Foundational Hand

Foundational Hand
Two to five day calligraphy workshop with Denis Brown
Novice to Advanced level

*This is the perfect script to begin learning calligraphy, but even advanced students may appreciate attention to detail in master critiques as they never experienced.

Foundational hand has served as the fundamental roman minuscule in the English tradition of calligraphy spearheaded by Edward Johnston in the first half of the 20th century. It was developed from studies of a late Carolingian manuscript known as the Ramsey Psalter. The particular theory of form and spacing is what makes the hand such a good foundation to understand letter-forms.
We will glance back at the historic origins but will practice with modern variations. Participants will be shown how Foundational is more than a style, but is a set of principles with room for personal adaptation.

Illustrated above: demonstration piece by Denis Brown showing how a "th" combination is a symmetric repetition of the arch shape and that an understanding of this makes it possible to write upside down!

Student supplies: Square edged dip-pens, (Brause size 3mm & 4mm particularly recommended in addition to students own preferred brand); ink; ruler; two matching HB pencils and some masking tape to make a set of double pencils, also another pencil for ruling guidelines; pad of practice paper A3 size (11"x l7") or larger; gouache; palettes, mixing and loading brushes. A few sheets of a quality paper such as Arches Text Wove or BFK Rives. Optional: These days many students find a smart phone with camera is a convenient way to photograph demonstrations to inform practice at their table.

2 to 5 days. Level: Novice to Advanced. Max. 20 students
Longer durations naturally facilitate more progress and a deeper study.


Foundational guide sheet

One of the class hand-out copies.