Archive for the ‘design’ Category

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!

Spring Motivational Quote Printable

0 Comment

I’m on Studio 5! It was so fun to go on to film this segment. I wanted to do something that related to spring and new beginnings and starting anew. So I found this quote as a little motivator. See the end of this post for the free file to download. FREE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. 

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE!!

I’ve got 2 workshops coming up next month! Be sure to sign up before spots sell out! 

Modern Calligraphy Workshop – April 6th 5-8pm in Draper, UT! Learn basics of modern pointed pen calligraphy. 

Brush lettering & Watercolor Workshop – April 21 9-5pm in Bluffdale, UT! Come to Cents of Style headquarters for a DAY filled with watercolor, calligraphy, food and creativity. 

Who doesn’t need a motivator like this? I mean come on! I think you could print this out and mail it to your buddies who you know may be struggling through something. Even the most beautiful flowers still have to grow through dirt (and sometimes manure). I’m totally obsessed with Natalie Malan’s floral skills, so I thought i would put her most recent paper pack to good use and print the quote on there! It was easy peasy. See below for instructions and tools. 

Tools: 

Print out the quotes on a laser printer. If you don’t have one at home, head to your nearest copy center and have it printed on black and white on your desired paper. I loved how substantial this Natalie Malan paper pack was, but it went through my laser printer no sweat. 

Then turn on your laminator in the highest heat setting. Once it’s ready, cut out a piece of foil the size of the lettering (as to not waste foil material). Lay it overtop the printed area, slip inside a folded sheet of parchment paper and send through the laminator. 

Pull it out and remove the foil. TADA!! It’s done. 

I did experiment with watercoloring on plain paper after I did the foil transfer and it worked quite well! The chalkiness of the beginner paints, however stuck onto the foil so it wasn’t as mirror-like and shiny where I painted overtop the lettering. But it still turned out ok. Just an option. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE

I know it’s super simple, but it’s so fun to add a little bit of gold sparkle to some pretty decorative paper! 

And if you don’t have access to gold foil, just print it black and white!! Look at how pretty just the black and white turned out….

This freebie is free for personal use only. Alteration or redistribution of this file is prohibited. If you’d like the artwork for commercial use, please contact melissa@melissaesplin.com.      

Affiliate links are used. Sales from these links help support this blog and the content created here. Thank you!

Time-Lapse Chalk Board Project

0 Comments

I teamed up with my assistant Hayley to letter these quotes on a double-sided chalkboard. We had a fantastic time hanging out, chatting and doing our favorite thing: lettering! I had 3 cameras set up. Unfortunately the two end cameras that show us lettering cut out in the middle of our process. And my shoulder is covering my hand basically the entire time. But I still thought I’d edit the footage together and share it on my YouTube channel. If you’re not a subscriber already, throw me a like or a subscribe if you like it! I’m publishing a new video each week. It switches up between time-lapse lettering, real-time lettering, art/material reviews and art tutorials. It’s all very art-related with a heavy lettering emphasis. And every tutorial and art product could be used for calligraphy. So yay to me for being focused on something!! lol. 

 

 

Find Hayley and me on Instagram:

@typeaffiliated | @melissapher

Materials used (purchasing through my affiliate links below support more videos, THX!):
General charcoal pencil
T-square
Versa chalk
ZIG posterman
Sumo grip eraser

Learn how to do chalk lettering with actual chalk right here.

Buy awesome art prints and originals at typeaffiliated.com!

Basic run-down of how we did this: I took a pic of the chalkboard with my ipad and lettered the layout on there. That gave me a rough idea of where to make guide lines. Then I chalked up the guidelines and markered everything in. BOOM. DONE. Took just over an hour for my side. Hayley was faster. Because she’s a lettering baller. 

This project is for a classroom reading nook, so we wanted the signage to be relatively permanent, hence the chalk markers versus the actual chalk. The cool thing about that is that it makes cleaning up chalkboards a breeze. We used the General Pencil white charcoal to mark up our guidelines and the Sakura SumoGrip eraser to erase them effortlessly after we were done. No white erase marks. No mess. And it didn’t even take off the chalk marker once it was dry either! WIN! 

I might have gotten a little carried away with decorative elements.

Hayley kept it clean, playful and readable. Afterall, it is a reading nook for an elementary school. And most elementary schools don’t teach cursive anymore. So as a result, most kids don’t know how to read it either. It’s the saddest thing. Isn’t the ‘m’ in “dream” just lovely?!? OMG. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process video and a little bit of the behind-the-scenes of how we made these chalkboards. 

2017 Thank You Printable

6 Comments

The time of year has come where it’s time for the annual Thank You freebie! I love doing this because it gives me a chance to work on styles and techniques I don’t always get to do on a regular basis. For this year, it meant I got to put the watercolor floral classes I’ve taken from Natalie Malan to use. I wanted to go for a slightly muted palette, but it only worked slightly. It’s like a bright, muted palette. ;)

Also, I feel like I must mention that this month completes the 10th year I’ve been blogging! I can’t believe it’s been that long. So much has changed: 6 moves, 3 children and a few career changes to say the least. I didn’t know I would be blogging this long. But here we are! ‘Tis the season for gratitude, so I may as well express that I’m so grateful for the opportunities that blogging and social media has given me. I’ve made dear friends, I’ve traveled, I’ve learned so much and I’ve felt the creative inspiration through the connections that I’ve made. It’s been pretty awesome. Will I still be here, writing in another 10? We shall see! 


Check out the a video of my process here:

This year’s Thank you takes on two forms. One is a plain, 5.5×4.25 rectangle with cut lines for you to follow, the above is a suggestion. You can download the JPG and use Silhouette’s print & cut feature to make a gorgeous full-bleed card with a scalloped edge. See below for the tutorial! 

You certainly don’t have to have a Silhouette in order to take advantage of this printable. Just click The download link below with the description “hand cut”. :) Just giving you some fun options.

DOWNLOAD SILHOUETTE FILES HERE

DOWNLOAD HAND CUT FILES HERE

But I’ve got TONS MORE ‘Thank You’s. Check out the whole list of past years’ printables below!

Want to learn calligraphy? Like the brush lettering I use here? Check out my class on Calligraphy.org. I’ll give you one-on-one instruction to help you get there. We start from the very basics, but because of the personal nature of the instruction we offer off-script learning for the more advanced letterer. Use code BRUSHLETTERING for a 10% discount on the class. :)

Materials used for this DIY: 

This printable is free for personal use only. Any redistribution or commercial use of this printable without written consent is prohibited. © Melissa Esplin 2017. Affiliate links used, by purchasing through an affiliate link, you support MelissaEsplin.com and the free content provided here. Thank you for your support! 

 

John & Anna Wedding | Watercolor Wash DIY

0 Comments

I had the joy to design and letter the wedding invitations for one of my cousins this last August. They were dream clients, too. Both have amazing taste and trusted my expertise and let me play with some fun, new techniques. 

 

I’ve really enjoyed playing around with watercolor pencils and the playfulness and depth they provide to a simple watercolor wash, so I mixed a few colors to get their wedding colors in the wash and went to town. See the below video for an in-depth explanation of how to get that wash. I love the energy that explodes from the background with those washes. 

Check out the tutorial below and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tutorials like this in the future! 

We went with copper foil printing for the names on the invitation. Part of me wanted to do copper foil for all of the text, but I didn’t want readability to be an issue. We did digital printing with digital foil through a wholesale printer I have an account with, so it was quite affordable, too!

Man, foil is so hard to capture with a camera! It has a lovely rosy, rusty tone to it, it’s hard to see that in the images. But it popped nicely against the watercolor background. 

For the design, I used my go-to font Museo Sans and my own hand-lettering. I lettered the names and titles of cards with my iPad Pro using Procreate and Brush #4 from Fabian Fischer’s ultimate calligraphy brush set. I really liked the texture and functionality of that brush more than any other brush I’ve found around. If you’ve found other good ones, let me know!  

I ended up addressing all of the envelopes for the invitations as well. The couple gave me 100% creative freedom to pen them however worked best. I ended up doing a large-scale script for the names with an all caps for the address. I used the Cocoiro Brush Type marker (if you’re purchasing one for the first time, don’t forget to get a pen body to go with it). The markers lasted me about 75 invitations before it ran out of ink. I ended up doing between 500-600 envelopes. It was a project for sure, but I was THRILLED with the end result. 

I’ve recreated the invitations using my ink-jet printer and laser printer and foil laminator so you can see some of the spots where the foil didn’t adhere. All details have been changed for privacy purposes.

mobile site