Calligraphy and illumination

Course Dates: 24/04/24 - 26/06/24
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
Tutors: 
Gilded initials make perfect gifts for family and friends. You’ll learn painting techniques and how to apply a PVA mordant and use real leaf. You will be provided with a number of decorative alphabet templates and then taken
step-by-step through the stages of drawing, painting and applying real gold to create your own illuminated decorated letterform.
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Full fee £419.00 Senior fee £335.00 Concession £272.00
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Calligraphy and illumination
  • Course Code: VE290
  • Dates: 24/04/24 - 26/06/24
  • Time: 14:00 - 17:00
  • Taught: Wed, Daytime
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Sharon Shaw

Course Code: VE290

Choose a start date  

Wed, day, 24 Apr - 26 Jun '24

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?

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.

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 info@londongraphics.co.uk 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- https://www.londongraphics.co.uk/student-discounts/.

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

Suitable courses may include:
- VE225 Calligraphy and illumination
- VE238 Calligraphy and illumination
- VE210 Calligraphy: Decorated letterforms
- VE300 City Lit Calligraphy course
- VE249 Modern calligraphy

VE300 City Lit calligraphy course


General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to
Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
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.
Please see the course guide for term dates and further details.

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.