A Quick Birthday Card + Irojiten Colored Pencil Lettering

The first thing I thought when I saw my latest package from Tombow was: MORE MONO SAND ERASERS (I'm obsessed and use them every single day)...SCORE! THEN....OMG, those might be the most beautiful colored pencils I've ever seen. 

The pencils above are the 'Tranquil' Irojiten Adult Coloring Set. I also received the 'Vivid' set, but I ripped it open immediately to start swatching colors and threw the packaging away. One day I will learn to keep packaging for blogging purposes! Anywho...here they are below: 

Both of these sets of 12 Pencils include a MONO Sand Eraser and a pencil sharpener---making the higher price point totally worth it, in my opinion. If you are extremely thrifty like me, spending $30 on pencils might not be your cup of tea....but then, you start using them....and your mind is BLOWN at the color payoff, as well as the unique look, feel, and touch of the pencil. I'll talk more about that in a minute!

My initial inclination is to start filling up some of the many adult coloring books I got for Christmas...but, there are obviously more useful ways to use these gorgeous pencils! Not being the type to reach for a colored pencil in my normal lettering practice (brush pens are #bae), I immediately thought of using these to whip up a quick birthday card for my fiance, who celebrates his birthday on May 3rd!  

Here are the materials I used: 

1. One color from each set of my colored pencils
2. A random greeting card for size reference
3. An Eraser
4. A Pencil Sharpener
5. A Pencil for Sketching
6. 1 Piece of Bristol Paper or Heavy Cardstock (not pictured here)
7. Also not pictured, a guillotine cutter to trim my paper with
8. Also not pictured, a hand-lettering book for reference

Speak of the devil, my fiance (quite the opposite of a devil) got me this hand-lettering book for Christmas. I love it! The book is meant to be worked through like a work book, completing exercises, answering questions, yada yada...but I enjoy using it for reference when I want to do something a little different in my lettering. I quickly flipped through this book today, when thinking of ideas for the birthday card, and I saw this thought bubble (pictured in the upper left corner) and knew what I wanted to do. 

Next, I trimmed a piece of Bristol paper down to the correct size, and folded it in half! Now, I'm ready to begin sketching. 

If you can't tell, this is 30 seconds of sketching (if that) and I'm ready to go! You see, I'm a less is more/fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal when it comes to sketching and drawing things that won't be sold to the public----but, I promise, this is going to look great when I'm finished. 

 I chose the "Pigeon Gray" color from my Tranquil Set (to be swatched later in the blog post!) and did some messy negative space coloring... but obviously, this card needs something extra.

I pulled out my "Flash Green" pencil from the 'Vivid' set, and added a little neon shadow. I am just blown away by the brightness of these neon colors! The camera doesn't do it justice....I promise this POPS off the page IRL! As beautiful as the colors are....there is still something missing!

No, I could not stay away from the black detailing that finds its way into everything I make these days! I used my Fudenosuke Soft Nib to add some squiggly details to this card, and I'm calling it finished. This card totally reminds me of 'Rocco's Modern Life,' which I wasn't even going for but WHATEVS...Daniel is a 90's kid. The main thing is: this card took me less than 10 minutes from start to finish! if you're in a pinch, don't try to do something elaborate. Imagine if you already had a blank greeting card lying around....2 colors and 3 minutes of coloring and YOU'RE DONE. If you don't have a brush pen around, use a permanent marker or a black colored pencil. It doesn't get better or easier than that. 

So, my card is finished, but I wanted to swatch these colors for you so you can see just how bright and vibrant and unique they truly are!

"Dazzling Sun" and "Surprise Red" are INSANE. They are so bright and bold, and they jump off the paper. I'm going to be reaching for these all the time and experimenting a lot more going forward! I will say that the 'Vivid' collection of colors is my favorite...but the soft pastel yellow and blue in the 'Tranquil' set are so hard to beat. All in all, I've never seen some of these colors anywhere before. 

I'll be back on Friday to deliver my post-floral-alphabet reflections and will have some major news regarding my upcoming Etsy store....

P.S. I STARTED A NEWSLETTER per request of a couple of blog-readers that would like an e-mail notification when a blog post of mine goes live! It seems like a good idea, right? If you want to get in on the action, look below...I can't promise a new free download or printable for signing up (cause, let's be real---I don't have time for that, and you can get those anywhere), but I can guarantee some valuable insight into my life as a small business owner and self-taught hand-letterer, as well as love, support, and encouragement. <3 See you in your inbox (once a week, and no more, I swear!)