2019 11 | JAN PICKETT


Reviewed by Ingrid Eie Bowen

We met in a festive and warm Felindre Welfare Hall. It was a pleasure to meet Jan Pickett who has written the book, “Decorated Lettering”, which is now available in five languages. Some of us were lucky enough to have our book signed. Jan is teaching as far away as Japan.

She started the session with a bit of colour theory, stating there were six primary colours . . . two reds, two yellows and blues. Be careful with colour mixing as two complementary colours make grey.

First we had some fun with pastels and paper masking. Use templates (simple paper shapes) in increasing sizes. You use a sharp knife to get some colour on the templates and rub in hard with cotton wool, keeping the templates fixed. Draw lines or shapes with a hard rubber. No fixative is needed.

Next up was blending coloured pencils. We were advised to use colours that blend well. Colour very lightly and lift pressure from left to right. Use water in the middle and brush up into one colour and then down into the other to mix. When dry, decorate with a black fine liner, more colour, gold, etc.

Colour lift out gave a lovely effect, but was quite time-consuming. We also learnt to write with watery colour using an automatic pen, then adding skeleton letters, infills and variations. Use tracing paper to see if more decoration is needed.

Jan showed us the stained glass effect by colouring and painting either side of pencil lines, then rubbing out the pencil lines when dry. You can tape together two watercolour pencils to draw big letters and then add water to paint the effect.

It was a very useful workshop. Jan gave us lots of good advice, eg, to buy a good sable brush, Winsor and Newton Series 7 was best and size 1 would do for most work. Use 2H pencil for drawing first. Always have good paper – Bockingford advised. Her emphasis was always on having FUN.

You can find out more about Jan Pickett’s work and tuition here.