Saturday, November 2, 2013

Posture and Penwork

Hand lettering — or "practical writing" as it once was called — demands good posture. The same is true of flourishing, which is the art of making even loops in one continuous motion.

Daniel Ames, one of the early masters, says "It is only when in a correct position that the pen, even in the hand of its skillful master, is capable of producing the smooth, graceful line, shade, and curve so essential to good writing."

It's true. You really need to have a straight back, an erect head, a rear end square in the chair, and both feet flat on the floor.


Jacob A Stevens said...

Do you think painting benefits similarly from good posture?

James Gurney said...

Yes, I think so, whether you're standing or sitting. It helps to have your work 90 degrees to your line of sight and to have a straight back and feet on the floor.

Kate said...

...and regarding curves, I've found that it's nigh on impossible to do a good freehand curve AWAY from you - ie it's best to position your paper so the elbow is almost unmoving and the curve is around your elbow-origin. If you get what I mean.

Jim Daily said...

I have been an attorney for 24 years. I have sat at my desk too many hours with no knowledge of ergonomics and suffer from forward head posture, low back and neck pain. I found a solution my orthopedic surgeon gave me. A shirt that brings your shoulders and head back and when you sit, it acts like a brace, but moves with you like your undershirt. Over time it has actually reversed my own issues and ended the pain in my neck and low back. they are $95 each.