So I decided to tackle house mottos, but I’m not happy with the results. I did them using “skeleton” lettering and I’m just crap at it. So I will probably do these again as my skills improve. But I thought I’d post the current results anyway.
I used skeleton because I wanted to do house colors using silver & gold. The metallic inks are very gummy (the “silver” is actually aluminum suspended in gum) and lend themselves to fine lines like you see in skeleton style lettering moreso than the wide strokes used in blackletter.
So I jumped in to try Gryffindor first. Since this was the longest of the mottos I was going to do, I decided to do it on two sheets, one using red letters on gold (well, yellow) paper, and one using gold letters on red paper. Since the red I could do with regular ink, I used blackletter for that, and skeleton for the gold.
(First, a quick note to anyone who has been getting malware and virus warnings when visiting any of my websites or circlet.com — they’ve FINALLY killed the infection. I hired a professional team from Sucuri.net who not only eradicated all the malware code, they hardened my WordPress installs, and they will keep watch for one year! Good stuff.)
Now, on to the arty stuff.
I undertook to practice two different alphabets here. One is a form of uncial that has a sort of Celtic look to it (having been the style used in many of the church manuscripts) and the other a more formal Gothic blackletter.
I’m better with the formal ones right now because I’m very stiff as a beginner. I have a bit more control and my inaccuracy and untrained muscle memory are minimized with the very formal letters. Whereas the uncials seem — to me, anyway — to want a bit more expressiveness in the stroke and I don’t yet have the fineness of technique to be able to be more expressive without just plain getting things wrong, letters too big, too small, strokes not matching as they should, etc.
So, I am not an artist. Art class was always one of my favorites in school, but I’ve never had any talent at drawing or really in transferring either what I see or what I imagine onto paper. As the de facto art director for Circlet Press over the past 20 years, I’ve become a decent designer, though, and as a writer by trade, the one form of visual art that has continually drawn my interest since I was a teenager is calligraphy.
So, I’ve dabbled in it here and there. But when a creative pursuit (such as writing) is one’s livelihood, that often doesn’t leave a lot of time for other creative hobbies. Acting, playing music, and lettering have all taken back seats so far back they may as well be in a different bus from me. (Writing fanfic is by far my favorite hobby… and it’s indistinguishable from what I do for a living, except for the non-commercial part.)
But on February 20th I decided I wanted to spend about 15 minutes a day practicing my lettering and learning/inventing some alphabets. About five years ago I actually set up a calligraphy work desk and now, five years later, I’m finally USING it!! So, under the cut, picspam of the letterings I’ve been doing!