Calligraphy is a hobby of mine and I spend a few hours every week on it. I’ve tried arabic but it’s too hard to do without precise instruments and a teacher. English is slightly easier and the results look somewhat pleasing even if one is not very skilful.
Calligraphic letter proportions are specified using multiples of the width of the nib of the pen being used. Following is an example of the proportions of various parts of a letter in the “Foundational hand”.
![Foundational hand (from thecalligraphypen.com)] (/images/foundational-hand.JPG)
As you can see, the body is 4 nibs high and the ascenders and descenders are 3 nibs high each.
The only calligraphic pens I’ve seen in India are the ones from Sheaffer. They’re not bad and usually come as a set of 3 nibs. The fine nib is 1mm wide, the medium one is 1.5mm wide and the broad one is 2mm wide. Here is a picture of my broad nibbed pen
![Sheaffer calligraphy pen (broad nib - 2mm)] (/images/calligraphy_pen.jpg)
One of the things that are necessary to write properly is a ruling sheet. These are similar to the “cursive writing” practice books you must have seen when in kindergarten. The sheets specify the height of the main body, the height of the ascenders and descenders and sometimes the inclination of the letters. They serve as guides when one is writing.
To manually create such a ruling is quite hard and error prone. It’s tedious to actually measure multiples of nib and making sure that all the lines are straight necessitates some good drawing equipment. To save myself some trouble, I wrote a little script which takes a bunch of parameters and creates an A4 PDF with the rulings. The only “documentation” right now is the help message which is pretty sufficient really.
Invoking it like so
python ruling.py -g2 -p3,4,3 -n2 -r25 -a30
-t"Foundational Hand" foundational_ruling_sheet.pdf produces
this which works pretty
I hope you find it useful.
I’ve repackaged this as a web application and you can access it directly from http://noufalibrahim.name/rulings.blog comments powered by Disqus