Glorious Gothic Calligraphy

46 TUTOR: Mark L'Argent (BA (Hons))

Glorious Gothic, also called Old English or Black Letter, was originally developed in the 11th century and is still a widely popular style today. This course takes you on a fun, historic trip from learning the basic early gothic style, to a more elaborate variety developed later in the 14th century. To begin with, you will be using calligraphy marker pens, before moving on to the traditional pen and ink techniques with metal dip pens and bottles of ink used by many calligraphers.

Course Notes

An introduction to Gothic letterforms - each calligraphic letter is written by using a series of separate strokes, which are like pieces of a puzzle, that join together to form the letter. We begin by looking at how these strokes are formed, what their sequences are, and how they work together to form letters, words and sentences etc. This first step is achieved using adapted pencils to draw the letters.

The next step is to familiarise you with the calligraphic pen, what it does and how it works differently from your usual pen. This will build on the skills you have learned with the pencil forms, but using ink and a calligraphic nib. Here you will learn about the technicalities and differences of working with a wet ink, how to control the ink flow, the speed of writing and many other things.

You will begin with the basic 'early' Gothic letterform (11thcentury), and following this will learn about the advanced forms of Gothic that were developed later in the 14th Century, which are more elaborate, decorative and slightly more complex in their design.

Further in the week you will be looking at layouts and how to arrange your calligraphy on the page, and learn how the margins and spaces work with each other to make something special to hang on the wall. You will also be looking at, and using coloured papers and learning how these can enhance your calligraphy.


Introduction to basic tools and to basic alphabet, familiarise with dynamics of calligraphic felt pen, and the letter shapes.


Getting to know the pen and the dynamics of the Gothic alphabet and working with pen and ink.


Further lettering practice, plus looking at standard layouts and setting out the words of a simple composition.


Writing-up, and setting out the completed composition and adding decorative elements to it.


Adding finishing touches, colour, borders and/or decoration to your completed composition.

Course Tutor

Mark L'Argent

BA (Hons)

About Mark

Tutor Biography - Mark L'Argent BA (Hons) is a professional, qualified calligrapher, lettering artist, teacher and lecturer. He teaches workshops and masterclasses across the UK in contemporary and traditional lettering. Mark works mainly to commission, running a busy art studio from a converted Victorian watermill on the Essex-Hertfordshire border. Mark is an elected Brother of the Art Workers' Guild in London. 'The AWG is a body of more than 350 artists, craftspeople and architects working at the highest levels of excellence in their professions…' He exhibits his lettering artworks across the UK and in Europe, and has work in the Royal Archive at Windsor Castle.

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Summer School Dates for 2022

All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM