Handwriting Day w/ Featured Artist: Gerald Moscato

A new year is here, and filled with fun little holidays to celebrate different hobbies, organizations, or just to make sure no day is ever too ordinary. This month brings us one that we are always excited to utilize- National Handwriting Day!

January 23rd was chosen for this holiday as it’s also John Hancock’s birthday (you may remember him as the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.. and whose name has become somewhat synonymous with a handwritten signature.) We love holidays like these- anything that gets people to write like the good old days, with pen on paper. Last April, for National Letterwriting Month, we had the joy of seeing dozens of handwritten letters you guys took the time to send us. Each one was fantastic, unique, and still displayed in our marker supply warehouse for us to look at as an occasional pick me up!

One of the participants for our Letterwriting Month Pen Pal Contest sent some wonderfully written notes that showed several styles of handwriting and they remained among our favorites.

With the expressive styles of lettering we saw in his pen pal notes, we knew that he was definitely among those who truly enjoy handwriting and the whimsical ways each letter can be written. In an “artist statement” from his website, we love how he describes part of this passion to turn handwriting into something extra special:

“The alphabet is an artform in and of itself…26 jewels evolving from pictographic markings. Each letter displaying a unique shape, evoking a somewhat different visual meaning when juxtaposed with its 25 counterparts.”

We were happy to catch up with him again and find out more of what led to his love of lettering! As you discover & practice your own styles of writing, we hope to inspire you with our latest featured artist- Gerald Moscato!


Artist Gerald Moscato working in studio on an engraving project

(Photo credits in this blog go to Gerald Moscato. Thanks for giving us a view into your catalog of work!)

……………………………………………

A little Q & A with Jerry:

How long have you enjoyed playing around with lettering styles and was there anything specific that first got you interested in it?

“My passion for lettering began at 5 years old with my Grandfather, affectionally known as Grandpa Pete. In later years, as my calligraphy style developed, I learned his true Italian birth name, Pietro Paulo Vincenzo Moscato. Sometimes penning his name, I would articulate it allowing to roll off my tongue. Perhaps this little vocal playfulness added to the penmanship.”

“I digress. Grandpa would spend hours demonstrating his handwriting skills actually when handwriting was taught in grammar school. He would warm up penning a “spring” until the spacing and height were almost perfect. The only recollection of a lettering style was his penning of Moscato. I recall being captivated by his style especially to the majuscule, M. I always referred to it as a candy cane turned sideways with 3 sticks. Hey, not bad insight for a 5 year old kid, eh?”

……………………………………………

Are there any teachers, inspirations, or other letterers that you admire?

“My late wife, Christine. She was a word-smythe writing poetry to prose; the highs & lows of life and many quaint aphorisms. She was well read at times reading several books a week. This, perhaps, was the grist of her written endeavors, interpreting it in her own style. I have penned many of her narratives. One of my favorites is “My Pen is My Paintbrush” in which I have rendered several versions.”

“Mentors include Hermann Zapf, a tenured calligrapher (the BEST!) as well as a typography designer, ie, Palatino, Optima and Zapfino, to name a few.
Herb Lubalin, designer of Avant Garde typeface and founding member of International Typeface Corp. His typographic skills were out of this world.
Scribes: Donald Jackson, Scribe to the Queen of England; Timothy Botts, who creates many works of Bible passages; David Quay, Holly Dickens, Robert Borja, Pam Paulsrud, among others.”

……………………………………………

Do you remember the first project you would consider the beginning of your professional career as a calligrapher?

“Oddly, I do not recall my first calligraphy commission or professional endeavor. However, I do recall my first calligraphy encounter as a self taught student! I chose a steel nib pen, sumi, on graph paper. I struggled with the ink flow with heavy splotches and messy letters. It was a pivotal time because I began thinking of other less artistic outlets…LoL! The sample here was rendered in May 1978.”

……………………………………………

Any other notable/interesting jobs or memorable achievements?

“A most notable project was a commission for a young groom, “John.” After asking (“Jane”) for her hand in marriage, they began making all wedding plans. About 10 or 12 weeks prior to the wedding day, Jane was Dx with Stage 3 cancer. Jane was insistent about canceling the wedding. John began writing his thoughts and feelings for Jane. He sought a calligrapher to pen his narrative and commissioned me. It was the most challenging project I had ever encountered since it was such a personal request steeped with emotion. In this calligraphic  letter, he repeated his marriage request which she tearfully accepted. He did report back that she thought it was very special having his narrative lovingly inscribed. About a year later, John contacted me that the wedding was beautiful, however, Jane had gone home. Usually, I keep a picture record of all calligraphy projects but due to the sensitive and highly emotion of this project, I did not.”

“A really fun project was hand-lettering (brush) “Las Vegas” for banners on the Strip. They were mounted up and down the Strip in mid to late 90s! There were about 4 different designs with same lettering on each. This one shows a photo Light montage at the MGM. I tried to get a banner once the promotion ended but could not.”

“My Magnum Opus? In 2012, I published my long overdue eBook/CD, “The First 50 Years, A Compendium of Calligraphy, Lettering & Graphic Design” First and foremost is if this were a traditional printed book, it would tally around 450 pages and priced accordingly. This eBook/CD is jam packed with notable calligraphy, lettering and design projects. At the end of Book 1 & 2, several case studies are presented detailing “behind-the-scenes” accounts. For the beginning student, these case studies demonstrate many aspects of the business side of this profession. Inspiration is provided to the tenured calligrapher as well. The eBook/CD is archived in the Newberry Library, Wing Collection and San Francisco Library as well. The libraries afford those who do not own the eBook, an opportunity to view in a library setting. In other words, a FREE pass to see this volume of work.”

For more details on Gerald Moscato’s eBook/CD, or to order a copy, CLICK HERE! 🙂 (once CDs are sold out, a USB flash drive version will be available.)

……………………………………………

Any tips, ideas, or words of encouragement for folks just starting to experiment with hand lettering?

“PRACTICE is best advice to anyone starting OR with many years experience, like myself. ‘I am a PRACTICING Calligrapher!’ Why Practicing? Because there’s always something to learn, a new tool to try with endless artistic expressions to explore! The sky is the limit!”

……………………………………………

Some Supplies to Try!

When looking through his creative catalog of lettering art, we saw Gerald had made great use of many different tools. As you go about practicing your own writings, we encourage you to play around with various types of pens and markers, as well as multiple tip styles- from brush, to broad edge, to fine liners. These are a few Gerald has used from Marker Supply in his work over the years:
(click each one for a link to its page in our webstore!)

Zig: Posterman, Calligraphy, Brushables, Embossing

Sakura: Gelly Rolls, Pigma Micron Pens (stippling), Pigma Calligrapher, PenTouch Calligrapher

Sharpie: many varieties.

……………………………………………

Gerald has found many ways to bring his artistic versions of writing into the world- everywhere from weddings to wall art. We encourage anyone who enjoys the thought of taking their handwriting to another level, whether a scribbly beginner or already a calligrapher of sorts, to get those pens on some paper and see where they take you. Use Handwriting Day as a great time to start, then continue having fun with it as often as you can! Keep practicing, try new things, and let your surroundings inspire you..


Some beautiful memorial lettering done by Gerald for his late wife, Christine

……………………………………………

Thanks again to Gerald “Jerry” Moscato for sharing his time and talents with us! We admire what he’s already accomplished and know that he’ll continue to create beautiful works in the future. 🙂

Happy Handwriting Day 2018, everyone!!

A Closer Look At.. Montana ACRYLIC

Everybody here at Marker Supply has been excited about adding several new brands to our store this summer. Our most recent addition, Montana Cans, is definitely worth checking out- especially by urban artists, sign painters, muralists, mixed media composers, and designers of all kinds!

montanacansheaderblog

Take a closer look at the Montana ACRYLIC paint line…

……………………………………………………………………..

MONTANA ACRYLIC PAINT MARKERS

MONTANA-ACRYLIC-MARKER-2MM-Group

The newest line of water-based paint markers in the Marker Supply store- Montana ACRYLICS. Featuring a selection of vibrant colors modeled after the Montana GOLD spray paint line, including bold “Shock” colors, shining metallics, glowing fluorescents, earthy tones, and various grays. Empty markers and refill inks also make it possible to mix your own custom colors too!

Available in 5 tip sizes (with alternate tip styles available separately). Find super tiny tips for the finest of details, wide tips for calligraphic lettering, fine tips for outlines, jumbo tips for quick coverage of surface areas, even split tips that give a multiline effect.

See the different markers and the nibs that fit each one:
montanaacrylictipchart-blog

The high-quality paints in Montana ACRYLIC markers are waterproof, lightfast, highly-pigmented, and quick-drying. They are suitable for a variety of projects and surfaces including walls, windows, wood, canvas, metal, shoes, and more! Replaceable valve-action tips give a smooth, well-controlled flow of paint so you can apply like a pro. Marker barrels are transparent so you can easily view the levels of paint left inside. When you run out of paint, just fill them back up!
……………………………………………………………………..

MONTANA ACRYLIC PAINT REFILLS

acrylicrefills

Another great feature of Montana ACRYLIC that lots of other paint markers lack is that they are refillable! Use the 25ml or 180ml refills to always keep a fresh supply of paint in your markers.

25mlbottlewith10mmtip-web
The 25ml refill bottle can also be turned into a special “dauber” tip marker with the 10mm round cloth applicator tips! See the tip pack, which includes lids, HERE.

These bottled paints don’t have to be destined for just markers either, they work well with paintbrushes and airbrushes too!

The refill paints are also where the fun of color mixing comes in. Grab a few different shades and combine them to create your own custom colors unique to your project! There are empty refill bottles, empty markers, and widemouth jars available to help with the blending process.

**TIP**
How to refill a Montana ACRYLIC marker:
1- Unscrew, to the left, the top section that holds the nib.
2- Use your fingernail to help remove the next section, with the valve system springs.
3- Add the refill paint to the open marker. Only fill the barrel 3/4 of the way full, to leave room for the valve system part.
4- Press the valve system section back in and make sure it is tight.
5- Screw the nib section back on, to the right, and make sure it is securely tightened.
6- Prime the nib by pressing up and down on a test surface.

……………………………………………………………………..

MONTANA ACRYLIC VARNISH GLOSS

montana-VarnishGlossMain-webMontana_ACRYLIC_Varnish_Gloss_Detail_01

Montana ACRYLIC Varnish Gloss is used to further protect and seal your painted artworks by keeping them extra water-and-abrasion proof.

Varnish Gloss also enhances the visual effect of the Montana ACRYLIC paint colors, and helps to color match them with the Montana GOLD spray paint color line. It can also be used to create depth and intensify how light interacts with your designs.

……………………………………………………………………..

MONTANA ACRYLIC EMPTY MARKERS

MontanaAcrylicEmpties-web

An exciting feature of the Montana ACRYLIC line- and an often-requested item that finally made its way to the Marker Supply store- empty barrel markers! Now you can create the exact color you need, diluted to the exact consistency you like, with whichever marker tip size you want.

The transparent plastic of the barrel allows you to easily see inside your markers to check paint levels and colors. They are available in 5 marker sizes, as well as empty 25ml and 180ml bottles.

**To get the best performance out of these markers, we recommend using them only with water-based acrylic paints.
……………………………………………………………………..

MONTANA ACRYLIC REPLACEMENT TIPS

replacementtipgroupblogIf ever you run across the issue of a dried out, worn down, or otherwise damaged marker tip- you can simply pull out the old one, and pop a new one right in its place!

The selection of replacement tips also includes some that don’t come on the regular markers, such as the extra fine .5mm, the 6mm slanted chisel, and split “multiline” tips, so you can further customize your marker by changing the tip to suit your writing and drawing style.

You can also convert the 25ml paint bottles into markers by adding the 10mm rounded cloth tip.

……………………………………………………………………..

MONTANA BLACKBOOK A5 LANDSCAPE SKETCHBOOK

blackbook

A helpful tool for artists of all kinds, this hardcover sketchbook features 144 pages of 120G coated white paper that works with pencils and markers. Measuring only 6 x 8.5 inches, it fits easily in your workspace, and is perfect to take on-the-go for drawing out your designs wherever inspiration hits.

……………………………………………………………………..

We hope you enjoy the many possibilities of the Montana ACRYLIC paints and artist tools. If you have any artwork done with these markers, feel free to post your projects on our social media or tag us with #markersupply!

Keep an eye out for more brands and products being adding soon to the Marker Supply store! 🙂

 

 

Black Ink on Glossy Papers

With National Letterwriting Month in full swing, we are seeing a lot of black ink markers and pens being used for cards, envelopes, and postcards.
When picking out which marker you are going to use for your mail, it can seem like the only decision you need to make is the size and shape of the tip. Remember to also consider that the type of ink is important too! If your paper/envelope has a glossy finish to it, you may have issues with the ink smudging and smearing off. And what if it rains on your mail during its travels? Will the ink run when it gets wet?

Use these quick comparison charts for help picking the markers that will work best for you, particularly when using glossy papers!

NEWbestforsurfacecollage

 

………………………………………….

Meet the Markers

We gathered a group of black pens and markers we often use for writing here at Marker Supply that features a mix of ink types- pigment, dye, water, oil, acrylic, and alcohol-based pens. Then we did several tests with each to see how they held up on different types of envelopes.

PenGroup-web

blackinks-normal(Find each of these markers at Marker Supply!)

………………………………………….

Plain White Envelopes

A lot of folks stick to plain white paper envelopes- and most black ink markers work great on them!

envelope-white

Rain Test

See what happens to each ink when the plain white envelope meets water..

envelope-whitewet

While some of the inks smeared a little bit when rubbed over, they all stayed pretty intact. Dye-based markers (like the Marvy Le Pen and Pentel Sign Pen) have ink that is made to move with water (for blending effects, watercolor, etc.) Watch out using these types of pens if your paper is ever likely to come in contact with water as the color will bleed.

Bleed-Through Test

Keep in mind that oil-based (Marvy Decocolor, Sharpie Paint) and alcohol-based (Prismacolor, Kurecolor, Copic) markers, along with other permanent markers with a lot of ink (Sharpies), commonly bleed through papers- so write on your envelopes before putting the mail inside if using pens like these.

bleedthru-whitedry

Also, if they get hit with water, other types of ink can bleed though as well, potentially damaging the contents inside:
bleedthru-whitewet

………………………………………….

Specialty Paper/Glossy Envelopes

When addressing some snail mail recently, we ran into problems whenever we used fancier and make-them-yourself envelopes. The paper was smoother and shinier.. and our “go-to addressing markers” didn’t work well on that type of surface.

This example shows how inks worked differently on one of the trickier silver paper envelopes:

envelope-silver

Some of the marker ink repelled right off of the surface, and some barely left any color at all!
The good news is that after just a moment of drying, none of the inks smeared around.

Rain Test

“Rain or shine, the mail must go through!” What if it rains on your glossy envelope?

envelope-silverwet

envelope-smudge-silverwet

If you’ve used a dye-based marker (like the Pentel Sign Pen or Clean Color Real Brushes), your ink can totally disappear! We loved the Posca Paint Markers and the Sakura Permapaque Markers for these envelopes- and both of those marker ranges include a nice variety of colors too!
So keep in mind that some inks may look ok when dry, but won’t hold up well on a glossy surface if they meet rain or snow while on their way to their destination.

………………………………………….

Ink Dry-Times / Smudge Tests

Writing with some pens and markers can be frustrating if they are prone to smearing and smudging- which happens a lot more when working with smooth, glossy papers.

Take a look at how these different inks stand up to smudging after different drying times:

Lightweight Glossy Paper

Ink smudging immediately after writing:

smudge-glossypaper-immediate

Smudging after 10 seconds of lightly blowing on the ink:

smudge-glossypaper-10seconds

This definitely made a big difference with some of the pens! A lot of them still lost the dark black color that sits of top of the writing- common with glossy paper as it’s harder for the ink to soak into. Some others smeared in the areas the pen stopped writing each letter- where there was still a small dot of wet ink that needed a little longer to fully dry.

Ultra-Glossy Photo Paper

From photo-like postcards to regular photographs, this type of slippery surface can be tricky to mark on.

This is what the inks looked like on photo paper after being smeared immediately after writing:

smudge-photopaper-immediate

We were pretty impressed with the results! Most of the markers did much better on this type of glossy surface than the smooth shiny paper! Some of the thicker ink markers rubbed away, leaving only a “ghosting” behind.

Trying photo paper marking again, we smudged each ink after lightly blowing on it for 10 seconds:

smudge-photopaper-10seconds

Again, just those few extra seconds of drying really seemed to help the ink set. A few pens still had trouble fully absorbing into the shiny surface, as the top black color still rubbed away after drying.

Another test with photo paper- we sprayed on a little water and watched how each ink reacted:

smudge-photopaper-water

Some stayed intact but lost their black color on top when rubbed over, while also making a mess of black smear marks.
And others, like the Marvy Le Pen (which was one of the best, super fast-drying fine line pens for photo marking) instantly began to “melt” like the other dye-based inks (which are made to be movable with water), surrounding themselves with blue/purple color. Interesting to see the Zig Photo Signature, another of the best quick-drying pens to use on glossy photos, reacted to the water with an orange color, even though the black markings held up alright.

………………………………………….

So keep in mind as you decorate and address your mail that not all black inks are the same on various surfaces, and not all will hold up to certain conditions. Try some experiments first on a test envelope to see how your markers do!

 

 

Marker Supply’s Pen Pal Contest!

The new Marker Supply contest is here!  This time, EVERYONE who participates will get something in return. 🙂

With April being “National Letterwriting Month”, we’re all about celebrating handwritten letters and notes- so we couldn’t think of any better way to run this month’s contest but to have you send us some snail mail.

Physically putting a pen to paper and writing as a form of communication has almost become a lost art for most people. Since markers, pens, and pencils are our world here at Marker Supply, we want to see them in action.
Plus, the Marker Supply warehouse has recently expanded into a new space. We now will feature the “marker fan art corner”, a special section for showing off cool things our customers have created. This contest can be the perfect opportunity for you to help us start filling it up!

……………………………………….

HOW TO ENTER:

To be a part of our “Pen Pal Contest”, just send us something in the mail during the month of April.

It can be:
A letter or a note, about anything! Tell us about what kind or art you like to do, which supplies you like to use, what you think about our store, or ask us a question if you have one. It doesn’t even have to be about markers, you can talk about the weather or your summer vacation plans if you want to. 😉

Something written in your favorite form of calligraphy/lettering: If you are one of those folks who love to practice calligraphy or hand-lettering of any style- send us a note, one of your favorite quotes, or anything you like to write in your choice of fancy scripts.

A drawing or cartoon: Sometimes, pictures speak louder than words, and hand-drawn pictures can be just as special as a letter. So if drawing is your thing, just send us a doodle! A page from a coloring book works great too!

Send your snail mail to us here:
Marker Supply Pen Pal Contest
240 Great Circle Road, Suite 334
Nashville, TN 37228

Here’s one of the awesome pieces of “marker fan mail” we received last year:
zigmillenniumcartoonPOSt2

……………………………………….

THE PRIZES:

EVERYONE that sends us mail will get something in their mailbox back from Marker Supply that includes a special pack of pens and a coupon code!

There will also be a randomly-selected Grand Prize Winner that will win
a 74-piece boxed set of Sakura Gelly Roll pens!

GellyRollBIGSet-web

The Sakura Gelly Roll pens are one of our favorite pens for writing. With different varieties producing different effects, these unique pens let you letter with multiple colors, on light OR dark papers, and add special touches like glitter and metallic sheen. How do you choose which Gelly Roll you like the most? If you are the grand prize winner of this month’s contest, you won’t have to.. because you’ll get them all!

For every individual piece of mail that you send us, you’ll earn one entry into the grand prize drawing. However, only one participation prize pen pack/coupon code will be sent out per person.

Grand prize winner will be selected from a random drawing of all letters received that were postmarked in April. All prizes will be sent out to the addresses used on the mail that was sent to us.  Feel free to contact us HERE with any questions. 

……………………………………….

Happy writing!! 🙂

National Letterwriting Month

April is here and so is “National Letterwriting Month”!!!

letterpost

The world we live in today has become more and more centered around technology and digital communication. Emails, texting, instant messaging, and social media are a common part of daily life, but can you remember the last time you received a handwritten letter? The instant relay of a message can be convenient for sure, but the personal touch of a physical letter can be a powerful thing.

…………………………

The 30 Letters in 30 Days Challenge

There are numerous organizations and blogs that celebrate this holiday by giving you “Letter-a-day” challenges, hosting things like “letterwriting to active military personnel” events, and more. The Postal Service even creates special stamps and sometimes kits for the occasion!

Last year we became aware of the #write_on campaign (sponsored by Sakura, the company that brings you great pens like Gelly Rolls and Microns) that challenges you to write a letter to someone every day of the month. We are so excited to participate and help to spread the idea that you should pick up some pens and markers and CREATE your messages on paper rather than using your phone or computer.

Taking the time to hand write a letter (or even to create a custom card or decorate an envelope) gives the recipient an extra sign that you care about them. And it sure is a good change from the usual mix of bills and junk mail that can often flood mailboxes.

All throughout the month of April, we encourage you to do some letterwriting. Whether it be a multiple page letter or a few sentences in a card, send a special person in your life something handwritten by you. It can brighten their day more than you could imagine! 🙂

…………………………

Send us your snail mail!

We LOVE getting “marker fan mail” here at Marker Supply!

See our blog post about this month’s contest HERE and find out how sending us something in the mail can enter you to win a giant set of Gelly Roll pens!

…………………………

Stay tuned this month for some writing/cardmaking product spotlights, special sales, and more!!

Check out www.markersupply.com to find some great tools to help you add even more special touches to your snail mail!

WHERE’S THE WHITE??

Here at the Marker Supply warehouse, one of the most common things people come looking for are opaque white ink pens for writing on paper.

Unfortunately, we always have to say that these types of pens are still practically non-existent.

The main reason?
The type of ink required to make a functional white ink pen has been very difficult to produce. It would need to be both thin enough to flow through a pen tip AND thick enough to stay a visible white once it’s marked onto paper.

………………………………………………..

Pigments vs. Dyes

There’s a little illustration we’ve heard that can help explain a big difference between two types of ink- Pigments and Dyes:

water-water
First, take 2 glasses of water.

water-sugardirt
In one glass, pour in some sugar.
In the other glass, pour in some dirt.

Both begin to cloud the water as you stir them up.
But notice what happens after just a minute when they settle..

water-after
The sugar is still there, but has fully dissolved into the water
and everything returns to a totally liquid state.
The glass with the dirt still has solid particles everywhere
and a thick layer of mud has collected on the bottom.

 

Most pen inks are colored with dyes (like the water example with the sugar), which are either liquid, or in a solid form that quickly dissolves, and then can easily flow through the pen. However, this property can also cause the ink to either leak through the pen tip too quickly, and/or soak completely into porous surfaces like paper and become transparent- meaning that this type of white ink won’t be seen because the ink isn’t thick enough to keep its color visible on top of an absorbent surface.

What helps some colors to show up the best when making ink is to use pigment. Pigments (like the water example with the dirt) are dense, finely ground particles that stay solid as they add their color. They don’t dissolve into fluid, but are rather just suspended in it. To get a good, opaque white, you need a LOT of pigment. When you try and put too much into a pen however, it won’t flow through the tip like a normal ink without clogging or drying up.

(Fun Fact: The most common pigment used to create the color white is Titanium Dioxide.)

………………………………………………..

Gel Ink

The marking pen world made a big step in the creation of white pens with the invention of Gel Ink. Originally marketed in 1984 by Japanese company Sakura, it finally allows a roller ball pen to use a white ink.

gellyrollwhitetip

(Fun Fact: As researchers worked to develop gel ink, they tried a wide variety of materials to get the consistency just right, including yams and egg whites!
For some more great history on the invention of Sakura’s Gelly Roll pens, read this interesting article:
https://www.gellyroll.com/history)

Gel ink is not quite the same as ordinary pen ink, as it is a lot thicker- causing issues like needing to move the pen more slowly as you write, and the marks taking longer to dry. Also, the roller ball tips still can occasionally clog. (If this happens, rolling the pen tip over a wet paper towel may help.) Despite their issues, we are still very happy to have them as an option for white ink!

whitegelpens-web

Find these white gel pens at Marker Supply:
Uni-ball Signo Gel Impact
Sakura Gelly Roll Classic Medium Tip
Marvy Gel Reminisce

………………………………………………..

White ink comparisons on black paper

Other than gel pens, you can also find good white marking tools for paper when you look into pencils, oil-pastels, even correction pens! There are also valve-action markers that use more of a “paint” than an “ink”. Although paint markers tend to show up better on non-porous surfaces, such as glass or metal, some have been known to work adequately for certain paper projects.

Have a look at this comparison chart showing several white marking tools on plain black paper to see the ones that may work best for you! Find them all at MarkerSupply.com.

ALLWhiteInk-BlackPaper-post

………………………………………………..

As experiments continue in the pen industry, white ink is getting closer and closer to becoming more common!

But as for now, which white pen/marker have you found works best for you??

Let us know and feel free to share your white marker artwork on our social media pages!
www.facebook.com/markersupply
Instagram #MarkerSupply
Twitter @MarkerSupply

POSCA Art & New Sets!!

Some of our favorite and best-selling markers here at Marker Supply are the Uni Posca Paint Markers.

They are available in a variety of colors and tip styles- so you can always find just the right fit for each project you do!

blog-posca1

Poscas use water-based acrylic paint that marks on just about anything! Metal, wood, glass, plastic, chalkboards, stone, posters, canvas, fabrics, even things like surfboards!  The paint is opaque and can be applied over the top of other colors once dry. Marks will be permanent on porous surfaces like paper and wood. On hard surfaces like glass and chalkboards, the paint will be waterproof, but can be cleaned off with a standard household/glass cleaner. The paint in Posca markers is non-toxic, odorless, and Xylene-free,  so they can be enjoyed by kids too!

…………………………………………………………………………

POSCA ART AT PAPERWORLD / CREATIVEWORLD

GERMANY – JANUARY 2017

A few folks from the Marker Supply team attended the Paperworld & Creativeworld fairs in Frankfurt, Germany last month.

The Posca section had some incredible art on display!!

poscaart-artistmuralnovo

We LOVE this giant “Heroes” collage painting done with Posca markers by the talented artist Ernesto Novo.

 

poscaart-girlpainting

A live-action Posca painting being done by French artist Nadège Dauvergne.

 

poscaart-mandalacolors

You can easily get lost looking at this incredible mandala-style painting made with colorful Poscas..

…………………………………………………………………………

NEW SETS!

We’ve recently added several new sets featuring the Posca markers- making it quick and easy to start or grow your collection!

POSCASETSmainnew

Find them HERE at MarkerSupply.com!

…………………………………………………………………………

We are impressed time and time again by all the different artists we see using the Posca markers.

Are you a fan of these versatile paint pens? What’s your favorite surface to use them on?

Let us know what you think and feel free to share your artwork- we LOVE to see your markers in action!

www.facebook.com/MarkerSupply
www.twitter.com/MarkerSupply
Instagram #MarkerSupply

Coloring Cards by Between the Evergreens

Greeting cards are fun to give your friends & family for special occasions, or any time.. just because!

While attending RAW: Nashville’s Holiday Rawk Artist Showcase this week, we came across artist Elizabeth Lang & her company between the evergreens.

card-card

Elizabeth not only does wonderful watercolor paintings & artwork featuring various trees, but she also makes some really awesome greeting cards- that you can color yourself!

card-blank

Whether you want to be the one to color them OR if you’d rather give them as gifts for others to color, Marker Supply has some great markers to use with these cardstock cards.

We chose to color her “Sweetbay Magnolia” card with the Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers..

card-tip
card-brush

With the real bristle brush tip, it feels like you’re painting! The very tip of the brush gets in the tiniest of spaces, or you can angle the brush to color larger spots. Try using multiple colors- the ink is very easy to blend.

(Note: If you have a card made with watercolor paper, you can add a little water on top of the Clean Color’s dye-based ink and move it around- creating a watercolor look!)

……………………………………………………

MORE MARKERS TO TRY FOR CARDS..

Our other marker recommendations for cards, depending on what tip you like to color with:

*Bullet/Round tipZig WriterSakura Gelly Roll Gel Pens

*Slanted/Chisel tipZig Fine & Chisel, Sakura Permapaque

*Rubber brush tipZig Brushables, Sakura KOI

*Colored pencils: Prismacolor Premier Pencils, Faber Castell Polychromos

*or browse through some more at www.markersupply.com!

(Note: Use caution if you like to do your coloring with alcohol-based (like Prismacolor or Copic) or other permanent ink markers (like Sharpies)- the marks will likely bleed through to the other side of cardstock papers!)

……………………………………………………

card-tree

For more information on the art by ELang and between the evergreens greeting cards, check out:

*Her WEBSITE

*Her ETSY STORE

……………………………………………………

And as always, feel free to share photos of your colored greeting cards on our social media!
@MarkerSupply #MarkerSupply

Gift Boxes, Bags, and Tags

The holiday gift-giving season is upon us, and all kinds of presents will be in need of packaging. But it’s not just for this time of year- try grabbing those markers ANY time you give a present to someone and turn plain ‘ol boxes, bags, and tags into unique works of art that help your gifts look extra special. 🙂

Some marker recommendations and projects that we tried this year at Markerland:

Ink Marbling

A super easy (and pretty fun) way to create one-of-a-kind marbling designs on paper surfaces is with Zig Kurecolor Refill Ink and shaving cream!

Just make a tray of foam shaving cream. Drop some ink here and there around the foam. Then swirl the drops around however you like!

kurecolorstep1

Then take your bag, tag, card, etc. (the thicker the better, to help it from curling up with the wet foam) and press the surface into the swirls. Pull it back up and scrape off the foam.

kurecolorstep2

You’ll be left with one-of-a-kind marbled art!

marblingitems

Try it on craft bags, paper tags, cardboard ornaments, or handmade cards!

…………………………………………………………………

Custom Ziploc Goody Bags

Take some simple Ziploc bags, doodle them up, and fill them with treats!

giftideas-treatbags

Oil-based paint markers work best on these smooth, slippery surfaces, and will hold up when the bag wrinkles as it’s used.

Try the: Marvy Decocolor, Zig Painty, Pebeo 4Artist

…………………………………………………………………

Re-Decorated Gift Boxes

Thrift stores usually have a ton of gift boxes- they just may not be the designs you want. Dollar stores have lots of them for great prices, but they are often only plain white or a single color. If you want to add a little more decoration, there are plenty of good, opaque markers that can cover the old box completely- letting you make your own custom designs for the occasion!
customgiftbox

Some markers we used for our boxes:
Marvy Easy Chalkboard Marker
Marvy Decocolor Acrylic
Sharpie Poster Paint
Posca Paint Markers

If you find an unfinished wooden box, see our Image Transfer Blog HERE to find out a fun way to customize it!

…………………………………………………………………

Personalized Storage Boxes

Sometimes boxes can BE the gifts themselves!!

shopkinsboxeswithpaintymarkers
We love this gift idea from Jennifer, for her daughter & friends’ Shopkins toys!

Again we found that using oil-based markers (like the Zig Painty markers used here) gave great permanent results on smooth surfaces like plastic.

…………………………………………………………………

Have you made custom gift boxes, bags, or tags using markers?

Let us know how your project turned out!

www.facebook.com/markersupply
www.twitter.com/markersupply
Instagram #MarkerSupply

And check out www.markersupply.com for PLENTY more markers and pens you can use to help your gifts stand out!

 

Featured Artist: @SignJay

We’re wrapping up chalk markers and chalkboard month at Marker Supply with another featured artist!!

Aside from party boards (as featured in our blog about LA Sign Design), and the countless chalk marker projects you can do at home (some of which highlighted in our last blog), another big area that you may notice the art of chalkboard signs is in stores and restaurants! Windows, displays, grocery departments, event posters, menus, and more can have such a nice appeal to customers after they’ve been decorated with chalk markers!!

chalk markers

We Markerland folks are always very impressed by the talented people behind those signs, and we are excited to feature a chalkboard sign artist who is very active in doing store display and event poster chalkboards!

post7signsSome amazing work done by Rachel- a.k.a. @SignJay

Rachel Humiston is from Richmond, VA and has been doing professional chalkboard signs since 2008.

“I got a job as a sign artist at Trader Joe’s. I didn’t have any experience- I actually had just graduated with a math degree, but I wanted to do well so I threw all my energy into practicing and improving. I didn’t know at the time I would make a career of it, but it is a practical kind of art form and in retrospect- that fits my personality perfectly!

The first piece I ever did was a 24 x 41 inch display for roasted red pepper and tomato soup and some crackers at Trader Joe’s. I still remember sitting on the floor drawing and re-writing the layout trying to make all of the information fit. It took days but thankfully I had a very patient boss who had faith and I got the hang of it. Eight years later we are still a team and I’m very grateful!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

RACHEL’S RECENT WORKS

post1recent

“I actually finished the largest piece I have done to date just this week! It was a series of different size frames covering an area of approximately 11 x 12 feet for an event called Creative Marketplace where local artists and makers come together to connect and share their wares with the community. I’ve done a couple murals that were physically larger but this was the largest typography design thus far.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 SOME CHALKBOARD ART TIPS FROM RACHEL

“The projects I take on usually require a lot of information in a relatively small space, so the toughest part of the process is finding creative solutions to dividing up the text so it is both easy to read and also beautiful.
Once I have a good design, the rest is pure fun!”

post2lotsinto

Getting started:
“I typically start by looking at my source materials- packaging, logos, etc. and visualize some ideas in my head first. Then I will do 2 or 3 very loose thumbnail sketches, to make sure I have enough room for all of my elements, and select the best layout. The sketches are comically simple because I’ve found that fine-tuning is best done on the actual board. I’ll then do the sketch on the board and move things around as necessary- this way I can see the design to scale. The exception is when you work menus- you need mathematical precision, so those sketches are much more in-depth.”

Correcting mistakes:
“If it’s a small mistake, I can correct it when I add the background color, outlines, and shadows by simply drawing over it. If it is something that needs to be completely changed, I use 91% isopropyl alcohol to clean the area. That sounds technical but it’s just the stuff you find in first aid kits. You can buy it just about anywhere- it’s inexpensive and works well. “

Working on chalkboards vs. glass:
“Chalkboards have some grit to them that helps to slow down the marker and gives more control. The smoothness of glass means the marker moves fast and loose. It also affects how I hold the pen- on chalkboards I rest my arm and wrist on the board for stability, but with glass the marker is the only thing that can touch. The surface I prefer working on is chalk boards, but if I’m working on glass I will lean towards script fonts- as their flow is more conducive to the surface.”

Spacing tips:
“Draw rectangles around the rounded letters like “O” or “D”- it makes it easier to compare the corners to see if they are even. Invest in a clear drafting ruler that is divided into grid- it will change your life!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

CHALK MARKERS : RACHEL’S PICKS
(and some suggestions from us!)

post5zig

“I am a huge Woodcraft marker devotee- the opacity, vibrancy, and ease with which you can do multiple coats cannot be beat! They are incredibly versatile and can be used on so many surfaces. I use a ton of Gardenia, a lovely warm white. I use the chisel tip and the Big & Broad size in equal measure.
The Woodcraft markers are actually quite permanent even without sealing them. I have interior signs that have been up for 8 years under fluorescent lighting and they have not faded, chipped, or cracked!

post4woodcraft

More recently I’ve expanded to the Uni Poscas in the 1, 3 and 5m sizes because they are perfect for crisping up the edges of the letters, great for outlining, and they work great over or under the Woodcraft markers.”

If you are looking to do some art for a store, restaurant, etc., we have what you need at Marker Supply! Try these special sets that might help you get started:


chalk markersZig Posterman Starter Sets come in 3 different sizes and each feature Zig Posterman markers in a variety of colors and tip sizes for you to try, as well as a great chalkboard cleaning tool- the Scrubs do-it-all wipes!

foodmenusets
Perfect little starter packs of the Zig Woodcraft Markers, the Food Menu Sets feature colors specifically picked to match a different food group theme!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Thanks again to Rachel for sharing your work and advice with us!
Check out Rachel’s Instagram to see more of her amazing chalk marker art!!

post3redo

**ALL CHALK ART PHOTOS ON THIS BLOG ARE COPYRIGHT TO RACHEL HUMISTON and we are thankful for her letting us use them to show off her talent! 🙂

Have any chalk marker artwork that you’d like to share? Tag us #MarkerSupply – we’d love to see!!!