I grew up in Raleigh at a time when the nuns taught at Our Lady Of Lourdes. They lived out back of the school and wore those imposing yet Holy Habits that commanded your adoration, attention, and, quite frankly, your fear. So, when they asked you to "sit up straight" with your "feet flat on the floor" and compose your letters properly according to the Palmer Method of Handwriting, you did just that! I believe it was at that impressionable age that I became infatuated with the formation of letters. When I was introduced to calligraphy in 1978, it was no wonder I fell in love with this beautiful art form. My first taste of the calligraphic world lasted no longer than one hour. The instructor turned a piece of chalk on its edge to form calligraphic works of art from A to Z on the chalkboard. That was that! But it was all I needed to fire the embers that had been sparked in elementary school. Watching the slow, rhythmical shaping of those letters was like listening to classical music. It was not until 1997 that I enrolled in my first formal calligraphy class. Boy, were my eyes opened! I knew I had a lifelong road of learning ahead of me. It's been 38 years since that white piece of chalk was laid on its side. I am still learning. Come learn with me!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pressure and Release

This is what I learned tonight. It is pressure and release pencil. You can use this technique with any hand, I guess. Try it. We started out with Roman Capitals, then used other lettering styles. Instead of taking notes in a separate book, I decided this past year that I would put the notes or directions right on what I was learning. That way you don't need to go back and forth from your notes to your work. It's all in one spot! Here's how this technique works...start the stroke with hard pressure and as you go down (or around), without taking your pencil off the paper, start releasing the pressure. Then as you get to the bottom of the stroke, once again press harder. Experiment. You could do this pressure and release a lot throughout the letter or a little, depending on the look you want. If you have not yet learned a lettering style, just print! I know this is hard to see, but if you click on the example, it will get bigger. At least it did for me!

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