Creative modern brush calligraphy with Kirsten Burke

Calligraphy and lettercutting

Ref: SWE11751

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Places available

About this course

Master the skills of modern brush calligraphy. Create artworks using colour blending with inks and metallics and a range of different embellishing skills – highlighting, shadowing, stippling, foiling and embossing with heatguns .

Course Description

Brush calligraphy is the most expressive, artistic form of calligraphy. The tutor will teach you how to create artistic compositions using modern brush lettering, combined with a variety of different embellishing techniques, to create your own artworks, using brushpens and paintbrushes. She will discuss the basic rules that govern calligraphy and brush lettering, and guide you to learn which rules you must follow, and which ones you can bend and play with in order to create stunning modern compositions that dance around the page.

You will look at balance and how to adjust letterforms to create atmosphere using alphabet families, and then learn different ways to work with colour; dipping, washes and blending by combining inks and metallics. Lastly, the tutor will show you a range of different embellishing techniques, from simple highlighting, shadowing and stippling, to more extravagant foiling and embossing techniques, using powders and gum and foil sheets with heat guns and laminators.

At the end of the class, you will create your own stunning piece, using your favourite techniques to bring your work to life. Everything you need is provided, so join the tutor as she teaches you her secrets of modern brush calligraphy.

She will use demonstrations to inspire you whilst you follow a carefully structured lesson plan to guide you throughout the day. There will be lots of one-on-one time to help you to master the skills you need. Working over templates during the workshop means that you will build muscle memory as well as creating gorgeous art cards to motivate you along the way. Expressive and creative, brush lettering is the fun-loving cousin of traditional calligraphy. It offers a way of turning lettering into a visual representation of what the words of a poem or song might say.


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


  • On this course the tutor will supply all of the materials including: a wide selection of felt and fibre tip brushpens, a water brush, paintbrush, metallic paints, foiling sheets and gum, inks, pencil.

Available to buy

  • Available from tutor:
  • Brush pens, metallic paints, books, kits, inks
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Kirsten Burke

Kirsten Burke is one of the UK's leading contemporary lettering artists. She gained a BA Hons in Graphic Design and a Postgrad in Calligraphy from Roehampton. She has had four books published and sold 10 million greeting cards. Her work is exhibited in numerous museums nationwide, including a 13 metre mural for Shakespeare's Globe.


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

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