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Learn how to draw the lowercase calligraphy letters - final letters in this video from the art of Calligraphy series.
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Hello, I’m Julian Wasserman, and my studio is Wasserman design and I’m teaching the chancery course of script of the Italian renaissance, and we are at the last 6 letters in the miniscule, small letter alphabet. So the last 6 letters begin with a letter V, which is a fun letter to make. It is only two strokes, and you hold your pen in a 45 degree angle, you lift up, as if you’re flying. You just fly and add an angle down to the bottom. And where you started, a 45 degree angle and you curved you end at a 45 degree angle and without a hook, you just stop. And then you start for the 2nd stroke, a little farther away then you come down to meet that stroke where you ended. So that’s the letter V. And here we’ll take of flying again down, and this time we’ll go make a straight line. At 45 degree angle straight down to meet that first stroke and then we’ll go back up and we’ll curve it as we go down, and then we’ll make a 4th stroke and this is the W. And now we’ll fly again, down, I was a little more elaborate on that… on that first movement, coming down, and there’s the letter Y, put a little foot on it, coz that went gradually went down to a hook ending that was so different from the rest of the letter thickness that it’s better to add a foot to give it more body to balance the… the letter. So I’ll write those again in the same way I just thought you, and then I’ll show you a variation on them. I’m showing you these letters as groups because I want you to see that there’s only few basic letter strokes from which all the combination of strokes form the 26 letters of this script. And there I came down shorter. I put a little flag into it. Okay, I’ll show you a variation on these three letters. So instead of having the pointy ends, as I’ve made twice, I’ll show you one with a little rounded, we’ll call it a soft landing. As this is a hard landing. So we start off flying at an angle down to the pencil line and then when we’re hitting it, instead of a… coming down to that sharp raw point, I curved it. And with that little curve, it makes… it makes a little rounder point to the letter form. And the same with the W… see… with that hook and then I’m coming to meet it, like that, and then I’m coming down and I’m coming. So this have a little more gentle, little more soft edge to them. And some calligraphers find that more attractive for a particular piece that they’re writing. Okay, and then for the Y, a little bit different, see for this Y we came right down to the point and then we added our 2nd stroke, and so we had an internal point. And that look just like the letter V, but now with the tail. So here, with the curve coming up with this hook, when I put the 2nd stroke on, you’ll notice that there’s now a triangle of white space under here. So it changes really the shape of the letter. And whichever you prefer. And we have three more letters to write. Now the letter X, looks like it could become either a W or V, but I started out of a 45 degree angle with the curve and I ended out of 45 degree angle. I didn’t, I didn’t come up like this… the way I did with the W, I stayed so that there’s a big white space here. Then I’m going to come to the right side and make the cross bar and stop when I get to the pencil line and I’m going to add just a little foot this way and a little foot at the top. So that’s the letter X. Now the letter Z is different still, I’m moving my paper so that it’s in front of me, okay, so letter Z. 45 degree angle, lift, come down, lift, 45 degree angle. There’s two things I wanna say, I went at a 45 degree angle across this space right underneath the pencil line and then I came down, but I lifted my pen from this 1st stroke before I made the 2nd stroke, that’s important. That gives all of these letters a formal, more decorice quality than if I just kept writing one – two – three. That go, the way I did if I would be writing a letter to somebody. This carefulness in forming the letters gives a really lovely structural quality to the letter forms that doesn’t occur when you’re just writing quickly and not lifting your pen from each of the strokes. And there’s another way to make the Z, if you go straight and then instead of having this thin but not razor thin line, if I did put a razor thin line, do that, and then add the bottom stroke. And then, because that’s so thin, sometimes it works within the letters, but sometimes, just to add a little weight to the letter Z, I put a little cross bar, adds some balancing weight to this thin line which doesn’t look like it could carry the top line or support the angle of the bottom line. Another thing is the 1st stroke of the letter Z is shorter than the last stroke of the letter Z, or the last line. Okay. Now, the most special letter is the letter S, and we come down, starting we come start below the pencil line and just like the letter C that we made, okay, but here we start and go. So there’s two curves within this space, and the C only has a curve down here and its second curve is way up there. But within this space, with one movement, we’re giving two curves, and then we’re going to tilt our pen, so instead of being 45 degrees, it’s a little less and add this little foot. The same way we did to our P, and our J, and our G, and probably our F, so all these… all these other letters have the same kind of foot. And we’re putting it on the S and then at the top, we’re putting it at the top. But this letter S has to slant, because all the other letters are slanting about 5 or 10 degrees, depending on your natural writing preference. So the idea of writing this letter so that it, it looks like it’s going to the right at a slight tilt is to… in your mind as you start moving, try to make the first curve a little smaller than the second curve. Now that might be too exaggerated, but the second curve, being the bigger one, will help carry the letter forward. One more time. Okay, these are all… the W, the V, and the Y, the X, the Z, and the S, are the last 6 letters. So we could start writing words now. After we got all 26…