Watercolor Calligraphy Workshop With A Fabulous Fete!
As you know, I've been trying to break into watercolor lettering. I think it's so beautiful and watercolor is a lot more forgiving than pointed pen calligraphy. But for the life of me, I cannot figure out how to work a brush! I feel like my writing is so sloppy and ugly in it. I didn't know if it was my technique or my tools. Whatever it was, I needed more practice.
My friend A recognized my frustrations and thought of me when she heard about a watercolor calligraphy workshop not far from my new home. What a coincidence - it was being taught by Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete! I was already a big fan of Lauren's work. Her watercolor calligraphy is gorgeous and so unique.
The workshop held at Great Over Good, a collaborative workspace for creatives. Welcome home, Michelle. Naadine, the owner and creative director of Great Over Good, did such a great job decorating. It's pretty much how I would have decorated - lanterns and tassels? I dig her style.
After a fun little meet and greet where I bonded with other DC area transplants over our stories, we took our seats and I loved that we all had custom place cards! (Fun fact: Cam Van is my Vietnamese name!)
Everyone got a pad of watercolor paper, tubes of watercolor, a portable watercolor palette, brushes, a mixing tray, lettering guides, and a list of resources.
Lauren did a great job of breaking down each item and why one tool would work better than the other in different circumstances. I already felt like I was starting to understand watercolor more. We then worked on how to use each brush and messed with different weights before we worked on each letter of the alphabet.
Here's what I learned about myself: I still hate capital letters. I also dislike writing in large letters. Even just writing words big with a pen or marker never looked good to me growing up, so doing it with a brush pen definitely didn't feel any better! I think I like the natural size when you freely right. Anything larger just feels off. So I stuck with writing small letters with the smaller brush.
Once we all got the hang of it (or as close to it as we could!) we worked on writing a phrase on an art board. The suggestion was to write something for Valentine's Day - either one of the phrases Lauren had posted on the wall or our own favorite quote. I decided to do what I always do for Valentine's Day.
Treat yo self!
Even though I stuck with the smaller brush, I wrote the phrase in large letters, so I'm not in love with my print. But that's okay. It'll probably look better in a frame. The other ladies loved it and this is just a product of two hours of practicing. Remember how long it took me to finally get the hang of pointed pen calligraphy? ONE YEAR. So I know that as long as I keep practicing, my work will get really, really good!
I'm already obsessed with practicing at home, as you can see here.
Thank you to Lauren and Naadine for such a great workshop. I absolutely loved breaking down watercolor lettering and I especially enjoyed being in a room with other creative and inspiring women.