Spencerian Penmanship with Michael Sull

By Michael Sull

Starting Date : 16 July 2022

Fees : HK$ 1,000 or US$ 130

Workshop Description

Class 01 : Spencerian Penmanship; a review of the fundamental principles, including the lower-case alphabet

This essential beginning to our Intermediate-Level program is necessary to prepare all of our students for the techniques of Ornamental Capitals, Flourishing, and Signature Writing that comprise the following three classes. To assist each student in this effort, a series of handouts will be sent by the workshop organizer prior to each class. It is imperative that these handouts be studied upon receipt so that all students can be familiarized with the course material. I wish to offer as much instruction as possible during each 2-hour class, so our pace will be brisk.


Subjects Covered:

  • The four principles: curvature, movement, contrast and variety

  • Tools: Oblique penholder, Ink, Penpoints

  • Controlling strokes: hairline, shade, straight line, oval, undercurve, overcurve, semi [small] oval, extended loop, compound curve.

  • Lowercase letters: short letters, short-extended letters, loop letters


Class 02 : Traditional Capitals to Ornamental Capitals


The extensive handouts each student should have received prior to this class contain numerous samples of Capitals ranging in complexity from the basic Spencerian forms to highly flourished Ornamental “Super Twisters”. Since the students will have the packet of handouts, forever, in-depth study of each letter and style of flourish should be the student’s ever-present focus to achieve a high degree of skill when writing. In this Class 02, the goal should be for the student to become capable in writing not only the basic Capital alphabet, but to observe, understand and begin practicing the extension of entry and exit curves of letters. Such extensions frequently become spirals and/or ovals that can overlap basic letterforms. This then, becomes the “magic door” for Spencerian capitals to become the decorative forms of Ornamental Penmanship. Such transpiring from basic to ornamental forms will be the focus of Class 02.


Class 03 : Ornamental Capital Flourishing and Composition Writing


The first hour of this class will be a continuation of the techniques for transitioning traditional, or “Basic” Spencerian Capitals into Ornamental Capital letters. Our specific focus will on creating spiraled Capitals. Numerous model specimens will appear in the handouts. 


The second hour of this class will be introducing the student to my subject of Composition Writing. This is a very effective [and sometimes dramatic] method of using Ornamental Capitals and lowercase letter extensions to create expressive quotations, poetry or Scripture that visually emphasize and stress the purpose and/or significance of the text. Personally, for myself, creating composition writing for bodies of text is the most fun I enjoy in Penmanship. Prior to this class the student must study the related handouts.


Class 04 : Off-Hand Flourishing and Signature Writing


These two topics are the second and third techniques that give me an immense amount of creative fun in writing either Spencerian or Ornamental Penmanship.


Off-Hand Flourishing is simply non-lettering Penmanship. Because of this fact, there cannot be any danger of misspelling a flourish, since no letters are involved. The first hour of this Class 04 will be devoted to introducing the student to the traditional flourishing patterns, and how to combine them in a single composition.


I would truly feel that this Intermediate Program would be incomplete if it did not include the superscription technique known as Signature Writing. Often considered to be the personal hallmark of a Master Penman, Signature Writing can be very simple or overly complex; the degree of complexity is purely the choice and decision of the penman who does the writing. A highly complex signature does not imply that it is better or more attractive that a simple, uncomplicated signature. In this last hour of Class 4, I will explain and demonstrate the various techniques to turn anybody’s name into a beautiful, artistic design.

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, 28 October, 2022 at 12:00 pm Hong Kong Standard Time.

  • 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. 

Workshop Schedule

Class 01

Saturday, 16 July, 2022

23:00 pm - 01:00 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Class 02

Saturday, 30 July, 2022

23:00 pm - 01:00 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Class 03

Saturday, 13 August, 2022

23:00 pm - 01:00 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Class 04

Saturday, 27 August, 2022

23:00 pm - 01:00 am (Hong Kong Standard Time)

Refund Policy

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

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