Thursday, 21 February 2013

Sharp Italic

The Sharpened Italic calligraphy is a variant of the Italic calligraphy style and is characterised by compressed, sharp letterforms. There are many other variants of the Italic styles, for example, Renaissance Italic, which is a popular and elegant style, and is used in many ways, and sloping Italic, which is characterised by gentle sloping letters.

The Sharpened Italic style predominantly came from the Renaissance period and it had a revival during the 20th Century.  The Sharpened Italic style is also known as Gothicised Italic because it has a bold, angular appearance, which resembles the Gothic calligraphy forms.

Techniques of Writing Sharpened Italic Letters

When you are practising writing Sharpened Italic, you will need to hold the calligraphy pen so the nib is about 45 degrees angle.  The calligraphy nib needs to be quite broad, about 5-nib width height of the x-height of a letter.  The x-height of a letter is the height of a lowercase letter, without the ascenders and descenders.

The ascenders and descenders should be approximately 3 to 4 nib widths in height and length.  Ensure that you keep the spaces between the letters equal.  Keep the downward strokes of the letters parallel and straight and keep the joins of the letters angular. 

As you can see, this picture shows as a guideline, how lowercase Sharp Italic alphabet letters should look like.  You can practice, using this guide until you are confident.

Experimenting with Sharpened Italic

Sharpened Italic is a very popular style of writing and can be used for writing poems, quotations, and elegant signs.  You can experiment with Sharpened Italic with the 2-pencil technique, which is quite an effective way of writing.  The 2-pencil technique can create an artistic shadow and can look quite effective.  You can also introduce colour with the 2-pencil technique.

Brush Up On Your Handwriting

Sharpened Italic is a great way to brush up on your handwriting.  Simply using a black Biro  you can write lists, your Curriculum Vitae, an essay or anything you like, so your handwriting will look impressive and neat.  Try to experiment with different angles and lengths of ascenders and descenders for various effects and neatness.   This technique is quite easy once you have mastered writing this style, and it will become a habit to write in this fashion for anything that you do.  Your work will look neat and legible.  Keep practising until it becomes second nature.
A sample of lower case Italic Style