SIGN WRITING MASTERCLASSES

I can visit your Art Department or Degree course teaching the art and craft of traditional sign writing, this can be for one day or more.

MASTER CLASS DAY 1. 

I’ll begin by introducing myself with an informal slide presentation. I’ll then ask the students to go outside the college on a sign scouting mission for a few hours. They can photo/sketch signs of interest and return to discuss what they've seen as good or bad signage. The areas visited will be randomly selected from a local map using a fun hand to eye co-ordination game.

In the afternoon I’ll demonstrate scaling up a small piece of artwork to large scale using the grid process, a technique still widely used today for murals and supergraphics.

Students can then think about sketching a design for a final sign, this can be anything they want, as a guide they could take a humorous phrase using appropriate lettering, colours and layout. Or develop their initials as a monogram with shadow and embellishment. I’ll have some reference books to look at, there’ll be plenty of inspiration.

Towards the end of the day, I’ll give an overview of the main types of sign writing brushes and then demonstrate how to load the brush and form letters in continual strokes using a palette and a Mahl stick to steady the hand. Although these techniques can take years to master its amazing what can be done in a day!

WHAT WILL I BRING?

I’ll bring a selection of sign writing brushes to demonstrate. Mahl/resting sticks and palettes to lend. 
Examples of full size working drawing and lettering I’ve used for commissions. Other artefacts used in sign writing. Client briefs and building/shopfront elevations to give an idea of the process.

WHAT YOUR ORGANISATION NEEDS TO PROVIDE

A selection of signwriting brushes, artists acrylic paint, A2 sheets of white paper and tracing paper. Sheets of 3mm hardboard 600mm x 400mm primed white. I can give you a list of brushes with suppliers to contact.

MASTER CLASS DAY 2. TRANSFERRING YOUR DESIGN TO A SIGN BOARD. THE SIGNWRITING TECHNIQUE.

On the second day complete your design/working drawing and transfer to a sign board. Now you’re ready to practice using your brushes and I’ll be on hand to guide you on brush technique, good posture and remembering to breathe! There’ll be plenty to keep us busy for the day.

MASTER CLASS DAYS 3 & 4. More advanced techniques and materials used.

Introducing spirit based enamel paints, how to use them and brush care. Signwriting on glass. Oil gilding for everyone to try.

Towards the end of day four I’ll demonstrate the highly skilled art of glass gilding.