Thursday, 13 December 2012

Writing Over Colors

There are many ways that you can create a nice colored background for calligraphy writing.  The most popular way is to do a simple, flat color wash for a background.  Other ways is to create some really nice effects, such as a graded watercolor wash effect, mixing colors and using a sponge for pattern effects.

How To Do A Graded Watercolor Background

Calligraphy using Yellow shades and brown lettering
To prepare the paper, simply use either heavy-duty watercolor paper or stretch the paper on a board.  To do this, you simply wet the paper, then stretch it on a board, tape it firmly with gum tape and leave it to dry.  This avoids warping as the paper dries.  To introduce some color, prepare three different strengths of the same color tint of watercolor washes in clean glass jars.  Start with the strongest tint, and start to apply this mix at the top of the paper.  Using a large, clean paintbrush, apply the mix across the paper, working quickly but smoothly.  Work down about two or three lines, working across the paper as you go.  Next, use the less diluted mix; again, apply the mix across the paper, ensuing that you blend the last strong shade into the next more diluted mix of paint.  Work down about a few more lines.  Now you can apply the most weakest, diluted mix of paint to the bottom part of the watercolor paper.  Blend the last shade into the next shade.  Work quickly, before the paint dries. 

You can experiment with different colors too, simply blend the last color band into the next in the same way as blending different shades, as shown above.

More About Mixing Color Washes For Calligraphy

Applying Washes To Calligraphy
Mix the color of your choice in clean glass jars or a palette.   Simply apply the different colors in bands, as explained above, or you can apply it in different ways.  You can apply the color in random ways, such as in circular shapes, covering the paper with the color mixes.  While the paint is wet, you can tilt your paper in different directions to let the paint blend in different ways.  This can give some nice effects.  You can blend other colors while the paint is wet.

You can also wet the paper with clean water, and then apply wet watercolor washes over areas of the page, using a large paintbrush.  This can give a nice, lively patterned effect.

You can use a sponge to introduce other effective pattern effects.  Mix watercolor washes to your desired color and tint, then simply dip the sponge into the color mix and dab it onto the wet watercolor paper.  Introduce other watercolor tints to the paper, using the sponge.  You can also use gouache to create other nice effects.

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