One of my ‘creative aims’ for the year was to have a go at Brush Lettering. I’d had my eye on the workshops run by Quill London for some time and a chilly dark night in February seemed like the perfect opportunity to try one out.
I have no painting or drawing skills and the last time I picked up a paint brush was more years ago than I care to remember (other than to messily daub some Farrow and Ball around our home, you understand!) However I do love writing and words, actual writing with a pen rather than with a key board. And I particularly love the creative presentation of words.
I hadn’t been nervous until I arrived at the unassuming venue not far from Angel tube, and it dawned on me fairly immediately that I was probably significantly older and also on my own. It wasn’t a large group but the majority of folk seemed to know one another or had at least come with one other person. Doing things on my own isn’t something which usually worries me so I was initially a little disconcerted.
The workshop was taught by Terri Muncey, designer and owner of The Lovely Drawer. We had all been set up with blank paper, ink and a paint brush and printed sheets with shapes and letters on for us to copy and use as a guide. Terri began by showing us how to practice different lines and shapes using a brush and ink. Unsurprisingly even creating a simple curvy line was harder than it looked. Terri offered much encouragement and helpful hints as we worked. I soon realised that changing pressure on the paper could make all the difference to how a letter or shape looked. After practicing lines and shapes we moved onto letters and eventually as our confidence grew, words.
My nerves soon settled and time flew as we lost ourself in the process of forming shapes and letters. I’m certainly not a natural and my efforts were very mediocre compared to many of the group, but I did enjoy it, which is surely what all creative endeavours should be about. In just two short hours I felt a sense of the freedom of brush lettering. We were encouraged to produce a care or piece of work we could take homes as a culmination of our efforts and we had been given some very nice paper on which to do this. I wasn’t quite brave enough and didn’t want to make my mark on the beautiful clean page until I’d mastered the technique a little (or a lot) more. My chosen phrase for my card was ‘bright and beautiful’. With such a phrase I felt that I really did need to practice making these words look genuinely beautiful before committing them to a final piece!
The work shop was held in the Quill London Stationery Shop which was a lovely venue. All clean lines, tranquility with beautiful and very covetable stationary on display. Combined with some calming tea, home-baked cake and gentle music, there was absolutely no reason not to feel inspired. We were given the ink, paint brush paper and guides to take home with us so I have absolutely no excuse not to practice. Brush lettering is certainly something I hope to do more of this year.
If you would like to learn more about the Quill London workshops visit the website. quilllondon.com
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