Here is our calligraphic assignment:
1- One SMALL paragraph of text (think of 3-4 short sentences). What the text says is not important, you can get an excerpt from a magazine, a novel you love, etc).
2- The paragraph should occupy the center of the page. Pay attention to the following:
3- Leave space for a Rustic Capital like the one you see above or below (it doesn't have to be as ornate). This is going to drive the energy of your page. Think of it first, design it & rehearse it in a different sheet of paper. The rustic capital takes a good part of the left hand-side of your page. It's part illustration part lettering. REMEMBER YOU LEAVE THIS FOR LAST (after you have finished the paragraph).
4- For the paragraph. Use a blank 8x11 inch sheet. Determine how many lines your paragraph will have. In pencil, draw very, very thin lines to guide your lettering. Don't write ON the blank paper without a line matrix to guide your script. Now you write your paragraph.
5- The style of your lettering will be calligraphic (meaning cursive with ligatures) symmetric (meaning do not change the letter's "type" once you adopt them). This is a chance to explore ascenders and descenders. REMEMBER DON'T CHANGE A LETTER ONCE ADOPTED!
6- Pay attention to your ligatures (the serifs connect the lettering). Rehearse the ligatures before doing them on the project sheet. Practice how to connect your different letters.
7- See that each capital after the first rustica is smaller. DO NOT IMPROVISE! Better to achieve uniformity. LESS IS MORE!
8- No smudges, no mistakes. DON'T GO FAST. BE SLOW AND DELIBERATE.
9- LEAVE MARGINALIA ON LEFT AND RIGHT.