November 25, 2013 – Pointed Pen Styles Class #5 at Sinai Temple

DeAnn reviewed the lowercase Copperplate letters and demonstrated writing them. She then demonstrated joining the letters into words.

Satomi’s perpetual calendar:

For a review of writing the lowercase Copperplate letters:  See blog entry from January 23, 2012 for detailed notes.


begin the lowercase s more slanted than the slant line

Some alternate versions of letters:

English r

Connecting letters:

In general, the #7 entrance stroke will only be used for the initial letter of a word. In between letters of a word, the exit stroke of a letter will become the entrance stroke of the next letter.


Stroke #9 exit: for the letters o, b, v, and w, the initial dot should be on the inside of the previous stroke. Try to exit at 3:00 to make a smooth connection to the next letter. All the #9s should be at the same level within the word and sentence.

Space the letters so that the whitespaces are all equivalent. The whitespace is the space within the strokes. The downstrokes should all be at the same slant, the same width and the same distance apart so that it looks like true picket fence spacing. The loops of the #5 and #6 strokes should be similar. Be careful of the p’s and f’s; DeAnn tends to press too hard on the downstrokes and they end up thicker than the other letters.

Special cases: for the “f” in a word like “off”, start the #9 stroke a little above the base line in its usual place; don’t worry that it doesn’t cross the #7 stroke. For double “t”s, cross both in one stroke.

Writing sentences (see Alphabet Sentences by Satomi handout):
Leave a little space between the exit strokes and the #7 entry strokes, just enough to separate the words. The sentence shouldn’t look like a list of words but a sentence. Don’t worry about Capital letters for now (DeAnn will demonstrate those next week).

NOTE:  some instructors/books teach Copperplate with a smaller space for the initial stroke of letters like “m” or “n” (for example, the initial #2 stroke is thinner in width than the second #2 stroke that become the “body” of the m). But DeAnn wants all the strokes to be the same width and have similar whitespaces. Learn the rhythm first before deciding to change it.

Importance of picket-fence spacing:  DeAnn envisions the letter strokes as the foundation for flourishing, like the picket fence in a garden with vines and flowers growing around it. When the foundation (i.e. the “picket fence”) is even and steady, then you can really “go to town” with the flourishing and it’ll look beautiful. But if the letters are unevenly spaced with differing slant-angles, then the addition of flourishing will make it look even messier.

Homework:  practice writing alphabet sentences on all the guidelines. Use both vermillion and black ink, as well as different nibs. If you have Higgins Eternal ink, make a sepia colored ink by mixing half a vial of vermillion with 6 – 8 drops of Higgins Eternal.

Next week:  Capitals