Penmanship 5/18/2017

Just some of the countless examples of the practice I’ve been doing lately. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was back to the basics. 


6 thoughts on “Penmanship 5/18/2017

    1. Hi there,
      That’s a good question.
      These exercises are good for my penmanship in particular though they have helped my sketching a bit and probably have benefitted my Japanese Calligraphy in ways I haven’t noticed yet as well.

      The short answer: They help loosen up the arm while improving accuracy.

      The long answer: The cursive characters of the alphabet can be broken down into a few basic movements like a line, oval, and S curve. An upper-case M, for example starts with a small oval that curves downward clockwise, back up and past the initial mark and then starts to curve down until it almost straightens out. Then it makes a straight line up before curving again and so on. All of the characters are really complicated versions of ovals and lines, so if you can improve your ability to make those, then you’ll have a strong foundation that can be applied to all of the letters of the alphabet. It’s boring but useful work. The exercises that look like really fancy arrangements of ovals are just to break up the tedium I think.
      Other uses for these practices are focusing internally and paying attention to your posture, how you’re holding the pen, how much weight you have on your writing arm, etc. in what kind of amounts to as a vacuum. It’s a bit like qigong but for penmanship I guess.
      Anyway, believe it or not oval and push-pull (straight line) practice are really beneficial!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow I truly appreciate your reply. I never really occurred to me that each alphabet are based on different forms of curved patterns. I guess I need to do this exercise before writing or else I’ll blame the weather for my stiff hand hahaha


      2. Hmmm… I guess I do rest my wrist on the paper and I hold the pen close to the nib. I bend close to the paper too so sometimes I get a backache 😅


      3. Yeah, I have definitely struggled with bad posture over the years when writing and drawing, but the past few months I’ve made a huge effort to fix my posture, grip, and arm movement, and it’s made a huge difference. I actually used to get really bad hand cramps as well as pain in my fingers.

        Also, I don’t know what calligraphy you’re doing so I can’t tell you what movement is best, but if you’re doing something like cursive it’s really worth putting in the time learning how to use arm movement rather than writing from the wrist!


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