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Ornate Pictorial Calligraphy: Instructions and Over 150 Examples (Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography) Paperback – August 1, 1982

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"The law of harmony in flourishing is the same as in love. As long as everything goes along smoothly, harmony prevails. But as soon as some rival crosses the pathway, especially in a diagonal way, there is likely to be trouble in camp. Therefore see that the lines run nearly parallel or cross nearly at right angles."
With the charm of words like these, this pleasantly old-fashioned manual inculcates a fine art that has been virtually lost: the art of ornate pictorial calligraphy, or "flourishing."
A good pen, this book, and practice are all you need to create your own magnificent swirls, delicately shaded curves, harmoniously crisscrossing lines, from which birds, rabbits, deer, ribbons, and other images gracefully emerge. Complete instructions lead you from proper positioning and basic exercises to finished flourishes of increasing complexity.
Frequent helpful hints encourage calligraphers to cultivate grace, harmony, and symmetry by means of diligence, patience, and perseverance. The approach is quaintly traditional, the results delightful. Over 150 lovely examples of flourishes form in themselves a wonderful collection of ornate pictorial calligraphy.
With this unique manual and ample practice, you will help keep alive a glorious decorative art. As this book belongs to the Dover Pictorial Archive series, its permission-free illustrations may also be applied to a multitude of graphic arts and design purposes.

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Product Details

  • Series: Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Revised ed. edition (August 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780486219578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486219578
  • ASIN: 0486219577
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JLS on January 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
True, there is an abundance of flourished birds as examples in this book, but each one is beautifully done... The designs are all different examples of how TO flourish something, whether it be a bird or not. The bird is taken into account so much due to it's excellent curvature for practicing with the pen and because the quill pen itself was so important, historically, as the book describes. A lot of the prints are so beautifully ornate that you have to take a good look to even see if there is a bird. But it does offer simple exercise instruction and tips, examples with lettering and such. I do not regret adding this book to my library.
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Beautiful examples of flourishing done by old masters. It also has 12 pages of basic instructions on flourishing. Definitely a book worth having in your collection
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which isn't a horrible thing.I still think there is lots to learn from the bird flourishes technique wise. But there are more than i had expected. (about 2/3 of the flourishes in this book include a bird or feather) I don't really think there's a whole lot of variation overall. There's not much text swashes in this book, which i had hoped for. Also, they are all very complex and busy looking—i thought there'd be a variety. For the price though, not a bad purchase. i will definitely use this for reference.
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Format: Paperback
I got this from the library but I may have to buy it. The illustrations are mainly flourished birds but the curves and ornaments can be studied and admired for hours. There are instructions and small examples of curves to copy, but I don't think I could replicate them. I just like looking at the beautiful examples. It's a lovely form of American penmanship that is mostly gone except for wedding invitations and diplomas.
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I was beginning to doubt that there was a book available that taught this kind of artwork. I have not found one like it.
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Pages of beautiful pictures, flourishes abound. Birds, quills, ect. The book is full of detailed pictures made by old school ornamental penmen. This book has minimal directions on how to, a couple pages is all. If you are looking for a book full of fine art specimens this is it.
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This book has a great teaching style, for me at least. It was easy to fallow along and the exercises are turning out to be start. I have learned a lot and continue to sit it beside me as I work.
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A few beginner swirls and designs, and a lot of beautiful drawings. Mostly birds and feathers, though, so if you're looking for lots of variation, this probably isn't the book for you.
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