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ELEMENTS OF FLOURISHING

Flourishing is usually described with a graceful arm motion in the air. By nature we have a concept of what it is but don't have words for it. So lets think about what a flourish really is. In calligraphy it can be used as an independent decoration. It can be an addition to the basic structure of the letter. Or the letter itself can be a flourish that doubles as a letter. Here we will organize and isolate shapes that are appropriate for independent flourishes that are for monoline, chisel point or pointed pen. These are the Elements of Flourishing:

OVALS:

Wide or narrow
Axis: Vertical, horizontal, diagonal.
Clockwise or counter clockwise.
Spiral drawn from top to bottom, bottom to top.
Spiral from left to right, right to left.
Spiral in a vertical, horizontal and diagonal direction.
Spiral can have wide or narrow ovals.
Spirals can be clockwise or counter clockwise.

FIGURE 8:

The same elements apply to figure 8 as the Ovals:

Wide or narrow
Axis: Vertical, horizontal, diagonal.
Clockwise or counter clockwise.
Spiral drawn from top to bottom, bottom to top.
Spiral from left to right, right to left.
Spiral in a vertical, horizontal and diagonal direction.
Spiral can have wide or narrow ovals.
Spirals can be clockwise or counter clockwise.

CIRCLES:

The circle can only technically be either clockwise or counter clockwise. But we will call a very round oval "a circle" for the purpose of contrast with the ovals.

DIRECTION CHANGE:

A small loop, a full top, a small round turn-around would qualify as a "direction change". These are a wonderful addition to your toolbox of flourishing possibilities. It's a special little action that makes your eye follow a path that's very pleasing to the eye. It's a movement that you weren't ready for (" a road less taken") and like the icing on top of the cake.

COMBINING THESE ELEMENTS:

Combine one, two or three of these elements with direction changes to create original and natural flourishes which come from your own heart and hand. Warm up by flourishing in the air with your whole arm. Use a pencil to practice doing ovals, figure 8's, circles. Try going in the direction that is against your natural tendency so they are natural to you. Do things you wouldn't normally think of: Doodle flourishes when you're talking on the phone. The more you practice the more natural they come to your hand.

 

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