Thank you to everyone who attended my first Intro to Modern Calligraphy class today. It was such a great group of women who attended and cheered each other on - I honestly kept thinking pinch me! to myself because it was such a positive vibe and exactly what I had hoped for in terms of my "dream" students.
I'm still excited/nervous for my next workshop, which will have twice as many guests, but I feel SO MUCH better now that I've done a first workshop to run through everything and figure out what went well and what I can improve.
During the class, I shared a supply guide with everyone but thought I'd give some more specific links to products out in case anyone wants them. A small heads up here that yes, these are affiliate links so it helps me out if you buy them, but they are all definitely products I've bought myself and recommend. It doesn't cost you anything extra and it helps me fuel my pen obsession, ya know?!
Pencils: Truly, any old pencil will do for your practice. The same principle applies with pencils as it does with your brush pens: push hard on those down strokes, and go super light on those upstrokes.
IF YOU ARE EXTRA: I was gifted Palomino Blackwing pencils for Christmas a few years ago, and I'm obsessed with them -- they actually made a snarky reference to them on this season of Orange is the New Black and I LOLed big time.
You can get them for yourself and fall in love, or they make great gifts for anyone who likes to nerd out on high quality products. Bonus: portions of your purchase goes to supporting K-12 arts.
The last set I got was an Ultra Bright pack and I'm partial to fun colors so here's a link to some Tropical markers. They have a nice conical tip, so don't be afraid of pushing down hard to get a nice thick and juicy downstroke.
Also, check out the Instagram account @Crayligraphy to see the magical things you can do with a pack of markers that costs as much as a coffee.
Tracing Paper: This Strathmore tracing paper pad was the kind we used in class today. It's relatively cheap so you can practice allllll the drills, all the time.
32# Printer Paper: This is the 32 lb. printer paper recommended to me, and it's what I use for my everyday practice to make sure I don't ruin my brush pens. It's SMOOTH and a little shiny, which is nice.
Rhodia Dot Grid Paper Pads: Again, smoothness is key here! The dots on Rhodia's paper pads are faint and help you make sure your letters stay evenly spaced, which is important for getting a consistent look. You could use Rhodia + a light pad, listed below, to practice your drills.
FAVORITE BEGINNER BRUSH PENS
Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip: Everyone in class got one of these today. I like to buy them in multi-packs so I'm never without them (bonus! I can entertain myself and my coworkers during meetings).
Remember, blue = hard tip, green = soft tip, so watch out. The blue ones are definitely easier as a beginner but eventually you can graduate to green.
Some exciting news is that Tombow just released these pens in lots of colors - yippee! Put 'em on your gift lists now...as I said, it can be a slippery slope with pen buying ;)
Pentel Sign Pens: I just really, really love this type of pen. I don't know how to describe why I like it more than the Tombow sometimes, but I do. My writing comes out different with different tools - maybe that's why? Anyhow, it's available in black and also in colors.
Tombow Dual Brush Pens: These are the bigger colorful brush pens that are gorgeous and blend-able. As of the timing of me writing this, the Pastel and Galaxy sets are half off, which is a steal!
They must have just released a few new color sets: Citrus, Tropical, and Desert, which all look so delightful.
The workbook that I gave out during class isn't sized for larger brush pens but I'll make one soon.
OTHER FAVORITE TOOLS
I use Aquash Waterbrushes for dabbling in watercolor, a laser level to help me keep my lettering straight on various surfaces, and a light pad to help with tracing when I'm working on finalizing a piece for a client.
For writing on chalkboards, glass, and other various surfaces, I really like Bistro Chalk Markers and Sharpie Paint Pens. For writing on mirrors: you can use the water-based marker to sketch out your initial design after you plan it out digitally, then you can go over it with the oil-based paint pen, which will be a little more permanent.
THAT'S ALL, FOLKS
For now...! I can't wait to see your progress - remember to tag me on Instagram at @novel_letter_studio or #NovelLetterers when you practice so we can cheer you on, and I'll also send everyone a link to a private Facebook group if you'd prefer to share that way.
Also, stay tuned for a drills/lettering challenge and for more workbooks by yours truly. Have a great holiday and stay in touch!