Posts Tagged ‘hand-lettering’

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!

Sign Painting Inspired Photo Backdrop

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Sometimes I enthusiastically say, “Yes!” to a project before understanding the scale. It’s a problem I get myself into constantly. As much as these decisions cost me in time, I benefit in learning new things: new methods, techniques and at the very least when I should say, “no.”

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AlixMegan and I were asked to head up a photo booth for Alt Summit this year. After mulling through several ideas, our theme was b&w pre-internet, we settled on some typographic backdrop for the photo booth for Alt Summit (summer 2015). It took until the 11th hour to think of what words to use.

I’m no copy editor. Coming up with copy is difficult for me. I can make it beautiful, but figuring out what to write can be like pulling teeth for me. It took several conversations as a team and an hour long phone call with my mom. I figured it would make the most sense to do onomatopoeias. Since it’s B&W pre-internet (which I thought was kind of vague) I started with the sounds you would hear from pre-internet technology like the “click and clack” from a typewriter. Then it grew from there to include any onomatopoeia that I could think of. I didn’t want to repeat the words too many times.

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Initially I had thought about inspirational words or phrases, but we didn’t want readability to be an issue. The short words turned out to be great.

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This sign ended up being roughly 9′ wide and 4′ tall. Doing something this large isn’t typical of my day-to-day work. Also, sign painting and lettering isn’t something that I do often. I was more than a bit out of my comfort zone here. Between that and the fact that the only space I could complete the sign was the kitchen area, stress levels were at an all-time high. My stress always sky-rockets around Alt Summit. So Chris knew he needed to steer clear. The kids quickly learned that lesson after an embarrassing amount of yelling, “GET OUT!! I can’t have you touching the paper!!”

I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking they live in a mausoleum, but I also can’t have their sticky otter pop hands anywhere close to the paper. My paranoia mounted the further along I got. Stakes were escalating, I couldn’t start over!

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In my efforts to keep Pen and Felix out of trouble and my precious paper out of harm’s way, I barricaded the kitchen off with various chairs and a car seat. Chris got a kick out of it. That buffer saved my bacon a couple of times by keeping Felix from barreling through the room on his way outside.

At one point Alix came over to help fill in words with her two littles in tow. 5 kids under the age of 7 made for some interesting work time. Her kids were so good at staying clear of the paper and paint. Mine, not so much.

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The event went well, but as we were setting up for the backdrop I noticed that we had an awkward blank space on the top left corner of the backdrop. I made it a point to have my art supplies with me so that I could letter names for people (that was so fun!). So it was no big deal to whip out the white paint and brush and get to work on a couple extra pieces to fill out the negative space.

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If you look carefully, you’ll see that the “alt.” logo, arrow and “BAM” are a slightly different white. I had a different white, a teeny brush and I had to do it while the backdrop was hanging so I didn’t have a hard surface to work on. It certainly wasn’t my best work, but I was able to fill in the blank and make it look like it was supposed to be there.

I may be biased, but we rocked the photobooth. I’m glad I said yes to this project and got out of my comfort zone.

Project materials:

The Pressure of Expressing Thanks

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Since before the arrival of Miss Juniper, we’ve had so many friends, family members and neighbors lend a helping hand for our little family. It’s been a real blessing to have such great support. A considerable amount of it is from the great support network of my church. It’s incredible. I couldn’t imagine welcoming a new baby without that.

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With all of the help, I’ve tried so hard to stay on top of all of the ‘Thank You’s. It’s hard sometimes! Why would a self-proclaimed calligrapher have a hard time doing that? I tell you why –

For some reason, I put pressure on myself that if I don’t bust out the calligraphy pens or if I (heaven forbid) use a thank you that someone else designed the sentiment is cheapened. It’s like I’m cheating or trying passing off someone else’s work as my own if I use a store-bought card. Also if I use the same card twice.

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I’m not trying to complain. These thoughts are completely ridiculous, if you ask me. But no less real. Does anyone else suffer from the same psychosis?

I have found a solution to help me send those much-deserved ‘Thank You’s:

  • Always have a variety of colored envelopes and blank flat cards on-hand so I can mix and match as I choose.
  • Always have a stockpile of stamps (which reminds me, I need to order more!)
  • Keep a list of owed ‘Thank You’s at my desk so when I have a spare moment for practice work, I can work through the list.

I didn’t implement these things until about July of this year. And I’m still working out the kinks in the process. If I were smarter, I would have a pile of hand-lettered cards like you see above already completed. All I’d have to do is write a note on the back. Maybe I’ll get on that bandwagon in the next few months. Change happens so slowly around my neck of the woods. :)

So how do you make sure those ‘Thank You’s get out?

Return Address Stamp for Writing Pen Pals

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For nearly a year now I’ve meant to make a return address stamp for our address! We’re SO permanent now, so why the delay?

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I made the stamp in a mono-line so it would coordinate better with my various styles of addressing. Chris says that it’s girly, but it’s not nearly as girly as most of my lettering styles.

I wish I could show you the whole address, the numbers and letters do fun things together with little flourished details. You’ll just have to give me an excuse to send you something in the mail if you really want to see the whole thing.

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I write to 4 pen pals these days. It’s so much fun to get fun mail each week and to get to know someone in a neighboring state or half way around the world. I love writing pen pals!

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Pauline is one of my pen pals, isn’t that a fun letter? I was just over the moon to get this in the mail.

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