Sunday, 29 March 2015

How to Draw Celtic Knots project 2

For this project, I have drawn a simple Celticknot design, using some inexpensive art materials, some paper and a gold edging marker pen.

The Celtic Knot Shape

Celtic knots resemble interwoven ribbon designs, that go around forever and they can easily be incorporated into any calligraphy project or on a gift card.  Celtic knots are commonly used in tattoo designs and printed on fabric.

My Celtic Knot Project 2

I started this project by drawing a Celtic knot by freehand, using a hard nibbed 2H pencil and layout paper.  The materials I used were a black pen, some pencils for shading and a gold pen.

I first drew the outline of the Celtic knot in fine pencil, then I drew the outline with the black pen and then shaded the Celtic knot using a 2H and 2B pencil.  The 2B pencil was used for the darker shading.  You can use any medium for this project, such as charcoal or coloring pencils.  You can get watercolor pencils from any art shop, and they are great for setting off some color to your artwork.  You can dip the pencil in some water and apply the pencil to paper and this will give an appearance of watercolor paints. 

When mapping out the Celtic knot shape, be mindful that you keep the ‘ribbon’ width consistent throughout.

A Simple Celtic Knot Design
I love Celtic knots because they are quite simple to draw, but the look beautiful and sets off any artwork really well.  

Saturday, 28 March 2015

My Easter Calligraphy Projects

For this project, I have created a couple of Easter time creations. The first one is a simple Easter card that I written in calligraphy using red ink a fine calligraphy pen and a small nib. I used a basic calligraphy style. I also drew a cross using a fine black biro. I first traced out an outline before drawing the cross. 

Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday, is one of the most important religious date in the Christian calendar.  Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and his body was taken from the cross and placed in a tomb and on the third day, he rose again.  The week leading up to Easter is called Holy Week.  Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter Day and Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter day.  Easter holidays are enjoyed by many and is a good time to have a go at some Easter art.

A Simple Easter Project for Easter Cards

For this Easter project, I have created a couple of Easter creations.  The first one is a simple Easter card that I written in calligraphy using red ink, a fine calligraphy pen and a small nib.  I used a basic calligraphy style.  I also drew a cross using a fine black biro.  I first traced out an outline before drawing the cross.  To do this, I used some plain paper, a hard nibbed pencil, such as a 2H, and a black pen.   For the ‘Easter time’ lettering, I used a broader nibbed calligraphy nib and ink.  For the cross, I simply mapped out a picture of the cross and drew it with black ink.

Many people celebrate Easter by giving chocolate Easter eggs or other gifts, but many would rather give out an Easter card during this time.  Easter is also associated with Easter chickens, or the Easter Bunny.  The Easter Chicken are associated with Easter because this came from Pagan days, when they were a sign of New Life.  Later on, the Christians took this meaning as a symbol of remembering the Resurrection of Jesus and a New Life.  Decorated eggs came from an older culture, where eggs were colored red to signify the blood of Christ at his crucifixion.  This tradition was adopted by Christianity.   The painted eggs are now replaced by chocolate eggs.

Other Easter Designs

There are many ideas that you can use for Easter, such as painting a picture of an Easter egg, an Easter Bunny, some daffodils or a religious theme.  Yellow is associated with Easter, and this color is related with the spring and longer days.

Designs for Easter Holidays
Other Colors of Easter for your Designs

There are other colors you can use for your designs in Easter time, such as Red, which represents the blood of Christ, Gold, which is associated with celebration and richness, and white, which represents purity.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Pilot Parallel Pens

For this project, I used a Pilot Parallel Pen, 2.4mm nib size and green cartridges.  There are an assortment of cartridges in the pack and it makes for great color choices.  You can create a gradient of colors by touching one nib with another one of a different color and this will create a gradual change of color as you write, which make some beautiful effects.

Calligraphy Is Fun

Parallel Pen Nib Sizes

The Pilot Parallel pen comes in four nib sizes, which are 0.5mm, 2.4mm, 3.8mm and the broadest being 6.0mm. The colors available are black, blue, green, red, yellow and purple. The great thing about these pens is that you can create very fine lines by holding the pen sideways so the nib is vertical.

The Pilot Parallel pens nibs are sharper than conventional fountain pens.  The nibs consists of two parallel plates, which help to hold the ink and they also have sharp corners so the writing appears cleaner, sharper and crisp, and the writing more impressive.  The parallel plate is a unique design, and you can achieve sharper, smoother and neater calligraphy handwriting, better than conventional calligraphy pens.  The ink flow is excellent and you can pick the pen up again after months of not being used, and the ink will flow easily as if it were only used yesterday.  There is a converter in the pack, which is used to clean and flush the pen out after use or for ink refill.  The pack has a shim, which is used to clean the nib between the plates.

Paper For Pilot Parallel Pens

The paper I used was A4 sized sketch paper, which was of a high quality 130gsm white cartridge paper.   However, I found that the paper could not cope with the amount of ink used on the paper.  The ink started to soak in the ink and started to bleed and became feathery.  This was rather disappointing but I do like the colors.  For this project, I also used a fine nibbed conventional fountain pen and deep red ink.

I was excited with the new pens, but it is important to be mindful of the quality of paper used.  If feel that hot pressed paper of a higher quality is better for these pens because of the amount of ink that comes out of the nibs.  These pens can use a lot of ink, so it may be a cheaper alternative to keep the ink cartridges and refill them with good quality ink, but be careful when choosing ink as some may clog the pen.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Writing A List In Calligraphy

Finding every opportunity to practising to write in a calligraphy style is a great way to keep your skill alive and refining your technique.  You can find lots of opportunities to do this, for example, when writing out notes, writing a shopping list, a task list, even doing a crossword puzzle or Arrow Words!  Anything that needs handwriting can be written in a calligraphy style.  You will find that your calligraphy will look better with time and it will become second nature and you may also find that you can write calligraphy faster than before.
In the example shown below, is an example of how you can use calligraphy in everyday situations, such as a simple shopping list. 

The YouTube clip shown illustrates how to write a short shopping list written in Gothic style, using black ink and a broad nibbed calligraphy pen.  Of course, if you are in a rush, then it is not practical to do this.  I used a Manuscript calligraphy pen and the nib size used was a 4B or 2.8, which is one of the broader sized nib.  You can write out a list of anything you like, such as a grocery list, things to do or other lists in general.

A collage of calligraphy writing
Keep Practising Calligraphy for a Professional Look

Writing gift cards, Christmas cards, birthday cards, festive events and any other special occasional cards, are a great way to practice gorgeous handwriting.  Writing a letter for a special occasion, and writing on an envelope with beautiful styles is a lovely and creative personal touch for that someone special.  Writing calligraphy is very relaxing if you know how and writing a list is a great start in practising calligraphy styles but it is important to enjoy it too.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Mother's Day Cards

Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday has been celebrated for many years around the world, and the tradition originated from North America.  It is a celebration of motherhood and family bonds.  In the UK, Mother’s Day moves ever year, usually around the spring time.  Families traditionally invite families around for Mother’s Day and treat their mothers with gifts, days out, chocolates and cards.  In the US, Mothering Sunday is a national holiday and is a celebration of the importance of mothers.

In the UK, this day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent and the dates are not fixed.  Celebrating Mother’s Day came earlier than in the USA and England was the first country to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Mother’s Day cake is traditionally a Simnel Cake, which is an almond cake.

How to Write a Mother’s Day Card Using a Calligraphy Pen

Here is an example of how to write a Mother’s day card using a broad nibbed calligraphy pen, black ink and writing in Gothic style.  I used black ink cartridges and a Manuscript calligraphy pen.  The broad nib size used was a 4B or 2.8.  When writing on card, be careful to choose a card that is not too shiny or rough, as this will affect your calligraphy work.  Shiny card will make the ink smudge and run and rough surfaces will make your nib snag and will affect your calligraphy work.  Before writing your card, think of a short and simple poem or think about what you’d like to write in the card.  Draw some faint pencil lines with a ruler for guidelines before you write in your card.

YouTube Clip of How to Write in Calligraphy

This video clip gives an example of how to write out a Mother’s Day card using a Gothic style, but you can choose another style, such as Italic or Cursive.  You can draw patterns or swirls to set your work off nicely and introduce some colors to create some stunning designs.  You can also use fancy calligraphy writing for gift tags too.

Practice your writing on a scrap bit of paper before writing in the Mother’s Day card, and make sure your work is evenly spaced and pleasing to the eye.
You can use calligraphy writing for other gift cards too, such as Birthday cards, Valentines cards or Christmas cards too.  Calligraphy can be used in so many ways, is versatile and is fun to do.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Happy Birthday

People all over the world celebrate the anniversary of their birth with gifts, cards, a birthday cake and a party with friends and family.
Notable birthdays and ‘coming of age’ is traditionally the 16th birthday, (sweet sixteen) celebrated in the US and Canada, 18th birthdays and 21st birthdays.

The Birthday Song

Around the mid nineteenth century, a kindergarten in Kentucky used the song ‘Good Morning to All’ and it was presented by Mildred and Patty Hill, who were sisters.  They later changed the lyrics to ‘Happy Birthday’.  This song is still commonly used today all over the world in different cultures.

How to Write Birthday Messages Using Gothic Calligraphy

Have you ever wanted to make your own personalised designs for gift cards, tags or labels?  Here, in this example is how to write ‘Happy Birthday’ in beautiful calligraphy handwriting.  Shown in this tutorial, is a way to write in beautiful writing for gift cards, banners and birthday cards to impress your family and friends. 

How Do I Write a Birthday Message in Beautiful Writing?

Shown in the YouTube clip, is a simple tutorial of how to write a message in calligraphy.   I have used black ink cartridges and a wide sized calligraphy pen.  The broad nib size used was a 4B or 2.8, and the pen was a Manuscript calligraphy pen
I introduced some simple swirly patterns to enhance the Gothic style calligraphy work. 
It is very easy and simple to make you work look impressive and it just takes a little practice.  You can create a template to use again and again, and it takes little time to design one.
You start by choosing which calligraphy writing you would like to use.  Then you map out your work carefully, using a pencil and ruler.  Once you have planned your work, you can start practising with your chosen style.  You can use some subtle color to offset the letters, introducing gold or pastel colors to enrich your work.

How Do I Write Beautiful Writing On A Birthday Cake?

The picture shown below, can be used as a template to write pipe letters, using buttercream, Royal Icing or melted chocolate on top of a birthday cake with the style used in this example.   You can use freestyle and your imagination to create your own cake decoration using calligraphy styles for your birthday cake.  It is best to use a pipe bag with a fine tip.  Practice on some grease proof paper before attempting to write on the birthday cake. 
Happy Birthday Message Written in Gothic Style