Alphabet Road Trip | the blog of Iskra Design

Category: watercolor calligraphy

Calligraphy & Lettering Design Inspired by Spring

A collection of lettering design and calligraphy inspired by the colors of spring. Some of these examples are done for clients and some are personal explorations of lettering styles and watercolor. All work is created by hand with brush and pen, with watercolor or ink.


All work is copyright of Iskra Design and may not be used or reproduced without the express permission of the artist. See more expressive lettering by Iskra here.

How Do You Say Coffee? Expressive Mixed Media Calligraphy

When I do expressive calligraphy, expression wins out over technique and traditionally beautiful lettering design. What matters most is the personality of the words, and in this case, the personality of the coffee customer.

I live in Coffee Town USA, yes, that would be Seattle, and I am a confirmed devotee. I do love to watch how people order their favorite drinks. Particularly those people who request the "no-foam-no-caf-non-fat—latte?" I mean, what is this? This is not a latte. It's simply a state of denial. But then I'm in the camp of coffee-is-a-vehicle-for-cream, or why bother.

This piece is done in watercolor, guache, felt pen, pointed pen, brush and a variety of brushes. It was created as part of my ongoing fascination with letterforms as an expression of voice. I see my job as a contemporary lettering artist as being a channel for character. I'm not a stylist with a "hand" but a character actress, making visible the intangibles of tone of voice, personality and unique DNA.

See more expressive calligraphy and calligraphic illustration at

Snow Day in the Studio: Expressive Calligraphy

It snowed this week. Power was intermmitant and I had to shut down my computer for awhile. It gave me time to look out the window and slow down. It was truly lovely, especially at night, when I went for long walks. In the morning the light in the studio was luminous and bright, and I didn't need to turn on any lamps.

I mixed some water the color of the sky and the snow and the stellar's blue jay on the roof, and did some loose expressions of "SnowDay." Often my work is highly refined for reproduction, and must be absolutely legible. My only task here was to please myself and it did not matter if the words could be read from thirty feet away. It's like skiing, using a pen this way. The paper is just like snow, velvety and welcoming, and forgiving you if you fall.

Edged Pen with Pelican Tusche and Cobalt Blue on Teton Cover and Karma Cover.

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