Calligraphy 3 How to turn a corner!


Last week we learnt how to do straight strokes in different directions. How to start and finish the stroke is very important – you don’t want a big blob at the beginning and ending of the stroke. So during the week I practised at home. And here’s some of what I did – the sample is on the right and my effort is on the left.  This is clearly not as easy as it looks. We were told to keep redoing the strokes over and over again like this – this way certainly saves paper. (good idea)

One of the biggest problems for me at the moment though is simply getting the right amount of ink on the brush! We use bottled ink and are supposed to water it down a little in the ink well. But the paper is VERY thin and so if there is too much ink on the brush, (or if it’s too runny) it  seeps uncontrollably through the paper creating these big fat sausage strokes with a nasty jagged edge. This is not what we are aiming for at all. :( But if there is not enough ink on the brush then the strokes are too dry and that’s no good either. Woe is me.

So I went to this week’s class still grappling with this problem. And armed only with my sausage strokes I prepared for a new drill: ‘corners’ and ‘steps’ (that’s what I’m calling these strokes).

When you are going along straight, how do you turn the corner? That’s the question. Well, you have to lift the brush up a bit ( but not completely off the paper) and then somehow flip over to use the opposite side of the brush and then press down again to go in the other direction. But instead of a smooth manoeuvre I’m experiencing something more like an awkward three point turn on a muddy road. (Leaving ugly tyre marks, not to mention dodgy sounds from the gearbox)  Anyway, here’s the sample. So this is what we are aiming for, but let’s keep expectations low. 😉

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