How To Write Copperplate Calligraphy
In this film, a scriber takes you through the history of copperplate script and shows different examples of writing this specific form of calligraphy.
How to write copperplate calligraphy. This is quite an interesting question because copperplate script is very different from most of the other historical scripts. There is only one script that is similar to it and that is called Spenserian script which was birthed out of copperplate script in United States by a guy called Platt Spencer in 1860.
Copperplate script essentially started at around 1604 when Lucas Matthew, who was a scriber, got a copy of the script from Rome, and by attempting to do it, sort of botched it, thankfully, because out of his mistake, we find the right elements coming together to create this script called copperplate which historically was called the English round hand, not to be confused with round hand which is actually a foundation of script design by a majority. So, do be careful of the scripts. It's also called Anglaise by the French and it is done on either a flat surface or a slightly tilted one.
I'm using a light teal out of a slight angle at about 10 degrees and I'm also going to use a grid sheet with the lines ruled on it as well as the angle of the script. So, this is very important. I cannot stress how important this is.
Do not assume that you can get the angle right all the time. Having consistently spaced angles on the page will really help you get the script working. I'm going to paperclip the script to the top so that both the guide sheet and the sheet I'm going to write on are in the same plate.
I'm using a Manuscript Pen Company nib and it is the Hiero Leonard EF Principle, even recently made by the Manuscript Pen Company about 3 to 4 years ago and it's the first time that we have a company actually investing in new technology to produce an exceptional tool. Because you're using a pointed nib, you have to get the nibs ready on either side of the angle of the script. There we go.
So, there we see the angle of the nib then and we see the time spreading either on the side of the nib. The biggest problem people have with copperplate script is they treat the nib like it's a square pen. You cannot face in that direction.
Otherwise, this is the direction the times would spread. My firm belief is the script is miniscule. It's actually based on this stroke which is called swelled stroke.
With the swelled stroke, you are working around two little circles. The highest point is here, not on the stroke itself, and the lowest point is there which is not on the main body of the stroke. The letters aren't narrow and the reason I'm using this underlying principle, miniscule, is if we cut this off and we cut that off, we end up with a straight line.
Before we move on to some script, I'll just show you how copperplate is based on. It is this line called the line of universal beauty which is essentially your straight line with some rounded corners and so that is your universal line of beauty and we will write the word script. Notice I keep changing the page to accommodate the angle of the nib because it's not something that's very natural for us to do and you notice I'm also using my hand quite a lot, not my fingers, so it's a big arm movement, because that is one of the problems of copperplate script and it does get caught in the paint.
Now, let's look at copperplate scripting in a different context. I use copperplate script for our stationery. That's here, with some flourishing.
But I've also used it for some promotional material using some 19th century American flourishing called off hand flourishing. And this is a sample of the script in white, on black with gold. Notice the miniscule and notice the flourishing, how light and delicate and smooth.
Copperplate script really does need you to use your arm to create these various smooth movements and very very basically, that is how you do copperplate script. .