Mike Gold - Breaking The Rules

This class is part of Legacies III.

John Neal Books is not hosting this class.

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Breaking the Rules

Mike Gold

1-Day Workshop

Intermediate – Advanced
Lettering • Design


Picasso said to “learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.” In order to make compositions that are more personal, interpretive, abstract and dynamic, where readability is not the main concern and letters are treated more as elements to shape a composition, it is essential to break the rules we learned to make foundational hands and traditional layouts. This session is good prep for anybody taking non-traditional, design-oriented lettering classes. The instruction will be supported with handouts and demonstrations.


  • At least two 11×14” sheets cold press watercolor paper (I like Arches 140 lb.) (PS48) (PS00)
  • 80# Strathmore 400 Drawing Pad, 11×14” (P100)
  • Black calligraphy ink, such as Higgins Eternal (or comparable); Sumi ink (I like Yasutomo or Moon Palace); Quink (optional: I like Blue and Blue-Black) (I08) (I70) (I24-2)
  • Walnut ink (I145) (S449) (I53)
  • A few color inks: I recommend Dr. Martin’s Tech Drawing inks and/or Dr. Martin’s Bombay waterproof India inks (any color inks with or without eye dropper top will also do, even if acrylic inks) (I109)
  • Color pencils (Prismacolor are best) and/or dry pastels (a few colors) – optional, but good to have (I will have some to share) (PL05)
  • Some favorite gouaches (WNG1) (WNG2) (WNG3) (WNG4)
  • Stiff and flexible pointed pens (I like Nikko G) and other favorite pens (N113) (N120) (N77)
  • Ruling pen, cola pen, other unusual writing tools (optional, but recommended) (N22) (N155) (N214) (N216)
  • Speedball C2 through C5 nib pens; favorite small Mitchell or Brause nibs, or comparable (N02) (N04) (N09)
  • Automatic pens (1/2” to 1”) or comparable (N27) (N214)
  • Favorite pointed brushes (BR26) (BR27) (BR38) (for applying watercolor and gouache) and flat brushes (for wash and broad strokes) (BR12) (BR24)
  • Watercolor set (if you don’t have, gouache or tubes of watercolor will work) (S609)



  • Some 11×14” sheets of Arches Text Wove, Stonehenge (cream) or comparable (PS00) (PS01) (PS95)
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