Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Jane Rhodes Summer Visual Journal Project

0 Comments

I love the idea of summer bucket lists, but our household is learning first-hand how overwhelming the summer over-scheduling can be. It’s intense. I was asked to make this summer “vision board” so-to-speak for Jane Rhodes and her family, and I really like her approach to summer. It’s less of a “we HAVE to get these things done” mentality and more of a, “let’s fill our lives with things that make us fill THIS WAY” vibe. I could learn a thing or two about that. 

Jane and her family are passionate about adventure, quality time and LGBTQ+ rights. Each item on their vision board circles back to one or more of their core family values. It makes me think, what would I put on my own family’s vision board? 

When Jane asked me about doing this for her, she sent me this mock up with each of the items she wanted on her vision board and I just took it from there. See below for more of the process:

If this aligns with your summer vision, check out the free B&W printable for you to color yourself!

I mocked everything up on my iPad (quite loosely) and then used my light pad and the mock up as scale and spacing reference to copy it onto the paper. Materials used: 

I really like that Joseph Campbell quote: “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” So true. 

I had a fun time working on this project for Jane. If you had a vision board for your summer, what would it include?

Want to learn how to make one of your very own? Check out my brush lettering workshop over on Calligraphy.org.

TUTORIAL: Visual Journaling at Church

0 Comments

I teach calligraphy and lettering over at Calligraphy.org, and would absolutely love to teach you the lettering aspect of journaling. I have a very, very beginning fundamentals class for hand-lettering right here. The hand-lettering fundamentals will show you how to push beyond just stick capital letters and lowercase letters to add dimension to your work. I also teach a brush lettering class, it’s geared toward complete beginners and I personally walk you through manipulating the brush/marker to create beautiful work in your own style. Use code SUNDAYNOTES for 10% off through April 30, 2019

I’m so excited you’re here! Here’s a resource to the supplies I use. I used some affiliate links here. By purchasing through my affiliates your price isn’t changed, but you help support my art habit. ;) I’m linking to the sites I shop that carries each item at the lowest price. 

MY JOURNALS: 

Hanji Notebook: I’m currently using this journal for my Sunday notes. So far it has handled watercolor well, and out of my pens, the Sakura & Pigma pens/markers work best. It’s 5×7 inches without gridlines or ruled lines. Erasing pencil lines is a little tricky here, but as long as I’m gentle, the paper fibers withstand erasing.

Hahnemüle Nostalgie Landscape Notebook: I busted this one out for my recent Yellowstone trip. We sketched and journaled our fun on the trip (Penelope and Junie got really excited about it!). It handled watercolor far better than I imagined. My tombow pens didn’t do so hot on this paper, but my Sakura pens did fabulous here. This paper withstands erasing like a champ. No budging or smudging. It’s 6×8 landscape, but you can find it in a lot of different sizes. 

Golden Coil Notebooks: These notebooks are big. It’s a little less portable than the top two notebooks, BUT…. you can customize how you fill your pages. If you like blank, lined, listed, graph, dot grid, spreadsheet pages you can select them. And you can even do a mixture of all of those with up to 260 pages in each notebook. It’s a great value. I’ve found it works really well with all ink types. It does okay with some watercolor washes with little to no bleed-through. These notebooks are bound on a spiral, making it very easy to write on every page with a flat surface. 

House that Lars Built Notebook: If you’re wanting the color to take care of itself and you just want to focus on form, this pretty notebook from HTLB and Abrams book is gorgeous, with different color background and white dot grid to keep your writing level. Printed paper is ideal for felt tip pens/markers and ball-point pens, but not fountain pens. 

I have some dedicated watercolor journals that I’m waiting to bust out on my trip to Holland next month, so jury’s out on those for the moment. These are by no means all the journals that you can choose from, but the ones that I have and can recommend. 

 

MY PENCIL CASE: 

I may have a few too many writing instruments in my pencil case… it’s like my security blanket having all my favorite pens with me! I style my journal entries with the supplies I use, so if you ever have a question about something pictured, or how I did a certain letter, feel free to ask me on Instagram. I’m quite responsive on there. :)

Sakura Micron PN: This pen is waterproof & the kids can use this pen without damaging the nib!

Pigma Professional FB, MB & BB: Sometimes I need a different size brush pen to emphasize different things. This set includes the 3 sizes I would need most and best of all, this set is waterproof. 

Pigma Calligrapher 3.0: This chisel nib may not be your jam if you’re not into calligraphy so much, but I really like how I can accentuate and bold words with this broad-edge pen. Also, it’s waterproof. 

Mechanical Pencil: I don’t want to spend my time sharpening a pencil, so I opt for a mechanical pencil with an eraser here. 

Watercolor Pencils: These are great for drafting out things/shapes that I want to watercolor or adding color in small areas that I want to watercolor without having to bust out my watercolor palette. It’s not crucial that these pencils are sharp, so I don’t sharpen them often, but I do have a pencil sharpener hooked to my zipper just in case I need a finer point.

Pocket Watercolors: While you don’t have to spring for handmade watercolors, having a tiny tin of the colors you like most is helpful. I have a bit of a rainbow of a palette here so I can mix just about any color here. I also like Prima and Sakura watercolors for travel. 

Tombow Fude soft & hard: Is it redundant that I have these and the fine Pigma professional? Maybe? But sometimes I want the feel that these nibs give and I don’t need the waterproof aspect. These pens are not waterproof and sometimes bleeds on certain papers. 

Gelly Roll White 10: I like the size 10, it gives you a very opaque white line. I like adding white dots on the downstrokes of my bigger marker work. 

Sharpie Marker: because… sometimes you need to write something permanent on a plastic surface. 

Waterbrush: I like to use a fine-point waterbrush for my sketches because I’m usually only ever doing small washes and I like having that control. 

 

 

MY APPROACH: 

It’s not always practical to take the kind of notes that I’ve been posting on Instagram. I’m a mom of 3 and sometimes listening is impossible when I’m wrangling a runaway kid (Felix, I’m looking at you). Since my youngest is 4, my ability to listen in longer uninterrupted chunks is opening up.

I remember when Junie was just born (my youngest), and feeling completely starved at church. I was there, but always missing out on the meat of the meeting. It was frustrating. I was spiritually hangry. If you’re feeling this way and thinking, Who the hell does this girl think she is, encouraging me to write notes at church?  I know It’s not easy and it doesn’t work for everyone. I recognize that I’m in a new stage in life without itty bitty babies so my hands are freed up to write notes. 

That said, here are some tips that will help you get in the flow of things; whether you have kids or not. 

  1. If you have kids (big or small), try to bring a pen/pencil/marker/crayon or two for them. And maybe a notebook that they can pillage. If you’re lacking for paper, let them draw with you. It only makes those layouts all the more precious. This does a few things: it teaches them to respect your desire to write notes and teaches that they can do it too. I’m still learning how to incorporate my kids into journaling without being a demanding art director, but including them has been tender. 
  2. Use singing time and announcements as down time to catch up or mock up your layout. I use that time to write out the date at the beginning of services. This warms me up and gives me some time to get in the mood. Sometimes my dates turn out fancy. Sometimes they’re meh. DON’T GET HUNG UP ON GETTING IT PERFECT. 
  3. Listen for big-picture themes. Not all talks/sermons are great or easy to follow. Listen for the overarching theme, write your own impressions on the theme and perhaps a scripture/quote/hymn/verse that calls attention to the theme. If the speaker references a hymn or scripture, jot it in pencil in the margins. During downtime or post-church, you can write that in the blank spaces. If you’re listening to General Conference (a semi-annual conference of amazing sermons from leaders of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), listen for these two things: an invitation and a promise. It keeps note taking from getting overwhelming.
  4. Use columns and shapes to separate ideas, quotes, speakers or soundbites. I generally separate each page into two columns. They’re not always equally divided. But breaking down the space into small chunks helps.
  5. Add a pop of color to emphasize a thought or idea. 
  6. Use this time to play around with handwriting, lettering or calligraphic styles. This is playful time. Just explore. Sometimes your explorations will work and sometimes they won’t. It doesn’t matter if they don’t work out. You tried and you listened. That’s all that really matters. 
  7. Use decorative designs or illustrations to separate thoughts, quotes, ideas, themes. See below for that printable ideas sheet.

Did you draw up some church notes? Let me know!! I’d love to see how they turned out. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE IDEAS SHEET

This freebie is available for personal use only. I hope you enjoyed this post and it gets you working on your own journals. Tag me on instagram @melissapher if you end up using these tips. Looking forward to seeing your progress!

 

 

 

 

Printer-Friendly Christmas Winter Holiday Kids Craft PRINTABLE

0 Comments

Last month I was assigned the task of treat for my kids’ respective class parties. The treat is a tricky thing. Thankfully there were no gluten allergies in the class so I really only had to steer clear of nuts. I, however, wasn’t too thrilled about the printable options I saw on Pinterest. Clever ideas, but All of them used up SO. MUCH. DAMN. PRINTER INK!!! What the heck guys? I don’t want to spend $45 on printer ink for some dumb treat that’s totally going to be tossed aside. But I also didn’t want to go so minimalist that it wasn’t going to be cute. Because cute is everything. 

I came across this Do You Wanna Build A Snowman treat idea and decided I would do my own, printer-ink pocketbook friendly version. I have to hand it to whomever thought up this particular idea in the first place. Brilliant! The kids in my daughter’s 4th grade class and the kids in my son’s life skills class LOVED IT. The fact that it not only held the attention of wiggly 10 year olds, but it wasn’t frustrating for kids with special needs to enjoy too. 

I share this with you now. In January. Because building snowmen doesn’t need to just happen in December. We even get snow the end of may, so this is an easy anytime craft when kids are bored. And they can get clever with it and do so much more than just a snowman. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

It’s pretty easy to pull together too. Here’s what you need: 

  • Printable (prints 6 per page)
  • Card stock (this is my fave!)
  • Large marshmallows
  • Mini pretzel sticks
  • Craisins or chocolate chips
  • Snack bags
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

Print out the printable. It’s black and white and fits 6 to a page. Easy peasy, doesn’t use up tons of ink and has plenty of margin on the sides for your at-home printer. I used this paper to make it look nice. 

Cut out the printable, leaving white space around the pencil line. You don’t have to do this, but I think it looks nice. Don’t worry about perfect lines. Organic lines will match nicely with the style. 

Fold over the tags, not quite in half. Just so you don’t have the other side’s design peeking over on the front.

Fill each bag with 3 large marshmallows 4-5 pretzels and a small handful of craisins or small chocolate chips. Close. 

Staple the tags to the snack bags. I personally prefer the look of the tags on the top left, but that’s just me and my OCD. ;) ENJOY!! 

This freebie is free for personal use only. Alteration and redestribution of this is prohibited. 

Calligraphy & Watercolor Motivational Quote Time-Lapse Process Video

4 Comments

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!

Hand-Lettering with Pencils & Upcoming Workshops!

0 Comments

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!

mobile site