Calligraphy: modern copperplate

Course Dates: 27/04/20 - 13/07/20
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Veiko Kespersaks

This course is suitable for all who would like to learn new skill of beautiful writing or to improve their calligraphy. The course will also help to develop your creativity and will give you a lot of ideas for future personal projects. The course is for both beginners and advanced students. Suitable for left and right-handers.


What is the course about?

The beautiful, graceful style of lettering that we commonly refer to as Copperplate script, is actually a style of lettering called English Roundhand. There are several styles of beautifully shaded script lettering with slightly different origins that have all been referred to as 'Copperplate' over the years. As many of these styles were popular for lettering when first seen printed from engraved copperplates in the mid 1500s through the mid 1800s, its easy to see why it became known by that term. The Universal Penman was published by George Bickham in 1740 and it is still widely used by many calligraphers today. Well known for his handwriting skills and engraving expertise, this publication presented Copperplate writing to the wider public.

What will we cover?

The course will cover script analysis, exploration of different inks, pens and papers. Those who would like to improve their skills will be able to focus on weight, height, compression and slope. Variables such as branches and basic strokes and forms of the lower case letters will be examined along with an exploration of the smallest changes that can drastically change the appearance of letterforms. We will practice making the forms regular and fluent, designing the variations by identifying and incorporating your own unique modern style.

During the course, depending on your level and skill, you will be able to complete one of these projects:
- handmade card for a special occasion
- poetry panel or letter
- wedding/party stationery
- a deep analysis of a historical script
- your own designed alphabet
- script/rhythm variations in a concertina book
- copperplate writing book
- an ex-libris bookplate
- decorated/illustrated panel or inspirational art work
- illuminated text page with border.

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

- Identify and recognise key characteristics of copperplate script;
- Vary weight of a stroke, spacing and speed of 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 Copperplate writing.

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

The course is for both beginners and advanced students. The knowledge if Italic Hand is desirable, but not essential.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

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

You will learn or improve your skills whilst practising the craft and will be encouraged to incorporate your own individuality into your studies and finished pieces. Individual teaching will be by demonstrations and supported by theory and illustration. You may occasionally find it helpful to be able to complete or revise work at home during the course.

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

Basic materials will be provided and a list of materials to bring each week will be provided by the tutor in class.
Some materials will be provided including cartridge paper, pens, erasers and some ink, but please bring the below:

a notebook to take notes during the course;
Layout Paper (A3) & Good quality smooth hot pressed paper (like HP Fabriano);
Eraser, Gridded Ruler 50cm, 0.3 Automatic Pencil;
Speedball 2968 Oblique Pen Set, black;
Japanese Calligraphy ink stick and ink stone (about 5cm x 3cm size);
If you are not sure where to get the tools and materials, please do not buy anything as you tutor will demonstrate the tools/materials and will suggest where they can be purchased.

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

Your tutor will be able to advise you on forthcoming classes in calligraphy at City Lit. You may be interested in enrolling on a City Lit Calligraphy summer school course before the main programme starts again in September. 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. See the course guide for term dates and further details.


Customer Reviews 6 item(s)

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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.

I would recommend this course to anyone interested in learning this beautiful form of writing. As a complete beginner I am really hooked! It will take time to master the techniques, but the teacher is very helpful and above all, patient. It is a mixed lev
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Review by Christine / (Posted on 30/10/2019)
Fascinating subject with an expert tutor.
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Review by Jane / (Posted on 30/10/2019)
I would highly recommend this course for anyone interested in Copperplate calligraphy. I work full-time as a self-taught Modern Calligrapher and wanted to make sure that I filled any gaps in my basic knowledge, and gain more of an understanding of where Modern Calligraphy came from, and be able to offer Copperplate script to clients in the future.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 08/07/2019)
Knowledge of teacher is great. Spread of abilities makes teaching a challenge to so many in one class. Feedback is helpful but teacher is overstretched.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 01/07/2019)
Far more interesting than I expected
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 23/05/2019)
An excellent introductory course with an experienced, knowledgeable and supportive teacher. Highly recommended.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 18/05/2019)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VE258

Please choose a course date 

Mon, day, 27 Apr - 13 Jul '20

Duration: 10 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Full fee: £349.00
Senior fee: £279.00
Concession: £213.00

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.