Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vellum/Translucency Experiment

Whew! Where has the time gone!

A few weeks ago, Lois asked me about paper vellum and that led into questions about what type of vellum was good for lettering onto. Well, it was something I'd been meaning to get to and finally did!

Real vellum is calfskin. Mmmm, so yummy for lettering onto. Most know vellum as the translucent paper you find in art supply, scrapbooking and craft stores (and on my website! lol! in colours, irridescent, gold and a few others). It's also a particular surface texture in machine made papers: So beware of something like Bristol Vellum, which is thick like Bristol Board, but has a vellum surface..... Lois was looking for a paper she could see through and accepted pen and ink well.

I carry a number of thin papers which accept ink very well and you can see liners through very easily. I also carry cardmaker's/crafters vellum. Excuse the lettering. This wasn't an exercise in fine letterforms! Ahem!

Here is a painting I did years ago. (love little fat chickadees!)

And below is the painting covered with various papers which I have lettered on with various inks. We were looking for a good transluscent paper which accepted broad-edged lettering and ink well. In the process, I found a new "love"!

I used a Parallel pen with Parallel pen ink on each one, as well as
a Mitchell Nib and Higgins and
a Mitchell Nib with Magic Color ink

The first sample is on Boris #37. Takes ink well! Not so translucent.... (and that would be an understatement...)

The second sample is on Cotton Comp. It's a little more translucent. Takes ink well. Both Boris and Cotton Comp are great practice papers!

Sample 3 is on Graphics 360 - Me and Graphics 360 get along really well! It's better than the other two - it's just not so translucent for this purpose!

Sample 4 is on Grafix Vellum - *this* is the look we're after. However lettering on it is not so easy. It's very slick. The Higgins performed best on it, Parallel and Magic ink spread so the hairlines weren't as obvious. Too clunky a look for me personally.

Sample 5 is on the Sheer Trace. To my mind, this performed best. I was delighted when I put the pen down on it. It performed well with all the inks. Suzanne is a happy camper! (and calligrapher!)

Hope this helped! Happy lettering, Suzanne


  1. Oh wonderful samples and good exercise.. big grin. Love the painting too. so cute.
    So how long does this stuff take to dry on these various papers?? Since they're slick I would imagine some time?? And when dry, can they be rubbed off or smeared with your finger??

  2. Hi Yogi! Thanks for your comment!

    It dries quickly - a few minutes - and it's not rubbing off anything. Hope that helps!

  3. I still don't do calligraphy but appreciate these examples. The chickadee is fabulous!

  4. Love the chickadee. Interesting info about Vellum. Thank you. I marvel at your skill of calligraphy. Just beautiful. I have not developed the skill and am envious.