telerib: (sca)
LaTeX supports historical fonts.

For whatever reason, my schooling did not include any LaTeX. It seems to be more of a science thing and less of a mech/aero engg thing. I find it very ironic that it might be my medievalist hobby that actually gets me to install and learn how to code in the darn thing.
telerib: (sca)
I wrote out my "Wulf and Eadwacer" translation until I ran out of room, using real ink on Bristol paper. I took the time to line it with pencil, although since I still haven't gotten a lettering guide and was counting on the edge of the tablet to help square the ruler, the lines weren't 100%.

I learned that:

1) I still need lettering practice.

2) I have no idea how dark the ink is supposed to be. (I can get one letter per dip in a deep black, or most of a line in a lighter grey.)

3) It's very tempting to stick with markers since I'm not doing scrollwork or anything.

Also, on a separate note:

1) Good markers make a difference. (I bought several different ones at the art store and I swear my lettering improved immediately.)

I haven't yet dug out my sandpaper to try 'fixing' the Speedball nibs, so maybe Take 2 with them will go better. But, as I was told, using the nib is really a separate skill from making the letters, so I shouldn't be too surprised that it looks like two steps forward, one step backward.

I've also been looking at the history in the Drogin and Harris more carefully, and looking for MS examples in some of the Anglo-Saxon history books I have. I'm coming around to the idea that the hand I should really focus my time on is Insular Minuscule. It's appropriate to the 7th century, especially for non-Bible stuff like I'm writing. Insular Majuscule looks neat for highlights, but also looks really complex for a beginner. The other big showboat hand appears to have been not Uncial so much as Artificial Uncial. The more I see of it, the more I like it, too... but again, complex. Lots of pen-strokes and serifs and all. I'll save it for later.

Something like Roman capitals or one of the insular caps-lock header fonts should do just fine for titling poems and songs. Since I don't have a handy ductus for the insular capitals, I'll probably stick to the Roman ones for now.

My mother-in-law also suggests downloading appropriate fonts, printing things out, and using a light-box to ink it up. :) She is an awesome fine artist in her own right, but prefers to save her creative energy for the ornamental capitals and illumination. It's an idea, and I wouldn't object to having the right fonts handy for last-minute A&S applications, but I think I'd rather learn to DIY.
telerib: (sca)
So my 'teach yourself calligraphy' saga continues. I think I'm at the point where I'm considering picking up real ink and pens, because I think it's going to affect how I do some of the letters. (I realized early that, although I could take certain shortcuts with my felt-tip pen and the letters would look fine, the required push/pull would probably not work with a metal nib.)

I've decided to learn three hands: square capitals, uncial and insular minuscule. That's pretty much the 8th cen. English version of MS Word's Heading 1, Heading 2 and Normal styles. You'd do your title in square caps, the first couple of lines in uncial, and then the bulk of the work in insular minuscule. Like the Word styles, that's not the only way to do it, but it looks like it was probably pretty common.

ZOMG square caps make me pull my hair! Many of the letters are just dead easy. Working my way through the first half of the alphabet, I felt like a pro. OK, "C" was a little tricky. But "B" was easy. So were D, E, F, H, I...

"M" is about the hardest thing I've tried to write yet, in all three hands. It's just awful! "N" is a little better, but then there's "W", which usually looks mutated when I'm done with it.


On the other hand, the insular minuscule looked much harder than it was. I'm a long way from being good at it, but all the little ornaments and clubs on the letters weren't so hard to make. It's very Tolkienesque, too, which is neat.

August 2014

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