A versal is a beautiful letter meant to begin a verse. Learn about writing versals in calligraphy with this free art video from a calligrapher.
A versal is a beautiful letter that is meant to begin a verse. So, they had a purpose. That was to draw your eye over to itself so that you could then begin your reading. As time went on the artisans who were creating the manuscripts that we're now starting to think about made versals more and more wonderful because that's the nature of art forms. That, you know, you discover a little something and then you just keep elaborating on it. The versals do basically come out of the Roman and then there's another hand called the Unchel hand which we'll talk about. Here's an example of some versals. Here is another example and I'll show these. Basically they're just really, really fancy capitals. They can be exceedingly fancy; exceedingly fancy. Let me just draw. I'm going to work from this and talk about it. Hopefully say a little something while I'm doing it. So, what we're going to get is we're going to get exaggerated. So, down here where we have what's called a serif, OK, we'll call this a serif. I'm now going to exaggerate the serif. Up here I might do something like this. Then I'm going to get this to be a nice thick stroke; I’m actually. Sometimes these were built up letters. What's called a build up; built up letter when you draw it with more than one stroke. You can draw it with more than one stroke and then color in; or not. Then another thing that might happen is, you know, just starting to get more designy with these things. So, there's all kinds of possibilities. The versals, the versals; I'll just have to show you, but they became very very elaborate. See, now I'm building up. I'm doing what is called the buildup, here. I'm putting two strokes, two strokes instead of one. Really exaggerating, exaggerating the bowl. Probably should do; actually you're supposed to do the inside stroke first. Alright. So I'll do the inside stroke and now I'm going to do the outside stroke.