At the September meeting we decided to study Ben Shahn’s lettering, which I studied with Ewan Clayton at the calligraphy conference this summer. Here is his description of the class and the artist:
Amongst American lettering artists of the twentieth century Ben Shahn (1898-1968) holds a special place, he was both a painter, printmaker and photographer, as well as a creative inventor of letterforms. In this workshop we take his modern ‘versal’ and hand drawn letters as inspiration for our own forms. His lettering seems give us a path into a greater freedom of approach to written and drawn capital lettering.
Two main reference images:
- The main reference image we were given to study — in PDF format, so you can easily print it out.
- The reference image I showed in our meetin — in PDF format
Other images to reference:
- An account of a workshop on Ben Shahn lettering in Johannesburg, with images of student work – http://www.limetreesstudio.com/2011/04/ben-shahn-in-uk-and-johannesburg/
- A couple of my own studies — not good as exemplars, but perhaps as references
- the black and white study page I showed
- the color study page I showed (I’ll update this post when I get it)
And a few photos of student work in the class this summer:
And of little use but perhaps some interest: a link to Ben Shahn’s “other” primitive lettering style and, below it, the musical chairs print – here.