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?
VE210 Calligraphy and decorated letterforms
VE225 Calligraphy and illumination
VE211 Calligraphy: copperplate and spencarian scripts
VE262 Calligraphy: gothic script
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.