Calligraphy: modern copperplate variations

Course Dates: 12/06/24 - 10/07/24
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
Learn how to use a pointed pen for writing in copperplate hand, which is famous for its fine lines, hand-made quality and romantic overtones.This fun class is an introduction to Spencerian script and its connection to basic strokes and letterforms. You will also learn the history of Spencerian script and it will give you some new knowledge of penmanship. Suitable for both beginners and improvers, left and right handers.
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Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00

Calligraphy: modern copperplate variations
  • Course Code: VE221
  • Dates: 12/06/24 - 10/07/24
  • Time: 18:00 - 21:00
  • Taught: Wed, Evening
  • Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Veiko Kespersaks

Course Code: VE221

Wed, eve, 12 Jun - 10 Jul '24

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

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

What is the course about?

Copperplate, (Spencerian or English Roundhand, it is know by several names) is enjoying a resurgence of interest of late. Platt Roger Spencer, whose name the style bears, developed his style during the Romantic period and it emphasises feeling, individuality and the power of nature, which can be seen in the more freely flowing and elaborate movements. He likened the gently sloping ovals his letters to the pebbles he found on the shores of the Great Lakes and he advocated added a touch of contrasting weight from the swelling line just here and there. This was because nature had such touches of variety, he did not want his script to appear too mechanical.
Using models and exemplars by your tutor and through demonstrations, you will learn the construction and layout of these fluid letterforms which will enable you to write more beautifully and/or more neatly at speed.

What will we cover?

The course provides a thorough grounding in calligraphy materials, exploring different inks, pens, nibs, and papers so that each student understands the tools, where they come from, and how they work. Your experienced instructor will provide interesting insight into the history of calligraphy, and the international calligraphy ecosystem as its stands today. The group will observe and discuss texts from the past and present, and each student will carry out a deep script analysis. Through drills and exercises, you will practice making your letterforms regular and fluent, with feedback and support from the tutor.
During the course, depending on your individual skill level, you will be able to complete one of these projects:
- handmade card for a special occasion
- poetry panel or letter
- wedding/party stationery
- designing your own alphabet
- decorated/illustrated panel or inspirational artwork.

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

- Identify and recognise the key characteristics of Spencerian script
- Vary the weight of a pen stroke, the spacing and the speed of your writing successfully and with confidence
- Select and use a variety of pens, materials, and inks appropriately
- Correct mistakes neatly
- Produce a finished project with an example of Spencerian writing.

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

This course is suitable for complete beginners or those looking to refresh their calligraphy skills. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions in English to support demonstrations, read hand-outs, and understand health and safety information. Students will be invited to take part in group discussions, but participation is voluntary.

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

No study preparation is required beforehand. In the session you will learn through a combination of group and individual demonstrations, and following worksheets devised by your experienced instructor. Examples, worksheets, and instructions will be provided to enable you to carry out exercises at your own pace both inside and outside the classroom.

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

Some materials will be provided including cartridge paper, pens, erasers and inks. Please bring the below with you:
- Speedball 2968 Oblique pen set
- Pencil HP and Layout Paper (A3)
- A note book to take notes during the course
If you are not sure where to get the tools and materials, please do not buy anything as your tutor will demonstrate the tools/materials and will suggest where they can be purchased. From the second session onwards, you will be expected to bring your own materials. If you forget anything the other students and the teacher will always be there to help!

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?

Once completed, you could progress to calligraphy course covering a more broad range of scripts such as;
- VE246 Calligraphy: modern copperplate
- VE300 City Lit calligraphy course
- VE255 Calligraphy and illumination
- VE249 Modern calligraphy

VE265 Calligraphy: Modern copperplate
Your tutor will be able to advise you during the course.

Veiko Kespersaks

Veiko Kespersaks is a Fellow of CLAS (The Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society) and a Fellow of SSI (Society of Scribes and Illuminators). He currently runs a successful calligraphy studio in Central London. Veiko was Programme Leader for the Calligraphy Degree course at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in Finland and his book, ‘Calligraphy in 24 1h lessons’ was published in 2011. He has an MA with Distinction from Roehampton University London, A BA (First class) in Calligraphy and Art History from University of Surrey Roehampton and a BA in Printmaking from the Art Institute of Kankaanpää, Finland. Veiko’s classes are usually mixed levels, and his passion in teaching is to create an atmosphere in which each student can increase their skill proficiency and learn new, sometimes unexpected, skills.

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.