Current workshop: Capitals as Text & Tiny Paintings as Graphical Elements

Various examples of work that pairs small capitals as a text hand with small painted landscapes.

About this workshop: The idea of monumental Roman capitals is intimidating for many calligraphers. But making and arranging small capitals on a page can help us to connect with the fun of lettering while focusing on some basic design principles.

Great for beginners and the experienced letterer alike, this workshop explores the use of text capitals and creation of texture in our texts. We’ll do this with small broad-edged and pointed pens through the manipulation of letter spacing, color changes, and other design decisions. We’ll also examine how the act of writing creates rhythm and movement. In the second session, we’ll create tiny painted landscapes as a graphic element. And we’ll make them meld beautifully with our texts through the magic of color theory.

Depending on the length of the workshop, some of the following topics also covered include optimizing our working space, tools, and materials; developing layout options, including a variety of strategies for planning and making guidelines; painting and color theory.

I have now taught this workshop several times through various calligraphy guilds, and will teach it at least three more times in February and March. I have developed this workshop to work in several formats:

  • a two-session workshop, two hours per session one week apart
  • a three-session workshop, two hours per session one week apart
  • a two-day in-person workshop

If your guild is interested in hosting this workshop, let me know.