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Complete Guide to Calligraphy


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About the Author

Fiona Graham-Flynn, author of the chapters in the Latin section, has contributed to many books on Celtic art including the internationally best-selling Celtic Ornament - The Art Of The Scribe. She lives in Woking, Surrey. Christine MacKinnon, known for her work on the films The Mummy and The Mummy Returns is the author of the Greek Chapter. She lives in Camberly, Surrey. Christopher Austin provides the Cyrillic Russian chapter, a professional calligrapher who has contributed to many books and to the BBC. He lives in South West London. Gordon Charatan has worked as a teacher of Hebrew calligraphy for over 20 years. He lives in North West London. Nassar Mansour, author of the Arabic chapter, qualified as a calligrapher master in Iraq after several years' study with a renowned master. He lives in London. Qu Lei Lei, author of several best-selling books and a visiting scholar to London's Victoria and Albert Museum, wrote the Chinese chapter. He lives in South West London. Yoko Takenami, author of the Japanese chapter, has studied calligraphy since the age of seven and qualified as a master of Japanese Calligraphy in 1990. She lives in West London


I've always loved the aesthetic side of writing. I remember sitting in class, waiting for the bell to ring out freedom while watching the tip of my pencil score out nonsensical words into the page of an exercise book, leaving a small furrow and graphite trail in its wake as it trailed across the textured surface. There's just something so therapeutic about creating lines of looping, flowing letters and letting your thoughts spill out onto the paper.

Naturally, then, I've also always been fascinated by calligraphy - and I was recently given the perfect opportunity to give it a go myself.

The Complete Guide to Calligraphy was released by Search Press in April of this year. Written by acclaimed calligrapher Vivien Lunniss, the book provides all the guidance you need to go from utter typographical novice to a pro - provided you're prepared to put in the hours!

The Complete Guide to Calligraphy is set out in a very logical way, and so begins with the basics, outlining the tools that you need, from different nib types to the appropriate paper weight to use. It shows you which nib is needed for which type, how to hold and load it, how to use its breadth to measure out the x-height of the letters you'll be drawing. It goes into detail about the differences of form between broad-edge and pointed pen calligraphy, left-handed and right-handed approaches to writing, how best to hold the pen, how to mark out the guidelines for every typeface and so on, but it does this in a very clear and concise way. The book is exhaustive without being exhausting.

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