All you need are a few watercolors, a nib and a pen holder, a small brush and a light box. Plus, of course, a sheet of thick paper and optionally an envelope.

You start with choosing a quote or a short aphorism that you want to write, and pick a writing style. Then you can write the quote in pencil on a small sheet of paper – something that’s about the size of your final card or a bit smaller.
I’ve written my quote down in the desired writing style as you can see here.

09-pencil-draft

You should make sure that the lines are aligned in the middle, or that they are aligned harmoniously with each other, and that the line spacing isn’t too big or too small. It can be helpful to print out your quote in an uppercase serif font so that it fills the same space, and use that as a guide.

You can use this pencil draft directly, or write the quote one more time in black calligraphy to get a feel for the thick and thins – whatever you want to change is best changed at this stage. If you have a black template, you’re going to see it better through the light box.

09-ink-draft
09-lightbox

Then I’ve picked a few colors and combined them on a sheet of layout paper until I found a harmonious combination. I’ve written one sentence from my quote with those colors to test out how far I have to dilute the watercolor to write well.
09-watercolor-draft

To get a rainbow effect when writing you have to do the following:
First you put a drop of water into the watercolor to soften it (or, if you use small tubes, dilute it with water), then you apply it with your small brush on the nib. Don’t take too much color.
To get those colors to change while writing, you apply each new color behind the first, so that when you write the new color will slowly appear on the paper. I’ve also described basic techniques for writing with watercolor last week’s article.
09-watercolor-on-nib

If you’ve decided on your colors, you can write the final calligraphy.
Fasten your written template on the lightbox, put your thicker card paper on top of it and fasten it, and write your quote in the technique I’ve described above.

After drying I’ve put the card in a beautiful transparent envelope, I think it comes out very nicely this way.
09-watercolor-finished-piece

Hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, if you’d like more posts like this one, let me know!

 


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If you have any questions or comments on this topic, please feel free to contribute! Just leave a comment below.