To keep us energized with lettering throughout the year, we’ve created the 8″x8″ Letters and Lines challenge!

At the beginning of each meeting, all ECS members are invited to display a piece that they’ve been working on. Your submission is meant to be a work in progress, not a finished piece. Your submission can be anything – use it as an opportunity to experiment with a new-to-you writing instrument/ink/paper, get feedback on work from a class or workshop, or show off your grocery list…and let the ink flow on. We’ll also provide monthly suggestions in case you’re stuck for ideas.

Remember that the Letters and Lines submissions are an opportunity to share and learn from one another. See how happy accidents and mistakes are handled. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn from one another!

Make sure to bring along something you have worked on or discovered since the last meeting. We welcome both finished works, as well as works in progress, a practice sheet or even some interesting samples of lettering you and others might find inspirational.


September – “UP, UP & AWAY”

…. in my beautiful balloon!  Lift off into a new calligraphic year! Pull out all of your tools and an exemplar and try a calligraphic alphabet that is new to you. Letter some of your favourite song lyrics with that new bottle of ink. Take out a fresh piece of nice paper and fill a balloon with any words that enter your mind.


October – “TEXTURE”

The overall texture of a composition influences how it is perceived… delicate vs bold.  Letter a drawn square with a monoline tool and then letter over it with a broad edge pen.  Choose an everyday saying and a favourite tool and letter it tall and thin, then short and squat, then fat and wide…squish the lines close together.  Create a stencil and add an embossed accent to your page.  See what happens when you letter with a broad nib on rough watercolour paper!


November -“A TO Z” (Get intimate with these 26 Friends)

The English Alphabet is based on set of 26 letters common to the various alphabets originating from the classical Latin alphabet. These 26 wonderful letters can be used so many ways.  Decide on a theme… letter a different word for each letter.  Draw a wavy line across your page and hang all the letters like on a clothesline.  Take your favourite letter and make a lively versal version. As we say in Canada… “eh to zed”


December – “DREAMS”

What is a dream?…images, ideas, emotions, goals?…visions of sugar plums?  Find a motivational quote and letter it using a folded pen or your water-colour brush.  Take the word “dream” and make it sing on your page.  Create a dreamy coloured background and add a quote or your owns word about making your dreams a reality.



Black ink on a sheet of bright white watercolour paper with just a touch of colour…so simple but so beautiful!  Create a whimsical versal on your page with a black monoline pen and fill it up using your watercolour pencils and a bit of water.  Use 2 pencils held together and create a large Italic letter, outline it in black and Zentangle in or around it with your gel pens. Imagine Japanese or Chinese brush letters with a simple bright red chop in the corner.



Imagine that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow!  Using the colours of a rainbow as a background, choose an Irish saying to letter.  Using your water brush and watercolours, letter some quotes or song lyrics about rainbows or good luck or gold or…  Try lettering a quote in a new lettering style using a broad nib or try it with a pointed nib. 



Using a favourite quote, proverb, Scripture or saying that you have enjoyed all of your life, letter it in three different ways using any of the tools, inks or colours you have in your workspace.  Use the Neuland we learned last month.  Try using all upper case letters.  Let your letters bounce or follow a single line.  Try a new page layout.  Create some interesting texture on the page.



We are on the verge of summer…flowers are blooming, everything is getting greener.  We are looking forward to getting out and back to nature after our cold winter weather.  Think greens, blues, yellows… and share your thoughts about the beauty of nature and what it means to you.  Try using any of the new lettering styles or techniques you learned this year.  Choose a meaningful song lyric about summer and letter it using your favourite tool.  Relax and enjoy the feeling that nature brings.



Go to our Blog page to see previous “Letters & Lines.”