How to Create a Modern Calligraphy Silhouette | Danielle Rothman | Skillshare

How to Create a Modern Calligraphy Silhouette

Danielle Rothman, Modern Calligrapher in NYC

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12 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Calligraphy Silhouette Intro

      1:19
    • 2. Calligraphy Silhouette Materials

      5:39
    • 3. Calligraphy Silhouette Shape Inspiration

      3:07
    • 4. Calligraphy Silhouette Word List

      2:09
    • 5. Calligraphy Silhouette Outline

      6:07
    • 6. BONUS Calligraphy Silhouette Outline Timelapse

      3:13
    • 7. Calligraphy Silhouette Inking

      6:03
    • 8. (8) BONUS Calligraphy Silhouette Inking on Vellum

      0:49
    • 9. BONUS Calligraphy Silhouette Inking with Lightbox

      0:47
    • 10. Calligraphy Silhouette Clean Up

      2:37
    • 11. BONUS Calligraphy Silhouette iPad Instructions

      5:03
    • 12. Calligraphy Silhouette Conclusion

      1:04

About This Class

This modern calligraphy class is perfect for people who have the basics down and are looking for a fun project to hone their skills! I will guide you through the steps to create a one-of-a-kind calligraphy silhouette that is easy to personalize for yourself or someone you care about. Come see what it's all about!

In this class, you will learn:

  • What materials you will need to create a calligraphy silhouette
  • How to find interesting shapes for your design
  • The recommended number words and how to come up with them
  • The design process from drafting to finalizing your piece
  • Tips and tricks to help you along the way!

In this class, you will create:

  • A personalized, one-of-a-kind calligraphy project
  • The perfect thoughtful gift for yourself or someone you care about!

Who are you:

  • Curious about modern calligraphy with at least some knowledge of the basics
  • Excited to develop your calligraphy skills further!

Transcripts

1. Calligraphy Silhouette Intro: Hello, my name is Daniel Rothman, I'm the modern calligrapher and pine Roth brings creative and started learning calligraphy two years ago and it's opened my eyes to all the wonderful ways that you can be creative In the past year, I've taught more than 650 students how to get started with calligraphy. I'm really excited to be teaching you to. Today's class is all about creating a calligraphy silhouette. This class is for intermediate calligraphers who have practiced the basics and have a little bit of knowledge behind them, but now are ready to practice and get to the next level. This project is a really great way to continue on in your skills. If you're a beginner, you're totally welcome to join us. You can then create your silhouette, easing your own handwriting to make it special and unique. What I love about clicker silhouette is that you can choose a shape that's really fun, and then choose words that are meaningful to you or to someone else you can give it as a gift really is wide open. So in this class, we're going to go over everything you need t get started. From clicker of materials you may find helpful to finding your inspiration, creating your outline, and drawing, inking your final piece. As a special bonus I'll also include a video on how to create the silhouette using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. This project is a really great way to create something unique and beautiful that showcases your skills. Let's get started. 2. Calligraphy Silhouette Materials: Let's talk materials. You have a lot of options for creating your calligraphy silhouette. In fact, everything you see here is a supply that I've used for calligraphy silhouette in the past. First thing that we know we're going to need is paper. We're going to need three pieces of paper at minimum. 1 to print our design that we're going to be using, 2 to create our outline, and 3 for our final piece. I recommend a piece of smooth copy paper. I like to use number 32 HP LaserJet paper because it's nice and smooth all my supplies. That is what I'm going to print my design on. Then I'm going to use a semi translucent marker paper to create my outline. Then finally, I have a vellum or tracing paper that I'll use to go over top of that. It's nice and clear so that you can really see the outline that we'll be creating. Now, what you may choose to do, is use a light box. You don't have a light box, you may decide to invest. Mine was under $25 and it's super helpful. What it does, it shines a light up through. This light is going to help you see or design under a full sheet of paper. If you choose to use a light box, you can either use three sheets of LaserJet paper, or you can use a thicker paper such as cart stock or Bristol for your final design. What I like to do with my light box, is have a battery pack so that I don't have to worry about plugging it into an outlet. This battery pack is going to give me a nice charge, so that I can have my light box nice and bright while I make my design. Now to the fun part, you have options. You may choose to use brush calligraphy for this design. When you choose to brush calligraphy, these are my favorite markers to use: they are the Pentel Touch sign pens or the Tombow Fude hard. Notice that these are all Fude type pens. They have a pretty small tip. That's going to be helpful as we are creating our design. Because you want to be able to write words of different sizes to fit your space well. You can use a bigger marker such as a Tombow dual tip, but just make sure that your design is also scaled up so that you have the space you'll need to write the words. Another option is traditional pen and ink. It's up to you whether you want to use an oblique or straight holder, that's completely fine. But I do recommend having a few different names on hand if you can, it's not required. The first nib I have here, is the Brause EF66, it's a smaller nib, and it's an intermediate nib, has really nice thick down strokes. That's going to be helpful when I want words to be a little bit bigger. Then in the straight holder, I have a Nikko G, it's a pointed nib. It's going to have really thin up strokes, and then it's less flexible. It's going to be a little bit thinner, and that'll help me fill my space. Finally, I have my last nib, this is called a crow quill. Crow quill nibs are really tiny, and they let us write small and get into tight spaces. I really like these Techno holder, this is a Techno 40 because it comes with a cap so I can leave it in here. It also is a universal holder type, and that's going to work with your crow quill. Your crow quill will not work with a traditional flower petal type like this guy because it needs to have a small plastic nib to insert into. I also have a dinky dip with my favorite black Sumi ink here. You can use any ink however. Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay ink, you could use Ecoline Liquid Watercolors, it's entirely up to you. Just make sure that you're using the appropriate paper. For pen and ink, we want smooth paper. If you're using a lot of ink, you may want to use a bristol paper, or if you're using a liquid water color, you might even want to use a mixed media paper, which will have a little bit more of a tooth, but won't be too rough unlike a cold press watercolor. I also have a couple other things on here. I also have a gel pen, bringing me back to my middle school days with Gelly Roll pens. I love these, I keep these in my kit all the time. I also have here a black gel pen just like you would use the in office. You can use this for modeling or for fill calligraphy as well as paint pens. I really love the Sakura Pen-Touch Paint pens, because they come in different sizes and are very metallic. I also have Coliro colors Finetec Gold and a water brush. You can definitely create a silhouette using watercolor. Just again, make sure it's a paper but has some tooth to it. You can either use a water brush or regular paint brush, to create your design with brush lettering, or you can use this to load our nibs. What you'll do, is you'll prep the watercolor and then you paint it onto the back of the nibs. The final supply that I have here is washy tape. Whether you're using just the plain paper or the light box, either way, you're going to want to make sure that you have washing tapes that you can secure your design. This is going to be very helpful because it is going to make sure that your design doesn't move around too much as you're writing. Washing tape is great because it's low tech, it's not going to hurt your paper. You can also use blue painters tape if that's what you have on hand. Don't worry about meeting all of these supplies once you choose what you're going to use, that's all you'll need to be focusing on. These are my favorite supplies. If you're interested in learning more about them or ordering them. I will include a link to my supply page on my website, www.rothbyrnscreative.com/supplies, which has affiliate links for all the different supplies you see here. It's both from Amazon, and my favorite calligraphy supplies store John Neal Bookseller. Paper and Ink Arts is another popular store, that you can buy a lot of pointed pen supplies. Go grab your favorite supplies, it's time to get started. 3. Calligraphy Silhouette Shape Inspiration: This video is about choosing your design inspiration for your silhouette. These are three silhouettes that I've created. The first one, I sketched myself. I looked up some inspiration online for different ways of having a tree pose. This one actually has an option to be sitting or standing, and I chose standing to have a larger canvas to work with. I also simplified features like the head, the hands, the legs, so I would have more room to fit my words in for my design. First, I sketched it in pencil and then I outlined it in ink again, so that I can see it was nice and dark and then the rest of my sketching and outlining for my words ended on a separate sheet of paper. That way if I didn't like it, I still would have my main sketch. Next is a sneak peak of the project that we're going to be doing today together. For this one, I did something similar in that I drew my design. I did it a little differently. This I drew digitally, and then I blew it up. Instead of sketching an outline, I just drew the shape and then made it bigger. You can do this right on your phone or your computer using Photoshop or similar app to make it bigger. You also don't have to draw it at all. Another thing that I've done in the past is using Microsoft Word or Photoshop. I've written different letters and tried different fonts and found one that really spoke to me. You can always type your letter as well or you can find an inspiration from the internet. You can look up silhouette or shapes and it can be anything from a simple heart to an ampersand, really whatever you'd like it to be. That's another option to take a shape and blow it up and that's going to have your outline. I liked to print in black because that is going to give me a nice dark surface so that I can put my lettering inside it, which is what we're going to do in the next few videos. Finally, my third piece of inspiration, I took from a photo. I found a photo of a figure skater online that had a similar shape that I was looking for. The first thing I did from that photo is outline it because it's going to be easier when you're doing your outline of your letters. Don't feel like you need to keep it exactly the same. I did make a few changes when I was creating my sketch. One change is I changed the angle of the leg so I can really accentuate what the style is going for. I also made a little modification to how she's holding her ice skate so I could still keep that shape as I'm writing. I also added a little ball at her hair and changed her hand position so that it could really come out and show. Originally, you could only see half of her arm, but I wanted it to be a full arm to really show the ice skating pose. Those are your three options in finding inspiration. You can sketch it, you can either type it or find another shape online and print it in black or you can use a photo for your inspiration and create an outline from there. Now, it's time for you to find your inspiration. 4. Calligraphy Silhouette Word List: The next stage of the process is to write out our list of words. These words can be anything that you'd like to include in your silhouette. For my project, I've decided that it's going to describe me. These are words that I find important. I start with my name and then I'm just going to continue down my list. Your goal is going to be to have 30 words included. Now you might not use all 30 but 30 is going to give you a good buffer space. You also want to make sure that you are including words that are different sizes and lengths. If I'm going to have a lot of long words, I want to make sure that it also includes short words that you can use to fill in the spaces in your silhouette. You'll notice that some of the words are starred. I've starred these words because these are words that are very important to me. When I'm going to build my project, I'm going to give those higher priority. Don't feel like you have to write this out by hand if you're more comfortable typing on the computer, that's totally fine. The most important parts of this list are that it is in a clear order so that you can check off as you put down each word and that you have at least 30 words. I'm about halfway through on this list. Not every silhouette is going to need 30 words, but just having that many is going to help you because what could happen is you could find yourself in a jam where you need a word of a certain length and having more words is going to give you that more variety so that you can really find what you need. You also can pull out words that you may want to repeat throughout the piece. For example, I might decide that the word art is a good filler word for me to use. Anytime I have a really small space, I might just repeat that. Finding those now is going to really help you in the project ahead. I want to finish making this list and then we're going to go ahead and get started. 5. Calligraphy Silhouette Outline: Now, it's time to start creating our design. So the first step is going to be an outline in pencil. This outline is super helpful because it helps us to place our words in the shape in a way that makes sense. I'm going to show you two different ways to do this. One, is to use a translucent or semi translucent paper, so that you can still see your design underneath. For this step, I've used marker paper, and then for the final design, I'm going to use vellum. Now, if you don't have marker paper, that's fine. You can use tracing paper or anything else that's going to be at least semi see-through, so you can see this background here. The other technique is using a light box. The benefit of using a light box is that, you can use almost any paper and still see your design under it. So I'm going to show you how to do that and a couple of tips for using a light box. This light box is actually a light pad. So it's very thin and light and it was under $25. So it doesn't have to be a big investment. That's really, really helpful for calligraphy or drawing, or really anything where you want to see a guideline written underneath. The last thing I have here is of course, my list of words. So let's go ahead and get started. So the first thing I'm going to do with both of these is to use a piece of washi tape to tape my design together. Washi tape is low tack and that's going to be really helpful because it's not going to hurt my designs later. Again, right now, it's outlining, so it doesn't really matter. So here's my washi tape. I'll do the black for my mark paper. I'm going to pick this up, put a piece on the back. So this is going to ensure that it's not going to move as I'm writing my piece because you don't want it to be super sliding around. Now, I'm going to do the same for my light box. If you'd like, you can do at the top and bottom, it's entirely up to you. So go to the bottom of this one. Coming back to this outline here. What I'm going to do is? I'm going to look at the curves in my design. So mine is relatively thin. So I can actually start by inking in my first word in its entirety here. So first, going to start with my knees, my first starred word. As I'm making it, I'm going to be writing it in mono line exactly as if I was writing in calligraphy. So I can get a feel for the space. Here we go. So now you can see, i have a word here. Now, there's a little bit of space up here. So I'm going to fill back. So I'm going to write the word artist and notice that even though as a calligraphy design, we're able to mix in other styles. So when I write this, it's going to have the same thicks and thins, even though it is an uppercase style. So something that you can start to mix in. So another word that I had starred was wife. So see how this space is relatively small? You think that it can fit in here? Here we go. Perfect. You may want to think about the directionality. So for this, I'm going to have this coming down and then, I'm going to have this coming back up, and that is going to really impact how I read my words. So here's an example. I'm going to write entrepreneur right over here since that was another starred word. What I'm going to do is? I'm going to have my P come down into that space to help fill it. I had a misspelling, completely common. That's one of the reasons why we're doing our outline. So this'll give you an idea. So you can choose how you want to go around. I tend to go around pretty clockwise for my designs and I'd like to turn my page. So that's going to really help you, so you can really see how you're going to write. This is a little wonky. See, I can go ahead and fix things like that. So that's one way using my marker or tracing paper. The next way is with a light box. So for this one, I'm going to have my light box now. But I like to do, since the chord they gave me is really short, is I like to plug it in to a battery pack. This battery pack is going last really long time and it's going to be very helpful as I am working because then I don't need to be near an outlet. I can work pretty much anywhere. I'm going to make sure, it's turned on. I put it back here. Now, I'm going to hit the button. Try again. Here we go, hit the button and turn on my light box. You can now see the outline of the design where we couldn't see it before. So I'm using the number 32 LaserJet paper. It's the paper that I have on hand most of the time because it's my favorite calligraphy paper. So I'm going to be using that for my outline. So exactly the same way I was doing before, starting with my starred words. So here, I'll put Danielle down first and notice this time and making it a little bit smaller. So what I'm doing is looking at how is it filling the space? So the first time, I wrote a big and made artists squished. This time, if I make it a little shorter, when I go and add my artist, I have more room. I noticed, you're making this a little bit more scripty. So this is something that you can play with in the outline phase. You can rewrite it or you can know when you go back over it that you're going to be making some of these changes. So now, you've been introduced to writing with our translucent paper and our light box. When we come back, I'm going to be using our next layer of paper to create our final design. Stay tuned. 6. BONUS Calligraphy Silhouette Outline Timelapse: Here's a bonus time lapse of me filling in both of my outlines. So you'll notice as I'm going through, that I'm going to be checking off the words on my list to make sure that everything's included. So the words that I've already done are Danielle and artist. So I'm going to put on some music, speed this up, and you'll see how I complete both of my designs. There you have it. So that was my first one, and you'll notice that I went around different ways, but I kept it consistent as I went through. So that I can keep that look. I changed directionality up here so that it wasn't upside down, and so I did that by having one go across. I also added a couple of words like loud and love that weren't on my initial list, as well as using art one, two, three, yeah, three times to fill in some of those smaller spaces. So now I'm going to do the exact same thing again with my lightbox just so you can see that every time you do this, it's going to be a little bit different. There you have it. I used the same words, but I've created two unique designs. Feel free to create as many outlines as you need to, to get your design exactly where you want it to be. Next step, we ink. 7. Calligraphy Silhouette Inking: Now it's time to put it all together. This is when we ink our final piece. You can use marker, which is what I'm using here. Or you could use traditional pen and ink, gel pen, watercolor, the sky's really the limit. Just makes sure that whatever medium you're choosing, you're using the appropriate paper. For my first design, where I did the translucent paper, I'm going to use a velum sheet. Velum is used a lot in architectural drawings. It's like tracing paper, but it's a little bit thicker and smoother. That's what I'm going to use. Then when I finish with my piece, if I want to frame it, I can just put a white piece of paper behind it. For my white box, I'm going to stick with my 32 pound laserjet paper. Starting with my outline paper, I'm going to start again by using a little bit of this washi tape. Now for this one, you can keep all three sheets layered. That's totally fine because you're using more translucent paper each time. Going to put a little bottom in the sky too. Don't worry so much about the taping on the paper. Again, washi tape is nice, it's low tack. You don't have to worry too much about it. For our light box though, notice how when I add the other paper, I can't see my design anymore. I'm going to pick my paper back up. For this one I am going to remove that paper underneath because I don't want it to be too thick. I need room to have my light really shine. Here we go, I will actually move this same tape. See, it comes off nice and clean. Move this tape to the new sheet and you can see, when I press down, you can see my pencil guidelines directly through it. For these signs, I have chosen my pentel touch sign pens and is a felt tip, which is really great for brush calligraphy. For these, I'm going to keep it all one color, but you don't have to. I think a really good number is three, because then you'll be able to have a variation and be able to alternate so that the same colors aren't always touching next to each other. Here I go. I'm going to be inking over onto my velum. I'm going to start with my biggest words first. Make sure your tape is on good. I'm going to start with this thing now. Now see the character, it's a little bit different because I have my tips and my pens. You want to make sure when you're doing your outline that you don't have your words too small, for which really you're using. Luckily these markers are pretty small. It should be good for the details. I want you to notice how I'm keeping it similar to my guideline, but I'm not worried about getting it exactly as long as I'm leaving enough space. Here we go for the top. Just be careful if it moves over too how much you want to make sure that you have room for it to go. There we go. I made it fill like a space. Just a little bit nicer. Now I'm going to fill in, again, starting with these bigger words first, because I can always fill in the smaller words after. I'm going to show you how this is shaping up. We're just going to pick this up. You can see it starting to keep that shape. It's not having that outline under it. It really has the shape nice and tight. When I come back, make sure that I'm lining this up perfectly, make sure my tape is longer. Now I'm going to get started with this one as well. But this one, you're not going to have your original shape under it. Just be careful that you're not going too far out of those five lines because you're not going to be able to see that. Really trust your outline. That's why you have it. You're not limited to 32-bit weight paper for this, you can use anything. You could use crystal board, you could use card stock, whatever you have on hand that you like to draw with. That works well if you're a calligraphy. Similar to the last video, I'm going to do a time-lapse while I fill these in, and you'll be able to follow along with your own unique case. 8. (8) BONUS Calligraphy Silhouette Inking on Vellum: 9. BONUS Calligraphy Silhouette Inking with Lightbox: 10. Calligraphy Silhouette Clean Up: It's now time to put some finishing touches on our designs. I've removed them from our backing papers so that we can see what they look like with nothing behind them. On our valin one we can see it is see-through on the back. Make sure if you're going to frame it, that you put a color behind it, it doesn't have to be white. Our copy paper is already opaque so we don't need anything behind it. I want to point out that I did make some changes as I was going through. Some of the words that I wrote were a little bit bigger or smaller than what I was expecting from my outline. If that happens, don't worry about it. You can always add some of those smaller filler words that we talked about. For example, art is on here many, many times and I use that to fill my smaller spaces. So as I'm going through it now and cleaning it up, I'm going to look and see are there any gaps that destroy the illusion of my design. I see that this New York City here has a bit of a gap. I'm going to come in through and I'm going to write my trusty word art just to fill some of that space. There you go. Looking through, I have one more area up here. I'm just going to do the same thing. Okay. I'm pretty happy with this. This is going to be my finished design. From here, you can frame it, give it to a friend, keep it or digitize it. Once you digitize it, you can add some changes in Photoshop, like you change the color whatever you want, and then have the final print. But I'm going to leave it like this. On this piece. I'm going to go back through and do the same thing again. Are there any parts that shattered that illusion for me? Overall, it looks pretty good because I was of course correcting as I was writing. But I do you see that there's a little bit of a gap right up here. So it's a little bit longer. So instead of Art, I'm going to write create. There's still a little bit of a gap here. But I think it's okay. You can overall see where the trajectory is going. That's it. The pieces are cleaned up and ready to go. 11. BONUS Calligraphy Silhouette iPad Instructions: This bonus video is going to show you how to create a calligraphy cellulite using the Apple iPad Pro and pencil. You can also use the new 2018 iPad as it has pencil connectivity. If you'd like to use an older iPad, that's fine too. Just know that it's not going to have the same pressure sensitivity as these newer iPads. You will need to either use a monoline design or a pressure sensitive stylus. I'm going to start by opening up the iPad. In Procreate I've created a new Canvas that is letter size, since that's the size that I want, doesn't really matter what size you use. One of the benefits of using the iPad for creating art sign is that you don't need to worry about finding inspiration. You can create it yourself. I'm going to come up here and grab a big opaque monoline brush, put my size all the way up and create my letter. This is how I created the DI used for the full project. Here we go. Notice it's a little bit small. I'm going to come back up here, duplicate it. I'm a big fan of keeping your works. You can play on that more later, then resizing. This looks like a better size to me. Here we go. Now we have our size. Now I'm going to create a new layer right on top, leaving this one visible. This is one way to create the same effect that we use with our lightbox or our tracing paper. I'm going to come up here and grab a nice pink color, and then I'm going to choose my brush. You can either use a calligraphy brush that comes with it, or you can download one or you could create one. The brush I downloaded recently that I really love. I'm going to use that. Now, I'm going to go through and create my design exactly the same way I was doing before. I'll start with putting in my name. Here we go. One of the nice things about the iPad, if you make a mistake, you can just go back. I misspelled my name, it happens sometimes in calligraphy, so now I'm going to go back. I also can change how thick I want my line to go and how opaque is. I'm going to come to my sidebar, and I'm going to make it a little bit thicker though wide. Yeah, that's a good thickness. You might go back and redo that Danielle too. You're just going to go through exactly how we were doing before. The benefit though, is you can always check how it's coming along by toggling off that other layer, that's going to let you see what your design looks like and if you need to add anything in. Then when you're done, you can export your design. I have one that I created already. It's my another D, and there it is, that's my full design. You can see it matches up with my layer perfectly. What I can do now is I can go and I can export it. If I do it as a PSD, that's a photoshop file. It'll keep all of the layers. If I wanted to use this inspiration again or as a JPEG, I can use that for printing or for additional edits. Before I go ahead and do that though, I want to show you a bonus trick. One of my absolute favorite things to do is to create a color gradient in my pieces. The first thing I'm going to do is duplicate my layer. Always like to keep a backup copy and then hide the previous layer. Now I'm going to go to Alpha Lock. That's going to mean that I can only write where there's already color. Because I love purple, I'm going to keep with the purple theme. See this custom purple looks good to me, I going to come back and grab a bigger brush and just draw some of this purple onto my design. This looks good. Let's add a third color. Let's put some orange in here. Nice bright orange. There we go. Now I'm going to come up to the bar and I'm going to go to this adjustments panel. It gives me a few different options, I'm going to choose the one that says [inaudible] and blur. This is going to blur my colors together and create a really pretty color gradient. I want it to look like it's a sunset. You can go all the way where colors blend a lot or you can do a little bit. I'm going to back in the middle. There we go. There is your silhouette on the iPad Pro. 12. Calligraphy Silhouette Conclusion: Congratulations, you've now completed the modern calligraphy silhouette class. As we're wrapping up, I just want to give you a few key reminders. First, make sure you brainstorm enough words. That's going to be super helpful as you're filling out your outline for your design. I like to brainstorm at least 30. Second, identify a short three or four letter word that you can use to fill in gaps and spaces. That was art for me, and it really helped to fill out my design. Third, don't skip the outline base. It is super tempting to go straight to inking, but you want to make sure that you lay everything out so you include all of those important words that you starred, and fourth, make sure you have fun. That's the most important part. The more enjoy you have when you create this, the better the design's going to look. So hope you enjoyed this class and I can't wait to see what you create. Please make sure you share photo of your project in the Project tab on Hira on Skillshare, and if you're on Instagram using the hashtag reference creative skillshare. Thank you for joining me to help you enjoy the class.