Here is our calligraphic assignment:
One paragraph of text, the content of which I leave up to you (copy an excerpt from anything you want, a magazine, a famous letter, a page from a novel you love, etc).
a- 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. Following the practice of the illuminists, leave the capital for last, once you have finished the text. This gives you a better part-to-whole sense of what you want.
b- 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), Pay attention to your ligatures (the serifs that connect the lettering). Let yourself go with the "a"s & "e"s' bows and laces, the "k" ascender, and the "p" and "y" descenders, etc.
c- See that each capital after the first rustica is smaller. Keep consistency with ascenders and descenders of capitals throughout. Don't improvise. Better to achieve uniformity. LESS IS MORE!
d- Advice: Practice your lettering's "stroke" before hand. No smudges, no mistakes. Do not execute fast. Be slow and deliberate.