Friday, 19 October 2012

Foundation Hand For Beginners

Simple Foundation Hand Style

Foundation Hand is sometimes known as Book Hand Calligraphy.  If you are a beginner to the world of calligraphy, foundation hand is a great calligraphy style to start you off. The style is a little bit like learning how to write very neatly and slowly when you first start to write at school. When you get into the habit of writing very neatly, you will find that writing foundation hand style will come naturally.

The Foundation Hand style came from the Carolingian scripts and is characterised by very rounded letters and neat, straight lines.

Pen Nibs

To get you started, use a medium to fine width calligraphy pen and black ink.  Copy the letterforms slowly and carefully.  Study the letter’s appearance and try to copy them.

Lined paper

Using lined or graph paper as guidelines is a good idea to ensure even and neat letterforms.  Practice with the graph or lined paper until you are confident enough to write without the guidelines at all. You could even use tracing paper or good quality lined paper to practice on.


2 Pencil Technique

Proportions of Foundation Hand

As a rule of thumb, the capital letter heights should be about 6 or 7 nib widths high, the x height (small letters without the ascending and descending strokes), should be about 4 or 5 nib widths high.  The pen nib should be held at about an angle of 30 degrees from the writing guidelines.

Projects and Ideas

Foundation Hand style can be used in many ways and it is relatively easy to learn and it looks quite impressive and neat.  Foundation Hand can be used for wedding invitations, place names, writing poems, or writing names on certificates and envelopes.

The calligraphy 2-pencil technique is a very simple but effective way to write Foundation Hand.  You simply tie two pencils together firmly with a rubber band and hold the pencils as if you are holding a calligraphy pen, ensuring the pencils are held so the pencil nibs are at a 30 degree angle.  Write some letters steadily, and keeping the 30-degree angle consistent.  Once you write the outlines, you can color them in any way or style you like.  You can use gouache, pastel, watercolor or oil paint.  Experiment with mediums and paper for different effects.

If you are left handed, foundation hand can be a great way to get you started writing in calligraphy styles.  Make sure that you buy calligraphy pens specifically for left handed people. You can buy special calligraphy pens for left handed people from any good art and craft store.  Left-handed nibs are shaped differently from the regular nibs.  They are designed to glide smoothly across paper.
Fun with Calligraphy