* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Painting Florals with the Elegant Writer Calligraphy Pen
by Kathy Garvey

On a recent residency at the beautiful Wildacres in North Carolina I photographed hundreds of plants, trees and bugs for future projects. Last week I did a stylized version of one of the plants I found there called an Evening Lychnis in watercolor. While it was drying, I did a quick stylized version of it using an Elegant Writer pen and watercolor. The two are shown side by side below with the Elegant Writer pen version on the left.


This reminded me that I get darker darks when I use the Elegant Writers. And since they're so fast and easy to use, I decided to have a little more fun with them. They're touted as calligraphy pens but I find it hard to believe anyone would want to do calligraphy with something that runs when wet. However, artists have discovered that they not only run when wet, they drip and spread greens, pinks and blues! 

I use either a 1.3 or 2 size and just draw on good watercolor paper.

 Then, if you want, you can release all of the fun colors by spraying the image with water. Dabbing with a paper towel while it's still wet brings out more of the pinks. See all of the random colors spreading in the example below.

Then color in with whatever is your favorite media. I'm using watercolors in the examples below.
I like the darker darks, but it's also the unpredictability of it that makes it fun to me.


If you want a little more control, paint with watercolor where you want color, being careful to touch the edge so that it bleeds the pen's colors into the watercolor. Here's an example where I didn't spray in advance.


I like how rich some of my watercolors get when the colors from the pen mix in with them.


Once an area has been wet, it won't run again. But if any areas have not been wet, a quick spray will release the colors, even days later.

To find out more about these fun pens, search for "Elegant Writer Calligraphy Pens." They can be found in most art supply stores including Jo-Ann Fabrics and Michael's. 

There are plenty of tutorials online about these pens. My favorite tutorial on You Tube is this one: How To Use the Elegant Writer Calligraphy Marker with Artist Karlyn Holman.


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