Class Descriptions

Below are descriptions of classes that I offer in lettering, design and layout, and digital production.

They are designed to be 2 to 3 day full-day workshops. However, all can be revised to fit the length and interest of the group.

COPPERPLATE SCRIPT

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Copperplate Calligraphy 

 

Copperplate is an elegant script style of lettering which is characterized by thick, shaded downward strokes and hairline thin upward strokes. This introductory workshop will study the unique, pressure-sensitive motion of the pointed flexible nib, and the control needed to form the basic letterforms. We will move on to study the delicately expressive capitals, giving the beginning student the knowledge and understanding of the classic copperplate form.

Copperplate Variations

 

Copperplate calligraphy is an elegant and expressive hand, but with subtle differences in shape and form, many variations in the letterforms can be achieved.

We will learn how to give the hand many looks, while always maintaining the classic form.  By varying weight, height and slant, we can create whole new alphabets. Analyzing fonts will give us more inspiration to develop and create alphabets. An exploration of a variety of capitals will round out the class. 

Copperplate MasterClass

 

This workshop begins where most others leave off! 

 In this workshop, we take an intense look at the copperplate form to discover what it is that makes these letters sing!  We will refine the forms to achieve a beautiful grace and elegance, learning that subtle changes can give very dramatic results. Flourishing techniques and stylized capitals will round out a course filled with new perspectives.  

Copperplate Decorative Capitals

 

The copperplate form is elegant and beautiful, but it is the delicately expressive capital letters which add so much to its grace. In this class, we will take a close look at the basic form and shaded stroke of the capital letters. By practicing and studying this detail, the letters will achieve a beautiful, fluid and harmonious form. Continuing on, we will explore many variations of the forms, adding mirrored strokes, alternate entrance strokes and flourishes that will give us many options for design. Adding a bit of lower case letter flourishing will round out the class.

EXPRESSIVE POINTED PEN

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Pointed Pen Personalities

 

The pointed pen is a wonderful tool, strong enough to achieve bold, dramatic forms and yet, fine enough to produce the merest whisper of a line. 

In this class, we will start with a brief review of the Classic copperplate form, an elegant and expressive hand. We will then find that with subtle (and not so subtle) differences in shape and form, many variations in the letterforms can be achieved. 

We will learn how to give the hand many personalities, just by changing strokes, angles, slant and weight…..from fun and casual to elegant and dressed-up. We will learn how to vary one or more characteristics to create a variety of styles, study flourishing techniques and stylized capitals. 

Dressed-Down Pointed Pen ("Modern Calligraphy")

 

Spirited, lively, casual, contemporary, expressive…..this class will explore pointed pen alphabets that veer far away from the classis copperplate form. Shedding the refinement and “dressed up” persona of copperplate, these alphabets, although based on the classic forms will still nod to the classics, but with a twist of personality (your personality) shining through.

SPENCERIAN SCRIPT

Spencerian Script

 

Spencerian Script, or Ornamental Penmanship, is the beautiful, flourished style of writing that was developed by Platt Rogers Spencer in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Almost a lost art, it is characterized by gracefully written lowercase letters, and dramatic, shaded and expressive capitals.

This introductory course will begin with an explanation of the tools used, and the finger and muscle movements needed to execute the letterforms. We will study the fundamentals of shading, and move on to the beautiful forms and flourishes that make up the elegant capitals.  

Spencerian Bells and Whistles

 

The basic Spencerian form is quite beautiful, but by adding well formed and executed flourishes, the possibilities are endless! In this workshop, we will study a variety of beautifully decorated capitals, learning how to construct them by studying the basic form of the flourishes and the placement of the dramatic shading. In the 2 day workshop, we learn the delicate pen scrollwork that can be used so beautifully with this lettering.

FLOURISHING

A Flurry of Flourishes

 

As lace on fabric, flourishes can add life and the ‘finishing touch” to hand-lettering. Their beauty lies in their free, effortless grace.

In this course, you will learn that underneath the casual look of these strokes lies strong form. We will examine, step by step, the formation of these shapes, as well as their appropriate placement in a letter. Both pointed pen and broad will be studied. You will learn to feel comfortable with the pen and make it dance!

Pointed Pen Sketchbook

 

The pointed, flexible nib is a marvelous tool, capable of producing a multitude of expressive strokes from whisper thin hairlines to dramatic, bold shades.

What fun to explore these unique qualities as we play with fun and creative pen illustrations.

In this class, we will learn basic strokes of the pointed pen, which we will use to create wonderful borders, single cartouches, floral decoration, and illustrative ornament. We will incorporate some painting with watercolor, gouache, or acrylic to add another dimension to our penwork. 

ITALIC CALLIGRAPHY

LAYOUT, DESIGN AND DIGITAL PRINTING

INTRODUCTORY ITALIC

 

Hand-lettering is unique, personal and expressive and provides a special touch to invitations, correspondence and artwork.

In this class, you will learn the italic hand, which is an alphabet developed during the Italian Renaissance. It’s beauty lies in the pleasing contrast between thin and thick strokes, the gentle slant, and oval-based letters, and is an excellent choice for those who seek artistry and legibility in their work.

This beginner course Starts with the basics..... students will learn the how to hold the broad-edged pen, how to understand the relationship between proportion and slant, how to choose paper and inks, and how to construct the letterforms.

 

ITALIC CALLIGRAPHY 

 

This class is designed for students with some knowledge of italic. we will study the complete lower-case alphabet, after which we turn our attention to the delicate capitals. Variations will be explored as we add some capital variations and learn how to add grace and lightness with some flourishing techniques.

FROM PEN TO PAPER.....TO PRINT!

 

You’ve practiced and planned and lettered a wonderfully artistic piece of calligraphy…now to have it printed successfully!

This class will go from concept to completion of several printed pieces of calligraphy. We will work mostly with invitation and menu design, starting with study of layout and design, moving to the mechanics of preparing it for print. The design process will start with the choice of lettering style, color and paper choice. We will play with adding some fun, simple painted or pen-drawn elements or copyright free artwork.  Preparing the lettering for the printer will be next, working with hands-on paste-ups or digital manipulation. 

We’ll address the various printing methods available today, as well as how to select and use color in our printing. A discussion and demonstration of digital technology, and how we can use it for touch-up, layout, design and even painting techniques will round out the class. 

If you are familiar with Photoshop and would like to use it for layout, you are welcome to bring your laptop, but it is not necessary.

PHOTOSHOP FOR CALLIGRAPHERS

 

This workshop will teach students how to use Photoshop in as a design, touchup, and layout tool, specifically demonstrating those elements of the program which can be used by lettering artists. Starting with scanning lettering, we will cover adjusting the size and position of lettering, manipulating pixels to touch up and redesign letters, working with layers to give more flexibility to design, adding filters and effects and finally, preparing the artwork to file to send to print.

This is a beginner class, and every student must have a laptop with the Photoshop program installed to use individually.