While there have been countless subjects depicted through flourishing, birds have risen to the top as the favorite subject of the pen flourisher throughout the ages. Birds are the icon of grace and whimsy. “They’re a great subject to depict with the fine strokes of the pen because of their aerodynamic form,” says Jake, my bird flourishing expert. “Birds are full of life, and that vitality can easily be given to the bird on paper through flourishing. The art form matches the subject.”
Early experimental penmen found there were endless possibilities in showmanship with off-hand bird flourishes: the small and feeble sparrow composed of a few simple strokes or the powerful eagle designed with more complexity. As you look over the pages of history, every bird carries the distinct personality and signature of the penman who created it.