Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fall 2017 Pointed Pen Calligraphy Classes

Modern Pointed Pen
Tuesdays,  6:30 - 9:30 pm, October 10 - November 28 (8 classes)
Otis College of Art and Design, Extension

Pointed Pen Variations
Mondays, 10:30 am - 1:00 pm, October 16 - December 18 (10 classes)
Sinai Temple
10400 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90024
to register, contact Rosa Berman at

A new style has become popular in calligraphy that evolved from Copperplate and Spencerian – the Modern Pointed Pen. It’s a casual style that’s been useful for cards, invitations, envelopes, chalkboards and place cards. In a climate of weddings and parties that are less formal which want a casual, livelier, more colorful event, this style seems to fit into the mood of today’s bride or event planner.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Yury Chudnovsky Art Classes

January 12, Drawing and watercolor painting course in West Los Angeles area.
The Basics of Creating an Image: How to see the shapes and colors. 

Course Summary: 
This 5-week course of drawing and painting will teach beginner and intermediate level artists the principles behind creating images. The objective of this set of classes is to learn to see the shapes and colors; their relationships and connections. Yes, they, sometimes, love each other (at least don’t mind to hang out together), sometimes they hate each other, but they never indifferent and always connected to their surroundings.  
The class draws upon classical methods of teaching developed in Russia for over two centuries, which combine Italian, French and German art schools methodology. The laws of composition and harmony are universal – if you know how to use them, you can work in any style, or even create your own. 

Yury Chudnovsky has worked with interior designers, fashion designers, architects, real estate developers and private clientele to create artwork for residential and commercial properties, as well as graphic and industrial design. He believes that a solid foundation is essential while style is secondary – this has enabled him to work in a variety of different art genres, including Classical, Art Deco, Abstract, Impressionism and French Baroque. He’s also used these principles to design sports watches, furniture, certificates, stationary and leather applique for designer jackets. 

 DeAnn Singh Studio in Mar Vista on Thursdays 10:30am-1:0pm, beginning January 12, 2017
 Limited to 8 students. 
 $187.50 for 5 weeks; 2.5 hours class
 Contact to enroll

DeAnn Singh
4032 Marcasel Ave
Los Angeles 90066
310 702 4042

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Schedule winter semester 2017

DeAnn Singh 4032 Marcasel Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90066 310.702.4042
Website: watch for the launch of
Private Lessons available during the week and weekends. Email for an 
appointment. Limited availability 
DESIGNING LETTERS STUDIO email send a check to above address to secure your place in class.
Tuesday nights 7-9 pm $120ºº 4 weeks 9 student maximum  Jan. 17 -Feb. 7, 2017
Modern Pointed Pen “Casual” a style that was developed by Michael Kesceg.  Look at blog for supply lists. I sell supplies.
Sinai Temple: Beginning Now Jan. 9 - Mar. 13 Mon. 10:30 -1pm 
Beginning through advanced students welcome 
10th C. English Carolingian with Illumination, gold leaf and gold gouache, a nice foundational style done with a chisel point pen. The renaissance style “humanist” comes from the Carolingian and our Times roman type is based from the humanist hand. Supplies sold during the first few days of class. Look at the blog for supply lists.
10400 Wilshire Blvd, LA 90024
Register   310 557-1009

Collage Workshops With Kelly Kilmer at my studio 1/15, 2/5, 3/5, 4/23, 5/21. KellyKilmer

Marina Soria Workshop February 21  10:00-4:30 $85ºº “Empty Spaces” This workshop emphasizes the design ideas  of positive and negative space and using the negative space as the dominant element of the art piece MarinaSoria Still a few spaces open. She’s here from Argentina, great opportunity!!!

Otis School of Design classes begin Tuesday night 7pm-10pm March 7- May 2, 2017
8 weeks No class Mar. 21. An eight week semester is new this year so we can learn and practice the hand thoroughly.  Modern Pointed Pen Calligraphy supplies will be sold the first few weeks of class. Register through Otis Continuing Education 
9045 Lincoln Boulevard Los Angeles CA 90045.     310 665-6850

Watch for very low cost Beginning workshops for SfC West Los Angeles Regional members and any one interested in learning calligraphy. The first ones will be Italic, taught be Judy Shibata. These will be at my studio.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

11/14/16 Sinai Temple Fall 2016 Class #3 - Italic

DeAnn reviewed spacing and the shape of monoline italic letters. Then she demonstrated writing with the 2.4 mm Parallel Pen or equivalently, the Brause 2 1/2 mm chisel point nib. She explained pen angle and how it affects the thickness of the strokes.

Review:  make sure the triangular shapes of the a-family and branching-family are the same. If you're going to err, err on making it too pointy than too round.

Italic with the chisel point nib:  To start, we used the 2.4 mm Parallel Pen and the 1/2-inch guidelines with 5-degree slant. If you have the Brause holder that’s flat on one side, insert it toward the right side (when holding it) of the wooden nib holder. If you’re looking at the holder head-on, the nib will be toward the left edge.

Pen angle:  A chisel-point pen is able to create thicks & thins within one stroke, based on the angle of the pen. Using a protractor as the reference, a pen angle of 0-degrees equates to holding the pen so that the nib is parallel to the horizontal lines of the grid paper.  A vertical stroke at this pen angle is the thickest; a horizontal stroke is the thinnest. If the pen angle is 90-degrees, then a vertical stroke is the thinnest and a horizontal stroke is the thickest. For a 45-degree pen angle, use a box as a reference and place the pen so that you’re placing it on the diagonal of the box. At this angle, both a vertical stroke and a horizontal stroke should be the same thickness.

x-height: is the height between the waist and base. Each hand has a specific x-height measured in pen-widths. At a pen angle of 90-degrees, draw short horizontal strokes to measure by pen widths.

Italic has a pen angle of 45-degrees and an x-height of 5 pen widths, which equals 1/2-inch for the Brause 2 1/2 mm nib or 2.4 mm Parallel Pen.

In class we practiced writing downstrokes & cross-strokes at 0 and 90 degrees. Practice making straight lines with the Parallel Pen. You need even pressure on both sides of the nib. Not a lot of pressure, just even pressure. The ink will flow better to begin with if you give a little side-to-side "rub" (like an ice-skate) with the nib. Or touch the tip to some wet ink on a previous stroke. As you draw the stroke down the page, EXHALE. This helps give a more controlled stroke. Also, set your opposite hand near the work so you can give slight pressure as you start down. These tips will help you have success quicker.

Writing vertical strokes at a 45-degree pen angle:  set your nib corner-to-corner and don’t move until you achieve that angle. Watch the left side of your nib and pull straight down. Keep the angle steady and constant; don’t turn the pen holder in your fingers. The angle at the top of the stroke should be the same at the bottom; look at the triangle shapes – they should be the same.

The chisel point dip pen doesn’t push well, especially at the larger sizes like 5mm. So you can make a “pull” stroke at the end of the “b”, for example (similar to top of the “a”). The Parallel pen is a fountain pen so you may be able to "push" a stroke more easily.

To achieve the thicks and thins with the chisel point nib, you must keep it at the same angle. Don’t turn the pen-holder in your fingers as you make a curved stroke.

The first line of the exemplar is the sans serif (i.e. “no serif) Italic lowercase. We started with the i-family. Note that when you end the stroke at the baseline, the left-hand edge of the downstroke touches the baseline at a 45-degree angle, creating a triangle-shape. On the "t" the crossbar is longer on the right side. Similarly on the "f", the crossbar is longer on the right side and should be about even with the second stroke.

o-family:  the "e" should connect horizontally in the middle of the first stroke.

branching-family:  the width of the "n" should be the same width as the "o". The "r" should start to branch closer to the waistline instead of midway.

a-family:  the "u" is an upside-down "n". The counterspies (white spaces) of these letters should be similar to those of the branching-family and o-family letters.  For "d", once you make the loop, look at the left edge of your pen and draw your eye up to the ascender for the start point. Then keep your eye on the baseline where you will end your stroke as you pull down. Don't overlap the third stroke into the counterspace.

diagonal family:  when writing at the 5-degree slant, the first stroke of the v and w will be straighter than the second stroke. For the "x" flatten the pen nib slightly on the second stroke to thicken it.

Once  you’re comfortable with writing the sans serif letters, try adding serifs to the letters. Because DeAnn recommends rubbing back and forth slightly to start, the letters already have a slight entrance serif. To add an exit serif, continue the downstroke instead of stopping and exit upward with a hairline. Don’t flick the stroke.

close-up of the exit serifs on t and h

When practicing the lowercase letters from the exemplar, write a letter about 3 times, then move on. Compare your letter to the exemplar and really look at the shapes.

Remember:  write with even pressure, not too hard. Then less pressure on the upstrokes.

Homework:  Practice the sans-serif Italic lowercase letters. Write words and alphabet sentences.

Next week:  capitals!

11/7/16 Sinai Temple Fall 2016 Class #2: Monoline Italic

Today DeAnn reviewed letters that students had problems with and explained spacing for monoline italic.

o :  think of an olive shape, overlap beginning and ending of second stroke when joining.

z :  draw a parallelogram to practice

s :  if the "stomach" is not out far enough, the "s" will look like it will fall over.

v, w :  when writing these letters at a slant, the first stroke is straighter than the second stroke.


Picket Fence spacing:  for Italic monoline, Italic and Copperplate, picket fence spacing means that all the counterspaces, or negative spaces, match. The positive spaces (i.e. the strokes or the “pickets” of the fence) are equidistant. The counterspace is the inside space of the letter. This will be the basis of flourishing that you’ll learn later. If the picket fence foundation isn’t strong and steady, the flourishing will look weak.

Think volume:  Imagine the counterspace as water. When writing the next letter, the space you create between the letters should be able to contain the same amount of water that was inside the first letter. DeAnn’s mantra is:  Look at the space you just created, and make the next one be similar.

When you first start writing Italic monoline with the correct spacing, the letters may look too far apart – but we need to train our brain & eyes. Letters are spaced too closely in advertising, so our eyes have grown used to this squished spacing in words. But picket fence spacing is the basis of Copperplate and Italic, so understanding it will also help in writing those hands.

As a general rule, the space between letters is the space of the counterspace of an “n”, which should be similar to the counterspace of an “a”, “o”, “b”, “u”, etc. For letters that aren’t composed of vertical lines, you need to use optical or visual spacing.

Every hand has a "color". Italic is grey. Squint your eyes and look at the word written in Italic – the “color” should be grey, meaning that the positive and negative space is about the same. Copperplate is light while Gothic is dark. Gothic is called "blackletter" because the black strokes are greater than the white space. In Italic, if you see a dark spot in your word, then the letters are too close together.

Spacing rules:
Vertical + vertical = farthest
Vertical + curver = closer
Curve/diagonal + curve/diagonal = closest

The worst combination is “rt” – think of the “r” as an open “n” and place the t where the downstroke of the “n” might go. It’s OK if the r and crossbar of the t touch.

Spacing between words is the space of an “n” from outside to outside stroke. Between sentences, place a period, then the width of an “n” before starting the next sentence.

Remember:  Spacing is more important than the individual words.

HOMEWORK:  Write words and sentences on the 1/2-inch x-height guidelines with the 5-degree slant, using either 2.4mm Parallel Pen or dip pen with 2 1/2 mm Brause or Speedball C2/LC2 or Mitchell 1 or 2 nib.

Remember to put your name and date in the lower right-hand corner. DeAnn will review all homework and make corrections where needed.

Next week:  chisel point Italic