Awesome Sauce – A Real Time Lettering Video

So, I’ve been working on making better videos for my YouTube channel.

I’ve made a new one that I hope is easier to watch. 🙂

In this video I sketched and lettered the quote “Awesome Sauce” for the #togetherweletter lettering challenge on Instagram.

Enjoy!

Chrystal

 

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Aurora – Hand Lettering & Watercolor

Here’s another real time video for another lettering challenge. 🙂 This was for the #letteringwithtombow lettering challenge that I’m doing on Instagram.

Aurora is another word for dawn, so I thought I’d do a watercolor wash for the background that kind of resembled dawn.

Please let me know if there is anything particular you’d like to see me do regarding lettering in the near future. 🙂

-Chrystal

 

The Days Are Long – Hand Lettering Video

I’m so excited to announce that I will be adding real-time videos of my lettering processes on my new YouTube channel! I have quite a few people that have asked about my process and I finally got a tripod (YAY!) so I can now make some videos to show you. Please let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

Here’s the first video, available now!

There’s no talking or sound because I’m shy and I also forgot to add some music. 🙂

Let me know if there’s anything particular you’d like to see me do lettering-wise in the near future.

-Chrystal

5 Tips for Brush Lettering (Beginner)

Previously, I shared 3 brush lettering styles you could try out. And today I wanted to go over some fun techniques I use when I letter.

My posts are mainly for beginners, so some of you may already do these or know of these.

I just know that I searched for *all the tips* when I started out and want to contribute to possibly helping others out in this situation.

5 Tips for Brush Lettering (Beginner) | chrystalizabeth

Tip #1: Space It Out

I love the look of letters when they are spaced out. Not just the space between words and letters, but the space within the letters! I think I noticed it most when I was studying modern calligraphy. I love how fancy and fluid the letters look.

5 Tips for Brush Lettering (Beginner) | chrystalizabeth

Tip #2: Large & Whimsical

Have fun with large loops and flourishes. Whenever you’re lettering, take a look and see if it’s fitting to make a loop bigger than it should be. And when you have random space that looks empty and a letter can’t quite fill it up, add a fun flourish.

It’s not easy, I know, but with practice you’ll get better. You’ll notice that mine still aren’t perfect. But, one thing that helps me (and might help you too) is to try to not let your hand and arm rest on the table/desk you’re lettering at. Then you should have better movement.

5 Tips for Brush Lettering (Beginner) | chrystalizabeth

Tip #3: Dry It Out

First, if you’re brush pen is running out of ink, go with it!! The texture is so great and adds to your lettering. I did this with my Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen and I loved it. I even still use the pen now by dipping it in ink. (If you try this, do so at your own discretion because I believe I’m ruining my brush pen 🙂 )

I could have probably, maybe, tried to take the end off and add more ink, but I don’t have the right tools and will most likely make a huge unnecessary mess. I also know that I’m finally able to get some new supplies! Yay! So I’m not stressing about it at the moment.

5 Tips for Brush Lettering (Beginner) | chrystalizabeth

But back to the tip, just go with it. It’s fun! And if you’re using a brush, just use a little less ink than normal and let it run out.

5 Tips for Brush Lettering (Beginner) | chrystalizabeth

Tip #4: Pencil It Out

When I was beginning, the best thing I did was pencil everything out first. This way I wasn’t running out of ink (because I’m super frugal) and I was able to erase and rearrange words/letters/flourishes until I was happy with the results. Or just make a bunch of different styles of the same quote to see what style you like best.

I don’t have a light box so I would eventually just ink over one that I was happy with and erase the pencil. This won’t work if you use the color brush markers (like the Tombow markers) or watercolor, because you’ll see the pencil underneath. (The darker colors might be ok. I’ll have to try that.) And in that case, if you don’t have a lightbox either, you can use your window. 🙂 Just tape everything up there. I use painters tape so it doesn’t stick too much. Washi tape would probably work great too.

5 Tips for Brush Lettering (Beginner) | chrysta

Tip #5 (Last One!) Practice Practice Practice Forever!!

The tip everyone talks about. Practice! It’s so important that’s why everyone recommends it. 🙂 I practice by constantly lettering quotes, the alphabet, and pangrams. They’re super fun. But, remember, even if you don’t see improvement now, or even days from now, you are improving and it will show. It totally didn’t start out this way and I’ve been practicing my lettering for just over a year now.

5 Tips for Brush Lettering (Beginner) | chrystalizabeth5 Tips for Brush Lettering (Beginner) | chrystalizabeth

If you have any questions or want to see something particular in the future blog posts, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll do my best. 🙂

~Chrystal

 

Three Different Brush Lettering Styles To Try

Three Different Styles of Brush Lettering To Try | chrystalizabeth.wordpress.com

When I was first getting into brush lettering, I had no idea where to start.

There are some wonderful brush lettering tutorials that are free that you can check out that are really helpful:

Surely Simple

The Postman’s Knock

Dawn Nicole Designs

They have a lot of tips and even practice worksheets you can use. I was thinking of doing the same thing, but these are so great, I totally recommend checking them out.

Now, the purpose of this blog post is to look at three particular brush lettering styles that I personally enjoy that are fun and *easy* (depending on where you are on your brush lettering journey).

Three Different Styles of Brush Lettering To Try | chrystalizabeth.wordpress.com

Brush Lettering Items Used:

Speedball Black India Ink

Daler Rowney Size 3 Watercolor Brush

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – Soft Tip

Pilot Pocket Brush Pen – Soft Tip

White Copy Paper

 

Brush Lettering Techniques:

1. Big & Chunky (aka Big & Fun!)

Three Different Styles of Brush Lettering To Try | chrystalizabeth.wordpress.com

Some examples from previous lettering I’ve done:

 

This was the first style of brush lettering I tried with a size 3 brush I got a while back at Michaels (I think?) that was intended just for watercolor. I love the freedom of doing this technique of brush lettering. You really can’t go wrong.

Normally the rule is to keep the down strokes as the thick strokes, but as you can see here, I didn’t exactly do that. With this technique, you want to do thick and thin anywhere and don’t worry about it all being uniform and the same. You want it to look spontaneous.

I also tend to add some water to my brush and then the ink so that I could get the light and dark texture. Something I did out of necessity in the beginning when I kept running out of ink.

And to add a little finishing touch to it, you can splatter some ink on the page. 🙂 I love it.

 

2. Brush Calligraphy

Three Different Styles of Brush Lettering To Try | chrystalizabeth.wordpress.com

With this technique, you basically write calligraphy, but with your brush pen. You want to keep it pretty uniform, keeping the down strokes thick and the up strokes thin. And if it helps you feel more comfortable, you can also do faux calligrpahy instead. 🙂 I’m still getting used to this pen, so my lettering is a little wiggly. And I was going to add some examples, but I realized I tend to do other styles more than this particular one so I don’t have any to share at the moment.

 

3. Mix And Match

Three Different Styles of Brush Lettering To Try | chrystalizabeth.wordpress.com

Some examples using this technique:

 

This is my favorite technique at the moment. This is one where you take your brush pen and switch up your lettering. Add some script to your print and some upper case with your lower case. Some short, some tall. Try the same quote a few different ways. I pencil my quote out before hand and switch the way the letters are until I’m happy, then ink.

You might notice my letters look a little strange. They shouldn’t be so saturated with ink, but I ran out of ink with this pen and instead of trying to open it up to add more, I just dip the tip of the pen in ink and use it. Not sure if that’s ok, but It’s what I’m doing and I like the results. 🙂

Also with this, when penciling my rough drafts, I like to squish and really fit my words as awkwardly as possible. If that makes sense. I love how it looks that way. I’ve been practicing doing this more and more often.

I hope you have some fun with these! Let me know if you’ve tried these are decide to in the future. I’d love to know!

 

~Chrystal

Thoughts On Hand Lettering

Thoughts On Hand Lettering | chrystalizabeth

I know I’ve shared before some of the reasons I love to do lettering. I love lettering in general. I love the feel of pen on paper (or pencil, marker, etc.).

It’s something I was complimented on at somewhat of a young age that made me feel great when times were crazy.

I hadn’t given it much thought again until I had my last two babies and wanted something to do that was just mine and made me happy. I done other things like art journaling, drawing, watercolor painting, and making handmade jewelry. But, there’s something that makes me really happy when I can make words look as beautiful on paper as they sound when said aloud.

I also noticed that hand lettering seems to be at an all time high at the moment. At least that is what Google Analytics said. 🙂

When I first started getting into it again, I started searching google and searching hash tags. Anything to help me.

If you happen to be in that same boat, I wanted to share some of my biggest influences when it came to lettering. I believe it’s important when starting out to have someone to look up to who is a “Pro”. Someone that gives you ideas and sparks creativity and motivates you to start practicing.

There are three in particular (among many others) that I wanted to share that helped me get started with hand lettering, brush lettering, and modern calligraphy.

  • The Postman’s Knock – I fell in love with her site instantly. Lindsey has wonderful tutorials when it comes to modern calligraphy and brush lettering/calligraphy. She has freebies available and some worksheets you can purchase for the cost of a latte (which I totally did!). She breaks down everything with explanations and tons of photos. She even has giveaways (I believe weekly) on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

 

  • Mary Kate McDevitt – Her style is amazing. The color and details are to die for. She was one of the first people I came across when searching for tutorials and inspiration for hand lettering. She has an amazing class on Skillshare that is worth checking out. And if you’d like, you can check out and follow a board I dedicated to her lettering on my Pinterest.

 

  • Amanda Arneill (Say It Pretty Designs) – While I’m on Instagram I like to go through the lettering hashtags periodically. Some of my favorite hashtags are #handlettering #moderncalligraphy, #brushlettering, and typography. While doing just that, I came across Amanda’s Instagram account and can’t begin to say how *pretty* her lettering is. I love the way she interchanges her lowercase and uppercase letters and how she goes from print to script when lettering. She also has a lettering course that looks amazing that you can check out if interested.

 

Going to Pinterest and Instagram (and sometimes Tumblr) have been what keeps me motivated. Being able to search for things like tutorials, and quotes, and other things are super helpful. (Quick note: when lettering quotes, always include the author/source of the quote. If you can’t find it on the site you found it on, you can google the quote and usually find the source that way. I do that to try and always credit the person.)

I’ll be following up this blog post with more on what I tend to concentrate on when it comes to practicing and creating my hand lettering.

And feel free to check out my lettering boards on Pinterest. I try and add to them daily.

~Chrystal

Easy To Make Valentine Heart [A Watercolor Brush Marker Tutorial]

Easy To Make Valentine Heart [A Watercolor Brush Marker Tutorial] | chrystalizabeth

I’ve noticed lately that some very creative people are lettering with a technique that ends up with some incredible results.

It looks like it started trending the beginning of this year and is really taking off. Some of the places I’ve seen it at are:

Kiley In Kentucky

One Artsy Mama

&

Simon Says Stamp

If you’re on Instagram, you can even check out the hashtag that Kiley set up #heftyhack to see her work and the work of others that are also giving it a try. Everyone has had some beautiful results!

I’m always looking for new ideas for Valentine’s day cards, or any cards for that matter, and I was thinking that it would make a gorgeous Valentine’s Day card (be sure to use watercolor paper) or framed artwork, or even a canvas. It’s great because you can give it to someone special, or just have it at home as part of your fabulous Valentine’s Day decor.

No matter what, you’re going to get some great looking artwork out of it.

Now let’s get to it.

Valentine Heart Tutorial using Watercolor Markers | chrystalizabeth

The materials I used were:

  1. Canson Mix Media Paper (98 lbs / 7 in x 10 in) – I would have rather used some watercolor paper, but I’m out at the moment
  2. Artist’s Loft Watercolor Dual Tip Markers (Red and Blue) – They’re like the Tombow makers, but a cheaper version available at Michael’s
  3. Water Dropper from Faber Castell that came with a Gelato Kit I got a while back, but you can use a paint brush, or even your finger. 🙂
  4. A small snack size Ziploc baggie, but you can use any plastic baggie with a smooth surface.
  5. Pilot Pocket Brush Pen with the soft tip – Got it at Jet Pens (love that site! – wasn’t even paid to say that.)

 

Valentine Heart Tutorial using Watercolor Markers | chrystalizabeth

Take your red and blue markers and draw a heart directly on the baggie. I recommend making the heart narrow on each side because you’ll be moving the water around and it will become fuller as you do it. It does not have to be perfect. You can keep the colors separate, or you can mix them here and there to get all different types of effects.

Valentine Heart Tutorial using Watercolor Markers | chrystalizabeth

Then add a few small drops (2-3) on the paper you’ll be using. I did it on the baggie, but I’m pretty sure it will turn out better doing it directly on the paper so it doesn’t drip while you’re trying to place it upside down like it do to me.

Valentine Heart Tutorial using Watercolor Markers | chrystalizabeth

Now just move the water all around trying to keep it in somewhat of a heart shape. I apologize for not taking more photos of that part. But really, you just need to rub your finger around and try to make a heart shape out of it. I honestly think the messier the better for a more artistic and fun look to it.

Valentine Heart Tutorial using Watercolor Markers | chrystalizabeth

Here’s how mine turned out. I chose red and blue colors so that some of it would come out purple. And as you can see it’s nice and messy. 🙂 At this point, you can blot it with a napkin or paper towel, dry it with a heat gun, or just let it air dry which is what I ended up doing since I wasn’t in a rush.

Valentine Heart Tutorial using Watercolor Markers | chrystalizabeth

Now just take your brush pen (or any pen for some faux calligraphy action as explained and shown here at The Postman’s Knock) and write out the word “love” on the heart at any angle that you prefer and as fancy as you want. Make sure to apply pressure on the down strokes for that the thick to thin look.

Valentine Heart Tutorial using Watercolor Markers | chrystalizabeth

For my finishing touch, I outlined a heart with the brush pen. You don’t have to do that if you prefer the way it looks in the last step. Totally optional. I just thought it was a nice touch.

If you end up doing this tutorial, I’d love to see the results! Leave me a comment below if you want. No pressure. 🙂

~Chrystal