On Sunday, July 13, we gathered at Coach House Press for our first-ever brush pen workshop. We were joined by 21 eager participants, all ready to freshen up on their penmanship and learn a few tips & tricks from Toronto letterers Kyle Gallant & Christopher Rouleau.
The workshop started with some quick overviews of expressive brush lettering (rooted in 50s/60s commercial arts) followed by a demonstration of the three pens that were supplied: the Tombow, the Pentel, and the Faber-Castell. Each pen has its own character & quirks, so we allowed each participant some time to get familiar with them.
We set up throughout Coach House – some chose to work in the bindery, others upstairs in the library, while most people enjoyed a sunny spot on the outdoor picnic table. We have to thank our friend (and calligrapher extraordinaire) Kevin King for allowing us to work in such an inspiring venue.
After some warm-ups, we delved right into some brush pen exercises. These little assignments helped participants experiment with new techniques and challenge their lettering approaches. Each person was encouraged to work at their own pace while Kyle & Chris made their way around the class, offering one-on-one advice.
And before we knew it, 3 hours had passed, and we had to start wrapping things up. Since Coach House was generous enough to give us their space for the afternoon, we all created a Thank You card using our fresh new lettering skills. We think it turned out great!
Thank you again to everyone who gave us their valuable summer afternoon. Even within the course of three hours, we saw outstanding improvements in the skills of all participants. Due to the resounding popularity, success & positive feedback we have received, we can't wait to hold another brush pen workshop this fall. Please stay tuned - the subject will be same, but the duration of the course will likely be extended in order to fit more exciting lettering exercises.
Thanks again! And happy lettering!
(All photos by Christopher Rouleau & Leslie Harrod.)