Sakura CAC Neons & Metallics Review

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Hey friends!! Welcome here. I’ve got 3 upcoming workshops this summer (more in the works, fingers crossed). I hope to see you there!

Beginning Brush Lettering Workshop | DRAPER, UT | JULY 19

Learn brush lettering based on more traditional foundations and how to manipulate those foundations to write some funky letters! All skill levels welcome, but it is geared more toward beginners. Lefties welcome!

Eventbrite - July 19 Brush Lettering Calligraphy Workshop

 

Penmanship Workshop | PROVO, UT | AUGUST 16

Learn the art of beautiful penmanship and how to harness your own style to tell your story. This is perfect for beginners, lefties and future brides! We’ll go through foundations, style and how to address an envelope. 

Eventbrite - Beginning Cursive Penmanship & Letter Writing Night

 

2-Day Brush Lettering/Digitization Intensive | NASHVILLE, TN | AUG 25-26

Join me in Nashville for a whole lot of fun with a 2-day lettering intensive with the pointed brush. We’ll dig deeper than in any other class in the two days. We’ll go letter-by-letter through variant options, work on word and compositional structure and style structure. At the end of the class, we’ll work on the beginning essentials of digitization by making our own personalized stamps with our artwork. All skill levels welcome. 

Paperinkarts - brush lettering event august 2018

I hope I can see you at one of the above workshops this summer. We always have a blast and I try to pack as much information as possible so you leave the workshop motivated, empowered and ready to continue your calligraphy journey.

Sakura sent me their BRAND-NEW CAC (Creative Art Colors) 24 pan watercolor set to play around with. It’s just like their regular 24 pan field sketch set, but with nothing but neons, metallics and pearlescent colors. Uhhhhhhmmmmmmm yes please! I love how bright these pigments are and it’s a real pity that they’re not captured fully with these photos. The colors just JUMP off the page. So I made a review video (above). Give it a watch or you can scroll down below to see the pros and cons list:

Pros:

  • SUUUPER bright pigments
  • Smooth blending (even with regular colors)
  • Zero chalkiness
  • Portable size palette
  • Generous wells for mixing pigments
  • Shimmery pearlescents

Cons:

  • Student grade
  • Not lightfast
  • Metallics not opaque

I feel like I need to give explanation to the cons. It’s a bummer they’re student grade and not artist or professional grade, but they out-perform any student grade pigments I have in my studio as if they were artist grade. So bummer, but not a deal breaker.

The neons especially aren’t lightfast at all. But you’re not going to find light-fast neons anyway. Just be aware that they’re not lightfast so you’re not displaying your work where it gets direct sunlight.

I personally like more opaque metallics. Don’t get me wrong, these metallics are beautiful, but if you’re going to try and do fine linework like use the pointed pen with the metallics, you’re not going to get the opacity you need to get the metallic to jump off the page. You’ll want to switch over to the pearlescent pigments for pointed pen linework. The pearlescents have watercolor pigment and metallic in them so the pigment soaks into the page while the metallic shimmers at the top of the page. It’s lovely.

Overall: I really love these watercolors! They’re really great! I hope you give them a try some time.

I’ve been using the medium waterbrush that came with the kit, but then also adding in fun details with the Gillott 404 to bring in those finer details. It’s a lot of fun to bridge the gap of brush lettering and pointed pen modern calligraphy with this neon set. Overall, I’m a fan. 

Sakura of America provided me with the materials for this review. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used, your support by purchasing through these links supports more content like this! 

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    Real-Time Calligraphy Video | Families Are Everything

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    I’m not one to really get into the politics of things on here or anywhere on social media; after all, I find that language gets mis-interpreted and real communication tends to break down in a format as impersonal as online. But I’ve felt strongly the need to say that family is THE most important thing. We need family (whatever form that takes on for you) spiritually, physically, mentally– in all the ways. 

    Throughout history, nations and civilizations fell with the crumbling of family. So for the first time ever, I called my representatives and made my voice heard (find yours here). For the first time ever!! If you know me, you know I HATE making phone calls. I know an executive order was signed to help alleviate the issue of families being separated, but this issue is far from over. 

    It’s not about political alignment here. It’s about family. We are stronger together. 

     

    Stepping off the soap box now. I penned the above video with:

    Let me know if you have questions about the materials used or my process. If you’d like to learn more about calligraphy, I’d suggest taking one of my online classes (listed above in tools section)! I include personal coaching so you get a very one-on-one approach. :) 

    Affiliate links are used, your purchases support additional content here. Thank you!

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    1. tennis shoes online says:

      Thanks for finally talking about > I Still Love You by Melissa Esplin – Art, Sewing, Design, Bookbinding, Photography, Crafts < Liked it!

    Calligraphy & Watercolor Motivational Quote Time-Lapse Process Video

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    I painted one thing this week. But I’m pretty darn happy with it, so I thought I would share here. 

    Tools Used:

    *Use code  Melissa15% for 15% off your purchase at myprimaplace.com!

    This quote has been rolling around in my head all week. I’m thinking of doing a mental/physical inventory of my life and let go of the things that I don’t need to hold on to. I don’t need to hold onto the idea of making a line of women’s swimsuits, or writing a hymn, or learning how to cobble shoes. I can let go of all of those things. So this is just a reminder of that. I plan on framing it sometime soon and hanging it in my studio as a reminder to stay focused and to really dive deep into what it is I want to do with my life. Like seriously, I got asked this week what I wanted to do and I was like… uhhhhh……

    I should probably figure out what my end goal is here so I can actually run towards it. 

    So click play on the video above if you want to hear more about the materials I used, why, what was going on in my head at the time of illustrating it out. I want to let you know, Natalie Malan was a huge inspiration (her classes are the best) for the style of florals for this piece. 

    And if you want to learn brush lettering, I’m teaching a local workshop in utah. REGISTRATION IS HERE. And there’s always my online class which includes personal coaching, right here.

    Affiliate links are used, your purchases support additional videos on this channel. Thank you!

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    1. Kristie says:

      Wow, that quote is amazing. What a great reminder. Totally worth framing and putting up to see regularly! Thank you for giving me something to think about. Time to re-evaluate life and make sure I am spending my time wisely.

    Hand-Lettering with Pencils & Upcoming Workshops!

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    Hey friends!! Welcome here. I’ve got 3 upcoming workshops this summer (more in the works, fingers crossed). I hope to see you there! 

    Beginning Brush Lettering Workshop | DRAPER, UT | JULY 19

    Learn brush lettering based on more traditional foundations and how to manipulate those foundations to write some funky letters! All skill levels welcome, but it is geared more toward beginners. Lefties welcome!

    Eventbrite - July 19 Brush Lettering Calligraphy Workshop

    Penmanship Workshop | PROVO, UT | AUGUST 16

    Learn the art of beautiful penmanship and how to harness your own style to tell your story. This is perfect for beginners, lefties and future brides! We’ll go through foundations, style and how to address an envelope. 

    Eventbrite - Beginning Cursive Penmanship & Letter Writing Night

    2-Day Brush Lettering/Digitization Intensive | NASHVILLE, TN | AUG 25-26

    Join me in Nashville for a whole lot of fun with a 2-day lettering intensive with the pointed brush. We’ll dig deeper than in any other class in the two days. We’ll go letter-by-letter through variant options, work on word and compositional structure and style structure. At the end of the class, we’ll work on the beginning essentials of digitization by making our own personalized stamps with our artwork. All skill levels welcome. 

    Paperinkarts - brush lettering event august 2018

    I hope I can see you at one of the above workshops this summer. We always have a blast and I try to pack as much information as possible so you leave the workshop motivated, empowered and ready to continue your calligraphy journey.

    Now let’s talk hand-lettering!! Calligraphy and hand-lettering can be intimidating. Especially if you’re just starting out and teaching yourself. That’s where the humble, yet mighty pencil comes in. The pencil’s got your back. In fact, I have my online class students pull out the pencil before they touch any kind of pen or marker. The master penmen use pencils, so you can, too. I’m really excited to have shared this fun and simple technique on KSL’s Studio 5 on how to incorporate pencil lettering into your every day creativity. Let’s do this, shall we?!?

    Isn’t this a fun card? You can totally make this in about 10 minutes. 

    The cool thing about pencil is that you can erase it until you commit. So watercolor pencils you can erase until you add water. You can erase most pencils quite effectively until you commit by pressing really hard or going overtop in pen. You can see the difference between committing with pressing hard with a dark pencil on the right and a marker on the left. The cool thing is you don’t have to have fancy materials in order to be successful with your pencil lettering. Here’s what you need: 

    • Paper – use a mixed media paper if you’re using watercolor pencil.
    • Ruler – you gotta draw light grid lines or your lettering will be all over the place. Clear grid rulers are my fave.
    • Pencils – I’ve teamed up with General Pencil to create a pencil lettering kit, try it! It’s great.
    • Brush – I like small round brushes for this, but any brush you have on hand could also work!

    Step 1: Cut down your paper to size. I’ll leave it up to you as to what size you want to trim it down to. Get a ruler and mark out your top and bottom lines. The master penmen use a ruler to mark out guides, you should too. 

    Lightly draft out your message. I find that short words in this style work best. Also, when drafting out your letters, make sure they’re generously spaced apart. Because we’ll be outlining around each letter, you’ll want to make sure you give yourself enough room for those outlines.

    Grab a watercolor pencil and roughly mark out the outlines with watercolor pencils. For the sake of this style, pick two colors that you’d like to go together. Use the darker of the two colors for this part of the outline.

    Wet a small round brush (this is a size 2 round) and smooth out the outline of your watercolor pencil.

    Leave a little bit of white space and outline each letter. I love the General’s draughting pencil for this. It’s hard enough to maintain a stable line, but it’s smooth and dark. 

    With your lighter color, outline the right-hand and bottom sides of your outline. You’ll use a light touch to lay down pigment to not disrupt the draughting pencil layer. 

    Using the same wet round brush, smooth out and soften the drop shadow you’ve created. 

    Once the watercolor is dry, erase away guidelines carefully. I like to use the corner of the eraser. 

    Bam! You’re done. You can send it as-is, or you can trace over the darker pencil marks in pen or marker to make the layout pop even more.

    This tutorial is free for personal use. Affiliates are used to link to products I actually use and have. Your support here makes more content possible. Thank you!

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    How to Paint Ranunculus Watercolor

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    Another YouTube video coming at you this week! It’s taken me forever to get this post out, the end of school stuff just took so much out of my week last week. So here we are posting late. If you want to stay up-to-date on new videos, subscribe over on YouTube! I’d love to see you over there. You can expect to see product reviews, art tutorials and time-lapse/real-time calligraphy work. 

    I’m giving you a peek into my process with my 100 days project (follow along here!). It’s a fun but crazy challenge to attack so many of these flowers. And ultimately I’ve come to grips with the fact that I won’t be able to finish them all in 100 days. I’m so far behind. But I’m determined to see this series through, no matter how long it takes!! Here’s what you’ll need (these are the exact materials I used): 

    HEY!! Use code Melissa15% at myprimaplace.com for 15% off your order. I tried the Prima Watercolor Confections for the first time with this flower set and I’m loving how the colors blend, lay down, dry and mix. They’re just lovely. And aren’t these little tins just the cutest things ever?!? 

    Here are the steps broken down. But I HIGHLY recommend watching the video. I give far more detail in the video. To do: 

    • Start by using your largest brush and mix a light yellow green, bright yellow, and yellow orange. You’ll want all three colors mixed before you start. 
    • Lay down brush marks in a circle with the light yellow green. As you make a larger circle (keep it uneven), start picking up the yellows, then as you get to the outside of the flower, move on to the yellow orange. 
    • Allow the colors to melt into each other creating a subtle gradation from green to yellow to orange. 
    • Let your flower dry fully
    • Next, use the size 6 brush and a darker version of your orange to create smaller concentric circles around, creating the shadows. 
    • While you’re waiting for the flower to dry, add the foliage. Work and frame your flower by branching the foliage back into the flower. 
    • Now get the liner brush with the same color, or just slightly darker (not by much) and add the details to the petals and darken up the concentric lines and the greenery in the middle. 
    • Add any other decorative bits and you’re done!

     

    Try changing up your perspective for a full bouquet of ranunculus! I hope you give this tutorial a try. I’d love to see your work if you do! Tag me (@melissapher) on Instagram or message me here if you end up trying this technique out!

    This tutorial is free for personal use. Affiliate links are used to products I actually use and have. Your support here makes more content possible. Thank you!

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