Friday, November 2, 2018

Enchanted November

Getting an early start on completing orders this festive season and was honoured to create one of my classic Enchanted Letter designs. I get many letter requests but this is my first time doing a request for the intial Z. I completed two different versions of Z for my Enchanted Letter Series when I designed it 2011, but this is the first time experimenting with the elongated version of Z. As always, the Enchanted Letter begins with a detailed pencil sketch. I used my beloved Leuchturrn 1917 journal for the sketch. I prefer the quality of the paper in the Leucthturrn 1917 over the Moleskine journal. It is fun to keep the designs in the journals for future reference. I love to look back on what I have done. They often trigger lovely memories.  My students know that rather than reusing a design I have done before, I start each intial with a fresh sketch.
The next part of the process is the inking and gilding of the design. I had a particularly good bottle of McCaffery Brown to use for this design. I love the chestnut brown colour of McCaffery. Other suitable inks are Ziller Buffalo Brown and Fox and Quill's Victoria Ink. I have also been experimenting using Daniel Smith Sepia Watercolour which works beautifully. 
The paper for this Initial Z is Stonehenge Aqua 140 lb. This paper has replaced Fabriano Artistico and Arches 140 lb Hot Press for me. The only draw back I have found with this paper is that it can be reluctant to erase. I have to use a very light touch with a HB or H pencil when doing the transfer drawing.  
The final piece was gilded with 23K gold leaf, outlined in Japanese Shell Gold and painted with Daniel Smith Watercolours. Swarovski Aurora Borealis Flat back crystals were applied for extra sparkles! I continue to love these Enchanted Letters after working with them all these years. If you want more info about commissioning your own letter, please contact me at I will do future posts about how these can be integrated with an Enchanted Meadow creature. I teach this class frequently throughout the year to guilds as well as privately through facetime or Skype. I am also working on a Treasury book of the designs as well as the process in intricate detail. Lots going on!! I hope you find lots of time to work on personal projects as we go toward a busy festive season! Remember to breathe!! And find times of quiet contentment.

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