Now that you understand the Writing Zone, it’s time to learn more about the logistics of writing. In this lesson, we discuss the position of the paper on your desk and how it affects arm movement and control.
- The position of the paper is the angle of the page relative to the angle of the arm.
- For the purposes of this lesson, if the bottom of the paper is perpendicular to the arm we call that a “neutral” angle.
- You can rotate the paper to the left or right to change this angle.
- A neutral angle provides maximum range of motion across the page because the stroke made by a simple arm hinge is in line with the page lines.
- An open angle, or one where the page is rotated in the clockwise direction, diminishes the range of motion or Writing Zone.
- An open angle may help you control the pen because it allows you to use more arm hinge action in your writing instead of upper arm/shoulder action.
- Every paper position has positives and negatives. Experiment on your own to discover what they are.
Spend some time experimenting with different paper positions. Start with the neutral position (bottom of the page is perpendicular to your arm). Then try rotating the page both clockwise and counter-clockwise. For each position, try various kinds of strokes and letter forms. How easy is it to make strokes on the connective slant (~30 deg) and the main slant (~55 deg)? How easy is it to write across the page?
The perfect paper position for you will likely evolve over time. As you learn more about writing with your arm and become more proficient, you’ll be able to determine how a small change in your paper position could produce better writing.
Check out this article written by C. P. Zaner for the Penman’s Art Journal. The article is titled, “The Line of Direction in Writing” and it starts on page 115. There is an excellent diagram on page 114 as well.