Calligraphy and decorated letterforms

Course Dates: 27/07/20 - 31/07/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Learn how to create decorative letterforms to use as individual pieces or incorporate into your calligraphy work. This course will not only show you how to design and draw illuminated letters, but will introduce you to some of the history behind this beautiful art form.


What is the course about?

The pages of illuminated manuscripts were brought to life with the rich, vibrant colour of the decorated letter. This course is an introduction to the history and tools of illumination. You will be guided through the process of drawing an individual letter from outline to gilding and painting.

What will we cover?

- How to plan and organise a design
- How to apply gold onto a PVA mordant
- How to paint with gouache.

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

- use a flat gilding technique
- how to paint with gouache
- select and use appropriate materials effectively
- go on to further study in calligraphy
More advanced students:
- incorporate your illuminated letterform into a block of text.
- adapt and re-create your own decorated letterforms.

More advanced students:
•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?

You will need to bring bring your own brush - a sable watercolour brush size 0.
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.

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

The Calligraphy department runs a wide range of courses. Your tutor will be happy to advise you on suitable courses in the main 2019/20 programme according to your level and interests.


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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Well worth the cost of tuition.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 05/08/2019)
Tutor Biographies
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.

Book your place

Course Code: VE210

Mon-Fri, day, 27 Jul - 31 Jul '20

Duration: 5 sessions

Full fee: £259.00
Senior fee: £259.00
Concession: £158.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.