Joan Quirós - Lettering
Joan Quirós is an independent professional focused on lettering and illustration.

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Calligraphy Journal #6


Last week was a very productive one for my Calligraphy Journal. As you might notice, I’ve already finished the migration of my entire website from Squarespace to Wordpress, so last week I had more time to practice and play around my sketchbook and beyond. I started on Monday with this spontaneous and expressive roman alphabet as a warm up at 7AM with a Nº3 William Mitchell Roundhand nib and walnut ink, just moments after having my breakfast. Even tough it has some mistakes, I’m pretty happy with the result of this spontaneous set of letters on this piece of crappy paper, and I’m sure that I couldn’t do again a set of characters containing that essence. I have to admit that it has happened to me before: writing a quote or an alphabet on a dirty piece of paper and right after trying to emulate that fluidity and grace without any kind of success.


So right after doing that alphabet I decided to create a double page on my sketchbook using a grey background with a mix of indian ink and white gouache. It didn’t work as well as I expected so I covered it again with indian ink and did this brush roman capitals alphabet, trying to emulate, in a certain way, the capitals I did before. It doesn’t look as well as the ones before an they are full of mistakes, specially some spacing and proportions, but I’m happy with the Q and the last line of letters (you might notice that they doesn’t follow the same serif scheme of the rest of letters). I’m happy with the Q just because it shows that I’m improving the rounded forms of the roman alphabet.

Another point of this double page is that, in this case, the blackletter lines don’t fit very well with the roman capitals.


Following again the model of the first alphabet, I decided to write a long text by John R. Biggs without any kind of guides on my sketchbook. In spite if some details, I like how the whole page looks, so I’m sure this will be the sketch of an original artwork, done  with less mistakes and on better paper (that’s why this is called sketchbook, isn’t it?).


For finishing the week, I decided to play again around my sketchbook in order to have some fun and to experiment with a style I haven’t tried to do before. I thought that would be fun to put myself in the shoes of a signwriter, so I tried to fill a full page with some words written in single stroke casual style with a pointed brush. I’ll definitely keep practising this style, it’s so fun to do!