The Reader: dot-art: Illustrating Inspiring Quotes

The Reader: dot-art: Illustrating Inspiring Quotes

The Reader: dot-art: Illustrating Inspiring Quotes

Venue: The Reader Gallery
Date(s): 6.11.21
Time(s): 11:00 - 16:00

This course will enable you to develop observational and expressive drawing techniques and skills, using nature and organic patterns as inspiration. Suitable for beginners with more challenging exercises for the more confident person wishing to explore aspects of their own practice.


***To avoid a booking fee and pay by card, cheque or cash, please contact dot-art Services directly on 0345 017 6660***

3 Saturdays from 6th-20th November, 11am – 4pm(£125 for 3 day course)



Day 1

The first session will begin with a look at how the natural world has influenced art and design throughout history. You will look at examples from Celtic Art, William Morris, Art Nouveau and Gaudi.

You will do a series of simple guided drawing exercises looking at:

– Trees and tree branches

– Leaves, buds and growth shapes

– Climbing roses, focusing on intertwining stems

Weather-permitting, we will go outside to sketch from life, choosing your own subject matter from the garden and grounds at the Reader.

We will look at examples of Celtic, Victorian and botanical lettering. We will choose one letter or number to illustrate with our interweaving, organic lines, demonstrated by the teacher. First, we will draw in pencil, then go over it with a fine-nibbed pen, with the option of adding watercolour.

Preparation for next session: find/compose and decide upon two or three potential encouraging/inspiring quotes you can use for your illustration piece. Research fonts you like (no need to be Celtic/medieval – whatever style that appeals to you and suits your quote) – and bring to the next session.

Day 2

The first part of the session will look at various composition options for our final piece. We will all do an exercise in composing and illustrating a border of our choice, exploring symmetry and repeated patterns.

We will look at examples of animals, birds and insects in Art Nouveau, fantasy/fairy tale illustration and Celtic art. We will choose something to sketch from printed material and decide if we want a motif like this to incorporate into our final piece with the quote.

We will look at lettering and decide whether we want to keep the lettering simple in our final piece or to use a certain font or design our own.

We will all choose an alphabet from printed material and practise writing a word from our chosen quote.

We will look at composition ideas and see examples of different ways to arrange them. We will look at the teacher’s own work and draw ideas about how to arrange our letters, making a rough copy.

When we have decided how to proceed, we will draw borders and measurements on A3 watercolour paper to arrange our letters and make sure each word has the correct spacing.

Day 3

The third session will focus on finishing our inspiring quote, adding details and assessing each other’s work as we go. We will learn watercolour techniques and adding background colours, understanding how negative space helps our letters and illustrations stand out.

We will explore different ways of adding gold to our work, if desired, like the manuscript artists used to. We will look at examples using gold paint and gold leaf, and there may be a demonstration of gilding if there is sufficient interest.

To end the course, we will discuss what we learned and what we found easy/difficult. We will talk about what elements make a successful illustration. We will discuss the power of art to encourage and inspire people around us.

We will discuss how these skills can be used to make beautiful gifts such as house/door signs, coasters, greeting cards, prints etc and the practicalities of such endeavours.

Question/Answer session.

Tutor: Madeleine Pires

Madeleine Pires is an experienced tutor and artist, who has taught drawing and painting to children and adults for many years.


Saturdays from11am – 4pm

6th, 13th, 20th Nov


Calderstones Mansion House,

Calderstones Road,

Liverpool L18 3JB


£125 for 3 day workshop


Students are asked to bring the following materials to make the most out of the course:

· Sketchbook – A3 or A4, medium or heavy cartridge paper

· A4/A3 watercolour paper and small postcard watercolour pad if possible

· Drawing pencils – very thin point necessary, can be a mechanical pencil

· Selection of drawing pens, Uni pin Fineline or Faber Castell PITT artist pens recommended (0.5, 0.3 essential)

· Ruler

· Pencil eraser

· Brushes – supple, small and medium for detailed work

Optional extras:

· Watercolour box

· Watercolour pencils/coloured pencils

· Acrylic paint – white, red, magenta, blue, yellow

· Black card or paper

· White pencil

· Any other drawing medium you wish to explore



There are a maximum of 15 places available on each session, so early booking is essential.

To avoid a booking fee and pay by card, cheque or cash, please contact dot-art Services directly on 0345 017 6660.

Cancellations / Refunds

Once you have made your course booking you are committed to it. This is because our courses have very small student numbers, and often sell-out and are unavailable to others. Therefore any cancellations may result in a place not being filled, or a course not being able to run.

Cancellations are permitted up to 30 days before the start of a course, and a full refund will be issued. Refunds will not be made for cancellations less than 30 days before the start of a course. If you are unable to attend due to illness, personal or professional commitments you do not have the right to a refund.

If you wish to cancel your place on a course that has not yet started and you have a friend or colleague who can take your place we can accommodate this substitution.

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