Archive for the ‘calligraphy’ Category

Watercolor Pencil Ranunculus Tutorial

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I’ve had this thing in the queue too long! It’s no secret that I’m a materials hoarder. When I got the chance to score a set of General’s Kimberly Watercolor Pencils, I jumped at the chance. I tried watercolor pencils a long, long time ago (before I really even knew a thing about watercolor painting in general), and didn’t really do well with them. I needed to make up for lost time. 

I really loved how these watercolor pencils turned out. They’re smooth, vibrant, juicy, and blendable. BUT… they aren’t watercolor paints! There’s a real distinction between the two… See? 

I love how I can get very gestural strokes with the watercolor pencils. It adds a lot of movement to the paper. I filmed a quick little tutorial on how to make your own ranunculus in the video below. I do hope you enjoy! 

 

 

Add your own calligraphy to your florals, and you’ve got a VA-VA-VOOM piece that your friends and family will love! Don’t know calligraphy yet? Consider taking my online class. It’s THE BEST (if I do say so myself. ;)). 

Embossing Hand-Lettering & Calligraphy

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Close To My Heart sent me a sweet care package of embossing goodies to try with calligraphy. I’ve had a blast ever since they showed up on my doorstep! It’s been so fun to make cards and address envelopes with my new gadgets. And now I want every color under the sun to use for embossing! The raised texture is fantastic. And I’ve been able to get reliable results time after time with my pointed pen and my pointed brushes. It’s definitely a worth-while investment. 

Materials used: 
Gillott 404 Nib 
Oblique Holder 
Strathmore Bristol Paper
Size 2 Liner Brush
CTMH Embossing Powder
CTMH Heat Tool
CTMH Watercolors
Glycerine

I found that the Versamark liquid (for refilling stamp pads) was too sticky to use as ink, so I opted for glycerine. I’m glad I was able to find a suitable substitute as the glycerine doesn’t gum up my nibs or brushes. That said, I do like to use my cheaper nibs and brushes for this particular activity. I don’t want to be destroying my sable hair brushes in the process! 

Check out the video or read through the post details to find out how to emboss your own lettering!

 

  1. Dilute 1 part glycerine and 1 part water to make your ink. It helps to use a pipette to dilute with water so you have good control. 
  2. Pen or brush your words/phrase/name on the paper. Use a nice quality paper so the glycerine doesn’t bleed. Before lettering, make sure to scrape or drip off excess “ink” so you’re not laying down too much glycerine. It can affect how the embossing happens. 
  3. Place your paper over a scrap sheet, I like using a thin sheet of paper so that I can easily clean up excess embossing powder. 
  4. Pour a generous amount of embossing powder over your design. Tap excess off the paper onto the scrap sheet. Set project aside and funnel excess powder back into the embossing powder jar. 
  5. Heat your design with a heat tool. Keep the tool 2-4 inches away from  your work and move the tool as the powder melts. 
  6. Optional: Add a watercolor wash over your work. 
  7. For best results, the watercolor wash should happen after. The watercolor resists the embossed work, so no need to do it prior. If you do happen to do it beforehand, you may find the glycerine bleeds over the wash and your lines will get fuzzy. 

Products from Close To My Heart (CTMH) were provided for this video. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The affiliate links used help support this blog and the tools used for making more tutorials, reviews and content. Thanks for your support!

Calligraphic Quote

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Sometimes I’m really bad at cross-promoting what’s going on on my social channels. Do you know that I have a YouTube channel? It’s full of quote videos and product reviews. More to come soon. I’m starting to post 2 videos per month (this girl needs to be realistic), but I’m hoping to post more in the future. Is there a product or quote you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments below!

I used a holder from Hoang Dao, Leonardt Principal nib and Quinacridone Pink watercolor from Daniel Smith.

This quote resonated with me as I’ve been the recipient of many acts of kindness from various friends, family and strangers as of late. There are a lot of kind people in the world, truly.

Wondering how I do this “magic” with pen and ink? Take the online class and learn how to write modern calligraphy! Use code 5OFF for 5% off your purchase. Purchases over $200 get free shipping (yes, international gets free shipping, too!).

Tips For Working Magic with Chalk Markers

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Chalk markers are one of those tools that I’ve used and haven’t liked, so I dismissed them altogether. They’re so fussy that by the time you get one to work, you could have been done with an entire composition if you had used regular chalk. No convenience factor. And usually they’re so permanent that they may as well be paint pens. So completely negating the whole reason why you opted for chalk in the first place. No room for mistakes? Not my jam. I make tons of mistakes. We all do. 

Then these babies showed up in the mail. With my nose turned up awaiting for disgust, I found three glorious things out of these chalk markers: juicy ink, opaqueness and non-permanence. Yep! But first, four tips for making chalk markers work for you

  • To avoid puddles of ink when starting the marker; shake the marker while capped and lid pointing up, remove the cap, and depress the nib while point is still facing up. This releases pressure that may build up while taking advantage of gravity to keep the ink inside the pen and not all over the chalkboard or test paper.
  • Store chalk markers horizontally (this is a great practice for all markers) to keep the point from drying out.
  • For best results on clean-up, use a non-porous chalkboard surface. I used chalkboard MDF from Home Depot for this review and every color (except white) came off beautifully with just water and paper towels. 
  • Ghosting? No problem. Grab some windex and a magic eraser. 

My assistant, Hayley, and I spent a morning last month testing out these markers and we were both singing praises. You can see the results from our testing in the above review video. 

Hayley approves!

Like I mentioned earlier, we found some serious pros to these markers: 

  • The ink flowed smoothly, each line was just as juicy as the last. Consistent ink is king!
  • The markers were all very vibrant and opaque. The images and video don’t do the hot pink justice. ;)
  • Clean-up was easier than anticipated for sure. Water and paper towels (a lot of paper towels) did the trick. 

We found a couple of cons, but not deal-breakers: 

  • The white had a tendency to ghost upon clean-up. The other colors cleaned up easily, though. Windex and magic eraser was my friend to get that off. 
  • The ink tended to flood out when we were starting the markers. Relieving pressure with the tip facing up did the trick, though.

Overall, These Kassa Flourescent Chalk Markers were a fantastic surprise to both Hayley & me. Major win over here. I hope you try them out and enjoy them as much as we have!

I’m working on doing a review per month on art and calligraphy-related materials. Stay tuned for more! If there’s a material or product you’d like to see in the future, comment below!

Looking to learn the art of Chalk Lettering? Take our class (taught by the ever-amazing Skyler Chubak) right here! Use code CHALKROCKS for 15% off the workshop. Code valid through 6/30/2017.

Product was donated for this unpaid review. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used to link to products which help support the blog. Thanks so much for reading!

2017 Mother’s Day Card Freebie

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Mother’s day is basically here! Today is a great day to send a note in the mail to the women in your life who have been there to guide you through life. I feel so grateful to have both a fantastic mother and mother-in-law. I’ve been privileged to have been surrounded by hard-working, strong, amazing women. It’s about time that I let them know I’m grateful for them. 

Download the printable file and print! The file fits 2 cards on a page, so send more than one note out today! 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

 

Click the image above for a high-res sharable version to post on Instagram. Be sure to tag @melissapher when you post. Thank you!

*By downloading the above material, you agree to terms of use: This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!
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