I started learning hand lettering and brush lettering in July of this year after going through Instagram’s Explore page and seeing dozens of eye-catching calligraphy videos. I thought to myself, “I want to learn how to do that!”, and so I did! Although I’m nowhere near the pros at hand lettering, I’m practicing everyday to get better at lettering.
Some might say that hand lettering may seem like an intimidating skill to learn at first. What are the basics of hand lettering? Which pen is best to use? What if I don’t have a brush pen? Is there an easier way to create a calligraphy look?
The basics of hand lettering are actually super easy and simple to learn. Through tutorials created by hand lettering professionals you may know on Instagram, these tutorials feature artists who are skilled at the art of hand and brush lettering and provide basic steps on how to start hand lettering as well as give alternative methods of creating a lettering look.
So how you can start learning how to hand letter and begin your journey? Through these various tutorials I’ve found online! I’ve compiled a small list of hand lettering basics for beginners who want to learn about the art of hand lettering. All you need is a pen and some paper and you’re ready to go!
First off, the key to learning brush lettering and honing your skill, is to learn the basic brush strokes that are used. Sharisse describes the various basic brush strokes in different categories that are used to create the letter forms in brush lettering and calligraphy. Starting with the basic entrance stroke, Sharisse describes brush strokes that may seem like they’re only just lines, but when combined together, they create beautiful brush lettering.
Aaria Baid from Surely Simple features Jo Cheung, a brush lettering artist, who explains how to use a brush pen. This is the main tool used for brush calligraphy. In this tutorial, Jo explains a key tip in brush lettering which is having thin upstrokes and thick down strokes. With video tutorials and helpful diagrams, Jo sure makes brush lettering to be simple as ever.
Daniel at High Pulp Studio provides a great tutorial about the amount of pressure needed to achieve thick down strokes in lettering. Daniel provides some tips that include having guidelines, using your whole arm, and the main tip to getting better: practice!
For those who might not have a brush pen handy, you can also use Crayola markers to create the same look as brush calligraphy! Alyssa at Lyss Arts Hand Lettering provides a great tutorial on how to use Crayola markers to get those thin and thick lines. Once you learn the basic strokes with a Crayola marker, Alyssa directs you to the next step: building letters! After mastering a Crayola marker, you’ll be ready to use a brush pen with ease!
Lindsey, founder of The Postman’s Knock, provides a wonderful tutorial on how to create faux calligraphy with any ordinary pen! This style mimics the look of using a traditional dip pen and ink without the hassle of getting all the supplies. This tutorial is very helpful for beginners and is a fun and easy way to create a calligraphy look.
- You don’t need a brush pen to start lettering! Use a Crayola marker or even a regular pen and practice some faux calligraphy!
- Thin upstrokes and thick down strokes!
- Apply pressure to get those thick down strokes
- Practice, practice, practice!
Leave a comment down below with your thoughts!
Which tutorial was your favorite?
Who would you add to this list of hand lettering tutorials?
Are you ready to practice your newfound brush lettering skills? Here are some links to free printable PDFs of alphabet practice sheets, basic strokes, and drills!
- Lettering Practice Worksheets (Drills, Letters, Numbers) by Tombow USA
- Brush Calligraphy Worksheets by Dawn Nicole
- Alphabet Brush Lettering Worksheet by Destination Decoration
Have fun brush lettering!
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