Certificate of Appreciation

JPEG of printed certificate 2

Richard is a volunteer is for a nationwide nonprofit called SCORE which stands for Service Core of Retired Executives. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.  Visiting and exploring this website will reveal a wealth of information and resources for anyone who has self employed income.  Not only can you meet with a counselor for free there’s webinars, links to SBA information and other information for anyone wanting to learn the in and out’s of running their own business.

Richard has been helping me with my side business doing handyman work. Even though I have a BA in Accounting it’s good to have someone to go over my business plans to point things out that I may have missed or didn’t think of.  Eventually, I plan to phase out the handyman work and replace it with a calligraphy business.  This certificate is the first I’ve done and I plan to start doing more.

If you’re looking for something like this message me on facebook, email me or give me a call.  I can draft, scan then email you previews to create the certificate you’re looking for.   If it’s beyond my ability I know professional calligraphers I can put you in touch with.

Everything on this certificate was done by hand.  I used Ziller Black Soot ink for the blacks at the top.  Its 23K patent leaf gold on the initials and small dots throughout the name.  For the shading around the name I used Derwent Graphitint water soluble pencils for the shading.  I followed the technique I learned from Harvest Crittenden. Where I wet the tip of the pencil and load my brush. So the pencil never actually touched the paper.  I used walnut ink for the Copperplate hand lettering at the bottom.

If you’re interested in learning more about calligraphy can visit IAMPETH or contact me. From IAMPETH you can find a local guilds, teachers and suppliers of the tool/inks needed for the art.

certificate thumbnail


Romanesque P on a black envelope



Peter Bryan has been sending me plenty of work this past summer for my small business doing odd jobs on the side. This funds my expensive calligraphy habit.  So I sent a thank you note in the envelope you see above.  If your buying or selling your home in the Evansville, IN stop by his office.  Here’s a hyper link to his website.  http://househunter.com/sellers.asp?market_id=134

To make the lettering opaque on colored envelopes I followed the instructions in a recent issue of Bound & Lettered a calligraphy magazine.   By adding two or 3 drops of Dr. Martins Bleed Proof White to my W & N Cerulean Blue.  The lettering came out creamy, consistent and opaque.  I did not need to go back with a brush and add another layer.  The letter P itself is in keeping with research I’ve found for letters of the Romanesque period.  There’s a few great books on illuminated lettering but I’ve really enjoyed The Illuminated Alphabet by Patricia Seligan and Timothy Noad.  It’s full of detailed instructions for various periods and lot’s of inspiring sketches from those periods.

October 2013 Romanesque theme

The goal is to do 1 Romanesque letter every 2 to 3 weeks till I have a full alphabet.  Here’s the letter “K” in a two different forms.

DSCN1554 DSCN1653

These two were finished letters I used on actual envelopes.  For the blue on black I followed the instructions in this last issue of Bound and Lettered.  By adding a 2 drops of Dr Martins Bleed Proof White to a the blue gouache it came out much more opaque and doesn’t smudge.

Below is a two different practice pieces I was working on, first in water color then in gouache.


You can find all sorts of Romanesque letters in digital scriptorium by searching by the time period.

Lyrical Lombardics with Harvest Crittenden

This April I had the opportunity to take a two day class in Nashville, TN by Master Penmen Harvest Crittenden called Lyrical Lombardics.  Harvest has been a professional lettering artist for over 30 years.

Lombardics letter forms were associated with the Lombardic region of Italy.  These letter forms spread through Europe in scriptoriums where books were created during the middle ages.  Many of these elaborate letters can be seen in Psalters which are songs books used by churches during the middle ages.  The letters could be very large and decorative depending on much time or money was paid for the book.

Harvest provided a multipage handout that was full of great examples to give inspiration in creating your own lombardic forms.    In the short two day class we spent the majority of our time focusing on our own decorative lombardic letter.  Here is the one I created for my daughter Elaina.  She loves mermaids and swimming.   Note the gold fin of the mermaid with scales tooled in the gold that is 23K leaf gold.

Elaina E 21 Apr 2013

Harvest taught a number of techniques that once learned will further expand your own abilities in addition to Lombardics.  One of the techniques she taught was to use clear lay .003 film from Grafix pads to lay gold leaf.  I now prefer this method over using the clear window of business envelopes.  I found the clear film would hold the gold better then the clear window of envelopes.  Though I will state the envelope windows are free from junk mail.  These are still good for tooling on gold of course.

The other new technique I learned from Harvest is the CMYK color mixing method.

C -Cyan

M- Magenta



This is a newer method of mixing colors thanks to technology.  This method and can be seen if you open up a printer that’s fairly new.   My printer at home uses CMYK instead of 6 individual color cartridges.  You create the desired color from the 3 main colors and use white to lighten or black to darken your colors.

To wrap the class up we spent the last afternoon doing quick fun letters with water colors.  Here are just two examples of what we completed.   This piece is an example of a letter completed with water colors.

Harvest Water color B 21 Apr 2013

This letter is done using a water color pencils and you’ll need to take her class to learn to use water color pencils technique effectively.

Harvest Water color pencil M 21 Apr 2013

 Harvest Crittenden has the gift of teaching and talent of which only few dedicated people will attain.  Be sure to visit her website Acorn Arts to purchase her work, commission a piece, participate in a workshop or take an online class. I highly recommend this class to anyone with some calligraphy background or interest in this letter form.

Here’s an example taken from the online digital scriptorium at the University of California Berkley Library.