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