Calligraphy and illumination

Course Dates: 28/09/21 - 30/11/21
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Study writing, design and illumination and learn how to choose and use basic materials. This course is suitable for complete beginners as well as for those with some experience. Left handers are welcome.
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
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Full fee £349.00 Senior fee £279.00 Concession £213.00

This course has now finished

Course Code: VE225

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Finished Tue, day, 28 Sep - 30 Nov '21

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

You will learn how to write beautifully with a dip pen. You will also design and produce a small piece of work with illuminated letters using colour and/or gold leaf.

What will we cover?

An introduction to Italic hand and Capitals. You will study the letterforms step-by-step, the structure of the letterforms and family groups. You will do word spacing exercises and learn to write out the text in various sizes. The course will also cover the basics of layout and design, paper trials and illuminated letters with the use of colours and/or gold leaf. Returning students can study Italic hand variations, flourishes, or other styles of writing such as Foundational hand or Uncials.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Be confident in use of basic materials.
- Demonstrate basic Italic hand minuscules and capitals.
- Develop your ideas into effective layouts.
- Design and produce a finished piece.
For more experienced students:
- Combine with different styles of writing or use variations to produce a piece with effective design.
- Design and produce illuminated letters and/or decorations with colours and gold leaf.

For more advanced learners:
- Write or combine with different lettering styles such as Italic.
- Design and produce illuminated letters using paint and progressing to gold leaf.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for complete beginners to intermediate and advanced levels. The focus of the course is on good letterforms and effective layout/design. Each student will be able to work at their own pace and will not feel pressured to produce quantity rather than quality.
Students should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, handouts and health and safety information and will be invited to take part in informal group discussion.
The course includes simple calculations and measurements. Basic IT skills to be able to access google classroom would be helpful.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Group demonstrations and individual demonstrations and one-to-one help, supported by discussions and visual references.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will need to buy your own materials such as papers, pens and inks/paints.
On the first day you will need to bring:
- HB pencil and eraser
- 0.3mm automatic pencil
- A3 Layout pad
- Usual calligraphy materials if you have them. If you don’t have tools or materials, you don’t need to buy beforehand and these requirements will be discussed on the first day.

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencils to printing services, at 15% off.
To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply for our card in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The following courses are suitable for further study but please see our website for the full range of calligraphy courses:
VE228 Calligraphy and Illumination
VE231 Calligraphy and Illumination
VE290 Illuminated lettering.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.