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Mesu
July 27th, 2013, 01:35 PM
Hi,

My daughter is 8yr old and is very interested in learning calligraphy.

She has a steady hand and is creative. She dabbles a lot in water colors and tries to make something out of stuff lying around in the house. Her handwriting is reasonably good as long as she focuses on writing neatly. But when she is in a hurry, it is just chicken scratch.

Should i focus on improving her regular handwriting first or can i get her started on practicing various fonts?

How should i get her started? Can she start off with a regular pencil/pen? Any links, books etc would be very helpful. She got hold of few postcards and invitations and trying to imitate the fonts :) I would like to encourage her in anyway i can.

That's a long post.. thanks for listening

AndyT
July 27th, 2013, 03:26 PM
I think it's great that she's so enthusiastic, and that you're so keen to encourage her. :)

Perhaps it would be best to lay the emphasis more on regular handwriting than calligraphy in the first place, the former for study and the latter for fun. A carpenter's pencil (or else two ordinary pencils taped together) would be a good way to start on edged pen calligraphy styles. Those Pilot parallel pens look like a good bet too. Whatever you do, it can only be positive in terms of developing creativity and fine motor skills.

By the way, French ruled paper is excellent for handwriting practice: Clairefontaine make superb exercise books at surprisingly reasonable prices. There are a variety of rulings intended for different age groups, the lines getting closer together as the student advances, arriving eventually at 2mm Seys.

fiberdrunk
July 27th, 2013, 04:21 PM
I'd recommend the Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting Series (http://www.handwritingsuccess.com/italic-handwriting-series.php) for her. This is the authors' main website (http://www.handwritingsuccess.com/). The series goes from A to G (kindergarten to 6th grade). You wouldn't need to get the whole set. She could probably start with book C (which begins with printed monoline italic and introduces cursive italic by the end of it). In book G, italic with a broad-edge pen is introduced (italic calligraphy). These authors also offer Italic Letters (http://www.amazon.com/Italic-Letters-Calligraphy-Inga-Dubay/dp/0876780915/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1374958476&sr=8-3&keywords=inga+%26+dubay+italic+handwriting), which is more for grown-ups and emphasizes more of the italic calligraphy.

If you want a book that teaches many calligraphy styles, my favorite is Written Letters: 33 Alphabets for Calligraphers (http://www.amazon.com/Written-Letters-33-Alphabets-Calligraphers/dp/0800887352/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374959695&sr=1-1&keywords=written+letters) by Jacquelin Svaren. This book appears to be out of print, but is worth tracking down. The author tells you which size pen to use (usually Speedball C-series dip pen nibs)... her exemplars are the same size the student's will be. Most calligraphy books shrink the models down, so hers is unique in that and I find it very helpful. Another alternative is any of the editions of the Speedball Textbook (http://www.amazon.com/Speedball-Textbook-comprehensive-Lettering-Twenth-Third/dp/0963153250/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374959864&sr=1-1&keywords=speedball+calligraphy). You can often find these booklets at the craft stores like A. C. Moore or Michaels over by the calligraphy inks. It has a ton of different styles in it.

eta: You can find Lloyd Reynolds Italic Calligraphy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v22dewR4izg) series on YouTube, too! There are at least 20 episodes on there that I saw.

Honey Mustard
July 27th, 2013, 07:57 PM
I was about her age when I received my first calligraphy set. If I remember correctly there were two bodies, and four italic nib sizes and they took standard cartridges. It came with instructions for a variety of different scripts. I believe we photocopied the practice pages and used them over and over to save some money. I wish I could remember the name of the set as I remember absolutely loving it. I wouldn't start her with a pencil if you think she's able to handle a fountain pen. A pencil won't give the line variation needed to copy some styles.

AndyT
July 28th, 2013, 06:28 AM
A pencil won't give the line variation needed to copy some styles.

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/238/446900306_fcf1946e52.jpg

Carpenter's pencil.

http://www.yorksurvey.co.uk/img/fullsize/photo36.jpg

fiberdrunk
July 28th, 2013, 07:56 PM
Lovely! I've taped 2 pencils together for practice. It makes shadow broad-edged letters. Loads of fun.

Mesu
July 29th, 2013, 05:54 AM
Your replies have been very helpful. I bought some pens and pencils for her as per your suggestions. Will post the pics soon.

Mesu
July 29th, 2013, 05:55 AM
Lovely! I've taped 2 pencils together for practice. It makes shadow broad-edged letters. Loads of fun.

The carpenter pencil is fun too. Erasable alternative to the FP and just what my daughter needs as she is is just starting.

Honey Mustard
July 30th, 2013, 01:08 AM
A pencil won't give the line variation needed to copy some styles.

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/238/446900306_fcf1946e52.jpg

Carpenter's pencil.

http://www.yorksurvey.co.uk/img/fullsize/photo36.jpg


Yes, you're correct. Mesu specifically mentioned a "regular" pencil in the OP which is what I made my comment in reference too. I should have specified.

John the Monkey
July 30th, 2013, 05:02 AM
If you find the grades in carpenter pencils a little hard, Lyra make a "Flat Sketching Pencil" (the Rembrandt no. 874) that comes with rather nice 4B and 6B graphite.

Here in the UK, they're about 89p each.

AndyT
July 30th, 2013, 05:37 AM
I'm not sure if they're still in production, but Rexel Cumberland used to offer some superb flat pencils in a couple of dozen different earth tones in the Derwent Artist range.

Yup, bit of a pencil geek too. :)

Mesu
August 1st, 2013, 04:32 AM
Some scans of her writing. Should she practice better writing before she starts off font practice?

Rushed writing: scan of her class book

4349

Slow and neat writing when i am around :p Notice the way she is trying to make her handwriting more beautiful.

4348

tandaina
August 1st, 2013, 08:46 AM
Lovely writing! She should practice whatever keeps her interested in improving her hand!

It won't hurt to practice fonts, heck that has improved my daily script. And if it keeps her interested that's a good thing!

AndyT
August 1st, 2013, 10:35 AM
I agree with Tandiana, whatever keeps her happy and interested. The old handwriting primers often included pattern making exercises for loosening up the arm muscles: continuous ovals, cross writing and that sort of thing - maybe she'd enjoy some of those. There are quite a few in Palmer's Penmanship Budget (http://www.iampeth.com/ADOBE_PDFs/Palmers%20Penmanship%20Budget.pdf) for instance.