Tag Archives: skillshare

Flowers, and Leaves and Wreaths, Oh My!

When you get sucked into the handlettering community, you naturally get pulled towards what’s cool and popular in graphic design.  Watercolor, wreaths, banners – it’s all big, and it’s all on Skillshare.  As I mentioned before, at 99 cents for three months, you can’t go wrong, and I’ve particularly enjoyed the following group of classes from The Pigeon Letters.

First, I tried my hand at Botanical Line Drawing, in which she goes over 29 or so (I can’t remember how many) Flowers Anyone Can Draw.  And, believe me, if I can draw them, you can draw them:

and leaves:

and wreaths:

All of these doodles are so easy. I just sat with my sketchbook while she drew, and I doodled along with her. Easy peasy. And stuff like this is great for decorating envelopes, embellishing hand lettered quotes, and of course, dressing up a bullet journal.  And, it turned out to be really nifty that I photographed my pages, because now I always have them on the phone for reference, so if I’m decorating an envelope at my desk at work, I don’t need to go back to the class to remember this flower or that flower.

After botanical line drawing, I moved on to 25 Banners Anyone Can Draw:

Again, I just followed along with Peggy (the Pigeon Letters), and everything came together in very banner like ways – my banners aren’t perfect, but everything takes a bit of practice.  My scrolls are a little wonky, and my lines aren’t so neat, but I can do it – and of course, you can too!

Persist, my friends, persist.

And, after I finished up with the banners, I moved on to 10 Easy Watercolor Projects Anyone Can Paint:

I like watercolors. They’re not messy, and they’re easy to clean up. However, they are kind of hard to manage – it is just colored water after all, that you want to manipulate into a certain shape.  And of course, it’s easier to do the work with the proper tool, and I don’t have any round watercolor brushes.  It’s on my list of things to get though, once I’m unbanned from online ordering.  My husband may have noticed all of those watercolor stamps and fountain pen supplies, and notebook covers, and stuff coming in the mail, and he finally said, what the heck?  So, I’m on time out until 3/8 when HSN has it’s next all day craft day, and I can’t miss that!

But, if you’re looking for a good way to spend 99 cents – I highly recommend Skillshare!

Doing the Drills – Handlettering Practice

Two days in, and I’m good to go with my commitments!  I’ve journaled in my Techo 2 days in a row, and I’ve worked on my handlettering every day for a big fat week!

Here’s where I was, doodling with my Sharpie at my desk, waiting for the work bell to ring:

And, then I practiced.  I wrote words repeatedly:

I did drills:

I dabbled with some watercolor:

And, I tinkered with the Instagram challenge, #literaryletteringchallenges.  I love quotes.  When I was in high school, I kept a book of quotes – it was kind of  a smashbook of quotes.  Some were neatly printed in block print, some were typed, some were in my friend’s crazy handwriting, as she would often borrow the book, add to it.  I think she must have ended up with it, or else I’d have it.  I can’t believe I would have thrown it away.  The literary lettering challenge is a bit above my skill level – it’s a lot of work to slowly draw all of those letters.  Writers are never brief, are they?  Although, I’ve recently become intrigued with something called Flash Fiction, micro short stories, tiny little nuggets of character, language and strangely, space in minutia.  What I mean is brevity can be quite expansive.

Anyway, here’s my first challenge – Emily Dickinson’s Hope is a Thing with Feathers –

I penciled this first, and finished it up with a Tombow Fudensuke hard brush tip pen.  Unlike the large Tombow brush pen we all know from our local art stores, the fudensuke is a fine point, that is really sensitive to the light upstroke, hard downstroke.  The above was just made with up and down motion, not the more familiar faux calligraphy, where you kind of color in the down strokes.  I love this new pen.  I’m not the neatest colorer – and I really appreciate being able to make that downstroke with one motion, much neater for me.

The next day was Paul Coehlo.  I decided to use my dip pen for this one, and I made the mistake of using my sumo ink on my low quality watercolor paper –

Eh, you live and you learn.  All was not lost.  I just put a piece of vellum over top, and traced my pencil sketch.

I can definitely see the progress I’ve made in just one week. A lot of practice, and I’ve really been slurping up Skillshare, with my 99 cents for three months. There are a number of handlettering/calligraphy classes to choose from, and while they’re pretty basic, I’ve had plenty of a ha moments. I’m definitely getting my buck’s worth.  I’m definitely having problems with consistency – in attempting to bounce my letters, I’m not always using the same letter form each time.  And my loops aren’t quite the same size.  But, I’m working on it, and will continue to do so – because I’m committed!

Hope everyone’s New Year is off to a good start.  The Rose Bowl wasn’t so good last night, but it’s just a game, gotta keep things in perspective.  Right.

Buh Bye 2016

2016, I will not miss you.  Yes, there were celebrity deaths that were saddening, but that’s life.  2016, to me, was objectively a really bad year.  If you’re reading this, and you had a fantastic year, great!  I don’t mean to diminish anyone’s triumphs, successes and joys, but honestly, I’ve lost sleep this year about what a crap year  it’s been, from the random acts of violence, to the exposed schisms in our country, to the lunatic that we put in the White House.  On a personal level, the year started with a car wreck, nearly killing my brother, but only “luckily” breaking both of his legs.  The first few months of the year, we spent hours at the hospital with him, and then in the nursing home.  While I have no problem waiving buh bye to 2016, I can’t say that I don’t look upon 2017 without trepidation.  It’s no secret I’m a liberal, but it’s not that I fear a Republican in the White House – I would have been ok, not happy, but ok, had a McCain won, or a Romney – I wouldn’t have felt like we were all going to die.  But, I truly fear the fascist madman soon to be in the White House.   But, what can you do, just hope for the best I guess!

So, without further ado, I’ll unveil my word for 2017 – nope, it’s not hope.  It’s Commit.  I’m tired of doing things half-assed.  If I’m going to do something, I really want to explore if I’m committed.  I’m tired of starting things, and not finishing them.  Of beginning a creative project, spending a ton of money getting supplies, and being done with it after I’ve completed one project.  I’m tired of signing up for online classes, quickly watching them, and then not doing any of the work.  I’m tired of saying my diet starts on Monday.  And with Commit as my word, the opposite is also my mantra – if I can’t commit, I’m not going to do it.  In picking my word, I’ve also picked a few year long projects to which I’m going to commit:

  1.  Ali Edward’s One Little Word Class.  I’ve picked a word before.  I’ve picked a lot of words over the years.  I’ve even put them in the sidebar of my blog.  But, by March or April, even February, the word is long forgotten, and certainly not a prism through which I’m making choices.  So, to help me along, and commit to my committing, I’m joining Ali Edwards for her monthly prompts and exercises designed to help you incorporate your word into your life.
  2. Journaling.  I am going to journal every day, even if it’s just a sentence, or a list, or maybe a doodled word.  I used to be diarist.  While what I wrote was so embarrassing, I ended up throwing most of my diaries out – yep, I through at least 20 in the garbage because I didn’t want to visit with that person ever again.  But, I miss the act of writing – not just memory keeping, but figuring things out, whining in my personal space, focusing or being silly.  So, in order to keep me on track, I bought this:

This is an A6 Hobonichi Techo.  Basically, its a small, one day on a page planner/journal/notebook.  I struggled between buying the A6 and the larger A5, but I settled on the A6 because I thought it would easier to live up to my commitment, and journal every day in a smaller space, and the A5 is in Japanese, and the A6 comes in an English version.  I also ordered a used Chic Sparrow traveler’s notebook cover for it, so I’ll report on that when it arrives.  If I outgrow the A6, the A5, the Cousin Avec, comes in a six month size, and I could also size up for the second half of the year.

3.  Also on the commitment list for 2016 – Hand Lettering!  I have decided that 2017 is going to be my year of hand lettering.  Right now I’m exploring – I have a dip pen, a Tombow dual brush pen, and a Tombow fude on the way.  This is my creative art commitment for the year, because that’s what hand lettering really is – drawing letters.  And rather than willy nilly committing to this online art class, or that one, this is what I’m doing this year – and I will hopefully add some watercolor to the mix.  To help me along with my commitment, I’ve created an instagram account just for my lettering endeavors – OliveInks.  And, to support this commitment, I’m working my way through a class on Creativebug, as well as joining in on some Instagram/FB challenges, primarily this one for now, #ShowMeYourDrills.  I’ve also signed up for Skillshare, using their 3 mos/99 cents promotion.

Can I just tell you how relaxing and soothing these drills are!

and 4.  Diet, Health and Exercise.  I’ve gained 20 lbs since moving to the suburbs.  It’s like it happened over night, but it really happened over four years.  Mostly this year though.  I’m a stress eater.  But, I’ve got my smart watch, counting my steps.  And, I’ve bought a new bathing suit to start swimming in January.  And, I’m going to try to be kind to myself, not beat myself up, acknowledge that this is unlike diets in the past when I wanted to lose 5 lbs, but didn’t really need to lose 5 lbs.  Right now, I need to lose the 20lbs because my clothes do not fit.  This is a big commitment; it’s not going to happen overnight – but I’m committed.

So, goodbye 2016!  For the world in general, for 2017, I can only hope, but for me personally, I am committed to making 2017 better, more productive, more creative, and healthier – if my summer clothes fit, I’m going to call 2017 a success.

Take care, everyone and Happy New Year!