Calligraphy – decorated letters with Jan Pickett

Calligraphy and lettercutting

Ref: S2D11972

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About this course

Using a variety of drawn letterforms, learn how to add decoration, colour and delicate effects, with watercolour, pastels and coloured pencils.

Course Description

During this workshop you will be working with a variety of drawn letterforms, to which you will add decoration using lots of different techniques. Use watercolour, pastels and coloured pencils to produce many delicate effects guaranteed to add sparkle to your pages. There will be time for individual projects using a wealth of exciting ideas.

This course is based on the tutor’s book ‘Decorated Letters’ and will aim to demonstrate and show how to add decoration in, on, and around letters, using creative techniques. These will include pressure and release, pastel backgrounds, colour blend and lifting-out colour, none of which are difficult and all enjoyable to use, giving extremely attractive results.

As well as drawn letters being the main basis of the course, there will also be a demonstration of edged pen lettering and changing colour in the nib for those who may already have some experience of calligraphic lettering.

There will be several handout sheets of various letter styles available for reference and inspiration, a complete alphabet set of large size letters to draw around, if wished, along with plenty of demonstrations and help on hand to make good progress.

With the mix of ideas and resources, you will have the opportunity to produce both graphic and calligraphic letters for every occasion. These could be made into a greetings card, individually framed or used in conjunction with a calligraphic piece, so something for everybody!


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Two sheets of heavyweight cartridge paper

What students need to bring

  • 2H pencil, 2B pencil, rubber
  • Ruler and craft knife
  • Black fine liner pen (must be waterproof)
  • Water soluble coloured pencils
  • Selection of watercolours (tubes or pans)
  • Dry coloured pastels (not oil based)
  • Cotton wool to rub pastels onto paper (can use tissue if need be)
  • Good quality sable pointed brush (size 1 or 2 or favourite size)
  • Mixing brush, small mixing palette and water pots
  • Any calligraphy tools you already have, e.g. large nib sizes or automatic pens
  • Optional extras:
  • Silver/gold gel pens
  • A few gouache colours if wished

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • 1 or 2 sheets of hot pressed paper (250 – 300gsm, A3 size is fine)
  • 1 or 2 sheets of watercolour paper, e.g. Bockingford 300gsm
  • A few sheets heavyweight cartridge paper (around 220gsm)
  • Tracing paper and masking tape
  • Black fine liner pen (must be waterproof)
  • A wide variety of art materials including brushes, pencils, pens, watercolours, water soluable coloured pencils and pastels


Jan Pickett

Jan Pickett is a tutor of over twenty-five years' experience, having studied Graphics and Typography at Cardiff Art College, then Calligraphy at Roehampton Institute. Her work is displayed in many Calligraphy books, including her own! She is a Fellow of both the Society of Scribes and Illuminators and the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

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