Watercolour Place Cards & Signage

I had just wrapped up a new project recently, which also happens to be my very first official watercolour order from a client! Excited? You bet I was.

So my client wanted to get Place Cards & Signages done in the tie-dyed/watercolour style using 2 different colours – Pastel Green + Pastel Yellow for the place cards & Pastel Pink/Peach + Pastel Yellow for the signages.

I started out with some colour testing for the place cards & got their approval:

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The materials I used to create the watercolour are:

  • Daler Rowney Simply Watercolour – 24 colours
  • Fabriano Acquarello Watercolour (Hot Pressed) in Traditional White, 300gsm
  • Saintograph Palette
  • Ashley Nylon Brushes set (comes with 5 brushes – 0 Round, 4 Round, 8 Round, 1/4 Bright, 1/2 Bright)

You can get these supplies easily from any ArtFriend stores (:

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I picked the brightest green & yellow there is & then mixed some white to it to create a more pastel-ish shade. To make it more subtle, I added quite abit of water to the mixture. Before painting it on the actual cards, I did a rough colour test (like a mini swatch) on some balance leftover papers after cutting the place cards into the actual sizes.

Tip: I find that it’s good to keep leftover papers for you to test colours on first. I would keep the slightly bigger width leftover ones of course – those too thin with not much space to paint, you can go ahead & discard them.

After painting & letting them dry, I did go back to do a second layer for some that looked too pale (or not enough colour). So once the watercolouring is done, I used my oblique Speedball pen with Zebra G nib & Sumi Ink to calligraph the names.

If you’re looking to create something similar with watercolour & calligraphy, I would suggest to use a Hot Pressed watercolour paper as they are much smoother on the surface so your nib won’t scratch onto the paper & make it fray. I have not officially tried the Cold Pressed ones yet so won’t be able to give my two cents about that just yet!

I’ll do up another post on the comparison of Cold Pressed VS Hot Pressed watercolour papers with calligraphy soon (:

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So back to this. This is the first signage I created – “Life’s too short to say no to cake“, right? Definitely! Frame was bought from IKEA – I find it really pretty & matches well with the wedding vibes!

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And this – “It’s hot, help yourself“. For these 2 signages, I was actually using another watercolour paper that I had spare lying around. I can’t remember the name or brand but I got it from Fancy Papers awhile ago to try out. I don’t quite like the feel of it & I’m pretty sure it’s Cold Pressed (the grains gave it away). The calligraphy does bleed very slightly too 😦

This is just a personal preference for me but I prefer using the Hot Pressed watercolour paper to create simple gradient watercolours like this (: Perhaps the Cold Pressed ones would be better if say I were to create flower paintings? Now wouldn’t that be awesome! (Yes, I will get to that soon – hopefully!)

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Thanks for reading my post! I hope this helps you get started on your first watercolour project (: Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions about it.

Enjoy your weekend!

x,
Renee

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Prinks Design meets Gayle Nerva

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This lady need no introduction. She’s an artist, singer & an actress (you would’ve recognised her from the current TV show “Tanglin”). Apart from that, she’s a sweet, bubbly person who’s real easy to talk to! We met awhile back to do her wedding invitations & can I just say that her DIY skills is just MAD?! You can read up on her DIY process for her wedding in her blog (:

The workshop was held just 2 days back on 18th of March. I had 2 other ladies join me as well (Sonia & Sarah) & they were all really amazing – very quick to learn & amazing progress!

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We started with basic strokes & worked on drills. (Seriously, these 2 ladies have by far the neatest writing i’ve seen!)

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Starting slow but it’s always good to keep practising to get it right! Consistency is the key but even I am also struggling with that at times. LOL

We also went through all the alphabets, both small and caps. I didn’t need to comment much because all 3 of them are doing really great on their own! Gayle had a really interesting & unique style of writing that I really like! She had started learning calligraphy on her own a few years ago, so it’s a good refresher & I was glad that she could bring back new things she’s learnt from my workshop (:

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I love seeing happy faces on all my students’ faces when they leave because this means that I’ve managed to add a little sunshine to their day! (:

Looking forward to the next one!

x,
Renee

B-Dazzled! Show Choir Event 2016

Lights. Sound. Action!

If you’ve always wanted to be part of a Show Choir or if you simply love singing and dancing, you should check out B-Dazzled! 2017 coming soon!! It’s definitely the place to be, for like minded peeps (:

Last year, Prinks was the “Official Design Company”, alongside many others. It was a huge project with lots of graphic design work to be done but working with Deniece and John has been great!

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The duo founded Singapore Show Choir Academy, John & Deniece Glee Studios & recently opened up a studio in *SCAPE called MADDspace.

John is a musically talented individual (Music Director) who has performed in numerous major events such as National Day Parade, Youth Olympic Games as well as Istana Open House, while Deniece is a multi-talented individual (Creative Director) who sings, acts & dance. Together, they make Show Choir very much known in Singapore & aiming to be a Show Choir hub in Asia Pacific within the next few years!

Working with them on this project has opened my eyes in getting to know other art forms & appreciating the diversity in having Show Choir as part of co-curricular activities (CCA) for students. Having enjoyed my short experience in drama & dance during my time in school, I see this as the PERFECT opportunity for any individuals who are keen to pursue their dreams in the 3 major art forms that J&D Glee Studios focuses on – Music, Drama & Dance!

Here’s a video of the B-Dazzled! 2016 event’s highlights & what you would most likely be expecting to get this year (:

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Apart from creating the main logo for B-Dazzled! 2016, we also created a backdrop which also acted as a “photobooth” area. I love how the street-style theme is seen throughout their other collateral as well!

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Check out the programme booklet we also created for the event! Inside, you get all the details of each participant & a short bio on the event founders, as well as guest judges.

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On top of that, we also had a t-shirt design done up! Love seeing my work being worn by each participants – what an awesome feeling!!

It’s been such an amazing experience & I can’t wait to work with them again on the next project/event!

*All photo credits goes to B-Dazzled! 2016 Facebook site

x,
Renee

Collaboration: Prinks Design x ThreeBrunch

Christmas has always been one of my favourite holidays of the year. Back in December 2016, I was working on a few designs for my friends over at ThreeBrunch! Have you heard of them? Their nut butters are amazing! (This coming from someone who doesn’t really like nuts is definitely saying something)

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I especially love their Macadamia Nut Butter with Honey. I’ve had this with my yoghurt fruit bowl in the mornings & even pancakes on some occasions – it’s delicious! If you’re someone who prefers less nutty but sweet flavour, go for this one. If you prefer more natural & unsweetened flavour, go for their Classic range OR if you prefer more nutty, their Crunchy range. Heck, just get a whole set to try!

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Ursula & I met back during a flea we were involved in over at CHIJMES. It was an unexpected meeting & slowly grew into friendship & we even had the opportunity to work together on a collaboration (: I created some Christmas card designs for them to sell together with their nut butters & received their yummy Nut Butter set as a Thank You gift! It was very surprising & generous of them!

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We originally agreed on 5 designs but I couldn’t choose the best 5 so I decided to let them have all 6! I think my most favourite by far would be the “Merry Christmas” card in green & red – it looks classic yet modern & it would’ve been even prettier had we gone with Letterpress printing!

I created almost all of the text by hand & digitized it. I used my Aquash water brush as well as my Zebra G, holder & ink.

I’m so glad that Ursula & her co-founder, Ming Hui, were really happy with the designs! Christmas may be over but I’m already looking forward to the next one in 9 months time! Hoping to have more collaborations with them in future (:

x,
Renee

International Women’s Day

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Celebrating all the gal bosses in the world on 8th March, 2017!

Thanks to the amazing Miraculove team for featuring me on their site as one of the list of Fellow Women Entrepreneurs they love and admire! Reading the article makes me pretty nostalgic of the days before Prinks came about. Although it has only been 2years, it felt like I’ve been doing this for a long time.

I remember all my worries & fears I used to have, wondering if this was the right step, whether I would be able to manage & juggle between my Full-Time work and this. All I can say is I’ve never regretted making this decision and I am extremely thankful to my other half who made that push to stop thinking and finally get me moving!

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Even after running Prinks solely on graphic design work (at first), my passion for calligraphy could not stop me from spreading my love for it by teaching others who are interested to learn as well! Okay, so it didn’t quite go that way – it started from when a good friend of mine approached me to teach her calligraphy & I’ve been enjoying it every since then (: Imagine – from 1 participant, I have now held my largest number at a total of 6pax!*

*My classes are kept small for a better, more intimate interaction between each student so you’ll get the individual attention you’ll need within the 2.5-3hour class!

There’s still so much for me to learn from other fellow women entrepreneurs & professionals. On top of that, I have so much that I want to do!! It’s definitely something all (or most) creatives have in common – a problem that we’re just 1 person but want to do everything & anything!

More soon!

x,
Renee

Collaboration: Prinks Design x Miraculove

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Have you heard of Miraculove? I met one of the business owners through Joce & Matt when we were helping them out with their wedding. Yunnie was the liaison & everything was done via email so we actually couldn’t put a face to each other until we met awhile back! Yunnie approached me to see how I can work together with Miraculove & we had the perfect opportunity to do so – on Valentine’s!

Since calligraphy is my forte & unique quality, I created handwritten calligraphy love quotes specially for their e-store (: Miraculove is an amazing place where different designers are able to showcase their designs & consumers can easily buy them off online! Apart from greeting cards, you can also find off-the-shelf wedding invitation card designs. This would be perfect for couples who are looking for a more unique design to match their wedding style/theme but at a more affordable price.

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It was our very first collaboration after months of discussing about what we can do together! I took this as a simple first trial basis to try and see how the market is like & of course to establish a working relationship with Miraculove. I’m pleased to say that it was really great & Yunnie knew just the right thing to say for every little tiny detail! Being a designer, sometimes it’s difficult to explain certain things to clients because they don’t know what goes on behind all the pretty card designs that we do. It was an easy process & we’ve even managed to get the designs up online & sold a few copies!

Working together with Miraculove on this Valentine’s Day cards definitely has its perks! Not only did I get positive response to my handwritten calligraphy cards, but I was also featured in an article by beauty blogger Zoe! Check out her Valentine’s Day Gift Guide article here (:

First collaboration done. On to the next & many more to come!

x,
Renee

Collaboration: Prinks Design x The Wedding Vow Singapore

Last year, I worked with Jocelyn & Matthew of The Wedding Vow Singapore on their wedding stationery. It was a full scale project within a short timeline! In exchange for my design & calligraphy services, they wrote me an amazing testimony & advertorial on their website – you can read the write up here (:

Both Joce & Matt are very easygoing, down-to-earth people. They knew what they were going for, so we didn’t waste much time conceptualizing in the beginning. Their wedding was held at Tanjong Beach so the idea was to have a simple and elegant calligraphy/watercolour invitation that would bring out the essence of the venue & overall theme.

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Their wedding invitation was done with a wash of watercolour in blue, with a hint of gold. Of course calligraphy had to be a part of it so we had that done for their names & monogram! Simple & beautiful (:

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They wanted to have calligraphy framed quotes placed on tables as part of the decor & it was also used as wedding favours for their guests. All in all, a total of about 120pcs of handwritten calligraphy quotes were done! It was very tiring & half of the time I was groaning in pain from writing too long (it was my first big calligraphy project!). On a more positive note, Joce & Matt had so much positive response from their guests that I was beaming inside out when they told me about it! All efforts paid off!

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But that’s not all! They even did their table numbers DIY & I helped them with the calligraphy parts (: Doesn’t the gold frame look amazing? The gorgeous table settings & overall styling for the wedding was done by Nick from Fabulation! It was such an honour to work alongside this well-known & leading stylist & events management in Singapore.

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It was so much fun & I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity (: Of course these beautiful pictures are definitely not without the help of another vendor, Simplifai Studios & to the rest of the team/vendors as well, thank you for making this wedding a successful love story!

x,
Renee


Getting started with Modern Calligraphy

Are you new at Modern Calligraphy? Welcome to the club! I’m so thrilled to hear that you are interested to start off your calligraphy journey with me (:

To start off, here’s a summary on the tools you’ll need to get started on Modern Calligraphy (Dip Pen Calligraphy):

  1. A straight pen holder
  2. A Zebra G / Nikko G nib
  3. A pot of black ink
  4. An extra (used/unused) toothbrush*
    *preferably with not so smooth bristles
  5. A small amount of Dishwashing liquid
  6. Some practice sheets with guide lines*
    *you can download my practice sheet here

You can get the tools above from the suggested locations listed in my previous post here.

[PREPARING A NEW NIB]

Everytime you get a new nib, you’ll need to prep it first before you are able to use it. There is a coat of protection around the nib so you’ll need to remove that first. Just a note, there is more than one way to prepare your nibs but I will be sharing on an unconventional way of prepping your tools!

  1. First, fill up a clear/transparent cup with warm water to about a little more than just enough to cover the nib. Let it sit for a minute or so.
  2. Then, take a used/spare toothbrush to pick it up from the cup (be careful when doing this!) & apply a small amount of dishwashing liquid on the bristles of that same toothbrush. Start brushing away on the nib (both front & back), making sure all areas are covered.
  3. After that, rinse the nib with the same warm water in the cup & rinse off properly under the tap.
  4. Take a tissue and wipe the nib clean.
  5. You may want to use a bit of spit onto the tissue to clean the nib at the end!

Here’s a video from Inkerella Cards that explains very well how you can prepare your new nibs!

[BASIC STROKES & GUIDES]

Now that you’re ready to start, here’s some of the few basic strokes that you can start with:

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You can either use a blank piece of paper to practise this or use my guide sheet to practise using the guide lines to help you (: Oh! Just a note – I have a total of 3 different types of guide sheets that you can refer to. Depending on which you prefer to use, the 3rd version would be easiest for beginners who has a harder time writing in slants.

What the alphabets A, X & D mean:
A – ascending area for letters like “h”, “k” etc.
X – this is where your alphabets rests
D – descending area for letters like “j”, “p” etc.

To have a better hands-on learning experience with Modern Calligraphy, you can also join me in one of my upcoming workshops!

Hope you’ve learnt something new today! Drop me a comment if you find this useful or if you have any questions for me (:

Download Guide Sheets Here

x,
Renee

Calligraphy Supplies

If you’ve attended my workshop before, you’ll notice that I would’ve shared information on where I get my calligraphy supplies in Singapore. Don’t worry, if you’ve forgotten or if this is your first time – I’ve compiled a list of places where you can get calligraphy items. I’ve also collated some useful information if you’re just starting out as a beginner – you can read up more in my other blog post!

These are some places that you can get your supplies from:

  • ArtFriend
    I’m sure you would’ve known about ArtFriend. You can find lots of art materials there! They have nib + pen holder sets that you could try and experiment with. They do sell nibs individually as well & have quite a few – best would be to bring along a pen holder you currently have (or get one there if you don’t) & make sure to get the right nib for the right holder. You wouldn’t want to get a nib and it won’t be able to fit into your holder! They also have a range of different brands for ink that you can consider using (I had Dayler Rowney’s before). I would recommend getting other coloured inks from them & especially the Dr Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White – so far my experience is value for money for this product as compared to when I got them from Amazon. For everyday practice using black inks, see below.
  • Overjoyed
    I’ve never been to the actual store near Laselle Collage of The Arts, but I’ve browsed through their online store. I’d say this is a one-stop shop for your calligraphy needs – from the different holders, to different nibs and even notepads/papers for your calligraphy practice! You could consider getting a simple Rhodia Notepad to practice on – this is one of the most popular papers amongst calligraphers worldwide. Normally it gets sold out pretty fast so I would suggest to check them online first before going down to the store. You can also purchase a nib holder and a nib individually from their online store. They also have sets of nib holder + a few different nibs for you to try out.
  • Straits Art Co
    This store sells a whole range of fine art materials from Calligraphy to Wood carving etc. If I’m not wrong, NAFA students will be able to get some savings off their purchase (I can’t remember exactly but you can ask the counter!). There are also quite a range of calligraphy inks, nib holders & nibs that you can find in this store. They have fancier nib holder designs as well! They are located just behind Bugis Junction/National Library so the location is very accessible for public transport users.
  • Daiso
    Definitely my go-to place for black ink! Sumi Ink in a bottle at Daiso only costs S$2.00 & can last quite awhile, depending on how often the usage is. This ink is non-waterproof so it washes away easily – but please avoid getting it on your clothes just in case!
  • Popular
    Practice papers for calligraphy may be quite pricey for some, so an alternative you could consider would be to use the PaperOne Digital A4 size, 100gsm (maroon packaging). Popular sells this as a stack – I bought one for about S$10.00 or less. Perhaps having a membership would get you some savings too!

So there you go! I hope the above information has helped you in some way (: Let me know if there’s anything else you need help with. You can drop me a comment here or send me an email.

Till next time!

x,
Renee

 

It’s official!

I have been going back and forth on this & for the past 2 years, everyone has been asking me if I have a website (& I still don’t) so today is the day I’ve decided to set up a very simple website cum blog!

So Prinks is officially on WordPress & this will be a space where I will be posting up events & happenings for my workshops, to wedding stationery & other miscellaneous stuff (: I will still be using my Facebook & Instagram as they are – so there’re not much changes to the existing info that you can get on my social media sites. This is just an add-on to help me gather everything into one portal!

That said, thanks for visiting my site/blog & have an awesome day ahead!

x,
Renee