Holly Monroe - Decorated Letters

This class is part of Legacies III.

John Neal Books is not hosting this class.

Please add item LEG2021 to your shopping cart for supply orders for Legacies III classes.

Decorated Letters

Holly Monroe

2-Day Workshop

All Skill Levels Welcome

Design • Drawing • Journaling • Gilding

Through a series of creative exercises, design on, in and around Versal and Lombardic Capitals, starting on tracing paper and transferring to Twinrocker handmade or other fine art paper. Also, learn how to create decorative vines and boxes to accentuate your letters. Tools, materials & multiple pencil sketches will be the aim of Day 1, with an introduction to mixing gouache in an easy to succeed decorated letter exercise. Choose your favorite sketches and apply the color on Day 2. I will go over the use of binders with gouache and give an overview of various gold techniques used in my studio, including imitation gold gouache, Instacol, Illuminators Bole, genuine gold powder, Gold Size, and Gesso with Leaf. Keynote presentation for inspiration and handouts included.



  • Big Picture: I am emphasizing Twinrocker Paper, but D’Arches HP 140lb or other paper will work. Working small rather than large. Main focus is Gouache, but if you only have watercolor, you may use that instead. I recommend that you use metallic gold or silver gouache, for the accents in your designs, during this 2-day workshop.

Drawing & Painting Supplies:

  • Brushes (WN Series 7 or Miniature 7, sizes 1, 0, or 00…one brush will be fine for this workshop, you need to be able to paint detail) or equivalent. Kolinsky hair is my fav. (BR28)
  • One larger brush for painting a bigger area – the equivalent of WN Series 7 #1 (BR28)
  • Broad-edged Pen Holder & Nibs, Mitchell or other (NIBS: 6, 5, 4, 3, 3.5, 2.5) (N04) (N02)
  • Gouache (= opaque) at least 3 harmonious colors in tubes, plus WN Zinc White (WNG1)
  • Plus Gold or Silver metallic gouache – WN, Schminke (Gold Pearl) or Fine Tech (one pan or 5) (HG644) (TG100) (SG893-F) (SG894-F)
  • Watercolor (= transparent) you may use this instead of gouache (S1000) (WNWC1)
  • Pastels – 2 or 3 that work together. (Or just watch the demo). PrismaColor/Nupastel
  • Razor Blade – single edge for shaving pastel
  • Mixing pans – 6-pan tray or favorite mixing pans for gouache/watercolor. I prefer the porcelain “flower” with 7 spaces to mix, but you can use other mixing trays. (S679) (S747)
  • Gum Arabic – powdered or liquid, a binder for the gouache (I use powdered). (I84) (I85)
  • Ruling pen (traditional type, for lines) to use with 6” ruler (or larger) with a raised edge (N33)
  • Ruler – whatever you have (rolling rulers or straight edge) (S270)
  • Paper -Twinrocker Paper (buy from my website) or Fine art paper of your choosing. Arches HP 140 lb – 1 sheet (PS00) (PS47)
  • Tracing paper – Clearprint Design Vellum (my fav) (P112)
  • Saral paper (transfer paper-graphite color) Fine ball point pen needed to transfer (S612)
  • Drawing pencil (HB lead) (PL38)
  • Sharp Scissors – to cut down paper
  • Pencil sharpener – or sharp mechanical pencil (PL13) (PL21)
  • Eraser – Mars Staedtler (my fav) (E13)
  • Water container – to rinse brushes AND a water dropper bottle (S1005) (S1017)
  • Paint rag or paper towels



  • 3 small decorative objects for idea starters…. a favorite piece of jewelry, a sea shell, small frame with a border, fabric with pattern you like, etc.
  • BRING: Capital letter outlines that you would like to work with…find on-line or in a lettering book. I will provide some examples for you, as well.
  • CONSIDER: How will you use these letters? w/ quote or alone?
$21.25 $19.13
$15.25 $12.96
$15.25 $12.96
$15.98 $11.95
$7.50 $5.90