Kirklevington is where North Yorkshire Calligraphers meet and we have just had a concentrated weekend studying, analysing and applying the working methods of David Jones.
Nothing could be further form the truth here! David Jones works on a sheet of paper which he had painted in Chinese White. This would give the paper, some body and some ‘tooth’ When I saw his work, the paper had understated nuances of shading. I felt that a modern equivalent and wonderful surface would be to gesso over paper painted in acrylic. I used 300gsm paper, 100% cotton and a good quality acrylic gesso. (Gesso is really just white acrylic with whitening or French chalk added approx. 3:1)
Just for fun, I tried doing light lettering in gouache directly onto the acrylic and its a lovely option, but not what is on the menu this weekend.
Alan set up a personal challenge of tiny lettering.
We all began like Ian, by drawing each letter on tracing paper and transferring it using carbon, but as the day progressed everyone began painting directly onto the paper (after a trial drawing on tracing paper). This was a better way to go!
Unfortunately, Ian was poorly on the Sunday and will finish his piece in due course (and email it to me to show you all?)
Using just two colours which are complementary, people painted their piece in neutrals, with the focal point in a brighter colour. You can see Marlene’s complementary colour swatches. It was also possible to bring in an extra colour for a focal point.
Many people found that their letters varied in colour from one to the next, (as in Meg’s) much more so than David Jones’ lettering, but the effect is really lovely.
Lorraine felt that the V was too pale, but the wonderful thing about this way of working, is that you can ‘fix’ letters, but overpainting, or painting white onto the edges to ‘clean-up’ She will wisely wait until she has got a little further to make a good decision.
Sarah wanted to emphasis the word MAGIC and centre it, so she started with the G in the middle and then worked on either side of it.
Jenni is a beginner, but this workshop is quite multi-level, except that as a beginner you need to be extra sensitive to the weighting of each letter for thicks and thins.
She has certainly done this even without that head-knowledge of Trajan Proportions.
In the next blog we’ll see the finished pieces!