What have you scribbled lately? This post will show how a traditional calligraphy work can become digital with the right tools and skills.
MQ Scribbles: Digital Calligraphy with Watercolor
Hello great people of the universe! It’s been a while since I wrote and continued the new series on this side of the blog. Balancing academics and work is tough which is why my blogs have not been updated that much. However, I have written down a lot of ideas (or the idea list) that would keep me writing and posting across my blogs.
For starters, this series is dedicated for my latest scribbles or posts that’s related to calligraphy and art. It may not be always my works but artworks of people I look up to or my art goals. My Pinterest has always been filled with art pins that would equally challenge me and motivate me to become better with the craft.The only hindrance to your success is yourself. Click To Tweet
Before I talk about a different thing, let me share something about the video above.
How it came to be?
Long before, I have been scribbling using paper and pen. Those are the best and easiest way to practice calligraphy that may either be expensive or affordable. That would depend on which pens or papers you buy and how many you buy.
After years of practicing traditionally, I dreamt of learning how to immortalize my works. Of course, the most common method would be taking a photo of it. However, that is the easiest way but there are times that it will not give justice to the quality of your work. It can even change the way it should look depending on so many factors. One of which is the lighting you had when you took the photo.
Fortunately, earlier this year I was lucky enough to attend Googly Gooey‘s Digitizing Workshop (for free, because I won their giveaway) at Fully Booked BGC.
It was exciting since finally, I will be able to learn the skill that I have always wanted to learn. Yet, the other half was nervous and anxious about how will I perform the steps or learn. I am not that knowledgable about Adobe Photoshop nor Adobe Illustrator and that time, I had just started learning those.
Of course, Sam was there to teach me but he did not know much about how to digitize calligraphy works. Then that was the time I searched however, some tutorials did not walk me through and I just stopped. During the pause, that was the time that I saw GG’s giveaway for their workshop. Frankly, the universe and G were on my side because they let me win that slot. So that’s why I was able to attend the workshop.
Now, I am more comfortable with the two softwares and with my work. Seemingly, I have gained confidence and trust with my artworks.
Basics of Digital Calligraphy from a Noob
I’ll be enumerating the basic ingredients that a noob needs in order to be able to digitize their works on their own as well.
- Have a personal computer (Windows or Mac) that has Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
- A mouse will be truly helpful when it comes to digitizing.
- Scan the artwork with the highest resolution and possibly the largest file.
- Create an AI file on Illustrator.
- Place the scanned file.
- Image trace with Black and White + Ignore White setting.
- Click Expand and Ungroup.
- From there you can now edit how the letterforms are.
- Once the vector file is finished, you may now save it as a PSD file so you could edit it on Photoshop. Place some ornaments like wreaths or leaves or even branches.
These are the basic procedure that I have been doing since the digitizing workshop last April. It took me a while before I could familiarize and get the hang of it. Of course, what I’d say is to continue practicing even for just 30 minutes a day and then get used to the tools. Once you are already comfortable, it will be a breeze.
I’m planning to do a video about this to show you in detail.
Lessons I learned with Digital Calligraphy
With learning about something new, it’s always scary but with the people around you that continuously supports you, it will be easier. Before, I always get anxious and frightened whenever I see digital anywhere. If it were up to me, I would always choose paper and pen but that would be unfriendly to the environment.
Another weird lesson I learned is to bond with my gadgets and tools. Knowing how to operate the laptop and pen tablet (if ever you have one) will be utterly helpful with the progress and practice that you’ll be doing. Some hate the tools they have at the moment because it doesn’t have a specific function that they are looking for but my stand would be to work with what you have.
Patience is key to your progress. Without enough patience, one would just exploded into frustration and would just result to nothing. No digital artwork will be created and no progress about your practice as well. In the end, you’d just lose.
There are teachers everywhere that would help you to improve. Aside from attending workshops, there are also online classes and workshops that you could attend to help with the progress. Of course, doing and joining challenges will help you practice and also gain new friends who are doing the same craft as you are.
How do you cope up with something new?