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Contrast - The Magic Ingredient

Peter Thornton
  • 2.5 days (2nd half)
  • All
  • EN

It is perhaps the element of CONTRAST that first attracts many of us to calligraphy – thick vs. thin, black vs. white, straight vs. round, light vs. heavy, etc. Its major function is to attract – to draw attention to – to act as a visual vitamin that 'grabs' and satisfies the eye. It is this element in calligraphy and page arrangements that provides us with visual interest. Without contrast, we often find optical indigestion or worse, boredom.

In this workshop we shall examine, firstly with the humble pencil, in an orderly and logical manner, the basic elements of contrast and concord in both letterforms and page layouts. We shall look at their many combinations and learn how to integrate the text with a focal point, image or gestural mark. In letterforms, we shall be working with the seven key ingredients of contrast: size, form, weight, colour, direction, texture and structure. In page arrangements we shall examine the juxtaposition of organic and geometric areas of text, chaos and order, formal and friendly, etc. in the many layout exercises using both pencil and pen.

Throughout the class will be demonstrations of exercises, projects and explanations to help clarify the 'balancing' of these elements in this most important area of our work, thus avoiding the simplistic and tempting strategy of 'hope'.

A feature of the class will be to take the many exercises and projects and bind them into a functional and aesthetically pleasing sampler book.

Familiarity with Roman capitals and one other calligraphic hand will be useful.

Suitable for all levels of skill and optimism.

Supply List

  • Layout paper and ANY other better quality paper, e.g. Fabriano Ingres, Arches Text Wove or Text Laid, Arches MBM, Rives BFK or similar lightly textured paper.
  • A wide range of nib sizes including Speedball C2 or larger and a pointed nib and a straight pen holder (as used in Copperplate etc)
  • Black and/or Walnut Ink, gouache paint of your colour choice
  • Water pot and loading brush
  • Couple of sheets of tracing paper
  • H, HB, 2B OR 4B pencils

Optional (Peter will have some of the above to use if students cannot get any)

  • Needle and embroidery threads, awl, 2 Bulldog Clips, Bone folder, ruler or straight edge and an optional quotation (15 to 20 plus words?) to work on.
Supply Fee $0.00