Friends, there are many reasons why I love working with today’s hottest artists to bring you the newest mixed-media art techniques. One (albeit small) reason lies in the halls of our office: the free book bin. Years ago I picked a book from it on international calligraphy and lettering styles, and have referred to it for inspiration as well as information on other cultures.
As Pam Garrison tells us in her new Lettering Lesson from Cloth Paper Scissors, it can be a little scary to pick up a calligraphy pen for the first time. But not now–in this download, Pam walks you through the steps of using a dip pen for lettering, complete with tips (sneak preview below) and examples of the results you can accomplish. ~Cherie
Using a Dip Pen in Non-Traditional Ways by Pam Garrison
Calligraphy is on trend these days, both traditional and modern styles. Many calligraphers and lettering artists use a dip pen (sometimes referred to as a pointed pen) and bottled ink in their work, but for many beginners these pens can be intimidating. I will show you that that doesn’t have to be the case. Working with these pens can be fun and easy, once you learn a few simple concepts.
I’ll show you how to use dip pens to make letters that are unique to you, not the traditional letters associated with calligraphy. I’ll remove the intimidation factor for beginners, and for those of you who already feel comfortable using a dip pen, I encourage you to break with tradition and have fun.
On Using a Dip Pen For Lettering:
• The pointed end of the nib has a very fine slit that separates the two tines. The slit width and the flexibility of the tines are what determine the amount of ink that is released. The hole that’s in the nib is called a breather hole, and the body is the area with the nib name imprinted on it.
• While you should hold a dip pen like a regular pen, you use your arm to move it. Make sure the tines remain on the paper at all times.
• Make heavy and light strokes, curlicues, lines, circles, and ovals. There is no way around the needed practice required to get comfortable using these pens, so it’s best to approach it as a time of discovery with a willingness to make strange or displeasing marks.
• Think of this as drawing with a unique tool. Sometimes I treat the pen like a stick, just lightly dragging the ink across the paper, and sometimes like a dip pen where I’m pressing harder to release more ink. There is no right way to do this–we are creating new and different letterforms.
Remember: Dip pens are a great shortcut to unique letterform development. All it takes is a basic understanding of how the pens work, a willingness to practice, and giving yourself permission to break the rules. I hope you’ll give them a try. Use your imagination and see how many different letters you can create. ~Pam
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