From Foundational to Antiqua

We will explore the relationship between the written and the printed, typography and calligraphy. We will be pouring life into our letters with pen and ink. Starting with the Foundational Hand, we will look at how seemingly simple shapes gave birth to the littera antica, the oldstyle Renaissance letter which came to dominate as a vessel for European literature during the next 500 years. What constitutes a good arch form? How can we make rhythmical, lively letterforms that are also functional and legible? Old type designs and modern ones, old calligraphy and modern twists. You will benefit from this workshop whether you are a beginner, an intermediate or an advanced student of calligraphy. A good calligrapher should have a solid minuscule hand at her/his fingertips!

  • Instructor with 30 years of teaching experience
  • 4 week class, 2 hours a week
  • Online corrections of homework between sessions
  • Video available for 3 months after classes
  • Interactive Zoom sessions. Slack for in-between-sessions
  • Demonstrations, lectures, Q&A sessions
  • From basic shapes to subtleties
  • A variety of techniques
  • Variations covered
  • Workbook available as downloadable PDF
  • All levels welcome

Tuesdays 1st – 22nd of June, from 20:00 – 22:00 CEST. We will be using Zoom for the weekly classes, and Slack, a great communication tool, for the assignments and corrections.

Register below

Please note that I have a no refund policy.

John Neal Books does postal orders, and he has many of the materials required.


  • Some or all of the following choice of papers:
  • Arches Text Wove
  • Zerkall
  • Rives BFK
  • Khadi Indian Handmade papers come in several different textures.
  • Daler layout pads in A3 size are good for practicing sometimes.
  • A cartridge paper of good quality


  • All sizes of Brause nibs are recommended [Mitchell nibs not suitable] 
  • Pencil [2h]. 
  • Pointed brush, for loading nib with ink
  • Colored pencils


  • Chinese Stick Ink of good quality
  • Ink Stone
  • Higgins Eternal is a cheaper substitute, but the Chinese stick ink is highly recommended 
  • Colours are optional, but please use Winsor & Newton gouache


  • T Square
  • Dividers 
  • Compass
  • Scalpel blade [no 22 for scraping]
  • Adjustable drawing board 
  • Sandarac powder 
  • Ruler
  • Eraser
  • Old cloth
  • Water jar
  • Guard sheet or cotton glove (as you prefer),