Calligraphy and lettercutting

Calligraphy – flourishing skills and techniques with Paul Antonio

Ref: SLW10281

Suitable for all

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2 places available

About this course

Learn to apply the tutor's four-fold symmetry and geometric proportioning technique to help you correct and produce beautiful flourishes. Beginning with a pencil, you learn the foundations upon which to build decorative pen and ink flourishing.

Course Description

Learn how to form beautifully balanced flourishes to improve your calligraphy. Flourishing is like writing a calligraphic hand, just as you must practise each letter of the alphabet in order to write words, by learning the basics of flourishing you will be able to add well-composed decorative elements to your calligraphy. 

The course will look at the tutor’s unique 4Fold Symmetry, and how it can be applied to constructing the bounding boxes which encompass a flourish. This will immediately help you to constrain the flourish and stop it from becoming wild and unpredictable. Practicing with pencils of different hardness will help to mimic nibs, and gain more control with a less complex tool.

Next, you will transition to pen and ink and look at how the different tools ultimately affect the shape and nature of the simplified pencil line flourish. This will require an understanding of what your tools can do, and entail homework before attending the course. You can opt to continue with a pencil for learning and flourishing for the duration of the course, or move to a broad-edged or pointed nib or brush, or all three if you are conversant with the tools.

Be advised, this is not a calligraphy class, but you will need to bring some prewritten calligraphy in order to build the flourishes onto.


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, 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

What students need to bring

Samples of calligraphy to add flourishes to, including
Rough pieces of calligraphy with no flourishing 
Single lines of calligraphy 
A 4 line poem
Individual letters with space around them
Paper, an A3 pad layout pad – please test your paper to ensure it can work with wet ink, 
A4 tracing paper
Ink – something which works on your paper
Gouache – black or brown (optional = o)
Gold (e.g. coliro or finetec)
Mixing brushes (to mix your gouache), painting or writing brushes (e.g. Winsor & Newton Series 7 a #1 brush)
Brush pens – felt-tipped or brush- tipped
Pointed flexible nibs – no G Nibs – ideally Hunt101, 22b: Gillott 303: EF Principal
Broad edged nibs and/or markers
Bullet journaling pens (o)
Straight and oblique holders/penstaffs
Water jars and droppers
Pencils 8B, 4B, HB, 2H 4H
Sharpeners and erasers 
Mechanical pencils – 0.5 and 0.3
A strip of sand paper, very fine 1000 grit
Rulers, little t-square, set squares, flat ruler
Wide mouth jar for collecting shavings and dust
Derwent Inktense Pencils (if you want to use colour)
Derwent Inktense Pans (if you want to use colour)

Available to buy

Available from shop:
Many of the items above are stocked by the shop which has many artist materials, but bring items you already have or specifically wish to use.

Available from tutor:
Some additional items to sell but they are not essentials for the course


Paul Antonio

Paul Antonio trained as a calligrapher and heraldic artist. His work focuses on an in-depth study into letterforms from both a palaeographical and a geometric perspective. He is the author of ‘Copperplate Script – A Yin & Yang Approach’, a unique and innovative in-road into the learning of the script.


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

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