Issue 17 – Calligraphy Challenges

I‌‌ssue 17, Calligraphy Challenges, covers various challenges faced by calligraphers, whether hobbyist or pro. Our featured artists will discuss how to choose nibs for pointed pen calligraphy, practice effectively, mix custom ink colors, self-critique your work, and more.

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Meet Cover Artist – Whitney Forbes, The Haute Press
Los Angeles calligrapher Whitney Forbes’ artistry became an instant sensation after posting her first painted wine bottle on Instagram. She shares her passion for painting stunning landscapes, floral designs, and architectural renderings using champagne and liquor bottles as her canvas, and how she will soon be teaching this art form to others.

Mind Your Practice – Bernice van Overbeek
What does consistent, focused calligraphy practice look like? Take a look at Bernice van Overbeek’s Instagram posts @bernice_lettersandthings to find out. She started studying calligraphy only a few years ago, but now executes letterforms with style and precision thanks to meticulous, mindful practice.

How To Self-Critique your Copperplate – Nina Tran
To improve your lettering skills, you need to know how to self-critique your work. Self-critique identifies weak spots so you can focus your practice on these areas. I’ll show you how I do this with Copperplate minuscules.

Ask The Experts: Well Designed Modern Style – Crowd-Source Article
Writing a consistent modern calligraphy style can be challenging. How do you know if your script looks professional and polished? Nationally-renowned calligraphers Barbara Close, Suzanne Cunningham, Angi Phillips, and Erica McPhee share their insights as to what makes a great modern style and how to avoid amateur-looking letters.

Ambigrams – Words Turned Upside Down – Rob Tanniru
Are you looking for a challenge that combines creativity and problem solving and adds in a healthy dose of magic? Why not try making ambigrams! I’ll introduce you to this amazing art form and how to get started making them yourself.

Bookbinder’s Artful Tip – Cindy Haller
In this digital age, the presentation or gift of a fine book is not as common as in other eras. When asked to write on the dedication page of a valuable book or family Bible, what can you do if you are afraid to write in it (besides run in the opposite direction)? I suggest using a bookbinder’s technique called tipping in a page.

Elegant Ribbon Place Cards – Debbie Wong
When Debbie Wong was asked to write guest names on ribbons for an Italian-themed wedding reception, she knew it would be challenging since she had never done it before. But sometimes a calligrapher has to problem solve and experiment in order to provide beautiful, memorable results for a client.

Ribbon Bookmarks – Maureen
Taking Debbie Wong’s ribbon painting tutorial one step further, I created personalized ribbon bookmarks with jewelry charms to give as gifts this Christmas.

CMYK Ink Mixing Technique – Maureen
I often use gouache when asked to match a custom color for envelope addressing jobs or writing wedding vows. By using the CMYK mixing method, I can match almost any color I need.

Poooli Printer – Erica McPhee
Instagram knows me. Its targeted advertising knows exactly what I like (unfortunately for my wallet). So when I saw an ad for this cute little inkless printer called the Poooli Printer, I had to check it out. And then I bought it right away. It’s user-friendly, prints on a variety of paper including sticker paper, and best of all — no ink or mess!

Pointed Nib Comparison Chart – Pat Blair

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Find Inspiration Online — Legally – Kathy Milici
In general, artists are sensitive, observant and aware beings. We might notice the smallest artistic detail in nature, architecture, or online, that sparks our imagination. But what about seeing art images online? Can we use those images to copy?