T. S. Eliot's Little Gidding | Skillshare Projects

Marianne M. Michel

Illustrator, Designer, Engineer



T. S. Eliot's Little Gidding

Hello Bryn and fellow creatives!

Fist off, thanks for the awesome class, Bryn. I've had a growing admiration for calligraphic work and this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

01 | The quote I'm choosing is from T. S. Eliot's Little Gidding:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. 

The first time I read them, these lines stopped me in my tracks. They speak to me for their sense of adventure, as if to say that the secrets in life lie hidden in plain view.

I have noticed in the past that I seem to move in circular stretches of time, where every couple of years similar situations and thoughts arrise, where I continue to learn with each iteration, thus seeing the world a little bit differently every time. Each year we learn more about ourself and our perception changes. And every once in a while, we arrive at a crossroads with the knowledge our younger self lacked and we can smile over the secrets we uncovered.

Enough sentimentality, on to drawing letters :)

02 | I ran into some problems in the beginning. Since I live in Switzerland and my art store doesn't have any of the supplies Bryn recommended, I had to find alternative nibs, paper and ink. I do some inking with a drawing nib and india ink from time to time, so I tried that out first. But my drawing nibs aren't flexible enough to get good thicks. I then got some different Hiro nibs, a Brause Steno and a Brause Rose (which is very flexible). Of all of these, the Brause 361 Steno Blue Pumpkin seems to be easiest to handle, and doesn't scratch the paper too much. Also, my drawing ink turned out to be too thick, so that the ink would drag from the thicks into the hairlines. So I ended up using Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink, which did the trick.


Here are some photos of my early practice sheets.


03 | Quote practice, layout variations and a pencil sketch.


04 | Final inking and ornamentation.

Since the main symbols throughout T.S. Eliot's Little Gidding are fire and roses, I started out painting a border of fiery roses in watercolor. It turned out kind of corny though and not at all my style so I gave up the idea and went with plain roses and paint splotches instead. Here's the final, hope you like it!


Thanks for reading!




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