Calligraphy and illuminated calligraphy

What is Calligraphy?

Calligraphy is a visual art related to writing. It is a way of designing lettering with a selection of broad to fine tipped nibs and a dip pen or brush and a bottle of ink.

Here Jane shares some examples of calligraphy work she has done, with very brief descriptions.

The pen is mightier…

First example is;

“The pen is mightier than the sword”

This has been written in a pattern with a few flourishes. I have used a broad nib also known as a poster nib, because of its size.


pen is mightier

Calligraphy flourishes

Another example;

“Rather than love,than money, than fame, give me truth”

Again I have written this in a pattern an the use of flourishes.


rather than love

Examples of illumination

Illumination is a form of decoration and has been used for centuries, the book of Kells is an excellent example.



illumination in calligraphy

Calligraphy in Gouache

These two pictures are hand painted in gouache, I have chosen the letter “B” and picked a floral decoration to surround it.



calligraphy in goauche

My name: Jane!



jane in gouache

For my husband…

A finished piece I produced for my husband.

This was painstakingly hand written and I used Gouache for the large capital A and for the decoration around the letter A.

The decorations round the edges are rubber stamps and coloured ink pads for crafting.

go placidly

This picture is a rough workings out for the finished piece.

draft version


This next piece is in Gaelic,

It’s a working draft for a poster I did as a project for college.

gaelic poster draft

This picture shows the finished illuminated piece, with the English translation.

It reads

“Hand in hand, taste the past as I drink from this gift to me,

Hand in hand, taste the past as I drink from it all. “

gaelic with translation

Introducing colour

You can use a single colour to illuminate your work.


single colour illumination

Or multiple colours.



single colour illumination

Wuthering Heights

This poem is a rough for a college project.


wuthering heights

This image is a way of adding different colours as you go.



Wuthering heights with colour

Poster Design

I spent a little time up in Scotland and from this I designed a poster for advertising Broughty ferry castle.

As you can see calligraphy and it’s illumination can be fun, creative and artistic.


poster design

Gadsby’s sell all of the art & craft materials and supplies necessary for creating pieces of art like those created by Jane.

You have to supply the artistic talent and dedication to make the pieces you love. It is hard work, but it is amazing fun too.

Jane is a member of the Gadsby’s team. She has a wide knowledge of the arts & crafts products and materials sold by Gadsby’s both from the perspective of an advisor in the shop and, for many of the products, from personal use too.

Please note that this is not a service that Gadsbys offer to clients – just an example of the private work done by one of the highly skilled and knowledgable Gadsby’s team shown for your interest.


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