Cora Pearl

C512 The Elements of Design for Lettering Art

Five Day Class
Lettering, Design

The elements of design are the ingredients we use to create art. The principles of design are how we use those ingredients. In this workshop, we will study seven elements of design as they pertain to lettering art: line, texture, shape, value, form, color, and space. For each element we will look at calligraphic examples illustrating the use of the element, and we will do exercises and projects to explore each one. In the exploration of understanding the elements as they relate to design, our goal will be to become more aware and articulate about the use of them in our own artwork and in the art we see from others, as well as becoming more fluent in the language of design. Along the way, we will learn a few new scripts and will work with a variety of tools and materials. We will also focus on understanding our creative archetype, developing a personal design process, and getting an initial familiarity of the principles of design. The final project will be a personal “textbook” including many handouts, practice pages, sketches, and the projects, all put together in a binder that can be used and added to for years to come. This workshop is ideal for students who have never formally studied design, for students who have good lettering skills but don’t quite know what to do with them, for students who tend to feel stuck when it comes to design, and for intermediate students of calligraphy and hand lettering who are ready to take their design skills to the next level.

Supply List
Watercolor brushes:
  • Round brushes sizes 0, 1, 2, and 3
  • ¼" flat brush
  • ¼" angler brush

  • 1 pad 8.5" x 11" Gilbert Bond paper
  • Arches hot press 140 lb watercolor paper cut to seven pieces that are 8.5" x 11"
  • Arches hot press 140 lb watercolor paper cut to two pieces that are 6" x 9"
  • 1 piece of black Canson Mi-Teintes paper cut to 6" x 6"
  • 1 piece of white paper (any kind) cut to 18" x 18"
  • 5 pieces of black Canson Mi-Teintes paper, size 8.5" x 11"

Writing tools:
  • Nib holder
  • Speedball nibs: B0 and B3
  • Pilot Parallel pens: sizes 3.8 mm and 2.4 mm
  • Mechanical pencil
  • Micron pen size 05
  • HB pencil
  • Zig Writer 2-sided marker (0.5 and 1.2 mm)

Inks and paints:
  • Higgins Eternal black ink
  • Black ink cartridges for Pilot pens (comes with the pen if you are buying it new)
  • Sumi ink
  • Black gouache
  • Prang watercolor: 16 color set or the equivalent
  • Pebeo drawing gum small size (45ml) (Do NOT get another brand or the large size bottle!)

Other materials:
  • Water container
  • 6" Ruler
  • Small self-healing cutting mat
  • X-Acto knife
  • Palette with separate wells
  • Pipette
  • Eraser
  • Glue stick
  • Rubber cement eraser
  • Scissors
  • Optional: small scissors, too
  • Avery Heavy-Duty View 3 Ring Binder, 1" One Touch Slant Rings, Holds 8.5" x 11" Paper, 1 White Binder (05304)
  • 10 clear plastic protective sheets for binder
  • Binder paper for taking notes
  • Pen for taking note
  • Optional: Small light pad for seeing guidelines more clearly, if you tend to have challenges seeing through bond paper
Materials Fee
$12 for materials supplied by Cora

Cora Pearl started studying calligraphy at age 11 and has been doing calligraphy and hand lettering ever since. She has a BA in Art and Art History from Oberlin College. Cora works as a full-time calligrapher and teacher of lettering arts—she teaches full credit calligraphy and hand lettering courses at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon, and teaches independent workshops, classes and private sessions, including year-long courses in Design for Lettering Art. She has taught workshops for the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, the Oregon College of Art and Craft, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She has taught at several calligraphy conferences including Letters of Joy, the All Oregon Calligraphy Conference, IAMPETH, Letterfest, TypeCon, the International Calligraphy Conference, and Letters California Style. Cora also does calligraphy commissions in addition to her teaching. Cora is passionate about the art of teaching and values a holistic approach to learning based on building trust and safety in the classroom environment, whether in person or online.