Watercolour pens masterclass

Watercolours are the latest trend when it comes to papercraft, particularly for wedding stationery and party invites. They can even be used to illustrate and annotate journal and scrapbook layouts.

However, if you're afraid your handwriting will let you down, do not fear! We're here to help with this handy tutorial for creating your own tea party invite – just in time for all the summer festivities! It's an ideal project for beginners and there's even a handy template that you can download to help master those all-important calligraphy skills.

Where to start...

1. Start by drawing a circle onto a piece of paper in pencil. It can help to draw around a round object like a bowl or small plate, or perhaps even a circle nesting die. Create some guidelines for where the text will sit with a ruler.

2. Lightly write the text that you want to feature with a soft pencil. Be aware of spacing and how letters might interact with each other. For example, the loop on 'y' or 'g' may overlap the line below.

3. Using the brush tip of the light blue, light orange and pink Artiste Watercolour Dual-tip Pens, draw simple flowers dotted randomly along the wreath. Use the pen tip of the pink pen to draw berries.

4. Take a clean, soft paint brush and add a little water to the flowers. Blend gently to create a subtle watercolour effect. Be careful not to use too much water, so that the colours don't run into each other. Once the flowers are dry, use a darker toned pen to add a centre to each one.

5. Using the brush tip of the dark green/grey and the bright green pens, draw leaves of varying sizes around the wreath, following the pencil guideline. Again, take a clean, wet paintbrush and blend the leaves to add a watercolour effect.

6. Draw intertwining lines with the dark green pen to connect the flowers and leaves and complete the wreath. Use the same pen to add stalks to the larger leaves.

7. The brush tip of the black pen can be used to make the text stand out more. Add emphasis to the down strokes and use thinner lines for the up stroke. Once everything is completely dry, gently use a rubber to remove the pencil lines.

How to... use the template

1. Start by placing tracing paper over the guide sheet and using the brush pen to trace the letters. Pay attention to how the thickness of line can be varied by applying pressure.

2. Copy the letters on to a piece of plain or lined paper with a pencil. Once you're confident with the letterforms you’ve copied, you can add brush lettered text to your invite to make them stand out more. 

Project and how-to by Emma Block. Originally published in issue 69 of docrafts Creativity magazine.

We'd love to see your watercolour pen projects. Share them with us on Facebook or hashtag your project on Twitter or Instagram with #docrafts.

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