Posts Tagged ‘art’

TUTORIAL: Visual Journaling at Church

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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!

 

 

 

 

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!

Review: Resonate Collection Review from Ash Bush

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I’m really, really excited about the review that’s coming at you today. Ashley Bush is one of the early calligraphy.org students. She’s made an incredible business of freelance calligraphy and pensmithing. It’s so exciting to see when students really run with it and make calligraphy into a career. 

Ashley recently reached out to me to try out her resonate line. I’m really thrilled with how it’s turned out. It’s affordable, instagrammable and most importantly: comfortably functional. At $30 for these gorgeous marbleized pens, you really can’t go wrong. See the pen rest, tilted ink holder and pen holder in action in my YouTube video below. 

VIDEO DETAILS: 

But if you’re not the video-watching type… Here are my pros & cons of each item offered in the collection…

HOLDER $30

PROS: Affordable, smooth/silky finish, easy to clean, made from resin so it won’t split, carrot holder for promoting whole arm movement (also a great holder style for arthritic hands), flange adjusted and pre-fit with a G-nib

CONS: It’s a little short. It feels nicely balanced in the hand, but I personally wish it were a little bit longer. I wouldn’t mind an angled foot, either. But the foot is still small enough for a carrot holder that it fits in most ink jars. 

PEN REST $9

PROS: Holds 2 holders for easily switching styles, pretty, heavy enough base that it doesn’t topple over.

CONS: has a slightly different finish on it than the pen, it’d be nice if it had the same matte finish. Not a deal breaker by any means. 

TILTED INK HOLDER $7

PROS: It tilts the jar just enough that you can get that last little bit of your ink out of the jar. It really works with very little ink!

CONS: It doesn’t do well with full jars of ink. I wish there were a second well that was upright for me to hold my ink when the jar was full, and then tilt when the jar was nearing empty. But I really rarely put my full ink jars in an upright inkwell holder anyway, so it might just be superfluous. 

BOTTOM LINE: It’s a no-brainer. Scrounge up $50 and snatch up the entire collection. But at the very least, get the holder. It’s a must. It’s so so good. GET ONE RIGHT HERE.

February & March 2018 Calligraphy Workshops!

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I’ve started teaching in-person again! I’ve got February and March workshop registrations open.

Lettered with white ink on handmade paper

Beginning Modern Calligraphy (aka Pointed Pen)

FEB 15 | 6-9 | DRAPER, UT

It’s a 3-hour whirlwind workshop. Let’s get down to business and get you learning as much technique as possible to get you practicing and comfortable with pointed pen. It’s not that intimidating, but there is a learning curve. If you’re the type of person that needs adjustments with your grip and orientation and needs to see things in-person. This is the workshop for you. No experience necessary. Beginnermediate calligraphers welcome, too. Lefties ALWAYS welcome. Snacks, handouts and materials included.

REGISTER HERE

Sakura markers on Rhodia paper

 

Beginning Brush Lettering (aka pointed brush calligraphy)

MAR 2 | 5-8 | SLC, UT

We’ve teamed up with The Market Beautiful (formerly Vintage Whites) for another workshop at the Utah Fairgrounds. Come early and shop the awesome vintage/made goods and get your “learn on” as we dive deep into brush lettering. If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t have time for calligraphy, but you need calligraphy in your life, this is the class for you. Materials are portable to go where you go: practices, jet-setting, road trips, doc apts, school, etc. No experience necessary. Beginnermediate calligraphers welcome, too. Lefties ALWAYS WELCOME. Snacks, handouts and materials included. 

REGISTER HERE

If you have any questions about these upcoming workshops, feel free to leave a comment or email me directly! I hope to see you there! 

Can’t make it to one of these in-person workshops? I’ve got the next best thing! Take one of my online classes over at calligraphy.org

Post-Holiday Thank Yous for Kids

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Finally coming up to the surface after a very wonderful, but very busy holiday season. OH wow. It was great. My kids were spoiled, too. So, how do I include them in giving thanks for their massive haul of presents? They make the backgrounds and I make the cards out of them. It’s really quite easy. I made a video about it, but I’m sure you can figure it out on your own, though, too. ;)

SUPPLIES:

  • paper (I love this stuff, you can find it at Walmart usually for $5)
  • watercolors 
  • brushes
  • Sakura brush markers (they’re waterproof)
  • -or- a Thank You stamp/sticker (I made my stamp with the Mint)

No need to cut the papers down, give them to your kids and let them have fun! But not so much fun that they totally saturate the page with water and pigment. We need the paper to still have some integrity. So try (sometimes easier said than done) to pull the paper away and give them a new one to color once they have markings in all four quadrants of the page. Teach them how to splatter their paint (only if you have washable colors like crayola watercolors!).

Once you have a collection of pages from your kid(s), let the papers dry and cut the paper in fourths (5.5×4.25). Now add your Thank You phrase! You can write it by hand with marker or use a Thank You stamp (like this or this).

Now on the back, write your Thank You on the back on the left half of the paper. Be sure to leave room for your kid to make a mark, whether it’s a scribble or part of their name. Write the recipients address on the right half and stick a stamp in the top right corner. BOOM. DONE. Postcard postage is 34 cents now, so keep that in mind. :) 

I hope you get your kids involved in expressing gratitude with us! Let me know how it goes by tagging me on Instagram @melissapher. And if you’re looking to learn how to do that fancy-pants calligraphy on the front of the card, look no further. I teach brush lettering with personal coaching (one-on-one feedback that’s actually helpful) over at calligraphy.org. Hope to see you over there! 

*Affiliate links used for products I use and love.

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