Ancient advertising

Advertisement by a mid-15th-century calligraphy teacher in Toulouse, in southwestern France (Marc Drogin, Medieval Calligraphy, p.7). I hope your reader does not consider it as spam…

Toulouse c.1467

(There is a master in this good town who, by the aid of God… teaches how to read well, write, compute, and cipher… Therefore come ye all here and very quickly; for I am tired of waiting longer and quite weary of telling you so.)


The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food. The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form. The uncultivated or wild variety of the species is called a cardoon. It is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. (From Wikipedia.)

Artichoke in pen and ink

Italic calligraphy

Recently I bought a couple of books on calligraphy. One of them, Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting by Lloyd J. Reynolds, covers almost exclusively Italic script, although it also dedicates a few lessons to Roman capitals and books design. Fortunately Reed College uploaded several videos on YouTube with a course on Italic calligraphy and handwriting by Lloyd J. Reynolds himself.

Celtic knots (sketch)

The same tutorial has a sketch of the design that I have been drawing. I wanted to draw my own sketch but I only had a mechanical pencil and a classic Bic ballpoint pen…

Celtic knot (Bic)

Perhaps I had to use the pencil for shading the background. Anyway… maybe the next time. I am quite satisfied with the result although I was not able to get so many values.

Celtic knot (sketch)