What is lettering?
It’s basically the art of drawing (or painting) letters with upward and downward strokes in an artistic fashion. There are many styles of letters you can make, but one of the most common is brush calligraphy.
I’ve been obsessed with lettering since 2017 after seeing a post on Instagram from a professional lettering artist. Since then, I tried learning how to do lettering by watching tutorials, but it wasn’t until last year when I discovered a lettering course in my town that I actually learned how it was done and what materials are needed.
The best materials to use if you want to practice lettering are brush tip pens or markers and paper with a smooth surface, like Bristol boards. But if you practice the correct technique, you can even use Crayola markers and any type of paper!
The first thing we will focus on are the strokes. There are two types of strokes used in lettering— upward and downward strokes.
Upward strokes make thinner lines. You have to move your brush pen or marker upwards in order to make these strokes. They are made by putting very little pressure on your marker.
You can make thick lines with downward strokes. Simply move your brush pen in the direction of the arrow, putting more pressure on it as you move it down the page.
Before you begin making your letters, it is a good idea to practice different upward and downward strokes, just to get the hang of it. You can practice by creating strokes like the ones in the image.
Creating your letters.
Let’s look at the letter ‘A’. The arrows indicate what type of stroke to make. The left side of the capital ‘A’ is made by making a downward stroke. The middle goes slightly upward, and the right side is made by using an upward stroke. Now, these two letters were made by doing more than one stroke instead of just doing a continuous stroke to make the whole letter.
Remember, you are ‘drawing’ letters, not writing them in your normal handwriting. So, it’s okay if you are not good at cursive!
In the above image, I created the letter ‘A’ in one continuous stroke, starting from the right side of the letter, going up, then down, and slightly upwards to the side in order to create the middle section. This is another way you can make your letters.
There are also different styles of letters you can make, such as…
These letters are not cursive or slanted. We just have a normal letter ‘B’ without any embellishments.
This is more of a fancy, embellished letter ‘B’ that you can use in cursive writing.
Try making different styles of letters! There are lots of guides you can download and print out if you want to practice.
You can mix different styles of lettering! If you want to practice by writing a quote you like, you can write some words in all capital letters and other words in cursive.
Warm up before creating your letters by making simple brush strokes.
If you have done lettering before, or if you’re going to start doing it now, feel free to show your artwork and tips on what helped you!
I will be updating this list with more techniques, including watercolor lettering.