Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Calligraphy is often referred to as the art of writing. Calligraphic pen nibs offer a unique form of expression that combines flowing artistic lines with words. The combination can be a truly powerful message or sentiment. In this video, we'll take a look at how to control the appearance of a pen from the Calligraphy category and maybe even do something not possible with its traditional counterpart. So I'm going to go to the Calligraphy category and I'm just going to show you a couple of examples of what are in here.
For examples, just Calligraphy, what would you get there? Okay, it's a nice pen and you'll see as we work that all of these pens work with a set angle so that you've always got a thin and a wide dimension. Well, you can see how this one has kind of got a gritty edge to it and I can see that might be something I'd want to use some time, but let's try something like Smooth Edge 15. Okay, well even it still seems to have somewhat of an irregular edge on it and what I want in this case is a very nice flowing smooth edge without any trace of integration of paper grain or anything going on with it.
So let's see how we can remove that from it and then I'll show you another interesting little trick we can do. So I'm going to do Command+A or Ctrl+A and Backspace or Delete and to figure out what's going on here, let's first record a stroke. So I'm just going to record a sample stroke. That way I can now play this back and we'll delete everything and just put our sample stroke up there. I'm going to go to the General palette and what's happening here is this is a cover method but there's that word Grainy. This is using the Grainy Hard Cover method.
That's why some sense of grain is being imparted into the stroke. So because we have that grainy factor, that's why we keep getting this edge with a bit of irregularity to it. I'm going to go in and change to Soft Cover and let's give it a try. Okay, now it is softer but it's actually too soft, so what can I do about that? Well, let's go to the Size palette and here's what's happening. The profile it's using is very dense in the middle but it rounds off so that it gets less dense and that's what's happening at these outer edges.
It's just rolling off, so that there is a nice crisp edge. We can get that with this profile. So let's try that and now I'm closer to what I want. It's not perfect but it's a better edge. I'm going to now delete everything here and start to play around with another factor and what that is, is introducing some color into these strokes and what I want to do in this case is change color based on orientation and the other thing I can do is I can actually in the Angle palette, change the angle of my pen.
So let me just do like a different angle and let's do a sample. You can see where the thick-and-thin ratio is happening is different as I change this. So each time I adjust this to a new angle, I'm going to get a different kind of splaying of the thick-and-thin areas of this pen stroke, based on how that angle is set. Because the angle is ever changing throughout the drawing of whatever strokes it's making. Each time it's set, we're going to get a slightly different set of angles based on where we've set this.
So we have control over this angle. The other thing I want to do is to introduce color into the stroke as it's being drawn. Now how do we do that? Well, if we go to the Color Expression palette-- this is one that doesn't get used a lot. We're going to take this controller and instead of saying None, which almost literally all of Painter's brushes use, we're going to set this so that direction dictates the color. And what color is it using? It's actually going to use a combination of the foreground and background elements here.
If I now go in and change this, so that my foreground color is, say, a shade of red and my background color is a shade of green, I now have the ability to have those colors based on what direction the pen happens to be at any given time change to that color. Because we get a continuously changing direction as this pen is being drawn, the colors are going to transition back and forth between the two ends of the direction and that's why it's oscillating between this pair of colors, because direction is dictating when to use which of these two colors and we end up with an interesting ribbon effect in this pen stroke as it's drawn.
Let's turn off Playback Stroke now and I'll just draw a few strokes with it. But you can see how you can get a very interesting look based on the fact that the ink in this case is actually changing color based on the direction I'm going. Do a little bit of my signature and just little embellishments but you can see that you can get a very interesting look here. You can further use this direction slider to kind of bias where that's going to happen. So in this case I'll draw like this. You can see the green's at the top, the red's on the sides, but if I move this to a different angle, now it's biased to a different location.
So now the red is basically happening on the top and the green on the sides. So after you've set all this up, you can use the Direction slider itself to kind of play around with where within your strokes the red and green are occurring. So what we've done is taken the Smooth Edge 15 calligraphy pen, adjusted its stroke edge to be a little bit smoother and then we've also taken away just the basic single color drawing that ink normally does and invested this with a unique look of the ability to change colors within the stroke and that's something you can't even do easily within a traditional pen.
As I mentioned at the outset, calligraphy is generally a very expressive form of writing and combining that with color, you can even take your calligraphy to another degree of expression that you can't do in the normal sense of the traditional tool itself.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 50936 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 38663 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 81567 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 11583 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.