Fonts used for illustration:  Helsing ,  Frosted ,  Kailey ,  Asterism

Fonts used for illustration: Helsing, Frosted, Kailey, Asterism

Hey everyone - welcome back to The Freelance Diaries.

Last week I talked about the digital tools that I use and love and also shared my wish list with everyone. We got some great conversation going about the different digital tools that work well depending on what your profession is. Mine are all for digital illustration and lettering.

This week I want to talk about mediums. When choosing a medium with traditional calligraphy or lettering, it's really important to take into consideration the surface you'll be working on and the effect you're wanting to achieve. I've hand drawn a fun illustration (above) that shows some of my favorites along with mediums that I'll be trying very very soon! 

Just as a side note... I get LOTS of emails asking me what tools are the best to use. This list is not meant to be the end all of what mediums you should try. Honestly - just because I love working with a specific brand or medium, doesn't me it will be your favorite. Make sure to always branch out and try a variety to see what works best for YOU.



Higgins Eternal Non-Waterproof

This ink is the perfect ink for working in a bleed-proof sketchbook. It dries opaque, doesn't clog your pen or brush at all because it's non-waterproof and it scans beautifully from your sketchbook into the computer. My go-to ink on all occasions and a great medium to learn with. My only complaint is that this ink bleeds a lot if used in any other context. It's horrible if you're addressing envelopes or even just writing on a simple paper like computer paper.


• Holbein Gouache (Brilliant Gold)

This brand of gouache is one of my favorites. Not extremely pricey (although some of the higher series colors like this one can get more expensive...). The pigment is rich and beautiful, and the medium mixes seamlessly into water. I love the Brilliant Gold because it has a noticeable metallic sheen to it that (in my opinion) is better than most other brands. Like I mentioned above - try it out but take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Bonus: when mixed to the right consistency, this gouache works on virtually any surface, including sketchbooks, envelopes, porcelain, glass, wood, whatever floats your boat.


• Dr. Martin's Hydrus Watercolor

Anything Dr. Martin's brand will get you brilliant color! This product is a liquid watercolor (think gouache) so it works really well for envelope calligraphy. I really really like Dr. Martin's but if you're wanting more control over the viscosity of the medium and specific color - buy tubed gouache and mix the custom color yourself. Takes a bit of practice, but worth it if you're picky about opacity and color.



McCaffery's Penman's Ink

Dying to try this high end ink (for one-off projects). Here's the description...

"This ink utilizes an iron gall based formula to produce superior ink giving extremely fine hairlines. Developed with the help of leading penman, this ink gives us the opportunity to experience the faint hairlines and deep rich shades associated with the 19th & early 20th century penman-the American Golden Age of Ornamental Penmanship. This Ink has an antique gray/black color rather than a dark black color. For reproduction, choose other inks (KY Sumi or Moon Palace) or gouaches. For pointed pen work only." - Paper & Ink Arts


Winsor & Newton Liquid Gouache (Silver & Gold)

This obviously needs no description as to why I want to try this. Totally curious... Could potentially be a time saver...

... And that's my take on mediums for calligraphy and lettering! This topic could go on forever as there are endless combinations between mediums and surfaces, depending on what I'm working on. Ultimately, as an add on to the past two TFD posts, I think tools are really important for work flow and productivity. What tools work best for you to get beautiful results with less time spent troubleshooting? Let's be honest - a ton of time spent on "calligraphy" is troubleshooting for the right tools for whatever project you're working on.


PS - Want a great STARTER set that features a few of these items? Head on over here and pick up my workshop calligraphy & lettering kit. Be sure to use the hashtag #mollyjacquesworkshop on Instagram or Twitter so I can see what your progress!

PPS - Want to be the first to hear where I'll be teaching and receive helpful tips and tricks in your in-box each week? Sign up for my newsletter below!



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