So I’m at the end of week two of my modern calligraphy online course Show Me Your Drills and well…it’s a mixed bag of results. I’m loving it, but I need a lot of work.
Week one is tracing, and you’d think, well we give kids things to trace, how hard can it be? Well, it certainly isn’t easy, I can tell you that. Getting the right pressure and angle on the pen, all while trying to write, doesn’t go exactly how you think it will. But it did improve and some drills were a lot better than others.
So that brings me to week two – when you still have the training wheels, but reminds me of riding a bike on a gravel road as a kid, not all smooth sailing! You start the first three lines tracing and then everything after that is freehand.
Day 1 – up and down strokes, let’s be honest, it looks like I have done these while on a train! Probably wasn’t the best decision to do it when I felt like I have been teetering on the edge of a migraine for a few days (but I hate giving in to my body for any reason). Have the shakes – yes let’s do something which requires a steady hand and smooth lines. Aversion to light – ya plug that super bright lightpad in and look at it. Basically, it was a recipe for disaster!
Day 2 had improvements on the overturn stroke, I could deal with light and my hand wasn’t on vibrate mode, so already a win. What I struggled with most on the freehand initially is getting the angle as I wasn’t able to see the guidelines on my workbook sheet. I stopped because I was getting frustrated and took a black pen and drew in the angled lines, from there, as you can see, it improved. Don’t misread that – it’s not great, but it improved.
Day 3 was slightly kinder to me and found it much better than the overturn from day two. I had worked out that having the angled lines was a key to my progression so went in with them prepared. And I would say, some of these even look pretty acceptable!
Day 4 with the compound curve, this was my favourite stroke from week one. Tracing went ok, then freehand started terribly (as you can see). But by the end, I was quite happy with the improvements I had made and were looking much more consistent and the smoothness of my stokes has certainly improved since Monday.
Day 5 – the oval. This was the one I was actually dreading the most trying to freehand (after those stupid penguin strokes from day 1). There is a lot to think about with the oval, pressure, angle, shape, and width. The shape is certainly the trickier part of the oval and I feel it needs a lot of work…back to the lightpad I go.
Day 6 was the ascending loop. This one is much kinder to me than the descending loop of day 7. I think it is easier going from the thin upstroke to the thick downstroke, rather than thick to thin. Some look good, but not exactly sure what happened with the last one in each row, reckon I drew the line on at an incorrect angle…oops!
And here, we are Day 7 with the descending loop. As I said, the ascending is certainly better for me than the descending. I really need to work on the loop part comparing mine to the tracing but a couple came off at least.
I know from my years of sport, that it takes time and doesn’t happen overnight…but I’m impatient! I’ve just had a sneak peek at week 3 and it is only tracing the first three on one line and then the rest freehand! Wish me luck and check back next Sunday to see how it goes.