Turn Your Calligraphy Into a Work of Art | Kimberly Shrack | Skillshare

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Turn Your Calligraphy Into a Work of Art

teacher avatar Kimberly Shrack, Modern Calligraphy & Illustration

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 31m)
    • 1. Class Preview

    • 2. Intro & Supplies Needed

    • 3. Choosing a Quote

    • 4. Layout, Part 1

    • 5. Layout, Part 2

    • 6. Inking Your Final Piece

    • 7. Layout Variations

    • 8. BONUS: Layouts for Long Texts

    • 9. Closing & Class Project

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About This Class

Would you like to turn your calligraphy into a work of art for your home? Or perhaps make some extra money selling art prints of your calligraphy online or at local craft fairs? If you're ready to take your calligraphy off the envelope and into a frame, this is the class for you!

In this course, Kimberly Shrack of Hoopla! Letters will walk you through her personal process for creating calligraphy-based artwork. In this course, you will learn:

  • How you can -- and cannot -- use others' quotes in your artwork;
  • How to choose the best materials and sizes for your finished piece;
  • The art (and math!) behind creating layouts;
  • How to achieve balance with flourishes, color and more;
  • Best practices for inking your final piece;
  • How to layout extra long pieces, such as vows;
  • ... and so much more!

If you follow along, by the end of this course, you will have a piece of artwork ready to display in your home! To get the most from this course, it is highly recommended that you first take my Introduction to Modern Brush Calligraphy course as well as my How to Flourish course

Meet Your Teacher

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Kimberly Shrack

Modern Calligraphy & Illustration

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Oh, hello there! I'm Kimberly Shrack, the calligrapher and illustrator behind Hoopla! Letters, formerly Manayunk Calligraphy. I specialize in modern brush and pointed pen calligraphy, and have had the opportunity to do some pretty cool things for some very cool folks, like Anthropologie, Crane & Co., Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock, Pure Barre and oh-so many more. But one of my favorite things to do is help other busy ladies rediscover and cultivate their own creativity through calligraphy and lettering.

My own calligraphy journey started in 2012 when I bought a broad pen kit and a book called Calligraphy for Dummies – yes, really. I wanted to address my wedding invitations and thought it would be a fun project. And it was. But (and I’m about to get woo woo here... See full profile

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1. Class Preview: Would you like to turn your calligraphy into artwork for your own home, or maybe you'd like to script up an inspirational quote to send to a friend, or maybe you'd like to make a little extra money by turning your calligraphy into artwork you can sell online or at local craft fairs? No matter the reason, if you're ready to take your calligraphy from envelope to work of art, this is the class for you. My name is Kimberly Shrack and I'm the calligrapher and illustrator behind Hoopla! Letters. In this course, I'm going to give you a sneak peek into my own personal process for turning calligraphy into a finished work of art. We'll start by learning how to choose the best quote, materials, size, then we'll move on to experimenting with different layouts and finding what meets our personal artistic vision, and then, we'll move on to best practices for inking your final piece. If you're ready to take your calligraphy off the envelope and into a work of art, I hope you will join me for this class. See you soon. 2. Intro & Supplies Needed: Hello and welcome to class. My name is Kimberly Shrack and I am the calligrapher and illustrator behind hoopla letters. If you've ever taken one of my classes before, it will come as no surprise to you that I'm super excited that you're here. I get very excitable because I love this art form so much and I love sharing it with other people. Now this topic is actually one I've been wanting to cover for a long time. That is taking your calligraphy off the envelope and turning it in to artwork. I think that sometimes calligraphy gets a bad wrap, right. It gets relegated as something that is only used for envelopes. If you ask the average person what they think of when they think of calligraphy. The first thing they're going to say is weddings, right. Wedding envelopes, place cards, a scorecards and weddings are awesome. I loved doing weddings, but we can do so much more with this art form. I'm super excited to share that with you today. Now a few things before we get started. First, you should take my Introduction to Modern Brush Calligraphy class if you haven't already. Now the reason for this is we need a strong calligraphy background before we can turn our calligraphy into artwork. This isn't the class to learn calligraphy in that's that intro class. Now if you have experience in pointed pen calligraphy, so that is a nib and deep ink but not brush calligraphy. That's totally fine. The process that we will be using today can be used for both pointed pen, brush pen, a brush with paint on it. It's fine for all of those methods. But if you have no calligraphy experience at all or you just want to learn brush pen, head over to my introduction to modern brush calligraphy course before you take this one. Another course I highly recommend before you take this one is, my how to flourish course. Flourishing is very important when we talk about turning our calligraphy into artwork. It helps us, as we're laying out our piece that helps us create balance and movement and interest and if you don't have a good understanding of brushing, you're not going to get as much from this class as you could. I highly recommend you take those two classes before we get started. Don't worry, pause it, I will be here still. That will just prepare you, it'll help you get the most out of this class. Once you've watched those and you're ready to go, you're going to need some supplies. First, got to have a pencil, right. We are going to be doing a ton of sketching today, like a ton, it's going to be so fun. Now the eraser on the bottom of your pencil, that's totally fine for using with your sketches. But to erase on your final piece, I recommend you get a black eraser. The black erasers are not going to pick up the pigment of your ink that a white eraser or a pink eraser might, and they might not. It just depends on the ink, but if you want to be the safest, these black erasers are awesome. You're also going to need a ruler. I've got a little t square here. Realizing now it's clear, you maybe you can't see it, so I'll wave it around a little. Any ruler will do, doesn't need to be a t square. Then of course you're going to need pens. Like I said, if you prefer to do a pointed pen, so that's a nib and dip ink, that's totally fine. In fact, a lot of the custom pieces that I do are done with pointed pen nibs and dip ink liquid acrylic, things like that. That's totally fine. But if you do want to use brush pens, any brush pen will do. Today I'm going to be using this pen tell pocket brush. Now if you've never tried this pen before, I highly recommend it. It's different than most brush pens because it has real bristles and it has a little ink cartridge in it. Because it has those real bristles, you get this really cool, thick, chunky textured look. I highly recommend giving us a try if you haven't. I'm also going to be using the [inaudible] coloring brushes as well. But again, you can use whatever brush pens you prefer or have on hand. You're also going to need some paper as like scratch paper, a sketch book paper. A sketch book is fine, but you know what I'll be using, my Rhodia dotPad and again if you've taken my class before you know I love this notebook. It is a dot grid, which is really great when we're talking about layouts because it helps keep everything contained, it helps us stay on the same lines. But because it's not a solid grid, we can also do things like going diagonal and coming in at angles, and we can keep track of it with these dots. Again, a regular sketchbook or even just plain printer paper is fine, but this is what I will be using. You also need paper for your finished piece. If you are using pointed pen with dip ink or a brush pen, you want Bristol Smooth paper. Now this is the Strathmore 300 series. This is what I usually use, it's yellow. Strathmore has lots of different series. The one I use the yellow one 300, but the brand doesn't really matter, it just needs to be Bristol Smooth paper. Now the one exception to this is if you are using a paintbrush and watercolor for your quote, then you want to use watercolor paper, don't use this it'll curl up and it just won't work for it. Pointed pen dip ink or a brush pen, Bristol Smooth. Now the last supply that I recommend, but it's not required, this is totally optional, is a lightbox. Now a lightbox, just what it sounds like, it's a box that emits light.This one is the autograph LightPad 930 LX. But the brand again doesn't particularly matter. Now what this does, push a button, it lights up, and then we can put our layer sketch on top of that. Then on top of that sketch, we place a new fresh piece of paper. The light will shine through both, we'll be able to see our sketch, and then we can ink on a totally clean piece of paper. We don't have to worry about any eraser marks accidentally smudging our final piece that we worked so hard on. That's why I like to use this. Again, you don't need to get a fancy one. I recently upgraded to this one for years and years. I think I was five years. What I used for my lightbox, was a glass tabletop that I just had. Then I got some LED streetlights from IKEA. I just stuck them on the bottom and whenever I needed to turn that desk into a lightbox, I just put the switch on and it worked just as well. You don't need to invest in a fancy lightbox. But if this is something that you plan on doing a lot, like after you take this cash you're, "oh my gosh, I could really use a lightbox.: I do really like this one. The autograph LightPad 930 LX. Once you've gathered up all of your supplies, now we're going to get into the fun stuff and that is creating our layouts. I'll see you in the next video. 3. Choosing a Quote: Everyone, before we get into the fun stuff, and by fun stuff, of course, I mean, making art. We first have to talk about a little some touchy subjects that can come up when you are using quotes to create artwork. First things first, I'm not a lawyer. Didn't go to law school, didn't pass the bar. Nothing that I say in this video or in this class should be construed as legal advice in any way. I'm just getting that out there now. What I'm going to share with you is what I have learned over years of being artist. There are people who their whole job is copyright and intellectual property laws. If you have deeper questions, I highly recommend speaking with an intellectual property lawyer. Somebody that can really deeply answer your questions. I'm going to give you just like the 10,000 foot view of what you need to know. If you are creating artwork that is for personal use only. You are not profiting off of this. You're making it for yourself. You're making it for a friend. The friend is not paying you. You're just get your giving it away. Then you are free to use whatever quote you want. Now it is good practice and good manners, for lack of a better word, to give credit to the person who wrote what you are using. Let's say you want to post a quote on Instagram. Be sure to say like, "Hey, here's the person that wrote this." Give them a tag in it. Include their name in the caption of your photo, give them credit because just like you've created a work of art, they didn't too with their words. You want to make sure if it's her personal use, you can do what you want. But it is always a very good idea to credit the artist with their words. I cannot recommend that enough that you do that. Now, if you plan on selling the artwork that you create from these quotes that you're using. Then it's a little bit of a different story. In order to have the right to use someone's quote and then make money off of it. That quote needs to be in the public domain. Now, public domain means that nobody owns the intellectual property anymore, nobody owns it. You are free then to use it in your own artwork and you don't have to pay royalties to anyone for it. You don't have to worry about infringing on someone else's copyright. It's just overall the safest thing to do when using quotes that are not your own. Now if you're using your own quote, I mean, good on you, be creative, use your own words. But if you want to go to somebody else's and needs to be public domain. How do we know if something is in the public domain? Well, a good rule of thumb is if it was produced in 1924 or earlier, that work is in the public domain, you are free to use it. You've probably seen on Etsy and also people will print them on mugs and notebooks like inspirational quotes from folks like Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde and more people from that Victorian time period. The reason is not just that they are beautiful words which they are, but it's public domain, free to use them without paying no royalties and no risk of infringing on anyone else's intellectual property. It needs to be 1924 or earlier. Now, I'm filming this in 2020. If you are watching this from the future. First, what's the future like? Do we have flying cars yet? No. That's a bummer. But what's not bummer is that because more time has passed, that means that more things entered into the public domain. Do a quick search, see what your cutoff here is for public domain and you probably have more options than what I have now. But if you are watching sudden 2020 is 1924 and earlier. Now that we've got those subtle issues out of the way, let's get into the fun stuff and start creating our art. 4. Layout, Part 1: In these next two videos, I'm going to show you how to begin to lay out your quotes in preparation for inking it and having your final piece. In the first video or in the last video rather, we talked a little bit about quotes and which you can use if you want to create an item to sell or if you just want to do it for a personal project. One of my favorite places to find quotes actually, is in my two-year old daughter's bookshelf for she's got lots of really cool books of some very fun quotes. I like to decorate my daughter's nursery with different quotes from powerful women and quotes from storybooks. This is one of my favorites, the good nice stories for Rebel Girls. There, she's got two of these. This is the second one. If you haven't seen this book, it's very, very cool. There are little one-page stories of all these different important women. It tells a little story about them and then it has a nice little quote there. I love to flip through this and find some cool quotes to use. Plus, it's great because while I've heard a lot of many of the women in here, I hadn't heard of all of them. It's a really great way to find some quotes. You might have some anthology books like this in your home that can help you out as well. Here's just an example of some of the pieces that I made for my daughter's nursery, with the quotes from these books. They're nice and short you can see, and they've made really nice little vignettes here. Now, these are all made using the pentel pocket brush, this little guy right here. You can see that this has some nice little bristles on it. With that in mind, I'm actually going to be using for our quote and we're going to do today. I'm going to be using one by Hedy Lamar. Hedy Lamar was an actress which I knew, but I didn't know she was actually an inventor as well. She's a pretty cool lady and she's got this great quote here. It says, "Try everything, join everything, meet everybody. That is the secret of life." That's the quote we're going to be doing today. Now, before we get started, you should have your quote picked out. There are a couple things you need to decide before we start working on our layout and they actually go hand in hand. You need to decide what size you want your finished piece to be and what kind of brush pen or nib and deep ink you plan on using. Another reason this is important is because you have to match the size of the brush or the nib up with the size of your finished piece. To match these other pieces, I'm going to be using this pentel pocket brush again. You can see the size that this is. This is an eight by 10. This brush has some really nice six to it and it can do a little smaller. If I was using this brush to do something very long like maybe a set of vowels, I would need to make the paper bigger because the brush is just too big. Now, in the same vein, if you wanted to use a nib and dip ink, like if your heart was super set on that, which I understand it's so beautiful, then, you probably would want to pick a paper that's a different size because if we were to write this quote with a nib, though, it would be much, much smaller. Really, the size you can get with like a Nicogel or Brause Steno, the blue pumpkin. It's going to be about this height for letters, maybe this height. So not that big. If we did this quote about height, it would only take up this much of the paper within all this white space. While I'm totally a fan of white space, what is appropriate, we don't really want that much. You can either start with deciding the size you want and then choosing the pen from there, or you can start with, I know I want to use this pen or this nib and then, judge the size of the paper from there. It might take a couple of tries, but I'm telling you after you've done it once or twice, you'll have a pretty good idea. If you're thinking about size too, this would be also about the size that a favorite pentel artists brush pen would make, or even a tombow dual brush pen as well. We'll make a little bit bigger, but for the most part, you could stick with this. With that in mind, I'm going to do another piece that is eight by 10, and I'm going to be using this brush. The first thing that I like to do when I am starting with my layout is I like to make a few many layouts because there's lots of different directions that we could go. There's not just one way to write this out. I like to create like they said, this little many is based on the proportions of our finished piece. If our finished piece is going to be eight by 10, I'm going to make some many squares that are four inches by five inches because that'll be the same proportion. I'm just going to do a couple here. When you're doing these many mock-ups, if you can see here, I'm using a dark grid paper. I find that helpful because you can see you have some nice lines to follow as you're scripting it but it's not necessary. If you just want to use scrap printer paper, that's fine as well. I'm just going to draw a couple here. Now, if you were doing some other standard sizes as well, you just want to do a little bit of the math there, and usually, we just divide it by two unless you're creating something very large. Then, you might want to divide it by more than that. I've got those written out. The other thing I like to do before I get started is actually, write out the quote that I'm going to be doing. You've printed it off with a font and on printer paper, totally fine. You just want to see it written out in front of you, and it's like I want the printer for that, to sort it all out. Now, the reason I like to write it out first is because I like to take a look at the quote and decide if there are words that I want to keep together and words that maybe I want to highlight. When I look at this, it's actually, already pretty delineated for us because we've got to try everything as a phrase, join everything as a phrase, meet everybody as a phrase. Then, we have that is the secret of life. That, of course, is important for the structure of the quote, but I probably don't want to highlight those words there, but I do want to highlight secret of life. All these things that I've put brackets around are phrases that I want to keep together. Now, by keeping together, that could mean that they are all on the same line, like they are here and how I've written it out. Or it could mean that they're just blocked together. Like try everything is stacked right on top of one another. That it could mean that. It also means that we don't want to split them up in a weird way. For example, we wouldn't want this to say try everything, period, join and then, bump everything to the bottom. That wouldn't quite look right because we would have this one phrase altogether, but then, this one would be divided up. So we want to keep these together and that would make more sense, I promise, as we get into this. But you just want to take a look at these and see if there's anything that you want to keep together and also maybe to highlight. Now, there are a few different ways to highlight. You could highlight by popping that word onto a different line. You could also highlight it by making it all in block text instead of script. To a certain extent, you could change the size. But really, again, this isn't lettering, this is calligraphy. Our nib and our brush are really going to make pretty much one size. There can be some size variation of course, but my point is that you can highlight a word with this size, but there are better ways to do it like popping it on its own line. You can also highlight it with color, which we will get into in another video. So just something to keep in mind there. We want to find the phrases, words that we want to keep together and make sure those do not get separated from one another. I've got that written out and now, I'm going to try out a couple different layouts. Now, we're not worrying about getting it perfect here or even totally centered or anything like that. We just want to test out a few very different layouts. This isn't the time for minor tweaks. This is the time for trying very, very different things and seeing which way you want to go. So we're going to do one that's on the totally horizontal baseline. Instead of putting everything on one line like this, I'm going to block it up. I'm going to stack them on top of each other and then, you'll be able to see a little bit about what I mean when I talk about not separating those words and phrases that you want to keep together. I'm going to highlight in this one. Again, we're just trying a bunch of different things. I want to highlight the verbs by putting them in a block letter. I want to see how that looks. Remember, we're not worried about centering everything here, we're just seeing if there are any sort of layouts that we like, that we don't like, just testing out ideas. So far, I like this. Then I want Secret of life to be highlighted. We'll put that in the script and then Secret of Life. Now, I don't have room here for heavy Lamar but that could be fixed later. Again, this is just a Maga. That's one way we could do it. We could also do it by putting everything on the same line and in this one we centered at. For this one, let's try to like left, justify. A little merging there. We'll try to justify, will do this all in script. Yikes and this fill join. All right, so we can see with this one and we've got a ton of white space. If we were to do this one, we would want to bump it down a little bit. This one is actually pretty evenly balanced. We've got this little white space here. But by putting, by giving, bumping this over to be right justified, we've balanced that out a little bit. Now looking at this one, I'm not real sure I like this balanced because we've got tons of white space all over and then we've got this line down here. They actually, this could work if we maybe bumped this alliance. This is still an option, but you know what, I'm going to go ahead and try out a couple more. I'm just going to draw. I can actually see through this. Now here's another little tip. If you are doing a bunch of these and they're all the same size, instead of measuring it out every time, if you want to just cut out a piece of card stock, that's the size that you are making these mock ups and just hang onto it. Especially if there's sizes in use very often, like if you are doing a by tens a lot, then you can just put it on your paper and trace it. You don't have to and measure it out every single time. I went to more and I'm going to try one that's on like a diagonal. See how I like that. All right? When I do things on a diagonal, again, you're seeing the process here. I didn't make this up before because I want you to see the like. I make a lot of mistakes and I make things that don't look so good. It takes a lot of tweaking and trying new things to get what I want there. Let's try this out. I like doing quotes on an angle like this because I think it gives it just a little bit more drama. Hey, gives it a little bit more drama. I think it adds a little bit of interest to it, rather than just being, totally straight on. You can see as I go, I just make these decisions like I saw, I had this space here, I wanted to fill him so I made life extra big. Then we would just do her name down here. That's not bad. I mean, it's not great. But we couldn't make that word. We've got some space there we could easily fill that enables some flourishes. We could also even getting ahead of myself here. But when you look at these, you'll start to see ways that you can make changes. Adding, making these verbs, block letters, that could be pretty cool. All right, well so that's an option there. Let's try one more. Let's see here. Won't do another because I know a lot of folks like to do there are centered, which is totally fine. Let's try another one centered. We'll do them on the same line. I'll do this in all script. You can see in spacing out each phrase a little bit because I want it to take up some more space. But I'm going to keep all the phrases that I want together. That is the secret of life. It's going to or not adding that extra space in there. We've got four options here. I like all of them. You could think a little bit about what I want to do. Now in the next video, what we're going to do is get a piece of paper that is the size that we're going to have our finished product n and we're going to work on the piece there. If you haven't done this yet, take a pause before you start the next video and go ahead and try to do four mock ups like I have done here. Remember, these don't need to be perfect by any stretch of the imagination. You just want to try a few different things. Now if your quote is super-duper long, like for example, you're doing vows. Go ahead and put that aside for a minute. We're going to talk about very long pieces at the end, toward the end of the class. For now, pick something that's a little bit shorter so that you can easily create these four little mock ups. I will see you in the next video. 5. Layout, Part 2: Now, you should have by now gone ahead and created four different many mock-ups of your quote. We're going to take a look at those and decide which ones we want and then go on to the next step of creating our layout. When I looked at these two that we've did, I decided to combine these two. I liked that this was centered, but I wasn't crazy about all this spacing. I wanted it to be spaced more like this one, so I may have a face one. You can see again. I'm doing this all in real time, so you can see that I don't get things right on the first try. One of the great things about this art form is that there's no one right way to do it. That's the great thing about art in general. Don't be afraid to try a bunch of different things. It's totally fine. In fact, you're going to get a better piece that way. I really do believe that the more mock-ups that you try, the more ways you experiment, the better final piece that you'll end up having and along the way you'll start to discover your own style. I've put everything like this. We're just going to put that to the side. Now, I have grabbed a piece of paper that's the size of my final piece. This is an eight by 10. You want to get a piece of paper that's going to be the size of your final piece. Now, I'm going to be using the lightbox method, which means after I mock it up on this paper here, I'm going to take my white box, put this on there, put a fresh new piece of paper on top, and ink my final piece on that top paper. Now the reason I like to do my work this way is because I like my final piece to be totally clean. I don't like to go back and have to erase the guidelines. That's why I prefer to use lightbox. Now if you don't have a lightbox or you just don't really want to do that method, no worries at all, you just want to make sure that as you are working on your piece of paper, which if this is your final piece make sure that this is a Bristol smooth paper or whatever paper you're hoping to use for your final piece. But as you're going through the steps we're about to do, you want to make your pencil line extremely light, because you're going to need to erase all of those for your finished piece. I'm going to make my own very dark for two reasons: one is you can see them and two, because I'm using a lightbox and I really don't care if it's too dark. Just to keep that in mind as you go, I will be using the lightbox method, so all of my lines are going to be very dark because I'm not concerned about erasing them. But if you're not using that method, very light pencil marks. The first thing that we need to do is create our guidelines. Now, I bet you to know there was a lot of math involved in calligraphy, but there totally is. The first part is we need to mark our margins. Now, let's say you make this beautiful calligraphy quote and you go to frame it and you realize, Oh, my God, the frame is covering up my beautiful writing or its budding right up against it and it's ruining all the beautiful spacing that I tried to achieve. We want to add a margin around the outside to ensure that doesn't happen. We don't want to leave a lot of extra space there. You can usually get away with a half inch margin around the whole thing. If you're looking at this ruler, you're going to be like, what is that? Where did that come from? This is actually a quilting ruler. I like to sew, so I've got a bunch of these laying around. I really like it for this because I can just lay it on top and it measures it in all different directions. It's super easy to create margins like this. You can get these at any arts and crafts place, just all quilting rulers. I'm going to mark a half an inch all the way around. Again, remember I'm using the lightbox method, so I'm drawing very dark lines. If you are not using that method, please keep your lines light. Now, we've got these margins, we know for sure we are not going to run into the frame now. Now, we want to mark our center line. Now, this is what we're going to work on first, is everything are all the vertical guidelines. We will do horizontal next. For our vertical guidelines, the first thing we want to do is mark our center line. This is an eight by 10. Our center line is here at 4, just going to mark that, pull out my T-square here and I'm going to make straight center line. Now, this is really important when you are doing a piece that you want it to be centered. We could be done with just a center line. But I find that it's super helpful to divide it up into quarters. I think that quarter's make it much easier to center. Because, for example, I have something written here and it might look centered with just this line. But if I have two more lines, I can see, Oh, it extends beyond this line like a quarter inch. But over here, it doesn't even meet the line, so it must not be totally centered. Then I can erase and I can start over. Let's see. We've got seven inches across now, because we knocked off a half an inch on either side. That means each square is three and half inches. That is one and three-quarters. I told you there's so much math, who knew? Then three-quarters and we'll do it again down here. If you guys know me in real life, you know that math not my strong suit. I'm married to an accountant, so I really locked out there. Whenever I have math questions, I just say done. What's this divided by this? He's my human calculator. Let's see. I marked is incorrectly, it looks like here. I can even give it some measurement right there we go. Now we've got it divided into quarters, so like I said, this will make it much easier as for scripting to make sure things are centered, because we know if it hangs off this line that far over and then we're writing over here it doesn't even make that. It might look, if we didn't have these lines , it might look totally centered, but with those quarter lines, we know in fact it is not. Again, this is something that you want to do if you're going to center it. If you're doing everything to left justified or right justified, this isn't going to be necessary. Same goes if you're doing it on the diagonal, this is really only necessary if you are centering your writing. Now we want to make our horizontal guidelines. We're going to start just by marking the center. Again if I turn here I'm going to mark it five inches. Now we're going to do a little bit more math, I know it's so exciting, I hope you have a calculator ready to go. One of the reasons we did these mockups, of course, is to come up with ideas, but also, so we cut out some other guesswork when it comes to deciding how tall to make our guidelines. We are going to count all the lines that we use in our mockup including any spaces. We've got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Let me show you again, one line 2, 3, the space is 4, 5 , 6 space is 7, name is 8, so that's eight lines of text. Now we could just divide this number by eight, this from here to here, from the margin, to margin by eight and get our line-height, but there's a little bit of a problem with that, because if we look at our mockup here, we can see there's lots of extra space on top, and we want to make sure that that's accounted for. We want it to be nice and in proportion here. I'm going to just guess here that this is two lines of space, two extra lines of space here, I want it to be centered. This is just a mockup, but I'm just judging based on what I'm seeing here. This is not exact, this is not going to be totally exact, but it's going to help us identify at least how tall we want our guidelines to be. let's say we're adding one space at the top for the buffer, one space of buffer at the bottom, plus two buffers equals 10 guidelines. Boy, I can't spell. So 10 Guidelines. We want to divide this area here by 10. This is nine inches because again, we've done half-inch margins on top and bottom, so nine divided by 10 is 0.9. Now when you start writing, we've got our buffer at the top here. We've got our buffer at the bottom, this is going to be our area to do the quote. I'm just going to dive right in here, you can already see where are these four lines came in very handy. I started this over here and just barely ended it, you can see it's not even, going to be a lot of erasing here, that's okay, that's what this step is for. I might also say maybe I want to make my writing just a little bit bigger, a fill on up space. I am going to end up starting it right around the same spot, but I'm just going to make everything bigger. Still off a little. Now you see, as you see all of these marks and erasing, you can see why I prefer to use the white box method. You can see I have marked this up. One thing I'm noticing already, is I'm just going to draw a really short little guideline. I've messed this up just a little bit. Looks like this line needs to be adjusted. Again, these lines come in super handy. We can see that looks a little bit better, so maybe this needs to come over just a little more. Then that is the secret of life looks pretty good in terms of center. Now, we have the fun part. I always like this part and that is putting everything together, filling in some of these empty spaces. Now, you don't have to, but I like my stuff to fit together very neatly and nicely. I like to go through and mark these areas where there are some weird spaces. Some right there. There we go. Now, I'm going to go through, and I'm going to try to add some flourishes or things to fill those in. Again, this is not a totally necessary part. You want to make sure everything is balanced, yes, but you don't have to fill in every single empty space. The only time that it becomes an issue is because , we've got a lot of these words that have these descenders, and we have those in combination with ascenders. So we just have to be mindful of how we combine those together. So I'm going to ahead and fill in these spaces. We'll start right here. Good way to fill this in, is just by adding a nice little curly Q at the beginning. You can go ahead and zoom in so you can get a nice look. Hope you aren't motion sick. There's that little space, you can see a lot of erasing in this stage. Now, I've got this space here and if you're looking at this, you're like, "How are you deciding where to add these flourishes?" Go ahead and check out my class on flourishing.That goes through everything you need to get that going. So we've got this right here. I'm going take this V, curl it in, and we'll curl that Y over to take care of that space. I think we'll just pull this G down here. All right. We've got this space here, we'll do the V again. Since we've done that with both of these, we'll just do with this top top one too. Keeping it nice and balanced. You can see how these are all fitting together. Now, the only last space we have here is this, so I'm going to just loop my d that way. Now, with my d that way, also ensures they don't run into this g here. Boy, see how messy this gets? Isn't that light box sounding better and better? Because you're going make a lot of mess. If you don't have a light box again, you can also always just redo this on another piece of paper if it's like, "Oh my gosh, this is way too messy." Once you have it figured out, you can always redo it. Looking pretty good. Now, I can see this is off. This is still off just a little bit. I think maybe if we add the period there. Then that is the secret of life. So this one actually fits together pretty nicely. I am just going to add a nice little swash on that t to fill in some of that. Bump this over a bit. Now, you can see I made this just a little larger, is that this secret of life just a little larger. In fact, I'm going to make this a little bit smaller because I want the secret of life to really stand out. Then we have Hedy Lamarr, her name down here. Actually, I think I'm willing to do that in script as well. Zoom back out. Now, you can see I have the whole piece really mapped out. I might pull that over just a little. You can see there's so many tweaks that you can make and it does get pretty messy. But if you're here, you like art, you're an artist, and we're messy people. It's fine and that's what it is. Now that I have this all laid out, we are going to move on to inking our quote. That's what we're going to do in the next video. So before then, go ahead and take your quote through this stage. Start with your vertical guidelines if you're doing a centered piece, then move onto your horizontal guidelines starting with the center, and then doing that little bit of math to decide how many lines you're going to need. All right? Then mark those, put it down, make lots of tweaks, make lots of messes, a lot of erasing. I got tons of eraser dust here. Then I will see you in the next video and we will get this bad boy inked. 6. Inking Your Final Piece: You've picked your quote, you made a punch of many mock-ups, where you did turn them off and you tweaked until you got just the layout that you wanted. Now, it's time to put your piece down in ink. If you are not using the lightbox method, then what you'll want to do is, erase as many of the guide lines as you can before you put it down in ink. The reason is, once you get the ink on there, there's more chance for you to mess up your beautiful work when you're erasing. So as much as the pencil marks as you can get off now before you ink, go for it. Now, when you're done inking, let's say you still have some errant pencil marks around after you've made sure it's 100 percent dry, don't do this for an hour. Wet it. Just let it. Use a black eraser to get off any of the extra pencil marks. The reason I recommend black is, especially, if you've used a black ink or a dark colored ink, then white or pink could actually take off some of the pigment and you do not want to that. Now, if you are doing the lightbox method as I am doing, you are going to first put trace over what you've written in a quick, drying black ink. I've used the pit artist brush pen here just to put it down in black ink, very quick drying kind. Now, the reason that I did this is because I find it easier to see with a lightbox when it's in a dark black ink rather than when it's just in the pencil. The lightbox that I am using is an Artograph LightPad, 930 LX. I don't really know what the 930 LX means, but I assume it means awesome because I really love this Lightpad. You can adjust the light to make it brighter or not so bright, which is great, because sometimes when it's really bright, I don't know about you, but I start to see little spots not cool. I like being able to adjust it. Now, unfortunately, it's reflective. You get a little look behind the curtain here, my lighting setup. Pretend you didn't see it. Ignore the man behind the curtain. Then I have my final piece of paper here. This is a Strathmore Bristol smooth surface paper. My favorite. If you've ever bought an original piece for me, that is the paper that I design. I can almost guarantee it. When you're all ready, turn that lightbox on. Remember, if you're not using a lightbox before you start inking, make sure that you get as much of their pencil marks off as possible. You'll need to, of course, keep the words on there so that you can trace them, but everything else, get it off. For using the lightbox, start tracing. Now, you have a finished piece. You may haven't noticed that I stopped when I was doing this and I went back. It's because I tried a little curlicue thing right here. I didn't really like it. Just grab the piece of paper and start it over. I will cut this down to the 8 by 10 once it's dry. Again, I like to leave stuff like that in these videos because I want you to see that this is my job and I make mistakes all the time. You're going to make mistakes too and that's cool. That's fine. That's one of the great things about the lightbox method though. Is, instead of having to start all over with this process, I just pulled in a new piece of paper. I'm looking at it, and you know what? I dig it. I love the texture. I'm really glad that I used this brush and thinking this is off a little bit. Here's a little trick guys. If your spacing is ever off and looks like this is extending just a little bit. You can always add a little dash from Hedy Lamarr. Professional secret there. Now, I can cut this down when it's dry and frame it all up. I know that took a little bit of time to get there but the more and more you do this, the better and better at it you will get. The next video, I'm going to show you some other ways that I created this quote, including different ways that you can add color. Be sure to tune in there. Go ahead if you are working along with me, go ahead and anchor quote now. Sure to share it so we can all enjoy your lovely work. I want to see what you are working on. Like I said, in the next video, I'm going to show you a couple of different ways that I created this quote and some different ways that you can use color. See you there. 7. Layout Variations: You finally inked up your piece and it is ready to frame and hang on your wall or to give to somebody else, or if it's public domain possibly to sell. We chose one of our form mini Mockups, but there's an infinite number of ways to lay out quotes like this. I wanted to go ahead and complete the Mockups and mini Mockups that we did. I wanted to show you what some of those other versions might look like just so you can see what they might look like in comparison. One of the mini Mockups we tried was on a diagonal. You can see this is the same quote, but obviously it looks very different in each of these different ones. I used the same brush here. I really love, love that textured look. As you can see, I really went for it here. I really staggered the baseline on all of my words just to keep it really tight and fit in, almost like a puzzle piece. The process for doing something on a diagonal is the same as it was for this, with the exception of how you measure and choose the size of your guidelines. Really quickly, I'm going to show you how to do that. Okay, so I have got my piece here. First thing you want to do is lay your ruler down and see about the angle that you want your words at. Now again, I really love this kind of ruler because you can see through it and it's super wide. It gives me a little bit more of an idea of what my words would look like there. Let's see how I want my angle. I think about like this is what I ended up doing. Okay, so then what I'll do is once I mark the angle, I'll just mark with a pencil up there. Now I am not marking any particular measurement here, I'm just marking it so when I put the ruler down, I have something to line it up against, to make sure I'm going with the angle that I wanted to stick with. Okay, now with your ruler at that angle that you want to stick with, you are going to measure the amount of space that you've got here. Okay, so let me pop this up. It looks like we have about nine inches. Before we know when we were measuring the amount of space we had, we measured it vertically. But for this, we're measuring it along the horizon that we made there, and you can see it's just shy of nine inches. This line here, just shy of nine inches. It will be pretty much everywhere we mark it. That's how you measure it and then you can do your division by there. When I had my mini Mockup, I had about nine lines. Actually this works out really well. Then along that angle line that we drew again, remember we're lining it up with this top marking with this mark here. I had it off just a little bit. Now we're going to mark every inch. It's not quite an inch at the bottom here, but that's all right. Now we can mark this now again to make sure I'm not messing up the angle. I'm lining it up with that initial angle line that I drew them lining the bottom up with that marked inch. I'm doing the same here. That's why these rulers are so nice to have. Again, this is a quilting ruler. But you can get it at pretty much any craft store or Joann fabrics, they definitely have them. This is how you make the guidelines for a diagonal. This is my method anyway. Now I'm sure there are different methods. I'm sure there are more precise methods, but again, this is just, what I use to do it. Okay. Again, for comparison, this was the one, the original, this is the second one that I did. And then I did a third one here where I did everything left justified instead of center. I also wanted to show you how you can use color to make things pop. In this one, it was pretty easy. All I did was add that last line, secret of life. I really wanted that to pop. So I just did that in a different color. Now, you can, of course do other words in a different color too. You just want to make sure that things are balanced. When I say balanced is, let's take a look at this for example. I wouldn't want to have "try" in a color and then "join" in a color and then "meet" in a color and then "life" in a color, it would just, it wouldn't look right. It would be like to weighed heavily over this way. Now with something like this, you can see just like I did in this one. I chose to keep things together. I knew I wanted to try everything together and you see that it matches up well. "Join everything" is together, "meet everyone" is together, "that is the secret of life" is together. I didn't bump things from row to row. I didn't have "try everything" join right here and then everything because that would just messes up the flow and the same is going to go for color. Again, this just look a little odd if this was color, color, color, and color right here. It would just be a little bit too one-sided when the whole piece is really spread out. What you could do though, is "everything" could be in color, "everything" in color, "everybody" in color, and then "secret of life," that'll be a little bit more balanced there. With this one that being said, you might be looking at this and thinking, well, this isn't balanced at all. You just have it on the bottom there. But in the context of this actual piece, that looks okay, having one line and color is different and then having like three or four when you have just one line and color you can get away with a little bit more than you can if you've got a bunch without it looking too off-balanced. Now, we could also for this one, even though, if all the color would be on this side, it works because it's already left justified. Everything is pretty heavy toward this side anyway, so it works to add the color. What I'm going to do for this next piece, I'm going to demo it for you. I'm going to do this same design, but instead of just doing this bottom one in color, we are going to do try, join, meet, and then secret of life in color. But we aren't doing the words in color. Instead, we're going to do the shadow in color, and I'm going to show you how that is done. I want to use our handy-dandy light box here, I'm going to use this hot pink again, because I'm in a hopping mood. These are Koi coloring brush pens, which are really nice. You can actually dip these in water to get a really pretty watercolor look. I'm not going to do that right now, but just something that you can do. I'm going to zoom in here. When you're doing a shadow, if you've taken my envelope class, you are already familiar with how to do this, if not, I highly recommend you go back and take that class because I give lots of details on blending colors, adding shadows, and things like that, using color with your brush pen, so head over there, check that out if you haven't. But as a quick recap, if you have or something brand new, if you have it, I'm going to show you how to do a shadow here. First thing we want to do is decide where our light source is coming from, because that's going to help us keep a consistent shadow. I usually like to have my light source come from the top left, and that means I put my shadow on the bottom right. Now, if you don't have a white box, you can go ahead and script everything as usual, and then add a shadow at the end, but because I have a light box, I'm going to do the shadow first, and you'll see why. I'm just going to go to the bottom right of everything, so doing that with try, with join, not worried about getting things perfect here, and then here on the bottom. Again, we're not worried about perfection with this, so I'm just going again to the right and the bottom, all the letters, all the strokes. Then I'm going to use my black pen here, so I've got the Koi coloring brush in black, and then I'm going to just trace over the letters illuminating the whole thing. You can see because I already had this written down, it lays on top of it really nicely. Now like there might be some areas to fill in, like right there, I'll have to go back and fill that in, but for the most part, it makes it much easier. Now, if you don't have a light box and you want to add a shadow, what you would do is after you have scripted the word, you would just mark along the edge just as we did before. A little mistake there, that's all right, so you can see how that goes. Let me actually show you with everything here, how you would add it at the end. You would just be careful, but you can see it because this is a lighter pen, it bleeds into it. Again, that's a reason I like to do whether it's a lighter shadow, a lighter color, why I like to do it after. But you can definitely get it more precise if you do it after. But you know me, not super concerned about precise. I like things to have a little bit more of a playful, imperfect feeling to them. That's just another way that you can add color. I hope what you've taken away from today is that laying things out, is not necessarily as difficult as you might think it is. There are lots and lots of different ways to do it. If you're ever at a loss for things to try, these three are usually my go to, and by these three, I mean, either centered, left justified, or on a diagonal. If you've nothing else, at least try those three things because I think you can get some really cool stuff like that. Now, you can go even beyond that, you could use a wavy look. Again, if you go back to my envelope class, some of the envelopes we do are on a curve, you can always try something like that as well. But these are three that I think will get you started in a good direction. In the next video, next brief video, I'm going to show you what to do if you are doing a very long piece, because this method works great if you have a shorter quote. But if you have a longer piece of vows or a long passage, I have a little trick that will make it 10,000 times easier for you, so be sure to tune in there. 8. BONUS: Layouts for Long Texts: I'm going to show you a way to help you jump start your process for creating layouts for pieces of artwork that have a lot of texts. For example, vows or song lyrics. In the examples we've already done, we were using very short quotes, but when it's a lot of texts, that process of deciding how many lines we should have and how tall they should becomes a little bit more complicated and this method helps you speed it along. You just want to open a Word document, draw a text box. Now, this first text box is going to represent the size of your paper, the size of your finished piece of paper. For this project, mine is going to be 11 by 14. I'm going to take a look at the height and width here, and I'm going to make it 11 by 14 the only issue with that is that what ends up happening is it goes beyond the confines of our page. I'm going to divide the width in link by two to make sure it fits on here. It'll be the same proportions and it'll work for our purposes, but it will all fit and you will be able to see it. So 14 divided by two is seven, 11 divided by two is five point five. Now we want to click this little box here. What that does is that locks these proportions, if we make this box larger or smaller, it will maintain the proportions and again, that's what we're most concerned about here. Now we're going to make a second text box. Now the second text box is going to represent the writable space, this represents the size of the paper. This next one is going to represent the area in which we can write because remember, we're going to have margins around this and we want to make sure we don't want to do all of our math and then realize, we didn't account for emergent. We're going to make a second one here. Now again, we want to do this proportion because I divided by two the first time I'm going to do that here as well. Assuming we have a half-inch margin all around, our height goes from 14 to 13, 13 divided by two is 6.5. Our width goes from 11 to 10 and the half of 10 is five, I'm just going to put that there I'm going to lock the aspect ratio and I'm just going to adjust this. Technically that outer one isn't even necessary, the outer text box, but I think I'm very visual and so I like to see what it's all going to look like together. Because I'm very visual, I'm actually going to get rid of the line on this because I want to see what this is going to look like with the margins, I don't want this line or on this center text box to get in my way, I'm going to go ahead and turn that off. Now another thing I'm going to do before I add any text is I'm going to select "Align Text". Now, this just like sounds like it says where it's going to align the text within the text box. We want our piece to be centered, so I'm going to align it in the middle. Now I have copied the text that I want to use, now I'm going to paste it, these are wedding vows that we're going to do. Actually, one thing I am going to do because I have locked these aspect ratios, I'm going to highlight both of those, and I'm going to make this a little bit larger so that we've got room to really see what we're working with here. Again, you have to select that flock aspect ratio or else when you adjust the size, you're going to totally ruin your proportions. The first thing we want to do with our text is we want to change the font. This Georgia file is nice or if your pops up as Times New Roman or Arial or whatever, that's nice. But we want to make sure we pick a font that the letters are wider than normal. That's because in calligraphy our letters are going to be a little bit wider, then what like a Times New Roman is going to be. One font that I like that everyone usually has on their computer is Century Gothic, you can see that that bumped that out a little bit. Now if you have a font that's even wider, I have some on here that are even wider, but I'm not sure that everyone has on their computers. If you have a font that the letters are even wider, you can try that as well. But Century Gothic, I find usually works pretty well. Next, we are going to make sure that the style selected is no spacing, this becomes important later as we start to adjust to lines. No spacing selected and then we're going to center it. Now let's go ahead and we know that this is separated by stanzas. When we select no spacing it gets rid of all that spacing of the stanzas we're just going to go ahead and add that back in here. Now we'll highlight all that text and we will start increasing the size of our font because as you can see, we have a ton of white space that we can work with. I'm just going to start bumping it up, seeing what works, it looks like 18 is a pretty good size, I like it. We've got it here on 18, now what I'm going to do is I'm going to adjust lines to create balance. Because if we look at this, we see we've got some lines where there's only one word on it and that's not necessarily something that we want, we want this to be balanced out. I'm going to go through here and see where we can make adjustments. This second line here can bump this goes down that keeps it a little bit more balance, same here. Now you might not get it right the first time, I like that better. This one is really balanced with the issue that we're running into as we click off of that, you can see it gets going, it's pretty close to the edge and actually, this one does too. Let's have that dot down. There we go, that's better. For this one, we're going to bump now edge down to this down, much better that gives us some little extra wide space to work with. This line is looking good and this line longevity is on its own, I did not like that, we're going to bump, self-restraint down there. Same thing with this line, wedlock is on its own, I'm not a fan of that so let's play with this a little bit. There we go, I like that. Now, we have if you click away that text box line disappears and you can see the layout that is going to work for your piece. Now it's time for a little math, it's time for everybody's favorite thing, more math. Now this is normally something I would just do on paper, but to show you, I'm going to put it here. Now we're going to do a little bit of counting. First you want to count up all the lines of text and spaces that we have here, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. So we have 23 lines of text, great. Now if we click on this, we can see that we've definitely got some spacing up here as well. I would say that looks like about two lines of text, each two lines of text side and side for buffer lines. Then that brings us to 27 total lines. We have 27 total lines within this writable space. We're going to bust our calculators now and we're going to take ten inches divided by 27 total lines and that gives us a line-height of 0.37 inches. That is the exact calculation. Now, when you have a ruler that might not be super easy to get exactly 0.37. You round up or round down whatever you need to do to get that. Again, this is not an exact science, this is just going to help you get started, because again if you can try this on paper, it would have taken a long time for you to come to this and instead it's taken us like five minutes. This should give you a good the jumping-off point. This is also good to have with you because you can see how these words all line up together. That can be really helpful in trying to center as well. I hope that this little bonus video was helpful in creating pieces made out of large swathes of texts. I'll see you in the closing video. 9. Closing & Class Project: Congratulation, you did it. Go you. You made it through class. You should now know how to take your calligraphy and turn it into a beautiful, polished work of art. I'm sure it will come to no surprise as to what the project is for class, I want you to create a piece of artwork from your favorite quote. Now, if you've been following along, you might already have this done, and if you do, go ahead and snap a picture and post it in the project section here on Skillshare. If you haven't, go ahead and start on that now, and in addition to sharing pictures of your final project, please share pictures of your process, I would love to see your mini mockups, your different layouts that you were trying to decide between. Honestly, if you need help deciding between them, we can help, we as a group in the class, we can always offer our suggestions and advice. One of the great things about skill sharing about this community is that we can really learn from one another. So the more of your process that you share, the more we're all going to benefit from it. Now, bonus points, if you share a picture of your final work hanging in your home or on display in your home. This is the one that we created today, and I put it in a little frame, have it sitting on my desk here, yes, it's nice, I like it. It's always nice to see what that piece looks like in its new natural habitats. Now, if you have any questions at all, please go over to the discussion section and ask. If you've taken any of my other courses, you know, I always answer the questions. Now, I do have a toddler and a bun in the oven, so it might be a day or two before you get your answer, but you will get your answer, all right. If you haven't checked out any of my other classes, go to my profile page, I cover lots of topics in calligraphy and I have a lot more coming, so if you have any ideas or suggestions for things you'd like to see, again post that in the discussion section as well. Finally, if you are on social media, be sure to give me a follow on Instagram @hooplaletters. Now, one thing I love to do is share student artwork. I love to brag on you guys because you make the most beautiful things, but in order for me to share your artwork, you need to post it on Instagram and tag me in it, that gives me the ability to share your work, to repost it and show the world just how awesome you are. Again, that's @hooplaletters on Instagram. I hope you enjoy this class, I hope you learned a lot and I hope you will continue practicing the fabulous arts, that is modern calligraphy. Until next time, happy scripting.