Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Calligraphy Projects

Now that my calligraphy projects are safely given away to their intended recipients, I'll post them here. You should be able to click on them to see them in a higher resolution.

These two were meant to be one large project, but I decided I liked it better on two pages. One page appears to be darker than the other, but that was just a scanning flaw. I wrote the quote.

This one is a mixture of photography and calligraphy. The quilt in the border is a photograph of an actual quilt that another friend of mine did for my daughter. She has a quilting workshop that you would not believe. I took a digital photograph of the quilt at a 45 degree angle, loaded it in Word, blocked out the center with an opaque textbox and printed it on calligraphy parchment. I then did my lettering on the printout.

For all of these, I did at least five drafts. The first three I do with a marker and a cheap piece of paper. I call these my "layout drafts." I do them to figure out what font I want and how I want everything spaced. For example, I was planning to do the Quilt project in Gothic Blackletter, but when I did my layout drafts I decided that a simple Foundational font would work better.

Once I have everything laid out the way I want it, I measure everything, rule a calligraphy parchment and do another draft. I don't plan on this one being perfect, but so much the better if it is.

Once I'm done with the basic lettering, I go back and add flourishes. For example, I added the stem on the Q in the Quilt project, and I blended together the ascender and descender for the Y and the D on the Friend project. Once I add the flourishes, I get out my Japanese gold and silver paint and illuminate the letters.

It's a lot of fun, and now my husband is learning. It really does not take any artistic ability; just skill that comes with time. I first learned this in 9th grade art in 1980, but didn't get serious about it until 1985.


  1. Tia, that's beautiful! I hope that you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!

  2. These are amazing! Calligraphy must take so much skill and precision. Really well done, they look absolutely professional to me! :-)

  3. Thank you so much! I'm actually thinking about doing some professional work, plus I'd like to enter an art show.


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