2016 04 | PENNY PRICE

COLOUR – ADOLF BERND  |  A Weekend with Penny Price  |  9 & 10 April 2016

Penny is a renowned calligrapher and botanical artist, and also a very experienced teacher, and it was a delight and privilege to have her visit South Wales Scribes for this extended workshop, along with her dog, Morgan.

This workshop was about experimenting with colour, particularly granulating colours, using the work of Adolf Bernd as an example. 

Adolf Bernd (1909 – 1994) was a commercial artist of some note for much of his life and it was not until he was in his sixties that he was able to develop his love of colour into the art form we see in his letter paintings, around which our workshop was based.

The real appeal of his work lies in his subtle use of colour, form and white space. His palette is more often than not limited to only one or two basic colours but in the combination of these colours he finds a whole new palette. And this is one of the main things we were looking at during the first day. 

Working through a series of exercises beginning with the basic principles, we learnt more about colour and its properties.  We looked at harmonious and complementary colours and the spectrum of colours produced by the gradual introduction of a primary colour into another primary colour.  Penny also gave us lots of tips and techniques about using water colour. 

Later in the day we looked at some design elements: ways of dividing up the available space in an interesting way and the use of white space to enhance the design. 

The second day we looked at the way Adolph Bernd used letter forms in his work and, by mirroring the shapes within the letter and extending them into the surrounding space, produced a pleasing design. Again starting with some prescribed exercises, we then moved on to producing our own personal interpretations. We first looked at simple letters and various ways in which they might be divided up using colour variations and white space and then moved on to producing a Letter Picture of our own.

It was a really inspiring and enjoyable weekend.  It was lovely to have the extra time to explore this topic in greater depth, although even two days did not seem long enough. I think it would be true to say that we were all very absorbed in the work and enjoyed the opportunity of 

Thank you, Penny.

Ann Sear