Begin this lesson with a review of position and movement, without the penholder. At least five minutes should be devoted to energetic practice of the straight line and oval drills in this way.
Do you see the dotted lines at the left in drill 2? They are to show you the general direction in which the pen moves in making the downward strokes.
Slant needs no special study, but will take care of itself if the instructions have been studied and heeded. Especially is this true in relation to the position at the desk, the position of the paper and arms on the desk, the relation of each to the other, and the changing of the paper with the left hand, to keep it in the right position in regard to the desk, body, and arms. See diagrams — lesson 3.
If the position is correct, and if all downward strokes are made toward the center of the body, each pupil will develop uniform slant, though different pupils may develop individual slants. Following the same rules, and practicing at the same time under similar conditions, different slants result, because of the variations in length of arms, and other physical conditions. The degree of slant is not a matter of grave importance so long as each writer develops uniform slant in his own writing.
In drill 2, see how many compact ovals you can make with one dip of ink, and try to develop a motion so light and elastic that you will soon be able to make from five hundred to a thousand, and one thousand or more on a line eight inches long.
Many young pupils have developed such control of muscular movement that they have made more than two thousand ovals with one dip of ink, in a space not more than eight inches long. Indeed, one boy of twelve made three thousand within the limits of a page eight inches across, maintaining a uniform speed of two hundred to a minute. The pen used was of the ordinary large, business variety.
Skill in oval making should be developed gradually from day to day, as two or three minutes at the beginning of each practice period are devoted to ovals. Never make ovals on the “back slant.” Avoid this by pulling the strokes toward the center of the body.