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Signpainting 101: Intro to brush lettering virtual workshop

Intro to hand lettering with brush & paint. This virtual workshop will cover: A brief history lesson about Studio Signs and the sign painting trade. Brush & paint education (discuss different types of brushes, paints, & reducers). Basic brush handling & strokes (how to mix paint, palette and pull strokes). Sign painting posture & breathing techniques (proper form & focus). Basic letterforms- block & casual (study the structure of each letter style using provided exemplars). Drawing and painting letters & words (practice, practice, practice).

Students will receive a secure digital download of our Sign Painting Workbook full of lettering references and alphabets as well as block & casual exemplars painted by Studio Signs. During the workshop we will go over the material and work on the fundamentals of block & casual.

Attendees will get lessons on lettering, live demos & instruction, a chance to ask questions and get feedback, and plenty of opportunities for hands-on experience. The workshop is taught virtually from our working studio in a fun and encouraging environment. (Students will need to have or install Zoom Basic & a PDF reader in order to attend the workshop and view the workbook).

Required materials to gather before the workshop:

Paper- Butcher or kraft, at least 10 sheets at 12"x18" or larger. (The classified ads section of the newspaper will also work in a pinch)

Pencil & eraser

Ruler or straightedge

3 oz. paper dixie cups (unwaxed is best)

Empty tin can & glass jar w/ lid (cleaned out soup can and pickle jar is fine)

Mineral oil (just a few ounces)

*Sign painting brush (size 4, 5, or 6 grey lettering quill $11-14)

*Paint & Reducer (1/2 pint enamel poster paint $12 & quart of mineral spirits $5)

*Brushes, paint & reducer available locally through Pacific Coast Sign Supply at 940 SE 7th Ave Portland, OR 97214. Think of this as a bonus pre-workshop personal field trip to Portland's oldest sign supply store. They also have lots of interesting historical signs on display for additional inspiration!

Students will need to provide their own workspace to follow along as we work through the lessons. An art easel or wall works best as we will be working vertically. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting paint on and setting up your workspace in a well ventilated & paint safe place (garage or outside is best).

The instructors: Father & son team of Studio Signs. Melvin Lee has over 50 years experience in the sign industry dating back to his apprenticeship in 1970 and ownership of Studio Signs in 1985. Nick Lee was born into the world of sign painting and is the current owner of Studio Signs since 2018. Together they have over 70 years of sign industry experience.

Virtual workshop cost $195

*Additional required materials cost approx. $30-40

This Festival Event has ended.


Wednesday, August 5, 2020 from 2:00pm to 7:00pm


Virtual Event


Studio Sign Co.

Studio Signs was established in 1963 by the late artist Dean G. Stanley and is one of Portland’s oldest continually operating sign painting studios. In 1985 Melvin Lee purchased the business, adding screen printing and computer generated graphics to the list of services provided. In 2018, after 20 years of working in the shop, Nick Lee took over the business and has immersed himself in the current renaissance of traditional brush lettering and gold leaf signage.