Carl Rohrs - The Modern Calligraphic Brush : Mystery & Surprise - Nov 11, 12, 18, 19

For more information, click here.
John Neal Books is not hosting this class.


The Modern Calligraphic Brush: Mystery & Surprise      

Carl Rohrs via Portland Society for Calligraphy


Live (Also recorded for later viewing)     

11/11, 11/12, 11/18, 11/19/2022          

10:00 AM - 01:00 PM (PT)          


All Skill Levels


About This Workshop:

The objective is to reach brush-lettering nirvana. To submerge ourselves in the qualities of lettering that really reflect the characteristics of the tool: texture that the pen obliterates; flow and control that the pen can only dream about; voluptuousness of stroke that the pen lusts after. To really go after the full potential of both flat and pointed brushes.


Mystery and surprise. There is a Chinese saying: “The brush is more than we thought it should be.”


Brush exploration and diligence will reward you beyond the expectations you have of it. Brushes are fabulously fluid tools and there is no reason that the letters you write with them shouldn’t look that way as well. So we will not only learn how to handle the brush to make the letters we already know (plus many new ones), but we’ll make them look like they were made with the brush. With a flat brush that means a new world of texture and control unsurpassed, modern tricks and stroke-width modulation (from classic thick & thin to full monoline, and everything in-between, and how to do that in any style). 


With a pointed brush we will have stroke shape that a pen can’t even think about. We’ll start with the bedrock of pointed brush lettering — perpendicular strokes — but we’ll definitely go on beyond that flat headed mark to the sharp, swelling and feathery beauty of parallel strokes with vertical pressure— the key to making your lettering look LIKE its tool and UNLIKE any other kind of calligraphy. 


An eye-opening introduction for the brush novice, and a leap and deepening of understanding for the brush-experienced. Tools, paper, media, color, technique, and a little philosophy. The 2022 version of this class will include many new, unusual sources of inspiration.


About the Instructor, Carl Rohrs:

  • Lettering artist and sign painter in Santa Cruz, California since 1977.
  • Teacher of lettering, typography, and graphic design at Cabrillo College since ’84.
  • Workshops and conferences since ’86 worldwide.
  • Currently editor of Alphabet, the Journal of the Friends of Calligraphy, since 2015 to the present (as well as ’89 – ’92).
  • Designer and co-editor of the 25th edition of the Speedball Textbook, 2021.


$120 PSC members / $150 non-members           


For more information or to register:!event/2022/11/11/the-modern-calligraphic-brush-mystery-surprise-with-carl-rohrs 



Supply List:

  • Flat brush, 1/2” W&N 995, or Raphael Kaerell 8796 Flat Brush size 10 or 12, plus any other brushes you already have. (BR01) (BR24)
  • Non-waterproof ink. (Pelican 4001 (I04), Higgins Eternal (I08))
  • A tube or two of gouache (WN Indigo or Prussian Blue have the greatest power). (WNG1)
  • A Pentel Color Brush (FP57) plus any other brushes you want to try or already have – W/N Series 7* or similar, Asian, Lebenzon, etc. (WN artists’ sable brushes) (BR38)
  • Large paper with a bit of texture; I like Strathmore Charcoal pad (300 series, yellow cover). (P51)
  • Pencil (PL38, PL21) (&/or a colored pencil or two — Prismacolors are the best (PL05)) and ruler (S270, S271)
  • Optional: Graphic white out (Pro–White) (I62) &/or light or bright colors of gouache and colored paper, IF you wish to write in reverse.