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Fun Calligraphy Backgrounds

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

There are so many things to add around calligraphy quotes such as florals, flourishes, or small doodles that relate to the quote you are writing. However, one of the best ways to add some flare to your calligraphy piece is by creating a background that complements the writing. In this blog I am going to go over three fun and easy backgrounds that are sure to come out great each time!

The first background is creating an ombre effect using Tombow Dual Brush Pens, or any water based brush pen of your liking. To accomplish this look, gather your materials, you will need mixed media paper, some brush pens, and a paintbrush, or a water brush pen. Color in about half of the space with your Tombow. Then, with either a paintbrush and water, or a water brush pen, blend the color to fill in the remaining space. In this tutorial I am using a waterbrush pen like this one https://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Japan-Aquash-Waterbrush-Water/dp/B0017OLHNM/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=water+brush+pen&qid=1630798598&sr=8-5 I enjoy using water brush pens, because they can have paint added to them, be used strictly for blending, or even used for writing calligraphy! To achieve the blended look with multiple colors it is essentially the same process, just with more than one color! Wait for the area to dry completely and add some calligraphy to the paper!

To create this next background begin by lightly coloring parts of a plastic lunch bag with Tombow Dual Brush pens in a few different spots. Next, you can either spray water on the colored surface with a water bottle, or add drops of water from your water brush pen. Then, place the mixed media paper onto the plastic lunch bag and flip the bag over so you can see what you are blending. Use your fingers to blend the colors to your liking, but be careful not to scratch the bag because that will show up on the paper. (You can see where i accidentally scratched the bag in the last photo.) After that, I like to pick the plastic bag up and dab it onto the outer spaces of the background that do not have too much color on them. This part adds more of an organic looking ”splash” effect and it makes the piece look really fun! Allow the paper to dry completely and add a quote, name or whatever else you’d like to letter onto the colored surface!

For the last background color parts of your paper with Tombow Dual Brush pens in a few different spots. Then, either with a paintbrush and water, or a water brush pen, blend the colors to your liking. Make sure to saturate the paper, but do not get it too damp. It might help to add washi tape to the edges of your paper so that the water does not cause the paper to bend and allow the color to run off of the page. Then, while wet (this is important!) add a good amount of table salt, sea salt, or whatever salt you have at home onto the paper. Let the page completely dry before taking the salt off and you will be left with a beautiful background!

Whether you want to experiment with something new or use some of these as your permanent go-to’s, adding a background will make a statement with your calligraphy! Thank you for stopping by and if you try any of these be sure to tag me on instagram @calligraphybyvanessa! In next week’s blog I will be going over some great uses of brush pen calligraphy for fall! 🎃👻🍂


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