View Full Version : Learning Engrosser's script

January 9th, 2016, 04:50 PM
I have spent a lot of time over the past few months trying to learn Engrosser's script. I have a good collection of dip nibs and try to practice the letters every day. I was finding some progression but wondered how long it would take me where I could write this script well and without thinking too much about form. Anyway I decided to go through Dr. Joe Vitolo's e-book on this script. I downloaded it and studied it very closely and went through all the lower and upper case letters again. The penny started to drop. Dr. Joe's advice as to symmetry and looking at letters with the oval shapes found in most letters (even ones you would think have oval shapes but the entry and exit hair lines do have an oval aspect). His advice as to making all oval shapes be on the right slant and in symmetry with other parts of the letter and with other letters in the word is the best advice I have ever read. Also Dr. Joe is very helpful and if you send him a personal message on his facebook he always has the time to share some of his wisdom. He is a great guy who just loves calligraphy.

I am now improving noticeably and with focused practice I see the light at the end of the tunnel where I may be able to write without thinking of form and write in a flowing manner which is essential to this script. I thought I would pass on my revelation in the hope it may help others struggling with calligraphy.

I hope to post an example of my recent practice shortly.

January 9th, 2016, 08:55 PM

Here are some of my recent practice. Please excuse the smudging. I have to buy some blotting paper. The ink is a walnut ink made from mixing walnut crytals with warm water. Very good calligraphy ink. You can see the brown colour in the smudging. Whilst I have a long way to go I am improving. Dr. Joe says you practice and then evaluate your work against some good exemplars and that way you learn from your mistakes (I am making plenty of them) Trying to get the symmetry in the curves of the connectors and general symmetry. Very difficult when you hand is old and not as stable as it used to be. The nib is an Esterbrook 128 which is a beautiful flexy nib

January 9th, 2016, 10:01 PM
You should consider making a short video showcasing your writing those beautiful letters.

January 9th, 2016, 10:06 PM
Thanks. The trouble with the writing when you are learning is that you are making strokes very slowly and deliberately trying to master the form. This does not lead to a graceful smooth letter as you can see in my practice. It is a bit wobbly and apparently that happens to a lot of people. I am assured that the smoothness comes when you write the letter naturally without thinking of form. I have tried to do that and the loops do look a lot better. Just wish it would happen a bit quicker.

Lady Onogaro
January 9th, 2016, 11:46 PM
Well, I, for one, am quite impressed with what you have accomplished so far, Laurie. Keep it up.

January 10th, 2016, 12:39 AM
Me too! Very impressive Laurie.

I've had a bit of a layoff from anything formal for quite some time. Other commitments and all that. Just started looking through the Winter's book and had a small practice today. I had forgotten how hard it is to get squared ends to some of the strokes. Got a lot more learning to do I guess.

January 10th, 2016, 04:56 AM
Well, I, for one, am quite impressed with what you have accomplished so far, Laurie. Keep it up.

Me, too. I'm amazed at the level of skill you have now. Keep posting in the thread every couple of months. That way you can see your skill level grow.

March 12th, 2016, 06:29 AM
Love it!