Tutorial no. 5—Calligraphy: The Basics of Italic addendum

The posts on The Basics of Italic became very convoluted once I tried to verbally describe the ductus of each letter. My 1993 ACI sheets did not include basic ductus information for some reason. (Maybe because the audience were calligraphers and I assumed they could figure out the rudiments of making letters from models.) But that assumption won’t fly with readers of this blog who have no experience with writing with broad-edged tools. So I am making available here as a PDF download several sheets from Letterforms, a book I self published in 1986 for use by my calligraphy and lettering students. To make the letters on these sheets simply follow the numbered arrows. The numbers provide the preferred sequence of strokes and the arrows indicate whether to pull or push each stroke. The more complicated a letter becomes the more ways there are to make it so a ductus is only a suggestion not a hard-and-fast mandate. If a different sequence of strokes feels more comfortable and gives good results then use it. And, as I indicated before, some pull strokes can be made as push strokes when working small or using tools that have minimal friction.