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Handpainted lettering

With Pieter Snijders

Starting Date : 16 Sept 2023

Fees : HK$ 1,000 or US$ 130

Workshop Description

Before the age of computers and vinyl stickers all commercial signage was layed-out and painted by hand. For a few decades handpainted signage was almost gone. Today there is a new demand for handmade signs. They simply have so much more character than computer generated letters!


Creating letters with pencil, brushes and paint can be so rewarding. Taking your time to construct and paint your own lettering gives you a real good understanding of the basics of typography. In three workshop lessons Pieter will teach you how to create your own handpainted signs.


Lesson 1: The basics of painting letters


Pieter will give students an introduction to the craft of sign painting:

•           A short history of sign painting

•           Different types of lettering and techniques to paint

•           An overview of materials (brushes, types of paint, other tools)

•           How to set up your workspace

•           Basic strokes to create block letters

Lesson 2:  Writing and painting Casual Script

Casual Script is a lettering style that is very useful to create consistent and readable lettering with a brush or brush pen. Once you get the hang of it you will notice that it can be used as a fast way to create larger pieces of handpainted text with character. This lesson will be divided into three parts:

•           Learning to how draw casual letters with pencil

•           Writing casual script using brush pens

•           Painting casual script with brushes and paint


Lesson 3: Drawing and painting 3D letters

An important aspect of vintage lettering are the different types of shading that were used in the old days. Pieter have written a handy booklet with tips and tricks on how to draw 3D letters. It also contains an overview of more than 30 different shading effects that can be added and combined endlessly to give your lettering that retro look. In this session Pieter will demonstrate the following:

•           Pieter method of drawing 3D letters

•           How to add shading to your letters

•           How to paint your own 3D lettering piece using the materials and techniques you have acquired in these lessons.


Lettering with 3D and other shading effects can give your signs a bold and vintage look. The right combinations and contrast will make your signs stand out from the crowd. The bolder, the better!


Experience in drawing, calligraphy, or sign painting to participate in this online workshop is not needed. Participants will get access to downloadable reference sheets beforehand.

Note to Students

  • This is a live online workshop via Zoom (please make sure you have a Zoom account to access the workshop)

  • All live sessions will be recorded and available for 60 days following the final class.

  • All recordings expires on Friday, 18 August, 2023 at 12:00 pm Hong Kong Standard Time.

  • Student can submit homework to the discussion corner for Pieter to critique.

  • Recommended supply list, handouts, zoom links and recordings are available on the workshop page three weeks (or as soon as practicable) before the first session. Click here for user guide on how to access your workshop page.

  • All workshop dates and times are according to the Hong Kong Standard Time.

  • Click here for the recommended workshop supplies.

Workshop Schedule

Lesson 1

Saturday, 16 September, 2023

20:00 pm - 22:00 pm (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Lesson 2

Saturday, 23 September, 2023

20:00 pm - 22:00 pm (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Lesson 3

Saturday, 30 September, 2023

20:00 pm - 22:00 pm (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Refund Policy

All sales are final and fees paid for the online workshop are non-refundable.

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