A gift for Michèle, who is now enrolled in Retirement 101

A canvas made for Michèle, who is beginning her retirement.

  • Writing tool : Touch® marker and Pilot parallel pen (3.8 mm)
  • Letter style : Freehand and Modern Gothic

First of all, perhaps you’d like a translation of the text : Wishing you a flowery retirement doesn’t sound very pretty in English. Wishing you a Bloomin’ Happy Retirement is better!

Putting together a gift like this isn’t difficult, but several steps are involved:

  1. Do your calligraphy on plain white paper, using black ink for best results.
  2. Scan (digitalise) your calligraphy.
  3. Open your photo in PhotoShop.
  4. Import your calligraphy in a new layer. Change the colour of the letters, if you so desire.
  5. Save as .jpg
  6. Print onto canvas via your favourite printing site. I use photo-sur-toile and an generally very satisfied with the quality of their work.

Alternatively, you can have your canvas printed and then do the calligraphy directly onto it. The disadvantage of that is … if ever you make a mistake in your calligraphy or spill a drop of ink, all is ruined! In using the PhotoShop method, you can do your calligraphy over and over again, until you are satisfied with it.

When doing the calligraphy directly onto the canvas, I write my text out on a scrap paper first, then trace it onto the canvas. Writing on canvas isn’t easy, because of the “hills and valleys” of the fabric. It makes for a less-smooth, more rugged look.

Also, you probably won’t be able to use regular calligraphy inks (depending, too, on the canvas fabric). You’ll likely need to use something thicker, such as diluted acrylic paint.

All of this requires a bit of trial-and-error experimentation. If you happen to be enjoying a “Bloomin’ Happy Retirement”, maybe you have the time to practice until it’s perfect!