Archive for the Category » The Bedford Psalter – Script Analysis: Letter Formation «

Script Analysis – U to Ampersand

Finished! And thank all the Gods that ever existed for that. I thought that I was truly going to go insane.

Script Analysis – P to T


Not related, but I really like the comment that Sheila Waters recently made in a Cyberscribes mail :

” Johnston insisted that his students ( and Irene Wellington was one of
his best) set up a cover sheet and write at the same “sweet spot
level, moving the paper up line by line instead of moving one’s head
(see the diagram in chapter one of my book).”

Script Analysis – P to R


I like the P’s.
I don’t like the Q’s.

Script Analysis – G to O


I’m getting more into the ‘character’ of the script as I work through the alphabet.

Because I’ve only done ‘standard’ gothic textura quadrata before, it’s quite a departure doing all these curved lines and points.

I had finished this page, but noticed the m’s and n’s weren’t quite right – not enough of the connecting lines showing, so I went back and re-did them. I’m pretty happy with the result.

Script Analysis – A to H

I’m quite pleased with how the letters are looking.

And, having written them out so many times already, I’m getting a handle on the letter forms.


No, I can’t paste in the little bits of paper, with the individual letters on them, straight to save my life.

Script Analysis – The Ductus : A and B

This table shows everything I know about the letters A and B.

A revisit to all the information and to the source script hasn’t hurt – I’ve made a couple of little corrections (like my Bs were too wide before).

I’ve tried the “everything heavy” method from Drogin, and it’s looking good.

I tried using coloured watercolour ink to draw the letters and it’s very time consuming, waiting for one colour to dry. I didn’t feel that it added enough information to be worth it. I can make notes on any particular strokes that I need to.

Script Analysis – Letters S to Z graphed, and pointiness

The y and the z were tricky buggers.

Looking at the original script (the page of script that I particularily like, from Codices Illustres), the ascenders are STILL more pointy at their bases than the ones I’m doing – even with them tilted up from the left to the right, and angled at about 60 degrees.

Drogin shows how to add on an extra bit of point on page 140. I’ll have a go at doing this and see how they turn out.


What a lot of malarky to form a single letter! No wonder gothic scripts eventually died out from use!

Next is to graph the letters again, using watercolour ink so that the separate strokes can be seen, and adding in stroke numbering and directions to form a ductus.

I’m going to do it in a layout similiar to the one Harris uses in his book. It’ll be a lot easier this time around, because I have the basic letter shapes down (I hope).

I’m also going to add in all of the hairlines and little flourishy bits.

Script Analysis – Draft Ductus : A to L

I’ve swopped to using graph paper with a 3 mm (double the Bedford Psalter pen width) square size and it’s SO much better and clearer.
I’m using a speedball that is a little bit smaller than 3mm, but close enough.


Apart from some comments on the first version of the A, I’m not putting in stroke directions yet. I need to get more familiar with the more unusual letters and teach myself to build them in Drogin’s way, not the easiest way for me (which is putting the vertical lines down first). I’ll get there.

The ascenders/descenders shown aren’t correct. I’m still practising doing the dip at the top/bottom (well, I’m still practising doing the curve at the top then changing the pen angle to do the diamond at the bottom, never mind the next step – the complete dip at the top). Also, the ascenders are thickened in the B.P. – a bit thicker near the top/bottom (it’s be part of constructing the dip, following the left hand line down or up a bit). So letters like the L are not very accurate at the moment.

I also need to make the letters more Bedford Psalter in character. It’s got to do with the angularity, and the curvature of the diamonds. At the moment, they are a bit too ‘straight’.