Intro to Brush Lettering for Beginners

Posted by Carisa Zglobicki

Learn the basics of brush lettering and why we're convinced that anyone can do it.

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Hi Blitsy Fans!

I have a confession to make...I've been bitten by a new crafty obsession: Brush Lettering! I went to a blogger conference a couple months ago and amidst all the strategic business classes being offered were sprinkled a few creative classes. I knew I needed to take one creative class to help ground me from all the information overload that was going on so I decided to take a class about Brush Lettering since I'd been admiring it on Instagram for months. I'm so glad I did! I learned a lot and have been happily lettering since I got home. Like coloring, I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. Brush lettering is often referred to modern calligraphy because it is very similar but less rigid.

To get started you want to have some pens with a flexible tip, brush tip markers or paint brushes. I have found two pens that I love to use: Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen and Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen. These are both great for beginners because of the smaller tip since most of us tend to write small naturally it really gives you a great feel for creating the strokes you want for this look. I love these pens but my favorite tool for brush lettering is the Pentel Aquash Waterbrush. They come in three sizes: small, medium and large. I love the medium brush. You can create larger and fuller strokes that really pop off your pages. Speaking of strokes, the key to brush lettering is to have a thick down stroke and thin up stroke on all your letters. You'll go slow as you think about pushing the brush harder as you go down and lifting it almost off the page as you go back up to create the variation.

Ok, now let's talk paper. It is really up to you. I definitely prefer to practice on dotted or graph paper because it helps to keep my lettering straight but when I'm working with watercolors my absolutely favorite is the Strathmore Bristol Paper Pad. I had that in my stash for some time (I honestly forget what I originally got it for) but started practicing brush lettering on it and I love the way the smooth paper takes the ink and watercolor. To start with though if you aren't using watercolors, you can definitely just practice on plain copy paper. Then when you are more comfortable or have a particular quote you love, you can create a final piece on heavier paper.

I created a video sharing what I've learned so far so you can see how letters are created using these two different types of tools to create brush lettering. Next month, I will build on this and we'll be putting what we've learned here into practice on finished works of art. Let's get started!

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Supply List

  • Rhodia Pad 8.25" x 11.75" Graph - Orange
  • Strathmore Bristol Smooth Paper Pad
  • Pentel Touch Sign Pen
  • Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen Soft Tip
  • Pentel Aquash Waterbrush
  • Dr PH Martin's Radiant Concentrated Watercolors - Set A

Join me in my studio!

Close Ups

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I hope you enjoyed this super simple introductory to brush lettering for beginners. I'm excited to see where this new journey takes me and I encourage you to pull out some brush tip markers, pens or even a paint brush to join me. I'm convinced anyone can do this no matter what your natural handwriting is. Next time, let's take these basic skills we learned today to create a quote that will be fit for a frame! Until then, Happy Crafting!!!