I have finished learning Uncial hand from the book Mastering Calligraphy: The Complete Guide to Hand Lettering. It’s been roughly a year since I started learning from the book, beginning with Roman Capitals.
My goal is taking the long historical way to learn Copperplate and Spencerian (and ultimately analising a modern calligraphy script to create my own). In a sense one year is a short time, because in all three (Roman, Foundational, and Uncial), there is only one case to learn. That is to say – for Foundational you can use the Roman as the majuscule, and Uncial is considered a majuscule, so there’s no minuscule to learn. Beginning from the next hand, which is Carolingian, I will learn majuscule and minuscule letters for each hand, which means twice the learning time.
I begin to really take a look at the time it will take and do some calculations. If I continue learning with the old time frame (I spend 3 times per week practising, about an hour each time), I will need 8 months to learn the Carolingian hand, which means I will need another 2 years before even starting Copperplate (which I plan to learn after Carolingian, Gothic and Italic – skipping Versals and Neuland).
I considered my options. Should I just skip the three and start learning Copperplate straight away, then come back to them later after I also learn Spencerian? Copperlate is a popular hand and I’m often tempted to just dive into it. But I’m afraid that if I skip, I won’t find it interesting to come back to the broad edge. Another option is to practice more often, maybe every day. I don’t know how that will go but I don’t want to exhaust my interest or tire out from too much practice. But 2 years is really a lot of time. Well, I know it will take long, but I don’t want it to take that long.
So I decided to cut the learning time to half (cutting the drills to half). I figured I have had 3 hands’ worth of practice with the basic strokes, and it is more or less the same curves and lines with different proportions. I added more drills before because I’m not sure how I should do the ‘free roam’ practice, but now I know it would be useful to write out a page over and over. So now I plan to learn those three hands by next year, and I’ll start learning Copperplate then.
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I want to write about the things that will make your life easier on your calligraphy journey. I want you to tell me about the things you are wondering about, unsure about, what you want to know more about, whatever you wish someone could explain to you about learning calligraphy. By asking questions I will then answer in blog posts, you also help others learn! No question is ‘stupid’, ever. Suggestions are also welcome. Write me personally now!