Mark Van Stone - Versals

This class is part of Legacies III.

John Neal Books is not hosting this class.

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Mark Van Stone

1-Day Workshop

All Skill Levels Welcome

Lettering • Design • Drawing


My teachers were the Medieval artists who made the manuscripts that enthrall us today. Having deciphered their techniques by scrutiny and experiment, I employed their ingenious improvisatory decorations in my calligraphy work for decades.

These are the easiest and most improvisational Versal techniques, which is why they are so abundant in Medieval manuscripts. Like any improvisatory style, they have basic rules, but once these simple rules and methods are mastered, then the designs can grow organically.


  • The usual calligraphic stuff: pens, inks, good paper, pencil (PL38) & sharpener, eraser (E13)
  • Drafting pens (My preference: Pigma Micron, sizes 005, 01, 02, 03, 08 (M17)
  • “Bowl-Point” pen nib (and holder) for laying color… Speedball makes one, also most other pen manufacturers. (like a fountain pen-nib). (N97) (N98)Crow quills if you like them,
  • Watercolors and mixing apparatus (I like a Carmex® jar for each color…), (WNWC1) (BR43)(S260)
  • Brushes for laying solid color areas.
  • Traditional colors: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow……but bring whatever colors turn you on.