Traditioanl layout by Denis Brown

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Calligraphy Layout and Design
A 2 or 3 day workshop with Denis Brown.
Beginner* to Intermediate level

*Participants need experience of at least one broad-pen script, capitals and lowercase; this is not a class for complete beginners.

Layout techniques for the design of a traditional piece of calligraphy with sensitivity to the textual meaning and with some contrast of styles, weight and color.
Using trial paste-ups, learn how to achieve centred and asymmetric layouts which may often be preferable to predicable flush-left/ragged-right margins. Learn about rivers and widows in the typographic meaning and how to avoid them! Receive constructive critique to help you improve your chosen styles of lettering.

Classroom Requirement:

  • Digital LCD projector capable of projection from laptop (Apple Mac-book) preferably at full HD 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, plus HDMI connection and cable. Possible also via lower resolution and VGA cable/connection



-Bring a selection of short texts you may choose from with accreditation information including author's name and source. (Depending on your experience, your work may be a single text block with title and accreditation or have a couple or more text blocks set in dynamic contrast.)
-Broad-edged calligraphy nibs in a full range of sizes from smallest to largest. Brause, Mitchell, Speedball, Tape are all suitable brands. Bring whichever brands you prefer. 
-Pen-holders suitable for your nibs.
-Also bring any other calligraphy pens or brushes you would like to use in your design.
-HB & 2B Pencils & pencil sharpener.
-A long ruler, circa 60cm.
-Layout pad or practice paper at least A2 size or 11" x 17".
-2 large sheets of quality paper for your final project. Any hot pressed watercolor paper such as Saunders Waterford, Arches Aquarelle, Fabriano Artistico can be a good choice, or if you like a softer surface, a printmaking paper such as BFK Rives may suit. Coloured papers like Canson Mi-Tientes are also an option to consider.
-Gouache paints in a range of colors including black, white and the primaries (blue, red, yellow).
(The instructor chooses to use gouache as his ink, but if you have a favorite black ink, then bring that also.)
-Palettes, mixing and loading brushes.
-Finely powdered gum sandarac and a bristle paintbrush brush to apply it. Can be a cheap one such as a small decorators paintbrush. It should be clean, never used for paint.
-Water jars or other containers.
-Masking tape.
-Scalpel or craft knife and cutting board. (The card back of your layout pad can act as a convenient cutting board).
-Glue stick.