• Home   /  
  • Classes

Bold and Blended – Chunky Capitals and Minuscules in Belgian Bister Inks

Amity Parks
Class Full
  • 5 days
  • Intermediate
  • EN

This class will be spent learning a broad edged pen version of a chunky Roman capital alphabet and its matching minuscules. This fun and bold hand has a more casual and contemporary look than its more formal cousins. The details are what make this hand exciting and we’ll practice the pen manipulation that allows for dynamic stroke transitions. The boldness of this lettering style creates lovely textures and white spaces. Once we’ve learned the alphabet, we’ll add some colour. This hand lends itself to fun colour blending when spaced tightly, as the bold strokes stay wet and allow for bleeding from one letter to another. We’ll play with a type of powdered watercolour/ink called Bister that I discovered while in Belgium, to get some gorgeous and transparent colour effects with our lettering. Exercises will allow you to develop a firm knowledge of the structure of this hand, so you can then create some interesting layouts using it and other contrasting hands. Before we finish we’ll get out our pencils and add some graphite effects to our lettering to really make it pop. To finish our pieces I'll introduce a technique of dying papers with the Bister inks and we'll create some collaged frames for our chunky letters.

Supply List

  • A variety of broad edged nibs in medium and larger sizes. (At a minimum a Speedball C-0 nib and holder and a 1/4” Automatic pen) Speedball C nibs and Automatic pens in as many sizes as you have will be best.
  • Cola or folded pen, and any other of your favourite writing instruments.
  • Mechanical Pencil 0.3 or 0.5 with H or HB leads and a white eraser (plus a Tombow Mono-zero small round pencil style eraser, if you can find one)
  • Ruler - 2” x 18” C-thru plastic ruler (clear plastic with red gridlines) and a 12” steel ruler
  • Small round pointed watercolour brush #1 or #2
  • Several small budget mixing brushes and a 1” flat cheap bristle brush.
  • Walnut Ink
  • Bister Inks are a powdered ink (like walnut) mostly found in Holland and Belgium. John Neal Bookseller carries them in the states. If you want to bring your own, then buy Yellow, Red, Green and Blue. If you don’t want to pre-purchase them, I will supply each student with enough for class and a little to take home*.
  • Paper - Strathmore 400 series drawing paper or similar for practice, (14” x 17” pad) and a few pieces of nicer papers like Arches text wove, Arches watercolour, or Canson in white or very light colours.
  • Matte acrylic medium (small bottle)
  • Words/Texts that have meaning to you. Several short quotes or a longer text you like.
  • Writing board to work on that can be propped at a low slant and something to prop it with. (A piece of Masonite with a few sheets of paper taped to it to provide a little padding works well.)
  • Usual supplies: Water container, paper towels, X-Acto knife, cutting board, scissors, notebook for notes, masking tape, a few small containers.

A supply fee of CA$25 per student will be charged to cover the full colour handouts, Bister inks for use in class and some to take home, a palette for mixing, a panel for a final piece and misc. other supplies.

Supply Fee CA$25.00
Class Full