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The Vintage Garden


This class will explore Victorian Ornamental Designs that can be incorporated into your calligraphic work. Our designs will have some preplanned pencil elements but will also incorporate the spontaneity of offhand flourishing. Delicate flowers and foliage can be turned into elegant borders and corner designs that can be embellished with color or shaded with ink and pencil. The opulence of the Victorian era will influence our work while we learn the importance of preserving a sense of space in our designs. We will explore different color possibilities with ink, colored pencils, watercolor and gilding.

Skill Level: All


Mechanical Pencil (any size lead) (PL14),

White Vinyl (E24) or Kneaded Eraser (E09),

Graph Paper (for sketches and practice strokes) (P22),

Straight holder (H113) with medium flexible nib such as the Zebra G (N118) or Gillott 404 (N74),

Cream Cardstock or Strathmore 400 series Drawing paper cut to 5”x 7” (a few sheets) (P100-57),

5”x 7” Fabriano Artistico Hot Press 140 lb paper (a few sheets) (P82-57),

McCaffery Brown or Black Ink (I37) or Ziller Buffalo Brown Ink (I28),

 Colored Pencils: any brand. (PL01) You should have a cream, a white, a brown and your favorite colors (the colors widely used by the Victorians were Magentas, Violets, Pinks, Rich Blues, Peacock Blue/Greens. Toward the end of the era, colors were more subdued in the olive and sage tones.)

Watercolor Pencils (S727) or your Watercolors (S609): any brand in your favorite lower and foliage colors,

small pointed watercolor brushes any brand in size 0 and 1. (BR28, BR26, BR38) (I use Winsor Newton Series 7 sable, but you may substitute synthetic brushes as long as they have a good point.)

Water Dish (S848, S784),

Paper towels (S817),

 small mixing palette (S679).

Finetec Gold Watercolor (S741, S890) or Gold Gouache (HG644) with water dish and mixing brush.(BR43)


** Optional: **

If you already own gilding supplies such as gold leaf, gilding size and gilding brushes, please bring them along for the class but don’t purchase them especially for this class. We can use the gold gouache or Finetec gold for the gilding embellishments.

** Walnut Ink: (I53) You may choose to do pen and ink monochromatic studies and practice work with walnut ink. The walnut ink will work well for pen sketches and light tints with colored pencil.

It is not a suitable ink for any of the wash techniques.

** Embellishment Supplies: I use pastels to create burnished backgrounds and shading effects. They must not be the NuPastel sticks or oil pastels. Any chalk based pastel will work. I use the Diane Townsend pastels (S885). You will need a Q-tip or pastel brush and small piece of fine sandpaper to work with the pastel. Please do not purchase pastels especially for this class.

** The Sakura Clear Stardust Gelly Roll Pen (M96). This is optional but adds a beautiful gossamer shimmer to your work.

** White Gouache (WNG512) or Bleed Proof White (I38) with mixing brush. Used for subtle highlights if the white of the paper has been lost. The white colored pencil will also work.


E24. White Vinyl Eraser for Pencil
White Vinyl Pencil Eraser.

For erasing pencil, such as guidelines. Similar to the Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser, but perhaps a little softer. Economical for use in classes, for beginners, etc.

2-3/8" x 7/8" x 1/2".

Your Price

E09. Kneaded Rubber Eraser
Kneaded Rubber Eraser.

Used to erase pencil (graphite). Cherryl Moote suggested it for removing the white lines from a white lead mechanical pencil.

Your Price

P22. JNB Graph Pad 8.5x11 inch
JNB Graph Pad
Blue grid (8 squares/inch). 24 lb bond.
8.5" x 11" Approx. 50 sheets.

A non-bleeding paper that is great for calligraphy. (We use the same paper in our JNB Practice Pads.) Many instructors have their students use this pad in their classes. (It is the pad required by Claude Dieterich for his Academy of Art classes, and also by Ann Miller for her online class.) (For graph with slant lines P01.)

For the full size (11"x17") graph pad, please see P21.
For the slanted grid pad (for Copperplate), please see P01.

Your Price

H113. Turned Wood Straight Holder
H113. Turned Wood Straight Holder.

Choose from three beautiful styles:
The Ornamental Wood Holder has intricate ornamental turnings inspired by those on the Century Penholders.

The Ebony Wood Holder has the same design as the Ornamental version but is made out of a very dark (almost black) African hardwood. This version is slightly heavier than the other versions.

The Tapered Wood Holder has a finely tapered classic shape. All Tapered are the same dark brown/black color.

The Zanerian Wood Holder has a slimly tapering shaft and a teardrop finial.

Each style has the standard metal nib gripper and overall length of 6.5-6.75". Quantity discount at 12+.

Your Price $14.95

N118. Zebra G Nib
Zebra Nib.

Similar to the popular Nikko G Nib, but a little more flexible and sharper. It will produce a finer hairline than the Nikko. Same sturdy quality. If you are using the Nikko G but would like to be able to write with thinner hairlines and thicker strokes, give these nibs a try. Michael Sull still recommends the Nikko G nib as best for learning Spencerian, but this Zebra G Nib is a good one, too, for Spencerian.

Which holders will work with this nib?

Just wanted to let you know about my experience with the ZEBRA G nibs: Santa was very generous to me this year and I got a dozen. I pulled the nibs out to play with this weekend and I have found my new love. I used the nib with Walnut Ink and the hairlines, so thin, so smooth, with a light touch and the nib skated effortlessly across the page. I really enjoyed working with this nib. If you haven't had the chance to try this nib out yet, it's worth the couple of bucks. I haven't tried any of my other inks, but I will be doing that this week. So far, I'm loving these nibs. Don't know if they are workhorses yet - I only had them a few days. - Ilovepenmanship

I love them too. The nibs are great with the iron gall inks because the ink does not eat the nib as fast. Great hairlines and just enough flex for shades. Much thanks to John Neal for these!!! - Nan DeLuca

Your Price

N74. Gillott 404 Nib
N74. Gillott 404 Nib.

The Gillott 404 is a popular, sturdy nib. It is long-lasting, fairly stiff nib, and suitable for writing at x-heights from 3/16" to 1/4", on all surfaces from smooth to textured. It is a good choice for beginners (or those with a heavy hand.) Because they require more pressure to create the swells, stiffer nibs are easier to control. With thicker hairlines others, The Gillott 404 is a good choice for work for reproduction. The Gillott 404 is stiffer and less sharp than the Gillott 303 and Gillott 170.

Recommended by Eleanor Winters in her Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy (B1109) for beginners and professionals because they "provide fine line quality without being too fragile." Satisfactory for Spencerian Script.

The nib is part of the JNB Pointed Nib Samplers. The nib is also available in a longer-writing Ink Cage version.

Discounted quantity prices at 10 and at 144.

Your Price $1.35

PA100-57. Strathmore 400 Drawing 5"x7" 24 sheets
PA100-57. Strathmore 400 Drawing 5"x7" 24 sheets

Requested by Heather Held for IAMPETH 2016 class "The Vintage Garden".

This pack contains 24 sheets of Strathmore 400 Drawing Paper cut to 5"x7".

To buy larger sheets, see item P100.

Your Price

P100. Strathmore 400 Series
Strathmore Series 400 Drawing Pad

80lb acid-free paper for pen and ink and light washes. Regular/Medium surface. Off-white. 24 sheets. Thomas Ingmire uses these in his workshops as a less expensive alternative to Arches Text Wove.

Choose 6x8, 9x12, 11x14, 12x18, or 18x24 inches

Formerly P100-6, P100-9, P100-11, P100-12, & P100-18

Your Price $5.09

PA82-57. Fabriano Artistico 140 HP 5"x7" (10 sheets)
PA82-57. Fabriano Artistico 140# Hot Press 5"x7" (10 sheets)

Requested by Heather Held for IAMPETH 2016 class "The Vintage Garden".

This pack contains 10 sheets of Fabriano Artistico 140# Hot Press Paper cut to 5"x7".

To buy larger sheets, see item PS82

Your Price Out of Stock

P67. 5x7 Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Block
P67. 5x7 Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Block

140lb (300gsm). 5"x7". 25 sheets. 100% rag, neutral pH, traditional warm white.

See Harvest Crittenden demonstrate its use in her video on gilding with Instacoll: Gilding with Instacoll by Harvest Crittenden

Great size for large illuminated initials or for travel. Recommended by Harvest Crittenden.

Your Price $29.95

I37. McCaffery's Penman's Ink
I37. McCaffery's Penman's Ink
1 oz. jar.

Formulated for the pointed pen, which is used for Spencerian, Copperplate, etc, not for the broad-edged pen used for Italic, Blackletter (Gothic), etc.

The black ink is an oak gall ink which was developed with the help of leading penmen of today to provide an ink similar to that used during America's golden age of Ornamental Penmanship in the 19th and 20th centuries. With a newly opened bottle, the black ink writes brown but turns a dense black. Good for fine hairlines.

(Colors and whites are not oak gall inks. They are made with natural pigments).

Choose from Ivory, White, Indigo Blue, Green, Brown, Red, Red-Violet, Black, Glossy Black.
Prices of colors vary.

I37. McCaffery's Ink color chart

Click to read what Michael Sull has to say about using McCaffery's

Your Price

PL05. Prismacolor Premier Pencils
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Artists' quality colored pencils for every level of expertise, high quality pigments for a rich color saturation.
Soft, thick cores create a smooth color laydown for superior blending and shading while thick leads resist breakage.

These are the colors recommended by Bob Hurford for his IAMPETH 2018 class "Fun with Colored Pencils":
Canray Yellow, Orange, Yellow Orange, Spanish Orange, Yellow Chartreuse, Apple Green, Kelp Green, Kelly Green, Poppy Red, Scarlet Lake, Tuscan Red, White and Blender.

Your Price

S776. Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils
Use these versatile, high quality colored pencils dry for strong, vibrant color; add water for a vivid, translucent watercolor effect; or blend the colors for rich, subtle tones - either wet or dry. These English-made pencils produce more intense colors than regular watercolor pencils. Each set come in a tin case.

Set of 24: Sherbert Lemon, Sun Yellow, Tangerine, Poppy Red, Chilli Red, Shiraz, Fuchsia, Violet, Iris Blue, Bright Blue, Deep Indigo, Sea Blue, Teal Green, Apple Green, Field Green, Leaf Green, Mustard, Baked Earth, Willow, Bark, Charcoal Gray, Ink Black, and Antique White. A non-soluble Inktense Outliner pencil is also included.

Set of 36: All of the colors in the Set of 24, plus Sienna Gold, Cherry, Red Violet, Mauve, Peacock Blue, Iron Blue, Iron Green, Ionian Green, Felt Green, Tan, Saddle Brown, and Indian Ink. A non-soluble Inktense Outliner pencil is also included.

Your Price $67.99

S609. Prang Watercolor Set (16 half pans)
Prang Watercolor Set (16 half pans).
These inexpensive but good watercolor sets are recommended by many including Barbara Close. Easy to take to workshops or on trips.

This selection of choice pigments, blended with specially formulated binders and dispersing agents, results in a true transparent paint in brilliant colors. White segment non-beading mixing lid attached with stainless steel hinge pin for years of use. Each set comes with a #7 natural hairbrush.

Your Price

BR28. W&N Series #7 Watercolor Brush
Series 7 fulfills the essential qualities that define the finest watercolor brush for artists: Point: The brush comes to a crisp point which is maintained during use. Snap & Spring: The brush snaps crisply back into shape with the right degree of spring to allow the artist superior control between the brush and painting surface. Flow Control: The color flows evenly and consistently from the point, with enough color carrying capacity in the belly of the brush to allow flowing gestural strokes. For artists who appreciate exquisite quality and longevity, there is no other brush than the Series 7. Today, just as in 1866, the Series 7 is made for those who understand that the quality of the brush will be reflected in the quality of their work.


Your Price $18.99

S817. Viva Papertowels, 12 sheets
S817. Viva Paper towels, 12 sheets

Recommended by Harvest Crittenden for wiping pen points and brushes:
"I've used them exclusively for at least 8 years. They don't leave fuzz on the pen points or brushes."

We have made these available for those outside the USA or in areas where this brand is not readily available. This is a small pack of 12 sheets for easy shipping.

Your Price

S741. Coliro (Finetec) Artist Color Gold Set
Coliro (Finetec) Mica Gold Color Set
Set of 6

Made of mica, a natural product that offers a wide variety of metallic shades, from gold and silver to iridescent, shining pearl colors. Can be dissolved with water and applied with a brush. Ideal for creating special effects and highlighting. Can be blended. Colors adhere to all absorbent surfaces, such as paper, wood, gypsum, etc. Colors: Tibet Gold, Inca Gold, Arabic Gold, Gold Pearl, Moon Gold, Sterling Silver.

S741. Finetec Artist Color Gold Set color chart

Finetec is changing the name of its metallic, pearl, & moiré colors to Coliro. The paints have not changed, just their name.

Your Price $33.00

HG644. Holbein Brilliant Gold Gouache
15 ml. Brilliant Gold.

This gouache provides a sparkly effect. Works well in
brush and pointed pen. Not recommended for broad-edged pens; use Holbein Pearl Gouaches.

High quality artist's color. Click on image for color chart of Holbein metallic gouache.

Your Price $20.50

I53-2.5. Walnut Drawing Ink
I53-2.5. Tom Norton's Walnut (Color) Ink

A rich sepia ink. Thin with water to create a wash. For brush or dip pen. Already liquid. Non-waterproof (but not suitable for fountain pens).
70ml, 2.36 oz.

Your Price $10.49

S885. Diane Townsend Soft Pastels
S885. Diane Townsend Soft Pastels. Set of 12. Soft form, approx. 1-3/4" long and 3/4" thick.

Handmade for artists, these are smooth, flowing pastels, rich in pigment. They are used and highly recommended by many calligraphers, including Heather Held and Sandy Wagner.

Choose Metallic or Intense/Primary:

***Intense/Primary shown. To view Metallics click image***

Metallic Set of 12. Warm Red Gold (Medium, Deep, & Light), Green Gold, Green Gold Medium, Green Gold Light, Aluminum, Steel, Copper (Deep & Light), Bronze, and Black Gold.

Intense/Primary Set of 12. Bone Black, Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Green Oxide, Permanent Green Light, Hansa Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Tuscan Red, Quinacridone Magenta, Ultramarine Violet, and Burnt Sienna.

Your Price

M61. Sakura Gelly Roll Pen
Acid free, waterproof, non-toxic, water based.

Only white available. Black has been discontinued.

Newly reformulated, this gel pen from Sakura is now free-flowing, long-lasting, and no longer has a chalkiness problem.

White 05 create a fine line.
White 08 create a medium line.
White 10 creates a bold/large line.

White 05
White 08
White 10

Your Price

I38. Dr. Martin's Bleed Proof White Ink
Dr Martin's Bleed Proof White

A dense, opaque, smooth-writing white for your dip pen. Thin with water to the proper consistency. Tint with watercolor or gouache for pastel letters. Recommended by John Stevens and Peter Thornton. 1oz.

Diane Von Arx uses a similar product, Pro-white (I62).

Your Price

BR26. W&N Sceptre Gold 101 Brush
W&N Sceptre Gold 101 Brush, Round, Short Handle

For fine detail, lines & washes. A traditional and popular head shape for all-purpose watercolor work. Can be used for broad strokes yet it will also form a sharp point. They possess excellent color holding capacity, sensitivity, spring and durability. Recommended by Michael Sull.

High quality brushes made from a mix of sable and synthetic fibres. They are ideal for watercolor and suitable for use with acrylic. For watercolor media, while today's synthetic brushes perform excellently, pure sable still has the edge. With a blend you can get performance that is close to sable at a price that is close to synthetic. The blend of hair in Sceptre Gold II also gives you added benefits. Sable hair has excellent spring while the high-quality synthetic filaments ensure that the brushes are soft enough to work the color but also have a strong snap so they return back to their original shape with ease. The high proportion of sable in Sceptre Gold II gives the brushes considerably more ability to make larger washes in one stroke than normal synthetic brushes, and the hairs are tapered to a fine point, giving the brush control for detailed work.

Winsor and Newton Sceptre Gold 101 Brush Round Short Handle

Your Price $8.19

BR38. WN Artists' Watercolor Sable
WN Artists' Watercolor Sable Round

Excellent for fine detail, lines and washes. The round-bellied watercolor brush is the most popular watercolor brush. Quality Kolinsky sable hair, birchwood handles and seamless nickel ferrules all put together by hand to create a truly excellent brush. Has been improved to ensure a perfect point. Matte finish handle.

Recommended by Valerie Weilmuenster for illuminated letters as a good and ess expensive alternative to the Winsor & Newton Series 7.

**To see the price of each size, select the size in the box below**

Your Price $10.99

S784. Water Container - 3 Piece
S784. Three Piece Detachable Plastic Brush Washer

Three plastic water containers that detach and fit into one. Use this handy item for rinsing pens and brushes. Great for workshops.

Your Price $5.55

BR43. White Bristle Brushes (pack of 3)
BR43. White Bristle Brushes (pack of 3)

Great for mixing gouache or loading ink.

Choose Flat (sizes 2,4,6) or Round (sizes 1,3,5).

Your Price

M96. Gelly Roll Stardust Markers
Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust Marker

0.5mm bold line. Create sparkle and shimmer on greeting cards, photographs, scrapbooks, etc.

This pen produces no color, just a glaze of tiny sparkles of glitter. Recommended by Heather Held.

Your Price

  © John Neal Bookseller · 1833 Spring Garden Street, First Floor · Greensboro · NC 27403 · USA
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