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Calligraphy Syllabus



A new method of looking at calligraphy through formal & informal style of calligraphies by Ranjan Joshi

A new method of looking at calligraphy through formal & informal style of calligraphies by Ranjan Joshi



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  • Student: Rohini Kane
  • Interpretation by Ranjan R. Joshi
  • Feedback from the students after the exercise.
  • Student: R.(Raj) V.Shinge
  • Student: Pradeep Saran
  • Student: Zahid Sardar
  • Assignment done in 1976/77
  • By the unkown

Calligraphy Syllabus Calligraphy Syllabus Presentation Transcript

  • Calligraphy word originatedfrom the Greek language calledKALOS means fair and beautifulline and GRAPHO meansto write. In otherwords, I WRITE WITHFAIR AND BEAUTIFUL LINE.A power point presentation by Ranjan Raghuvir Joshi
  • Calligraphy word originated from the Greek language called KALOS means fair andbeautiful line and GRAPHO means to write. In other words, I WRITE WITH FAIR ANDBEAUTIFUL LINE. When I received the fellowship in 1972-73 to teach and learn the basicdesign in Sir J.J.Institute of Applied Art (after completing Diploma in Commercial Art inmerit) I had to conduct the class for this Subject as part of it. My late father beingpracticing Artist and Professor in Visual Art R.P.Joshi gave me an insight that, to deal withany subject, one must find and search the origin of it. He gave me the Dictionary of TheEnglish Language by The Rev. James Stormonth published in 1886 A.D. ninth edition byWilliam Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London. This was the only dictionary whichhave above said meaning that gave me more confidence to deal with this subject firmlywhile working for the prestigious review committee (1976/77) for “syllabus 1970”(newly introduced then of Foundation of visual art) by Directorate ofArt, Maharashtra State. I had to address this subject as an academic expertto the state of Maharashtra’s nearly 18 Art schools on behalf of Directorateof Art, Maharashtra State.I have to express my sense of gratitude towards: late Prof.V.R.Amberkar, late Prof.H.G. Hanumante, Prof. V.N.Yande andalso former Directors Late Prof.M.S. Satwalekar, Late Prof. Baburaoo Sadwelkar. They encourage me to research thissubject with my practical exercises in Sir J.J.Institute of Applied Art during the period of 1972 to 1977.
  • Sir J.J. School of Art Campus have Applied art as an independent Art Institute under Directorateof Art, Maharashtra State, which is known as Sir J.J.Institute of Applied Art.The debate was on during that time whether to considering this subject as pure fine art ?amongst the faculties of fine art and applied art in the campus. Late Prof. Baburaoo Sadwelkarthen the Director of Art saw that it has more potential also as communication art whilereviewing the syllabus that was introduced in late 1970. Prof. Baburaoo Sadwelkar took thecognizance of my finding of its original meaning and decided to expand its scope furtherbeyond fine art. Incidentally my earlier research mentioned above motivated me to conductthe exercises in the two directions.Firstly: the subject Calligraphy as the form of pure fine art, in terms of exploring its expression ofspontaneity of fair and beautiful lines. This is a Calligraphic expression with no function ofcommunication. This was called informal calligraphy for the student to study in detail the strokes’line qualities that is necessary for being beautiful. I could cover this basic prerequisite to get intothe subject. Secondly: To look at Writing as a means of communication. Communication isdefined as a science because one can check its feedback rationally.This was called formal calligraphy. Old manuscripts are a classic examplewhich combines both these aspects.
  • Student:Narendra D. Kadam-1973
  • Student:Narendra D. Kadam-1973I started with this which was innovative approach to explore the term Spontaneity. I told students toclose their eyes and while this was being done I went on uttering the names of various objects known tothem since their childhood days. The idea was to see retention and recall of these known forms andhow our brain renders it with no external influence, because at that time eyes were asked to closed.This is the first experience of KALOS and GRAPHO that I mentioned at the beginning. Feedback by thestudent Narendra D.Kadam in his mothertounge Marathi which says that it was interesting experience.Drawing Triangle, Square and Circle was difficult while eyes are closed. This has help them realized theeye and mind coordination to experience spontaneity.
  • Here is an attempt by me to investigate the painting possibilities from the earlier said exercise on retention and recall of known forms. Understanding the FINE ART angle of the calligraphy. Finding INFORMAL & FORMAL calligraphy.Interpretation by Ranjan R. Joshi
  • Perception and Reality to understand “Spontaneity” This is an experiment to test one’s perception and how one can pick up to draw visual details! The photograph taken after the said drawing from the same spot to verify in reality what is lost in the final drawing. Observe the first cartoon (Pencil sketch) which allow us to verify details. This is the recent example I tried to experience the concept of “Spontaneity” an essential element for good calligraphy. What is shown in the earlier slide shows the retention and recall of the same aspect.The Drawing before the photograph done spontaneously on the spot.
  • Student: Rohini Kane-1974Here “Form does not follow function” but reveals inner aesthetics
  • One will find any piece of beautiful handwriting which anyone can read.In the first aspect that is informal calligraphy, energetic, spontaneous Student:Narendra D. Kadam-1973strokes on different surfaces with any tool and medium to write isfocused where beauty is prerequisite in the entire final outcome.It is said that “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. Individualperceptions of beauty will be visible in abstract calligraphic strokesproduced by that “Individual”. In fine art self expression is importantaspect. The academic objective was to encourage both the aspectssimultaneously. When I look back after nearly 38 years today that is2012 A.D to this whole event of my life it is learnt that some practicingcalligraphist do not agree to this academic rationale though as ateacher, I feel happy in deciding this has cleared the artist’s dilemmaon the debate whether “Calligraphy is a fine art.” We can enjoy anypiece of calligraphy in either of these segments naturally as a beautiful Interpretation by Ranjan R. Joshihuman expression.My following slides are the original works of students and mine calligraphy versions createdwith the above said discussion. I have also presented original correspondence done duringthat time with Dean of the Institute and Directorate of Art.
  • This was an immediate attemptI did to explore nearly sevenwriting expressions usingdifferent nib angles and cut.Student could see suchpossibilities to get inspire.I call it “Teachers visual aid”for effective teaching. Here itwas also important to retain thebeauty of line being applied forwriting this text.
  • Inviting me to prepare the specimens for the said revised syllabus in 1977 A letter by Late Prof. Baburaoo Sadwelkar then Directorate of Art Maharashtra State on the left side and above a letter by Late Prof. H.G. Hanumante then Dean of Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art. Inviting me to prepare the specimens for the said revised syllabus in 1977.
  • This is my first handwritten draft done in 1973/74 after the completion of Fellowship(1972/73). It was 3 years before this commitment.
  • Innovative way to introduce the History of Calligraphy where student is briefed about theevolution of the subject. They have to depict the same visually.Student: Amulya Baruha-1975.
  • Notice clockwise three different surfaces such as Gelatin, Handmade paper andBlotting paper. Tools: Twig, Reed pen and our own finger which gives direct vibes while moving on surface. A tactile experience. Student: Mr. Hemant G. Salgoankar-1973
  • Students were ask to try more tools on one type of surface with spontaneousstrokes within the prescribed column. Objective was to develop basic sense oftwo-dimensional space and to find the effect of it on this surface. They were alsoexploring beautiful lines to be applied for writing letter forms.Student :Rohini Kane-1974
  • Student: Monique Somaya-1974 Student: Monique Somaya-1974 Here students are supposed to control the hand movement while drawing the strokes within the given square space. On the left is unplanned approach and on the right planned approach with strokes connectivity. Objective is to develop sense of aesthetics in both that is space and strokes with no meanings. Energy ,spontaneity and beauty of the strokes is important.
  • TOP: Student:Monique Somaya-1974Feedback from the students after the exercise.BOTTOM: Student: Pradeep Saran-1974
  • Student: R.(Raj) V. Shinge-1974Here students are supposed to control the hand movement while drawing the strokeswithin the given square space. On the left is planned approach in square and on the rightplanned approach in uneven divisions. Objective is to develop sense of aesthetics in boththat is space and strokes with no meanings. Energy ,spontaneity and beauty of the strokesis important.
  • Student: R.(Raj) V. Shinge-1974 Student: R.(Raj) V. Shinge-1974
  • The practiceexercises ofbrush tool istaken further into DESIGN areawhere studentslearn to applythe basics forcommunication
  • This is the first step after practicing abstract strokes to be interpreted for language. Signature is appropriate which could be of any language being taken as an element of calligraphy to experience formal form. The practice of cut nib strokes is taken further from drill exercise to compose calligram (creating visual by means of calligraphic stroke) Student: Mr. Hemant G. Salgoankar-1973Student: Amulya Baruha-1975.
  • Student: Mr. Hemant G. Salgoankar -1973 Student: Shahab Shamshi-1973This is the first step after practicing abstract strokes to be interpreted for language.Signature is appropriate which could be of any language being taken as an element ofcalligraphy to experience formal calligraphy form.
  • These are the examples ofvarious students work whenseen today after 35+ years stilllook fresh.The assignment was based onthe idea of exploringcompositions using brushstrokes that depicts energyand spontaneity. They had toexplore design principlesfreely. They should firstconcentrate on the givenspace and applying intuitionwhile placing the brush on thepaper surface. This is anattempt to create informalcalligraphy with no purpose ofcommunication. Beauty of thestrokes is focused.
  • Students enjoyed every moment ofthis exercise because it was free fromall the requirements.Here “Form does not follow function”but reveals inner aesthetics.
  • Feedback from the students after the exercise. TOP: Student:Monique Somaya-1974 BOTTOM: Student: Shobhi Manjerkar-1975, BOTTOM RIGHT: Simita Patil-1975
  • Student: Pradeep Saran-1974Student: Monique Somaya-1974 Student: Rohini Kane-1974
  • Student: Smita Patil-1975Here “Form does not follow function” butreveals inner aesthetics.
  • To develop sense of collecting various existing letter forms (by means of such collage) createdby other artists. This is a gradual step to understand letter forms and its beauty. For theapplied art student first exposure to the world of “TYPOGRAPHY”. According to myobservations if a student can master the art of calligraphy then for him “TYPOGRAPHY”understanding is easier.
  • The First step towards formal calligraphy. “I write with the fair and beautiful line”.Aesthetics and communication are blending here for deeper understanding of the subject. My own attempt before the introduction of the subject to the students.
  • Converting basic drill exercise into colour as the first experience ofDESIGN, myself tried first before introducing it to the students.
  • Understanding concepts of Compress, Medium and Elongation of the calligraphic strokes.
  • Analysis and Synthesis ofDevanagri script. Teachersand Students have toprepare similar charts forother scripts.
  • Understandingscale and ratio of letterforms directly on adefined graph.Normal, Compressedand Expanded.
  • This is afirst steptowardsunderstanding themeaning of“fair” and“Beautiful”line. Herestudentslearn toencode anddecode thehumanexpressionsassociatedto thesetype ofstrokes.This is myattempt toinspirestudents.
  • Student: Amulya Baruha-1975Students were delighted to play with suchexercises and gave surprising results.This is a beginning of understandingilluminated manuscript’s fundamentals.Studying deeply the formal calligraphy.
  • Student: Zahid Sardar-1973 Student: S.B.Varvadekar-1975 Students were delighted to play with such exercises and gave surprising results. This is a beginning of understanding illuminated manuscript’s fundamentals. Studying deeply the formal calligraphy.
  • Student’s work specimens showcasing the earlier study of line expressions and stroke directions.
  • Student’s work specimens showcasing the earlierstudy of line expressions and stroke directions.
  • Student: Mr. Hemant G. Salgoankar-1973The most interesting assignment where students enterinto their own world of codified language. The idea was to free their mind from theconventional language barriers. On the left Roman script’s alphabets are codified as perown perceptions of the students calligraphic strokes as a base chart. On the right topRoman script’s (English) original paragraph is being converted into (below) newcalligraphic writing where earlier codified defined strokes are used.We can judge the progress of student’s idea of fair and beautiful lines.(Inspired from my Prof.A.D.Desai’s lessons)
  • Student:Mr. Hemant G. Salgoankar-1973
  • This brief I prepared afternearly 38 years of my firstexperiment on Phonetics toGraphic. I had an opportunityto conduct an InternationalGraphic Design andCommunication Education inMumbai for courses fromU.K., Canada. Their freedomin implementing the syllabusallowed me to recall my earlierexercise on sound and picture.I expanded this further forTypography.Please see following platesof the students of 1973/74batch from Sir J.J.Institute ofApplied Art
  • Student: Zahid Sardar -1973/74This is innovative approach through calligraphy to understand Phonetics (Sound) and itsrelationships to the (VISUAL) written form that is script. Students have to create soundsand capture them in various free strokes as per their spontaneity. Here they experiencehow we depict sound in graphic form. On the right application for Monogram.
  • Student: Amulya Baruha-1974/75This is innovative approach through calligraphy to understand Phonetics (Sound) and itsrelationships to the (VISUAL) written form that is script. Students have to create soundsand capture them in various free strokes as per their spontaneity. Here they experiencehow we depict sound in graphic form. On the right application for Monogram.
  • Study of old scripts and theirwriting styles. These are myown calligraphy attempts.
  • Leon Ken Hon a student from China gavethis gift. Picture language and beautifulbrush strokes is the essence of this script.
  • Learning to explore the art of CALLIGRAMStudent: Rohini Kane-1974 from the regular object drawing. Students are suppose to retain the quality of calligraphic letter forms while rendering the final art work. Student:Monique Somaya-1974
  • Student:R. V. Shinge-1974 Some printed applications of Calligram in press advertisement.Learning to explore the art of CALLIGRAM from the regular objectdrawing. Students are suppose to retain the quality of calligraphicletter forms while rendering the final art work.
  • Revelations after 30 years: From 1977 to 2008- On the spot “Kalaghoda Festival workshop for calligraphy” in Mumbai where I could test the said syllabus concept after 30+ years. Please see separate power point presentation on the same followed after this…!
  • I had an opportunity to conduct an International GraphicDesign and Communication Education in Mumbai forcourses from U.K., Canada. Their freedom in implementingthe syllabus allowed me to recall my earlier exercise onsound and picture. I expanded this further for Typography.Please see following plates of the students from EmpireEducation’s International Design Institute partners fromU.K. , Canada.
  • Student: Tina Bharucha.Revelations after 30 years: From 1977 to 2007: This exercise was discovered while exploring innovative possibilities of “calligraphy toletterforms” for creating the "Display type letterform design palette" in the subject Typography. On the left is a memory drawing of anysubject rendered by the student and on the right is the shapes revealed from the said memory drawing that depicts roman scriptalphabets. One can take any language script instead of the roman script. They are sorted out to be rationalized for creating “Display typeletterform design palette" in Typography. You will notice that black colour markings on the memory drawing is done freely in a playfulmanner. In the next plate student must use calligraphy cut nib to record these forms. The cut nib gives the advantage for defining theuneven forms as letter forms meant for communication purpose. This concept revelation was due to my innovative teaching methodapproach for International Graphic Design Education I had to conduct in Mumbai for the courses from CANADA, U.K. I never thought thenin 1977 this could be future possibility of my search in formal and informal calligraphy journey. A novel by Dan Brown“Da Vinci Code”published after two years surprisingly gave an insight that Leonardo da Vinci the famous artist had used this codified language in someof his paintings 400 hundred years ago..
  • Student: Tina Bharucha. Assignment done in2007 Revelations after 30 years: From 1977 to 2007: This second slide shows the revealed palette of letterforms and on the right side a story board concept for web design using the same palette. The objective of recalling these slides is to present how one can Assignment done in expand the study of both Informal and 1976/77 Formal calligraphy taking it further to create Display design type.
  • Posters designed purelyby Calligraphy.Late Dr.Mrs.Sharadini Dhanukarthen Head of the Pharmaceutical Dept.of KEM Hospital –Mumbai entrusted me in1996 to create Information EducationalPosters for the students of herdepartment. She encouraged me to applyCalligraphy like the an old illuminatedManuscript. The idea was to make themexclusively hand drawn with a personaltouch. This is considered prestigious forthe artist in Europe and USA. My wife Prof.Vidyalakshmi an able calligraphist helpedme in this project. Visualization andDesigning of the posters were done by me.This was one of the best project we didtogether. Today these are the proud andpermanent display of the Hospital.
  • It was a difficult task to create calligraphyin a spherical shape so we decided to set a text on DTP and used it as a reference for writing by handwith calligraphy nib. It was like “From Typography to Calligraphy”
  • Yes, this is not Calligraphy! When free Calligraphic letters are rationalized by means ofGEOMOTRICAL method it becomes Lettering. Every letter form is designed with someconcept and scale + ratio of height, length and width. Here is an attempt to depict theword “DESIGN” in six different ways. They are such as Architecture,Painting,ProductDesign, Industrial Design, Printing and Graphic Communication design. The letter forms arecomposed and modulated as per the concept. Color palette is free with no symbolicmeaning. On the left is original expression and on the right is invert means opposite of theoriginal colors. This is possible only when an artist is well versed with pure Calligraphy.
  • My calligraphy exploration where I combined formal and informal forms ! Please see separate powerpoint presentation on this exhibition attached herewith!
  • By the unknown Typographer ! Guess who is this?