Archive for the ‘calligraphy’ Category

SLC, UTAH Area Modern Calligraphy Workshop 1/24/2019

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Local workshop alert! I’ve had this workshop live, just haven’t shared it with anyone yet. Oops! Join me for an awesome modern calligraphy workshop! I’ll share with you all my secrets. ;) Maybe not all of them, but all of the calligraphy-related ones. 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

This workshop is a 3-hour event where we cover the basics of modern pointed pen calligraphy and any extras we can get to in the time allotted. I try to keep things going quickly, but not so fast that beginners get lost. I want to pack in as much information in such a short period of time! 

Class fee is $99. It includes all materials, snacks, handouts and instructions. All you have to do is show up. Workshop will be in Draper, Utah (we are subject to a last-minute change, but it’ll be within 15 minutes of Draper area). Feel free to email me melissaATmelissaesplinDOTcom or comment below if you have any questions about the class. Hope to see you there! 

Holiday Cards with Mixbook

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I got to take Penelope to a great event last month with Mixbook. There were all sorts of fun stations for crafting and sending cards. Sending out holiday cards are my absolute favorite part of the Christmas season. I haven’t gotten my cards squared away just yet, but you better believe I’m going to be sending those out soon! 

Penelope didn’t appreciate that I gave her bunny ears. Apparently it means something to elementary school kids that it didn’t mean when I was growing up. lol. 

I’m going to let you in on a not-so-secret secret. I don’t design my own holiday cards. It’s a bit of a waste of time for me since I don’t design cards professionally and I don’t really have anything clever to do. So I buy the pre-designed ones and call it good. I do like adding my own personal touch to the envelopes, and usually there’s an art print slipped into each one, but that’s it. Simplicity and done-ness is my motto. With Mixbook, they have beautiful printing and beautiful designs. So I don’t even have to think about it. I just have to work on getting a family photo… That’s easier said than done. 

I’ve decided that this time of year is about enjoying the good things of the season without putting undue stress on the things we don’t have to do. What about you? You do holiday cards this time of year? Want one of my holiday cards? Fill out the form below if you’d like me to send you one! 

 

2018 Free Thank You Printable

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This is one of my most favorite time of year. I have great memories of the most magical Thanksgivings. I hope this is magical for you as well. A big part of Thanksgiving is expressing thanks where it wouldn’t otherwise be said. I hope you take a few moments to download, print and give a card full of gratitude to someone who you’re thankful for. 

Want to learn how to make your own? Check out my line-up of online classes over at Calligraphy.org. Use code GIVETHANKS for 15% off your purchase of over $50 now through 12/5.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

 

Products used: Neenah Bright White Paper | Canon Printer | A2 Kraft Envelope

Happy Thanksgiving! This post is coming to you so so late, but better late than never! Click the above link to download and print, cut in half and send! Use A2 kraft envelopes to send. 

The process was quite simple. I painted the flowers on Legion Stonehenge Coldpress paper, scanned it in and wrote overtop in Procreate app. I kept the style simple with a monoline bouncy penmanship style. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

The above download is available free for personal use only. Any alteration or redistribution of this file without written consent is prohibited. Check out the prior years downloads below: 

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday week full of the best food and the best company!

November 29, 2018 Modern Calligraphy Workshop in SLC, UT

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I’ve got a Modern Copperplate Calligraphy workshop coming at you in just a couple of short weeks! This workshop is far more intensive than the Pinners program workshops. The class time is 3+ hours (because we usually go over) and limited to 10 students. 

November 29, 2018 | The Write Image | 6-9pm

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

A lot of you have been asking me about my workshops and how they work. We’ll be going through the upper and lowercase fundamentals of my modern script. My modern script has a slant to it, it’s airy, informal, yet elegant. Not only will you learn my style, but you’ll learn classical foundations along the way including, but not limited to: how to properly use, care for and hold the pen, the tools to use and the foundations of readability. 

In the class I take time to demonstrate, then have you try your hand at it while I walk around. I give encouragement, feedback, physical adjustments as needed and answer any questions you may have. This class is great for beginners and “beginnermediate” calligraphers that may have had a self-taught start. No experience is necessary. Lefties are welcome too, I can teach both left- and right-handed, upside-down and backwards. ;)

Above: an example of a student’s practice at one of our workshops. Below: more student practice. 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

I hope to see you there! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. If you’d like to get on the email list for local workshops, comment below with your email or message me at melissaATmelissaesplinDOTcom (the contact link above is broken :\ ). 

5 Papers for Calligraphy Practice

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Hopefully this helps as you explore calligraphy more. Let me help you even more on your path to making beautiful, readable calligraphy in your own distinctive style. My Modern Calligraphy workshop includes personal coaching to help you along every step of the way with your calligraphy journey and explorations. I have a brush lettering class too! 

Explore handlettering with me at Utah Pinners on Nov 2 at 2:30. To use your promo code, click here and use code ESPLIN for 10% off through GrowTix when you purchase your tickets. Be sure to pre-purchase your kit for bonus goodies!

Not all paper is created equal. Chances are, if you’re just starting out, you may have found some issues with your practice. Or if you’re not a beginner you had issues when you were just starting out. And maybe you’d like to find some new papers to try out!

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “What paper do you use?”. That’s a loaded question. For now, let’s talk about practice papers. Read the full post below for all the nitty-gritty details for why I like these papers, or watch the video. :)

 

For the sake of this post, I’m using a Hunt 22 nib and Walnut ink on all papers so you can see how each paper handles ink. Also, never mind the fact that I can’t seem to spell the word “laser” correctly. I don’t know why I always get the ‘s’ and the ‘z’ mixed up with that one. The same papers that work with pointed pen also work with pointed brush. When looking for a good practice paper for both pointed pen/modern calligraphy and pointed brush/brush lettering, look for a smooth surface that allows the writing instrument to glide smoothly across the paper and a paper sturdy enough, or well-enough made that it holds ink without bleeding or feathering. These are my go-to calligraphy papers that I seem to always have on-hand. 

I’m going to go through each paper from most transparent to most opaque and list out each paper’s pros & cons and links (affiliated*) to where to purchase:  

ONION SKIN PAPER

PROS: This paper is very smooth and handles ink beautifully. It’s about as transparent as tracing paper, but without the drawbacks. It’s about $30 for an entire ream (500 sheets), which makes it a great value. You can easily slip guidelines under your paper as pictured above and remove them for scanning or photography. 

CONS: There’s really only one brand and one place (the PaperMill Store) where it’s available (amazon is a LOT more expensive). It doesn’t go through the printer well (but no need with its transparency). I’ve noticed some friends complain it can be a bit too smooth. 

MARKER LAYOUT PAPER

PROS: Marker Layout paper is easily accessible, you can purchase it from just about any craft supply store by the pad. It’s nice you can contain your practice within a pad, and it’s semi-transluscent so you can easily put guidelines underneath as pictured above. It’s okay for scanning, but has a little more tooth to the texture of the paper (that can be a pro or a con). Every marker layout paper brand I’ve tried (Canson, Borden & Riley, Strathmore, etc) has performed consistently. I find I prefer Canson out of this category. 

CONS: At between $9-13 per pad with only 50-80 sheets per pad, this is more expensive than onion skin paper. It comes in 9×12 pads, so you have to cut them down smaller if you’re looking to print on them or to scan them in standard-sized scanners. 

PREMIUM LASER PAPER

PROS: There are many brands of premium laser papers out there, so I keep this pretty generic. Many that I’ve tried have worked great with ink. HP Premium Laser Paper is the most popular of this bunch. I’ve had great luck with Hammermill as well. What to look for: 32lb, Laserjet compatable, premium paper. Regular copy paper will ruin your life. This is probably the most economical and easily sourced option of the lot. You can print guides directly onto this paper.

CONS: It’s more opaque, so you’ll need to use a lightpad or print directly onto your paper with a local or at-home printer. Depending upon the brand you’ve purchased, it may have a bit more of a tooth to it. No worries. Just make sure you’re practicing with a light touch (like you should be doing anyway). 

HAND-LETTERING PAPER

PROS: This paper is a hybrid paper. While it’s still considered a practice paper, the weight and quality of this paper could be used as a finished paper. It’s probably the thickest paper of the lot. It’s incredibly smooth, shows a nice bold line and the ink lays evenly on the paper. This paper handles more liquid media than the other papers of this type, so you can practice with wet ink, thicker downstrokes, experiment with watercolor effects without the paper buckling. This paper comes in larger sizes for larger work. 

CONS: It’s a little harder to source this paper than the others, but it’s worth trying if you’re curious. It’s a thicker paper, requiring a lightpad or really dark guidelines to go underneath the paper. Or, worst case scenario, using a pencil to draw out your guidelines. 

GRIDDED PAPER

PROS: Rhodia graph paper already has gridlines on it!! You can find their dot pad, if grid lines are too much, but I really like the structure of the grid. This paper is beautifully smooth and handles ink like a pro. It’s got a little bit of texture to it, enough to give your pen feedback on where you are on the paper, but not so much that your nib is skipping all over the place. Grid lines are 5mm apart

The Engrosser’s Pad from John Neal is also great (make sure to purchase the one labeled “engrosser’s pad” if you’re doing pointed pen), it also includes 55ยบ angle lines for keeping angle lines consistent. The grid markers are quite small at just over 3mm (1/8th inch), so it can be a little harder to keep track of the sizing if you’re going for a larger scale. 

CONS: If you get the Rhodia ICE pad, the grids come in a light grey, which means you can’t scan out the grid lines if you’re digitizing your work. It’s a premium paper (from a French company, so regal ;)), so it comes at a premium price. Thankfully, with the rise of calligraphy and lettering in popularity, the pricing and availability for these pads has become more accessible. The regular orange Rhodia pads have a blue grid that can be photoshopped out, but it’s a little tricky. 

 

Hopefully this helps as you explore calligraphy more. Let me help you even more on your path to making beautiful, readable calligraphy in your own distinctive style. My Modern Calligraphy workshop includes personal coaching to help you along every step of the way with your calligraphy journey and explorations. I have a brush lettering class too! 

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