Posts Tagged ‘brushlettering’

10 Awesome Markers for Addressing Dark Envelopes


Welcome if you’re here from Studio 5! I hope you stick around! I’ve got free printables, tutorials and more. :) Check me out on Instagram and give me a follow if you’re interested in more creative living. 

If you missed the segment, click here to watch.

One of the tricky things about addressing envelopes, if you’re not a calligrapher, is finding the right pen to do the trick! It’s especially tricky if you have dark envelopes and you want to make an impact in the mailbox. Which, if you know me at all, I like to bring out a smile when I send friends & loved ones snail mail. There are so many markers out there, this certainly is a very small cross-section of the ones you can find. This small collection of markers will serve you well as you work on darker papers. 

Let me emphasize the following: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A CALLIGRAPHER OR EVEN HAVE GOOD HANDWRITING TO ENJOY THESE TOOLS. But if you are a calligrapher or if you have awesome penmanship, you’ll find they’re also fun. 

And if your penmanship sucks? Check out my free penmanship tutorial and download right here. Want to learn brush lettering? Check out my online class right here!! Use code BRUSHLETTERING for a special discount! 


Looking for this black paper? Get it right here.

Let’s talk about pretty white pens. They’re tricky because you want those whites to be as opaque as possible. You need that pop! My favorites, in order of largest marker size to smallest are: 


When it comes to metallics AND opacity on dark papers, we venture into super tricky territory. There are really only a couple of markers I’ve used and can recommend here. But I’ve found that for the most part, each of the ones I’ve used includes a gold, copper and silver. Silver often times looks a lot like white (BONUS!). The golds usually take on a more green tone, so I personally like to stick to the copper if I’m going for a gold/black kind of look. So here we go with the second list, again, going from largest to finest. 

And don’t feel intimidated if your penmanship isn’t incredible. These markers will take your writing to the next level. IF you’re worried about writing in a straight line, I would highly recommend getting a LetterMate right here. They’re little plastic life-savers. ;) 

STAY TUNED!! Next week I’m sharing a tutorial on how to address those little envelopes of yours quickly and effortlessly. Thanks so much for popping by! 

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John & Anna Wedding | Watercolor Wash DIY


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.

SLC Craft & Calligraphy Workshop


This Thursday (September 15, 2016) I’m holding a craft night at The Write Image! Click here for more info.


We’re going to be exploring flourished brush calligraphy and we’ll be decorating mugs with our fancy skills. Materials and dinner provided.


Valentine Brush Calligraphy Workshop


How are we looking at Valentine’s plans already? EEP? Where has the time gone? I keep meaning to do a calligraphy workshop IN PERSON, and it just never happens. That’s probably why Alix and I started planning this workshop back in October. I’m so looking forward to partying, hopefully you can be there! If not, there’s always my online class. It’s pretty fun, too.


Alix and I have planned an awesome night out with lovely letters, good food, a photobooth (naturally) and great company. We’re going to learn the basics behind pointed brush calligraphy (or brush lettering as most people call it) and we’re going to make some fun little valentines.



February 3, 2016 | Lehi, Utah | 6-9 pm | $140

Fee includes: food, photobooth, valentine-making craft supplies, the above calligraphy kit (9 markers, pad of paper, exemplar book, pencil, glitter pen & zippered pouch). The class is limited, so it will be an intimate workshop with lots of hands-on help.

I look forward to seeing you there! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.


Will you be my valentine?

I’m Teaching At Pinners Conference


I’m presenting at this year’s Pinners Conference! I’m teaching a very casual crash course into marker calligraphy on Friday November 6 at noon! See a list of classes right here. Use code MELISSA for 10% off your ticket.


I’m going to take you through the veeeeeery beginnings of doing calligraphy with markers. The class only lasts an hour so I’ll be taking attendees through a guided craft (Holiday cards!) using markers and script.


I hope you come! It’s going to be a fun event with all sorts of great ideas, crafts, classes and items to help you gear up for the holiday season. I’ll have a table set up at the event selling class kits (brush kits and pointed pen kits) and lettering names for people.


Register here. Use code MELISSA for a 10% discount!

The challenge with only an hour long class is that I can’t possibly do a full beginner course. We’ll be focusing on the importance of positioning and grip (I’ll be walking around and helping people with that physically – LEFTIES included!). I’ll give you the techniques to get started on the right footing and we’ll create our own stationery using the methods learned in class. You’ll be making beautiful projects right off the bat!


Bummed you can’t make it? Take my Beginning Brush Lettering class online instead! It’s far more thorough than a crash course and I’ll send you a kit and everything. ;) Or sign up for our email newsletter below to find out about live workshops and discounts.

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