Hello! If you are just foraying into the wonderful world of hand lettering I have just the right brush lettering tutorial for you today. It’s geared towards beginners and I have a video showing everything you need to know.
Over on Instagram (my pseudonym is @theshinynest over there) this has been the most requested topic by all of you- A Brush lettering tutorial for beginners. You asked and today I shall answer as much as I can and hopefully this will help you in your hand lettering journey.
WHAT IS BRUSH LETTERING?
Brush lettering is basically words written in a cursive style using a brush. For this, you can use an actual paint brush or as it is very popular these days- use a brush pen. Brush pen lettering is easier to master because the brush never runs out of color. With an actual paint brush you would have to dip your brush repeatedly in the paint and that is an extra step. I enjoy both techniques, but today’s post will focus mainly on lettering using a brush pen.
Download this “Learn something new everyday” worksheet here.
WHERE TO START?
So to begin your hand lettering journey, you need 4 things: a good brush pen, smooth finish paper, lots of patience and repeated practise. That’s it!
Choose a good quality pen and paper. This itself is a game changer and will reduce your frustrations and enjoy your lettering a whole lot more. For pens, I recommend the Tombow Dual Brush pens and for paper I would say you start with this ream of HP printer paper (that’s a lot of paper for that money!) and if you prefer to keep your progress in a sketch book, use this Canson XL Mixed Media book.
There are many other wonderful choices for paper- I show a lot of my other sketchbooks in the video below. I have also talked about papers in detail in my previous post here Brush lettering papers that will easily improve your lettering
BRUSH LETTERING TUTORIAL VIDEO:
Below is my Brush lettering tutorial which covers most of the basics. I share a peek into my first sketchbook (which wasn’t great paper for brush lettering) and many more tips! Click on the video box below to watch it or head over here to my YouTube Channel. While you are there, please hit the subscribe button too!
SO WHAT’S A BRUSH PEN?
A brush pen is a marker which basically has a brush tip. Think of it as a paintbrush attached to the top of a marker. This pointy tip of a brush pen needs to be maintained so, if you use poor quality paper it will fray very quickly and disappoint you.
This brush tip is what allows us to do brush lettering. If you use just the tip you can create thin upstrokes by applying light even pressure. But if you use the entire width of the brush tip and apply heavy pressure you can create thick downstrokes. I show both of these in action in my Brush lettering tutorial above.
BRUSH LETTERING TERMS:
- upstroke: drawing a line (or part of a letter) by moving your pen from bottom to top. In brush lettering, you want your upstrokes to be as thin as you can get them. To do this, apply less pressure to your brush pen and keep a steady hand while moving upwards.
- downstroke: drawing a line (or part of a letter) by moving your pen from top to bottom. In brush lettering, you want your downstrokes to be as thick as you can get them. To do this be heavy handed with your pressure an the brush pen and let the pen glide downwards.
- transition: when you move your brush pen from a thin upstroke to a thick downstroke (or vice versa) mid alphabet.
- muscle memory: by practicing upstrokes and downstrokes, your wrist gets accustomed to moving its position and you develop muscle memory. If you take a break from brush lettering for a week or two, when you restart you will first want to practice drills and warm up your wrist.
FREE PRINTABLE DOWNLOAD:
Here is my practice sheet that is free for you download and use right away! In my brush lettering tutorial video I show how you can place these printables beneath a tracing sheet or marker pad and practice.
Download Uppercase Alphabets by clicking here
Download Lowercase Alphabets by clicking here
Thank you for pinning these printables!
MORE BRUSH LETTERING WORKSHEETS:
- On the Tombow USA website, they have an amazing download of Lettering worksheets that is absolutely FREE. It covers the basic strokes, transitions, and all alphabets. Click here.
- One of my favorite letterers, Kelly Klapstein has always been a great lettering inspiration for me. Her brush lettering worksheets (you can purchase them here) is where I started practicing. They are absolutely great!
- Dawn Nicole has a great brush lettering worksheet that is free and you can download here. Her website is filled with free worksheets of different styles and all of them amazing!
NOW IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO PRACTICE:
Download everything, and simple put pen to paper. Start practicing right away but don’t expect it look perfect from the start. Brush lettering takes a bit of practice to get used to, until you develop that muscle memory there will be a lot of mistakes to be made. But my biggest advice to you- don’t give up. Don’t look for perfection. Enjoy the process. Relax and write the words. Again and again. And you will get there.