Brush Lettering - Top 6 Tips by Karen Reynolds - Lettering Artist
Karen is one of our incredible Brand Ambassadors, and here she offers her 6 top lettering tips.
1. Don't skimp on paper quality! I've found that paper makes a huge difference when I'm lettering. When I first started, I would buy cheaper sketchpads and drawing paper, because I was afraid to practice and make mistakes on something more expensive. Now, I spend the extra dollar or two on mixed media or marker paper. Brush pens will flow better on higher quality paper, and it won't ruin their tips. Plus, it's tough enough to blend as it is. Better quality paper equals better blending.
2. Start with faux calligraphy. Brush lettering can be discouraging when you're first learning. When I started lettering, I only had Tombow dual brush pens. I found brush lettering extremely hard with these as a beginner, so I spent most of my time practicing faux calligraphy. This became very helpful when I started brush lettering, because I already had figured out the flow of the letters. I recommend Life of Colour Brush Pens to beginners as well as the Ecoline brush pens and Crayola Markers for shorter words or practicing letters.
3. Learn from others. Find other letterers on social media. Look at the work that they post, watch their videos and tutorials, and ask questions. Search for the particular brush pen you're using, and see all the various ways that other letterers use them. I learned to look for other hand letterers rather than those who letter digitally, and I saw how they flourished and blended as well as the various pens, markers, inks, etc. that they utilized. The lettering community is one of the nicest, most encouraging groups of individuals that I've ever come across, and they will be more than happy to help you. If it weren't for social media, I'd still be lost when it came to blending and composition. I owe a lot of my growth as a letterer to social media.
4. Try new things. Blend using different techniques. Practice different flourishes. Try different pens. Play around with different fonts. Even if you've found a particular lettering style that you like and feel comfortable with, you should venture out of your comfort shell. You never know when you'll come upon your next favorite technique! For example, I used to only blend my Tombow dual brush pens using the Tombow colorless blender pen. Now I've found that I absolutely love blending with a water brush or even using a ziploc bag to mix colors. Go crazy!
5. Be you. Practice with the practice sheets, but don't get discouraged if your d doesn't look like the sheet. Play around with different fonts. Find your own way to letter. I think I've spent months going back and forth just between how I letter an s. Everyone is different; why shouldn't lettering be different? The more you practice, the better feel you'll get for your letters, your favorite fonts, and your own personal style.
6. Life of Colour. When I first started lettering with Life of Colour Brush Pens, it was a much different experience than I've had with other brush pens. It took some practice adjusting to the bristle tip, as I only had prior experience with felt tip brush pens. After a month of using Life of Colour pens, I am comfortable lettering with them and enjoy using them more than other brush pens that hand letterers often use. They are very versatile; other than brush lettering, I use my Life of Colour pens for watercolor backgrounds and drawings. The colors are really pigmented and vibrant, and the water brush makes blending easy. My kids are always begging to use my lettering markers and pens, and I can finally share. I'm not worried about the tips being ruined by usage or low quality paper like I would be with my felt tip brush pens. Life of Colour Brush Pens also come in this cute plastic case, which makes them ideal for traveling and effortless to store. Life of Colour Brush Pens are definitely one of my top picks for art and lettering pens.
Now watch Karens process video as she shows you how she uses her Life of Colour Brush Pens to letter "Happy Halloween"
Try the ideas we're showing you and share the result with the rest of the group!Join the Life of Colour group!