Eileen McKenna Art & Design

Watercolor Art | Creative Inspiration to help you be creative on a regular basis


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Modern Calligraphy

Modern calligraphy
I took a modern calligraphy workshop over the weekend. I’ve been interested in hand lettering for a while now. A few years ago I took an online lettering class where I used a brush marker – a Tombow, which is a flexible marker that can produce thin lines as well as thick lines when you apply pressure.
My brush marker practice sheets:
brush lettering with a Tombow marker

This weekend was the traditional route with a calligraphy pen with a nib, ink, and an ink well for dipping. It was interesting, in this day of online learning, to be sitting at a table, chatting with a group of strangers. It’s one of the elements you don’t get with learning online. The person on your left saying to you, “That looks great!” Although three hours seems long, the class flew by. The teacher, Christie Jones of Swell Anchor Studios, was really nice and thorough, demonstrating the steps to create each letter on a blackboard. Another benefit to learning in person, Christie and her sister, walked around answering questions, and offering help and suggestions as we worked – things like proper posture, holding the pen correctly, and the amount of pressure to apply.

The main takeaway was – as with anything – if you want to get good at it, you have to practice. The workshop included all the supplies and materials needed to practice at home, which is great. Christie also has a closed Facebook group for those that have taken the class. She encouraged us to share our work online and reach out to her whenever we hit a snag.

If you are interested in learning calligraphy and an “in person” workshop doesn’t work for you, Christie recommends the book Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy by Molly Super Thorpe.

Supplies you’ll need:

I want to incorporate lettering into my paintings. I’m hoping to use what I learned and apply it to lettering with a brush and watercolor. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

 

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So excited! (Calligraphy Workshop)

calligraphyworkshop
Today I started an online Calligraphy workshop. I really like it. One of the supplies for the workshop is a Tombow brush pen. I have smaller Tombows, but this pen is awesome! This is exactly what I was looking for – hand lettering with a brush (not a nib and ink). The pen makes it almost easy.

The workshop is about an 90 minutes. I made it halfway through. I still have to do the lowercase letters. I’m so impatient, I want to jump right to the fun stuff! I know taking the time to learn each letter and practice will pay off. Can’t wait to show you!


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2015 – off to a great start!

doodles
So far I’ve been working on several of my 2015 goals and it’s only the first week of January! Here’s what I’ve hit so far.

Lettering and Doodling – Every couple of days I pull out my sketch book and doodle and practice my lettering. I’m finding that I can create more whimsical, simpler illustrations if I’m not looking at the object. If I’m looking at an object, I feel compelled to make it realistic looking.

Patterns – While I was doodling the other day, I realized that some of these doodles could be made into a pattern. This pushed me to continue with a theme – cosmetics. So my pattern plan is to continue doodling and at a later date, I’ll look through my sketchbook to find things to use.

Linocut – I’m totally intimidated by all those tools! But, I haven’t forgotten about my number one goal! Right now I’m sketching out some ideas and I promise (oh no, why did I just write that?) that in the next few weeks you’ll see my first linocut. I’m planning on trying it on dark paper, which would encompass goal #4 too!

Video – I made my first videos. I wanted to share one with you, but I need to first figure out how to make the videos compatible with WordPress. Even though I compressed my videos, they weren’t in a format that I could upload to WordPress and I’m not ready to open a youtube account. Don’t worry, you aren’t missing much – it was a shaky video where I’m painting some branches!

Here is my complete list of 2015 goals in case you missed that post.

Things I want to try in 2015:

  1. Linocut. 
  2. Lettering.
  3. Online workshops.
  4. Painting on dark paper.
  5. Doodling.
  6. Video.
  7. Patterns.
  8. Maps.
  9. Digital Brushes.
  10. Watercolor Parties.

 

I hope you are off to a good start too! 🙂


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10 things I want to try in 2015 and links to those who inspire me!

linocutsupplies
I can’t wait for 2015! (my creative resolution.2) There are so many things I am excited to try! The above image is the Christmas present I bought myself (see item #1).

Things I want to try in 2015:

  1. Linocut. It seems like a lot of work but the results are awesome! I am inspired by Andrea Lauren who I follow on Instagram (@inkprintrepeat). Check out her nutcracker – amazing!
  2. Lettering (“modern calligraphy”). I’d like to continue practicing my lettering. I follow @illustrationbyj on Instagram. She recommended Tombow markers which are awesome!
  3. Online workshops. There is so many resources online and I’d like to take advantage of them. I’m thinking about this workshop on modern calligraphy.
  4. Painting on dark paper. I love this look and I want to try it – check out my pinterest board to see!
  5. Doodling, especially flowers and wreaths. I’m so inspired by @kristinnohe on Instagram. She fills her journals with beautiful doodles.
  6. Video! I love seeing the progression of a project, which is why I often show my steps. I’d love to show you this in video form.
  7. Patterns. I’ve wanted to try this for awhile. I am inspired by glizadesign.com.
  8. Maps. I’d love to create a whimsical map. I love Linzie Hunter’s style.
  9. Digital Brushes. I am a Graphic Designer and don’t often like to mix my art with my computer work, but maybe it’s time?! There is so much cool stuff you can do.
  10. Watercolor Parties. Friends, watercolor, a glass of wine – what could be more fun?!


What new thing are you excited to try this year?


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Practicing Painting Lettering

hello
I’ve been practicing! The other day I copied an alphabet from a book (2x). Today I wrote “hello” many times! It’s interesting what you learn by doing, especially when you keep repeating something.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Too much coffee makes my hand and my letters shaky
  • Light touch – thin line, more pressure – thicker line. I learned this from watching this video.
  • Painting downward is easier than upward
  • The brush needs to be wet enough. I re-dip before each letter.
  • Paint in sure strokes. I wish I could remember where I got this tip from. It is so true. When I hesitate it shows.

I practiced the alphabet below from the book, “Hand Lettering for crafts” by Sandra Salamony. The book was helpful because it showed what part of the letter to paint first and what direction to paint each part in.
practic