Calligraphy and illumination

Course Dates: 05/10/21 - 07/12/21
Time: 13:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Study lettering, illuminating and gold leaf. This course is suitable for beginners and left and right handers. Basic materials are included and you will be given advice on tools and materials.
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

Course Code: VE238

Please choose a course date 

Tue, day, 05 Oct - 07 Dec '21

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

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 be guided through a series of step-by-step projects to help you develop your lettering and gilding skills. You will then have the opportunity to create an illuminated letterform design using your own source material.

What will we cover?

- Drawing versal and Lombardic capital letterforms
- Illuminating with 24 carat transfer gold
- Painting with gouache.
- Colour Theory
- Planning and organising a design.

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

- Draw versal and Lombardic capital letterforms
- use a flat gilding technique
- paint with gouache
- select and use appropriate materials effectively
- go on to further study in calligraphy

For more advanced learners:
- incorporate an illuminated letterform into a block of calligraphy.
- adapt and re-create your own decorated letterforms.
- Work on self-directed projects with help and advise from the tutor.

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

This course is suitable for the complete beginner or those who wish to refresh their calligraphy skills. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs, 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?

During the class there will be group and individual demonstrations. You will be given examples and worksheets which enable you to develop at your own pace. It will be beneficial if you can do some practice between sessions.

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

An A4 presentation folder for handouts and worksheets
A pencil and notebook
Advice will be given about tools and materials if you wish to progress to further study.
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:
VE290 Illuminated lettering
VE228 Calligraphy and Illumination
VE231 Calligraphy and Illumination
VE240 Calligraphy and Illumination

VE265 Calligraphy: Modern Copperplate
VE287 Contemporary calligraphy: developing your style
VE230 Calligraphy
VE260 Calligraphy workshop.

Sharon Shaw Tutor Website

Sharon is a London based left-handed calligrapher, lettering artist and illustrator. She studied Calligraphy and Bookbinding at Roehampton University and was awarded a first class honours degree in 2003. In 2010 she became a Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators. Sharon believes anyone can learn calligraphy if you relax, enjoy the process and allow yourself to make lots and lots and lots of mistakes. Sharon’s other courses at City Lit are: Calligraphy For Beginners, Calligraphy Handwriting: Developing your Style, Calligraphy and Brush lettering, Calligraphy class: Illuminated lettering and Calligraphy and Decorated Letterforms.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.