Calligraphy Essentials :: Texture & Grid, Point & Edge in-person workshop

$ 175.00

August 21st, 2021 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Ann Miller
  • Workshop Type: Arts
  • Workshop Status: Open
  • Workshop Start: August 21st, 2021 9:30 AM
  • Workshop End: August 21st, 2021 5:30 PM
  • Sessions: 1
  • In-person or Online?: In-person

This is an in-person workshop. All students and the instructor are required to be vaccinated (honor system) and agree to wear a mask for the duration of the class. If you choose to complete the registration process you are agreeing to these terms.

Punctuation, patterns and large areas of texture are often the most neglected areas in developing calligraphy and hand lettering projects. These elements can provide the spark that a design often needs as a counterpoint to good letterform. A comma, for instance, tells us when it's time to take a breath. In this one-day workshop we will see some examples of punctuation and patterning related to historical manuscripts and may use these marks as a stimulus for the day's work. Exercises for point, line and edge will explore the effects of density, spacing, character, speed, and direction to support and enrich lettering art, painting, or printed page.

Students learn a grid method that is invisible rather than mechanically ruled on the page, so the resulting text art is intuitive and freely written, guided by personal judgment and sense of balance. It becomes a system embedded in how you continue to work.

Using monoline pen and brush strokes we will focus on rhythmical writing, shifting size, shape, and proportion. Exercises address ways to use point, line and edge to explore effects of changing density, spacing, character, speed, and direction. We’ll use simplified Roman capital forms, so advanced skill with broad edge pen or pointed pen scripts will not necessarily come into play. We are focusing on organizing the page for visual impact!

Text has a texture of its own, and develops into a strong image when layered, tinted and juxtaposed with other elements to activate a page. We use simple structures in order to explore a wide variety of design possibilities and get a sense of how text can build within a page.

We work primarily in grayscale; if you would like to use color you can bring a selected palette of watercolor or gouache. Additional media will be addressed in class demonstrations, and color will be used. This is a workshop for beginners, lettering designers, and seasoned calligraphers alike. 

Materials to Bring: 

  • Basic kit: small palette, water container, #2 pencil, eraser, blade, etc; if you like to work in color you may bring colored inks, several tubes of watercolor or gouache, or pan pastels.

Keep it simple. Anything that makes a good mark should work. Aim at least to have a good monoline pen tool and a medium sized pointed brush. Here are some options:

  • Monoline nibs such as Speedball B series #0, 1, 2, or 3
  • Medium sized round point markers such as Zig Writer (archival, no-bleed)
  • Kuretake Bimoji Fudepen – new item
  • A medium pointed watercolor brush such as Escoda #6 or whatever you have already
  • Pentel Brush Pens and Waterbrushes of small or medium size also work well


  • A medium flat brush suitable for writing
  • A big bamboo style brush for covering large areasSumi ink and/or walnut ink (or Noodler’s inks if you like color)
  • Strathmore 400 drawing paper pad, Blick Sketch or Multimedia paper, or Bristol paper
  • Loose separate sheets of hot or cold press watercolor paper or a watercolor pad or block

Bring tools you already have: your favorite medium sized Speedball or Brause broad edged pens in larger sizes, cola pen or folded pen, ruling pen, or brushes, flat or pointed, and any other specialty items for experimenting

Workshop Fee (includes $10 materials fee): $175.00

Date & Time: Saturday, August 21, 2021 :: 9:30am-5:30pm

Location: 375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Note: Please read over the SFCB Registration Policies before signing up for a class


About the Instructor | Ann Miller

Ann Miller, AB, AM Stanford University, studied painting and lithography with artists Richard Diebenkorn and Nathan Oliveira and has taught art and art history classes at Stanford, University of Santa Clara, San Mateo Community College district, and in local guilds and arts venues. In 1979 she founded M2 Design for calligraphy and design. In 2002 she authored two courses in calligraphy and letterform at Academy of Art University and is currently writing a new course covering logo, font, and lettering for illustrators.

Her calligraphy has been published in Letter Arts Review and Bound & Lettered, and Alphabet, and her book titles for Protean Press can be found in the Harrison Collection at San Francisco Main Library. Her art is in public and private collections and has been widely exhibited. She created of a series of large calligraphy murals for the City of Belmont's new public library and a 12-foot long family tree scroll for actress Brooke Shields for the NBC television series “Who do you think you are?” Visit Ann at

Past Student Reviews:

“Ann is a very generous and accomplished teacher. Attentive to individual needs and well equipped for helping with creative and technical decision making. Provided lots of tools and shared her supplies.”

“A good teacher and kind person.”

“What I liked most about this workshop was the hands-on instruction and valuable guidance from Ann Miller”

“This was my first workshop/experience with SFCB, and I was truly blown away! I am SO eager to get my hands dirty in future workshops!”

“Ann's willingness to share her immense knowledge and eagerness to help others to grow inspires creativity and confidence in her pupils. She shares her (super cool) tools and is happy to recommend other tools that might interest that particular individual, if not class alike.”

$ 175.00
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-5133
United States