Tag Archives: goth

And more Goth

Lately Goth is become a fashion adopted by art students: pale skin and dyed-black hair, heavy on the eye liner and black lipstick, black leather jackets and black skinny jeans.

My pal Chuck Dillon is an illustrator and art teacher. You’ve seen his work in Highlights magazine. He let me include his drawing of a typical Goth art student in today’s post.


If you think that’s funny, he has a whole book of art student types he’s taught over the years. It’s titled ‘Which Art Student Are You?’ and you can get your own copy here.

https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gothic-romance
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3w0hye

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Last night I dreamt I read Manders’ blog again

Run away, girl!

Side note: The Gothic novel is a genre of 19th-century literature that is dark, moody and creepy-romantic. Horror novels like Frankenstein and Dracula fit into the genre. Gothic stories often take place in castles (a ton of them feature a young woman who comes to live in a remote, haunted mansion full of dark, shameful family secrets), so maybe that’s how the genre came to be named. Lots of dark shadows, lots of bats. Not for nothing does Batman operate out of Gotham City.

https://reedsy.com/discovery/blog/gothic-literature
https://bookriot.com/what-is-gothic-fiction/
https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gothic-romance
https://www.thebookseller.com/feature/rebecca-extract-338986

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How barbaric

Kind of funny: the ‘Renaissance’ is the historical period in Europe following the Middle Ages. It’s a French word meaning ‘rebirth.’ This cultural rebirth was of everything Roman: frescoes, sculpture, poetry, the sciences, and architecture. Promoters of the Renaissance thought to make their new movement look good by making the preceding centuries look bad. The Mediæval period got dubbed ‘the Dark Ages.’

Renaissance architects started using Roman arches again (instead of the pointed Gothic arch). They liked the old southern Roman basilicas and disliked the northern mediæval style of architecture and calligraphy. Those fancy-pants Renaissance promoters thought the northern style looked barbaric, so they called it by the name of the northerners’ barbarian ancestors—Gothic. The insult stuck. We still use ‘Gothic’ today to describe the buildings and the typeface.

Apologies to Robert E. Howard
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Howard

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Black Letter

This is rough—just the lowercase letters. You can see that the space between the letters equals the width of a vertical stroke. When they’re together, it’s hard to distinguish i,m,n,u,v & w. I think that’s why they started dotting i & j.

I imagine at some point a German scribe looked at a tall, skinny cathedral and thought, “Huh. If I made lettering tall and skinny, we’d fit a ton more words onto a page. Think of the parchment we’d save!” and so Black Letter was born. Black Letter (or Gothic, or Fraktur, or Textura) typically has the exact same thickness of white space between vertical strokes as the thickness of each vertical stroke. The effect on a page is pleasing but a little hard to read.


http://www.designhistory.org/Handwriting_pages/Blackletter.html
https://jakerainis.com/blog/the-history-of-blackletter-calligraphy/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackletter
If you’d like to try your hand at writing Blackletter, here are free downloadable worksheets:
https://jakerainis.com/blog/learning-blackletter-alphabets/

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Tall & skinny

I may exaggerate slightly, but you get the idea.

The years and centuries toddled on. In the north, a new style of architecture (building design, that is) was replacing the rounded, grounded, low-center-of-gravity basilica which was the Romanesque style of church. The miracle of a basilica had been fitting an enormous circular dome onto a square church without the whole thing collapsing into itself. This new style was entirely different—strictly vertical. If you want to get closer to G-d, you build taller churches, right? You design tall, taller spires that go up and up with pointy arched windows to let in sunlight through stained-glass windows. You keep everything from falling down by attaching more spires—flying buttresses—to relieve the outward pressure and outsmart a building’s biggest enemy: gravity.

So tall and skinny is the new look.

Here’s an excellent article about Romanesque vs Gothic architecture—
https://courses.lumenlearning.com/atd-sac-artappreciation/chapter/reading-romanesque/
https://aleteia.org/2017/10/29/what-is-the-difference-between-a-basilica-and-a-cathedral/
https://study.com/academy/lesson/pendentives-squinches-in-architecture.html

A tip of the hat to the memory of Rolly Ivers, my high school art teacher, who introduced me to church architecture all those years ago.

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