Signwriting - traditional

This is a rare opportunity to learn the basics of a skill that is rapidly coming back into fashion, having been replaced by computer cut plastic signage in the 1980s.  If there is enough demand, we will also run courses for improvers.

Click on Wayne's name above to see more about him.


  • The mahl stick
  • Brushes & how to look after them
  • Paint dippers & palettes
  • Thinning paint
  • Basic brush control & strokes
  • Italic brush strokes
  • Layout designs
  • Shading
  • The pounce wheel


Comments from participants:

Excellent day.  Wayne is a brilliant teacher, it was good to be able to make something and take it away on the day.  Food is excellent too, especially polenta cake!  Thank you.

I've had a fantastic day, met lovely people, learned even more than I thought I would.  Wayne's a great teacher, very informative and entertaining.  The venue, food, company was agreat.  I'll be recommending this to everyone.  I came from Brighton this morning and will be very glad to do so again.  Many thanks, Chris

Loved the style Wayne brought to the class.  I felt confident to try my own attempts thanks to his clear directions and encouragement.

Fantastic course, ideal surroundings, wonderful food and Wayne!  Many thanks.

Very hands on and loads of tips - an excellent course.  LdeM

A very nice day and I hope to return at some time.  Thank you.  Good location map to find you.  I wonder what the access is like in bad weather?  [It's not a problem!  Ed.]  GH

Great course – simple, practical and de-mystified the subject.  I feel ready to go and learn now.  Great food too, thanks.  Giles S

This day course was excellent. Wayne doesn’t beat about the bush, right away he told us how to set up, what brushes to get, the best paint to use and also what we didn’t need. Within an hour we were practising the essential letter forms that comprise the signwriter’s vocabulary. By the afternoon we had completed our own sample signs to take home with us. Whether you want to take up signwriting as a profession or are merely curious and fancy a go, this day is the perfect introduction. Wayne was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher and good company too. I left in the evening feeling like I had the essential knowledge to get started and have since ordered paints and brushes. Would definitely recommend to anyone else similarly interested in this traditional art form.

Everything was good about today's course with Wayne. He is such an interesting character and we loved his approach which was very hands-on and practical and about doing rather than just talking. It was good to be in his workshop because we could see how he has everything set up and we had a wide range of paints and the chance to see some of his artwork. Alice and I left feeling inspired. Wayne has shown us how to get started with signwriting and it's something we could dabble with for fun or take further.  We were both delighted with the signs we made and I am already showing mine off to friends on Facebook. It's good to have Wayne's book for reference. We're going to go away and practise and then practise some more. We would definitely be interested in a follow up workshop at some stage.

The sign writing course was fantastic it was brilliant being in the studio learning first hand and being able to access all the tools / paints needed. Nothing was to much trouble for Wayne the skills i have taken away from the day are invaluable I would be very interested in a follow up course?? Many thanks looking forward to my next course with you Rebecca

Brilliant day , Wayne is an excellent tutor . His method of teaching basic brush strokes is uncomplicated and very easy to follow .

I left feeling I had learnt a lot and keen to continue practicing at home !

With a little help I produced a lovely piece of work to give as a present .

I would highly recommend this course and would be interested in learning more detailed techniques eventually! Lunch was perfect

The course was brilliant! Wayne is such a lovely man and explained/demonstrated everything very well. He puts you at ease and being in a small group was lovely as it made it feel more like you were having a 1-2-1 lesson instead of a group one. He gives you the confidence to try your own writing style while using the basic principles of letter forming.

The food he supplied was good - a range of sandwiches from Tesco and pots of fresh fruit, along with croissants in the morning and cake for the afternoon. Plus plenty of tea, coffee and orange juice for those who wanted it.  The only thing that I can think of that would have been nice, would have been able to buy a brush and pot of paint at the end of the day. He might have done, but I didn't ask and only just thought about it now. However, I can understand that Wayne might not want to have these in stock just in case students would like to buy. I have a few friends might be interested in this course and I will certain mention Assington Mill to them  Terri.

It was good all round - well pitched, expert (obviously) and focused on the most helpful aspects which we can now go on to practise at home. I feel confident that I can go further on my own with such a good start. The food (Tesco sandwiches) wasn't a patch on yours which is an important part of the attraction of doing a course as Assington, but we could get on with our painting without a long interruption. [When the course has only a few people, Wayne holds it in his workshop to make it viable, so that we don't have to cancel.  AH]




Wayne Tanswell
Tuesday, 21 March, 2017

Times9.30 - 4.30


What to Bring

Warm and old clothes or overalls.

Strong shoes and warm socks.