Beginning Western Calligraphy Tips : Western Calligraphy Composition Tips
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Beginning Western Calligraphy Tips : Western Calligraphy Composition Tips

October 12, 2019


Let’s talk a little bit about composition.
The composition is the basic overall design of your page. And historically, there is a
composition idea that starts out very simple and it winds up getting more and more complex,
OK? In the beginning, when there was just the square, the Roman square capitals, which
are the ones that jumped down to the page from the monumental Romans. What you had was
basically a kind of mass. I would call that a mass lining. And in fact, there wasn’t much
in the way of differentiation between big letters and small letters, that came gradually.
There was almost no punctuation. That in itself is a kind of constant changing, distinguishing,
getting more specific. So it’s almost as if we can think of history, our magical history
tour, as being the history of one psyche and how things become realized. So, now in our
present day, you have your choice of doing anything you want in terms of composition.
OK, these are all ideas for composition, that have to do with, you know, you start out with
a certain shape, you have a certain thing that you want to relay in terms of communication,
that may or may not be actual words. In most cases, in the beginning, you’re definitely
thinking in terms of words. So, you are going to be thinking in terms of directing the eye
of the viewer. And this is no different than what happens in painting. And it’s no different
even then when you’re looking at a movie. Every single frame of the movie has a certain
design to it. That’s what cinematography and film editing and art direction is all about.
So, there is a kind of drama that goes along with this. I would say that in general you
want to think in terms of having no more than three changes. But you do kind of want to
have, you don’t want it to be completely mass lining, until you get so abstract and marvelous
that you can do things like that. But you see, one, two, three. So, I would say that’s
a good rule of thumb.

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