Art · Calligraphy · Painting · Sketchbook

Calligraphy // Adding Creative Borders

Copy of Wolves & Ravens-2

Adding borders to your lettering or calligraphy can make the piece seem more alive and a lot more fun. Even just a simple circle of flowers can look absolutely amazing. But, if you really want to add some uniqueness to your art then try making your border match the theme of your calligraphy. For instance, I lettered the word “cactus” with little watercolor cactuses as my border.

One thing that I always keep in mind when I’m doing any sort artwork or calligraphy is that everything looks better once there is line work to compliment it. The cactuses in this sketch started out pretty shaky, but with the help of my beloved brush pen, they began to look like actual cactuses rather than blogs of green mush.

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Watercolor is amazing to use when lettering. It is extremely easy to work with and always creates this painterly effect that I love so much.

Instead of using a normal palette of paint, I have found that using watercolor pencils is easier when doing calligraphy. Watercolor pencils look exactly like colored pencils but when you add water to the parts you colored it melts into the paint. Because borders in calligraphy are usually small and detailed, water colored pencils are perfect for the job.

In the picture seen above, there are watercolor pencils on the left and brush pens on the right. The brush pens are also activated by water and blend amazingly with the pencils.

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I find it so satisfying to do line work on a fresh, blobby watercolor painting. You can immediately tell that they are cactuses and not cabbages or some other greenish object. Youtubers like Danica Sills have amazing examples of line work on top of watercolors. Check her channel out here.

The Pentyl pocket brush pen is officially my favorite art supply ever! Anyone who does line art has to get this amazing brush pen.

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After finishing the line work on the border design, I find it fun to add lots of little details with a fine liner. In this scenario, I am using the fine liner to add all the little spiky effects to my cactuses. This makes the whole piece look more finished and pleasing to the eye.

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Lastly, you add the lettering, I used the Pentyl brush pen again for this.

If you don’t have a brush pen or and calligraphy materials another great option to make faux calligraphy. Making beautiful lettering can be done with just a normal ballpoint or felt-tip pen. There are many great tutorials on how to fake calligraphy, including the one I am planning on posting next week.

There are many great tutorials on how to fake calligraphy, including the one I am planning on posting next week. To get notified when we post a new blog, join our Wolves and Ravens mailing list on our home page.

To check out a time lapse of me creating this cactus lettering project, follow my art Instagram account: _tinasie as well as our official Wolves and Ravens Instagram account: wolvesandravensblog.



















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