Layered Calligraphy: Text into Texture
A 2 or 5 day workshop with Denis Brown
Longer duration features additional content plus time for students to develop personal projects with Denis' assistance
Level: intermediate to advanced. Twenty students maximum.
The workshop will include writing text on top of text for a range of textural effects, and collaging layers of translucent material to make rich layered designs. Students will learn how color and value affect overlapping layers, either to keep them spatially distinct, or to merge as one textural layer. A discussion of the spatial shallow depth in high modernist paintings will inform our processes. The full 5 day version will include the Shadow Box module, and participants will experiment with writing on multiple layers of translucent material to make rich designs, some of which may be back-lit.
Layering is a key concept in much of Denis' work- his layering of letters, of media, and also his multi-layered conceptual approach has produced wide ranging art. His layered glass pieces show many techniques taught in this class although students will practice them on paper. Denis will discuss the ideas behind a range of his layered calligraphic works in various media.
A detail of Denis' layered glass-work.
Click for the whole image
or view his glass art gallery.
Student Supply List:
A variety of your favourite writing tools: e.g., dip-pens, brushes, ruling pens, droppers, automatic pens, etc.
A few sheets of heavy tracing vellum, or even better, polyester drafting film (e.g., Duralar or frosted Mylar). This is a sheet like tracing paper but is made of polyester and therefore is waterproof- (commonly used for architectural drawings that need dimensional stability). Get the opalescent or frosted finish like tracing vellum rather than like acetate. It is harder to find these days, so heavy tracing is the alternative.
For those who do find drafting film, finely powdered pumice or a draft cleaning pad will also be required.
Optional: Any other translucent material you'd like to work with.
Ink, ruler, pencils.
A pad of practice paper A3 size (11" x 17") or larger.
Several sheets of better quality paper, including some coloured sheets, such as Canson Mi-Tientes.
Gouache colors, palettes, mixing and loading brushes.
Scalpel or scissors.
A needle and thread.
PVA glue and 1" glue brush.
Some texts or a quotation book.
Additional supplies for 5 day class only:
A wooden canvas stretcher, without canvas, approximately 10"x 14" or any similar size, (this will be used as a support for stretching layers of translucent papers).
White household emulsion paint or acrylic gesso primer.
6 or more sheets of heavy tracing vellum, at least 5" larger than your canvas stretcher in each dimension.
6 or more sheets of Polyester drafting film (e.g., Duralar or frosted Mylar), at least 5" larger than your canvas stretcher in each dimension. This is a sheet like tracing paper but is made of polyester and therefore is waterproof- (commonly used for architectural drawings that need dimensional stability). Branded examples of polyester film: Duralar or Mylar- get the opalescent or frosted finish, although fully transparent finishes may also be of interest.
Also any other translucent material you'd like to work with, e.g., translucent fabrics or Japanese washi (optional). The more translucent the better. Take the initiative and think creatively about what you might like to work with.
Powdered Pumice or a draft cleaning pad.
A staple gun would be useful if you have one.
Texture gradient exercise from the workshop. Detail below.