Hand lettering: 3 ways to improve your shaky brush strokes

As beginners we want to be perfect right away, believe me, I thought I was. But among many struggles and self-doubt comes the shaky brush stroke. You know, when you want to create smooth upstrokes or nice downstrokes but your hand seems to be vibrating. Yup, that's it. That's the shaky hand.

There can be many reasons why this happens, but, if you don't have any health issues that could be causing this, I have a list of 3 reasons why your hand might be shaky.

Reason #1: Not resting your elbow or arm on the table.

Of course, if you're lettering on your lap on the couch this is most likely the issue. But also when you're at a table. Make sure you have enough space to rest your elbow on the table, you don't want to hover over the paper and remove any obstructions that might be in your way. Give yourself room to spread.

Reason #2: Working in a small sketchbook.

The smaller the sketchbook the less room you have to work with, and so you will be forced to keep your hand on your tiny sketchbook and again, not having enough space, your hand might slip off, causing shake.

Reason #3: Gripping your pen or brush too hard.

It won't fall out of your hand, try to loosen your grip and all will be well. I tend to do this when I get stressed, like when I'm filming a video of me lettering, I get flustered, and then grip too hard and end up with shaky lines.

So remember to relax and give yourself plenty of room to work with. 

Also, practice will make you better, and to help you with that I creating some simple exercises you can do. These are not lettering drills, although similar, they will help you get used to your brush, get to know it a bit more, and work on that muscle memory.

Watch the video for more details.

Do these simple strokes, as often as you need, and watch your muscle memory in your wrist get better over time.

Hand lettering: Are your strokes coming out shaky? I have three ways to fix it and some simple exercises to help you get better at brush lettering and calligraphy.