Pointed pen calligraphy

Pointed pen calligraphyOn Sunday, I went to Handcraft Studio School to attend a workshop for Modern Pointed Pen Calligraphy taught by Diva Pyari of Linea Carta. This is how our kits were presented when we arrived. So beautifully thought out with such loving attention to detail. I wish I would have taken a shot of the sweet studio but I only had eyes for the art supplies.Pointed pen calligraphy We started off learning how to do thin and thick upright strokes then graduated on to curves and next started on the letters. I took a calligraphy class in college and it was then I learned the meditative aspect of drawing a letter over and over again. I was pretty easily hooked by the quiet, slow focus and the methodical quality of learning how to draw each shape. That class way back when was for a Gothic style of letter and a flat nib was used. The thicks and thins of the letter were created by the angle of the nib. Pointed pen calligraphy In this class we used a pointed pen nib and the thicks and thins were created by how much pressure we put on the down strokes. In these close-ups of the nib, you can see the point closed which is used with a feather touch to create thin lines and next to it you can see how the tines spread when pressure is applied to create the bold lines.

nib for pointed pen calligraphyWe went on to learn more letters and ended class by working on monograms. Diva taught us to add garland and swirls as embellishments too. I’m so glad to have revisited this art form. It is a real joy. I can’t wait to take the advanced class. Diva’s teaching style is very accessible. Everyone’s work was beautiful. Now, off I go to practice, practice, practice…Pointed pen calligraphy Pointed pen calligraphy Pointed pen calligraphyPointed pen calligraphy


For the love of art supplies

I must admit that new art supplies make my heart go pitter patter. I found out about Nicholson’s Peerless watercolors from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer a while back and I am proud to say that I didn’t go right out and buy them. I actually held off until I ran into them at one of my favorite stores, Castle in the Air and I simply could not resist.

Peerless watercolorsThey are just so intriguing. First published in 1902 they were sold for the purpose of hand tinting black and white photographs. More recently they came with American Girl dolls to be used to add blush, etc. to their faces. But they are also gaining popularity with artists for watercolor painting.

Peerless watercolorsThe intensely concentrated color comes on cards and you just swipe a wet brush on the cards to pick up the paint. I found out that there are lots of tutorials and videos available for various ways to use them. Many suggested creating a travel palette by cutting small strips and gluing them to card stock. So here is my DIY palette with the color strips. Below each color I painted a small wash showing how the color looks in its pure form and as it fades. In addition I have an acetate page in between to keep the colors from contaminating each other. Also, the acetate works well for mixing colors.  Peerless watercolorsOne of the best things about this form of watercolors is that it is so travel friendly. I can take 60 different colors with me in 2 letter sized sheets. Above & below, I’m testing out the colors while at a cafe. As usual I’m outside so Kuma (my constant canine companion) can be with me. And of course, it started to rain lightly. I found it funny because dampness is the only thing that is cautioned against for care of the watercolor cards.Peerless watercolorsSo I packed up and headed home. Here is the paper towel I used to clean my brush. I love how pretty they always are. You can also see the water brush that I use when I am away from the studio. The barrel has water in it so I don’t have to travel with a water container. So clever, a gal can’t help but be creative.Peerless watercolors

Going for a walk and sketching at lunch

One of my favorite things to do is take my dog for a walk in our neighborhood. This summer and fall the weather was so beautiful that we were often able to grab lunch and coffee and sit outside to eat. I usually have some kind of sketching kit with me and though it can feel awkward to work in public, I have been pushing myself to just start. It helps to remember that most people are not interested in what I am up to and they just walk on by.

watercolor sketch of a treeI started this sketch while at lunch a while back. Once I completed the pencil sketch, I began to lose patience and was gently encouraged by my dog to be done so we could keep walking. So I photographed the tree and was able to finish the watercolor painting at home. Turns out this is a good way for me to work as I am more comfortable doing the complex painting in private.

As you can see, I have my trusty fountain pen at the ready as my plan was to add details with ink once the painting was done. But I like it the way it is so am holding off on adding the ink. I can always change my mind. I was also planning on adding a wash in the background but haven’t done that either. It still might happen. But for now the shadow is enough.

watercolor sketch of a treeI’m using these lovely Japanese Kuretake pan watercolors for this painting and I wanted to see what kinds of greens I could mix up. So I did this color chart and found it really helpful for painting the leaves.

watercolor sketch of a treeLastly, here is the snapshot I took of the tree for reference. I used my artistic license to remove the garbage can. It is starting to get cold here so these lunch sketch outings may not happen as often as I’d like. Although some of my favorite cafes have outdoor heaters so I may just brave the cold for my art… that and a lovely mozzarella and basil sandwich.

photo of tree