Wordplay Painting

Self-Study Class Includes Lifetime Access, Online Community & More!

6 Lessons – $72.25 $85

In this exciting class, Lynn Whipple demonstrates how to bring words into all your work.  You’ll create several works using poetry, personal handwriting, found words and even things like lists. Lynn is as fun and inventive as ever as she shares her exercises, prompts and techniques.

Now available as a self-study class.

TEACHER: Lynn Whipple

Class Description

In this class you will be infusing artwork with compelling, meaningful and irresistible words! Think of your Art Books as small laboratories for exploration, inspiration and play. We’ll use words as inspiration, as graphic elements, as lists, and as the subjects of small paintings and drawings. We will also work, much as a writer might, by considering things such as composition, editing (room for the eye to rest), titles, and character development.

We will explore through prompts poetry and personal handwriting as well as make one larger piece that will combine the techniques we have gathered along the way. Even our book covers will act as canvases!

I look forward to spending time with you and delving into the rich set of possibilities that we will find together when focusing on working with words in our work!

Class Itinerary

Lesson 1: Word Paintings
We will start by playing with different ways to write words, exploring how to seep personality into each word by “drawing letters” and using spacing and pacing of letters within a word. You will choose a word or two as the main subject of several small paintings… a simple way to elevate a word with your personal style. Have fun!

Lesson 2: List Paintings
We will begin with a fast, but grounded writing prompt and then you will serve them up in a new way on fresh pages of your Art Books by making two different “list paintings.” Combine paint, pencil, water-soluble crayon, ink, pastels and markers in a variety of ways so that each line of your list has a personality of it’s own, yet it works together as a whole.

Lesson 3: Poem Paintings
Words are so much fun. For Lesson 3 you will pick out a few words that speak to you, paint around your chosen words and “edit out” all or most of the other words on the page, leaving interesting edges and shapes. We will do 3-5 of these and create a simple “sight maps” by drawing and directing the eye from word to word. The Haiku is another great rhythm or structure we can use with poem paintings… a Visual Haiku.

Lesson 4: Character Paintings
Every good book has interesting characters in it. We will create characters in two ways, embracing the “flaws” in both cases (most characters have layers of interesting traits, qualities, and lovable flaws that they show and don’t show, but are evident in some way). In the first exercise we will start with words, and the second you will complete your painting by incorporating your character’s name in the composition.

Lesson 5: Book Cover Paintings
So often you hear you can’t tell a book by it’s cover, though a clever title and interesting image can certainly help pull you in. I will share a lettering technique and we will combine collage, painting and drawing on your Book Cover Paintings. Come up with a title for your book and use those words as a graphic element in your design.

Lesson 6: Putting it all Together
Welcome to Lesson 6! This should be fun as we look through the pages of our Art Books and pull some favorite pieces, parts and ideas to create a final, larger piece! I guess we could loosely call this a Book Review 🙂 Think about a main character and a title to use in this piece and ways of using words and text as storytelling and design elements. Using parts of used books in your work can add texture, color and interest. Weaving words into our work adds an extra and often personal layer, and in this lesson we will pull it all together.

In this class you will create list paintings…


Poem Paintings…


Character Paintings…


Book Cover Paintings…


… and Pulling-it-all-Together Paintings…




  • 2-3 used books that speak to you. One larger book in the 10×12 inch range or more would be great.
  • White or cream paint (acrylic paint, flat house paint or gesso works well)
  • Water soluble crayons and/or water soluble colored pencils
  • #3 pencil, or soft lead pencil or graphite stick
  • Colored pencils
  • Pastels
  • Tombow markers assorted colors (looking for a marker that will bleed through paint, sharpies will work also)
  • Brushes, small tipped, medium and larger (one inch is great)
  • Rag
  • Black ink and white ink with eyedropper and dip pen
  • Gel medium
  • Scissors
  • Scraper for gel medium, credit card will work as well
  • Watercolor set
  • Basic acrylic paints
  • Plain copy paper

Lynn Whipple

Lynn Whipple writes, “I am deeply grateful to live my life as an artist. Play and discovery are my dearest and most constant companions. There are a zillion tiny challenges in each art making experience, and so often I find, just as many small, sweet victories. Without a doubt, living creatively is the most enjoyable and satisfying game I know.”

Lynn shares a warehouse studio with her husband, John Whipple, in Winter Park, Florida. Lynn’s work includes found-object mixed-media assemblages; found images altered with a combination of drawing, painting, sewing and more; and her well-known Ninny Boxes, collages combined with found objects, and assembled within a box format. Her unique pieces have a playful, quirky, and often absurd, charm.

Lynn explains: “I allow myself to play and let my pieces reveal themselves to me…I have been fascinated by old books, history, and odd bits of memorabilia. I find the things that interest me the most are slightly absurd…My hope is to create something real and somehow poetic but not commonplace. My goal is to keep communicating in my language.”

Lynn’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and her new book, Expressive Flower Painting, was published July 2017. Visit Lynn’s website at www.lynnwhipple.com.

Nuts & Bolts

  • This class is now available as a self-study class.
  • Immediately upon class signup, you will receive access to the class videos and corresponding materials.
  • A private Facebook group will be available for you to (optionally) share your artwork and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. You may also email your teacher directly with questions or feedback.
  • You will have indefinite access to this class.
“I keep an old book next to my computer and it is the most creative and fun part of the day, especially when I work in it every hour like a Wordplay addict!” — Karen S.
“Wordplay helped me to accept my wonky lettering skills, to think of poetry as art and art as poetry, and to reuse in a most playful way lovely old books” — Lisa M.
“It's the course that keeps on giving and I'm so grateful!” — Jen S.