Creating a QuilliGraphy art piece

Often, I will be asked how I do my art, how long it takes, where do I get the quotes, are those the REAL flowers in the artwork??  and other meaningful questions.

I will try to answer some of them here.

First of all, I press all my botanical material.  I collect all of it too.  I don’t grow all of it-I have dedicated friends and acquaintances who allow me to groom their gardens for “just the right specimen”.   Often I will trade notecards for flowers.

Choosing the right quote is easy as I have so many to choose from.  They are everywhere and they truly find me.  I have so many to do that it scares me!  Sometimes it is difficult to prioritize.

OK so now I have chosen the quote or saying or poem or better yet, I wrote something that is suitable.  What calligraphy script ?  Well, it has to work with the words.  If the quote is succint-I may choose a bookhand script which does not have so many flourishes and is fairly straighforward.  If the quote is romantic, I probably will do an italic or version of italic.  If the quote is strong, I may use gothic or blackletter or Roman.

Now, I have figured that out and must choose the ink color.  Again, what the quote says or portends to say influences the colors I use.  If it is a baby piece, I will generally use a blue or a pink (sorry-very traditional here!) or at least work those colors into the piece.  If it is a garden piece, I will generally use green.  One of my favorites to use is burgundy as it goes with so many things.

So, the lettering is finished.  I work on Bristol Board which is a stiff heavy paper.  I use dip pens for my ink and like the feel of the pen pulling on the Bristol Board-it has what they call “tooth” which is the rough feel of the paper.

Now, I just let it be for awhile.  When I come back to it, I start to place the flowers I want around the design.  Sometimes it just works and sometimes it takes a lot of picking, choosing and rearranging.  Color is essential.

When I am satisfied with the design I render it as a digital image.  That way I can reproduce it in any size, the colors of the flowers will not fade and it will look fresh and vibrant always.

Let’s look at one of the latest designs.  It is a quote by Maya Angelou who is one of my favorites.  You know, she is the Poet Laureate of our country!  I will post some pictures of the different stages of the design.

Now let’s see if I followed my “rules”-

I chose the Bookhand script because I felt this was a straighforward quote with real impact.  I chose the blue ink because I wanted to :-)  I also accentuaded the key words in my interpretation of this quote.

When you look at the completed design at the top, you see that I chose blue flowers, lobelia to accentuate the blue script and also as an accent piece, the orange zinnia.  I like to have a color that is fairly opposite on the color wheel to accent.  The other flowers used are astilbe, spirea, and a daisy.  Daisies are always friendly.

It is important to me to identify my botanical material and sometimes I miss-so if you don’t think I am right about something-please inform :-))

Here is a link to a You-Tube video on making my designs.

I hope you enjoy it.

So now you have the finished design and you can see it on my website

I hope you visit QuilliGraphy often.  You can see many designs that are the work of my heart.

Also you can visit for baby items and for apparel and gifts.

and if you want something else to do !  check out my Etsy shop where I have new things I am trying like botanic collages, jewelry and instruction CD’s.

Many Blessings to You!   Please keep in touch.


About quilligraphy

Pressed flower and calligraphy artist specializing in stationery designs that celebrate life and beauty.
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2 Responses to Creating a QuilliGraphy art piece

  1. Great response to FAQs. Your work is always lovely :)