30 November 2022
Personalise your Christmas with Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pens
With Christmas coming just around the corner we asked illustrator and lettering artist Rebecca Cahill Roots how she uses her Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pens to add personalised touches to her holiday season.
I love using Tombow pens in my studio and always have a few in my rucksack, as they are really versatile pens with a large soft brush tip and hard fine point tip.
As they come in such a large range of colours there are some great traditional holiday season tones and beautiful jewel tones, perfect for projects this time of year.
At Christmas time they are often there just at the right moment to make a Christmas card envelope jazzier or decorate a boring cracker crown. You don’t have to be an experienced calligrapher or illustrator to get some great effects from the pens, here’s some tips and ideas to get you going and give you the confidence to create a little bit of Christmas magic with your Tombow pens.
Decorating your Christmas card envelopes is a great way of sharing the Christmassy love and making your card memorable. I like to use different lettering styles for different lines of the address and add decorative borders. If you are putting the envelope in the post not hand delivering it it’s important to make sure the address is still really easy to read so don’t crowd the letters. Also if like me you live in the notoriously rainy United Kingdom, you need to make sure your address wont run in the rain. Tombow pens are water based so the pigment can run when water touches it. Add a gentle layer of fixative or hairspray on top to help stop the letters becoming illegible and it ending up in the lost letter’s office!
Adding some little stylized drawings around your works can instantly give it a lift. Whether it’s inside a Christmas card or on a gift tag, here’s some ideas for some shapes to add. My top tip is to either group them so there are three or five of the shapes together or use them in a specific pattern. They have more impact when grouped or with specific placement. Play around with the size and scale of the drawings too. You can use the same shape just drawn in several different sizes and group them together to make real impact.
A really lovely way to make people feel welcome at the Christmas table is to add place cards with their names on. Both the Tombow ABT Brushpens and the Fudenosuke pens are great for this. My biggest tip is to have a spare piece of paper beside your place cards to try out the name several times before you write on the card to save making mistakes on your final designs. Draw around the shape of the card to give you a guide to work in and then try out the name to pick your favourite design and make sure you have the spelling correct.
For darker coloured card you use the new Fudenosuke Pastel Brush Pens. Layer up the letters for a more intense colour.
Personalise wrapping paper by using your pens to write a name or special message on repeat across the page. This is a great way of recycling old wrapping paper as you can turn the pattern to the inside so it will be touching the present and use the blank side of the paper or use plain craft or wrapping paper. Whatever type of paper you decide to use, make sure it is matte and doesn’t have a shiny finish, as the pens will smudge as you write on it.
Draw faint pencil diagonal lines to give yourself a rough guide to work from and then work across each line giving it time to dry before moving on to the next. By writing diagonally across the page it will look more exciting when used as wrapping. The lettering will run across the whole of the present at its widest point so you will see the wording in a more dramatic way.