rounded italic

Understanding Italic

Calligraphy Workshop with Denis Brown 
2 or 3 days. Max. 20 students. Level: intermediate, but adaptable to suit all levels.
Note: This clas is an excellent precursor to Italic Variations

Be introduced to a clear and acute analysis of italic, which neatly categorizes a wide range of variations. Practice a less common model of italic with high sprung, symmetric arches. Focus on structure with an emphasis on fluency. Denis busts several commonly believed myths by clear explanation, with a dash of humor thrown in.

Experience a thorough grounding that many long-experienced scribes lack. A common problem with student's writing is that there is rarely a clear mental picture of particular structures (e.g. degree of arch asymmetry), which leads to inconsistencies each time that structure is applied.

Learn about refinement of form using pen angle and pressure manipulations and dynamics of acceleration / deceleration. Denis' method of analysis enables you to see exactly where you are going wrong. This can be a frustrating experience but is a necessary precursor to being able to fix it!


Italic Variations show below will be discussed but we'll will focus on the form illustrated at top.

itali variations


Tools and Materials
Square edged dip-pens- (particularly Brause brand size 3mm & 4mm in addition to students preferred brand); finely powdered gum sandarac; ink; ruler; pencils; eraser; water jar; pad of practice paper A3 size /11"x 17" or larger; a large sheet of better quality paper; gouache colors; palettes; mixing and loading brushes. Optional: These days many students find a smart phone with camera is a convenient way to photograph demonstrations to inform practice at their table.