11/7/16 Sinai Temple Fall 2016 Class #2: Monoline Italic

Today DeAnn reviewed letters that students had problems with and explained spacing for monoline italic.

o :  think of an olive shape, overlap beginning and ending of second stroke when joining.

z :  draw a parallelogram to practice

s :  if the “stomach” is not out far enough, the “s” will look like it will fall over.

v, w :  when writing these letters at a slant, the first stroke is straighter than the second stroke.


Picket Fence spacing:  for Italic monoline, Italic and Copperplate, picket fence spacing means that all the counterspaces, or negative spaces, match. The positive spaces (i.e. the strokes or the “pickets” of the fence) are equidistant. The counterspace is the inside space of the letter. This will be the basis of flourishing that you’ll learn later. If the picket fence foundation isn’t strong and steady, the flourishing will look weak.

Think volume:  Imagine the counterspace as water. When writing the next letter, the space you create between the letters should be able to contain the same amount of water that was inside the first letter. DeAnn’s mantra is:  Look at the space you just created, and make the next one be similar.

When you first start writing Italic monoline with the correct spacing, the letters may look too far apart – but we need to train our brain & eyes. Letters are spaced too closely in advertising, so our eyes have grown used to this squished spacing in words. But picket fence spacing is the basis of Copperplate and Italic, so understanding it will also help in writing those hands.

As a general rule, the space between letters is the space of the counterspace of an “n”, which should be similar to the counterspace of an “a”, “o”, “b”, “u”, etc. For letters that aren’t composed of vertical lines, you need to use optical or visual spacing.

Every hand has a “color”. Italic is grey. Squint your eyes and look at the word written in Italic – the “color” should be grey, meaning that the positive and negative space is about the same. Copperplate is light while Gothic is dark. Gothic is called “blackletter” because the black strokes are greater than the white space. In Italic, if you see a dark spot in your word, then the letters are too close together.

Spacing rules:
Vertical + vertical = farthest
Vertical + curver = closer
Curve/diagonal + curve/diagonal = closest

The worst combination is “rt” – think of the “r” as an open “n” and place the t where the downstroke of the “n” might go. It’s OK if the r and crossbar of the t touch.

Spacing between words is the space of an “n” from outside to outside stroke. Between sentences, place a period, then the width of an “n” before starting the next sentence.

Remember:  Spacing is more important than the individual words.

HOMEWORK:  Write words and sentences on the 1/2-inch x-height guidelines with the 5-degree slant, using either 2.4mm Parallel Pen or dip pen with 2 1/2 mm Brause or Speedball C2/LC2 or Mitchell 1 or 2 nib.

Remember to put your name and date in the lower right-hand corner. DeAnn will review all homework and make corrections where needed.

Next week:  chisel point Italic