styles of calligraphy writing, such as Gothic or Italic writing.
Roman Style

Experimenting With Broad Letters

Simple letterforms are great for adding a personal touch to Roman writing.  For example, using colors and washes.  You can use the 2-pencil technique to produce very broad looking letters and then you can use color pencils, pastels, chalk or watercolor washes to paint between the outlines of the letters.  This technique is great for producing posters and flyers or banners.  You can then experiment with shadows and 3 dimensional letters by drawing a faint outline of the letterforms beneath each letter. 

A simple calligraphy project

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