Lettering tip: Lift your brush pen

Lettering Tip: Lift your brush pen off the paper

I completely missed the point when I was a beginner. I would see the beautiful videos of people lettering, but I failed to notice one little important thing. 

They were lifting their brush off the paper!

I totally missed it, and so I tried creating beautiful pieces that looked like that without lifting my brush off the paper. I’m sure I did at some points, but most of the time I remember trying to do a whole word in one big swoop. Which is possible, but super hard, and rarely do you get to create the unique shapes that can only be created if you lift and reposition your hand.

hand lettering with a tombow brush pen, when to lift your hand


Hand lettering is NOT cursive writing. Or Calligraphy, although brush lettering specifically is always confused with those two, and sometimes met with some nasty comments from the CURSIVE police.

Because the rule in cursive is to NEVER lift your pen. But since this isn’t cursive we can forget that rule.

The rule in lettering: Lift your pen as much as you want, as long as you get the look you’re going for. 

See, lettering is about “drawing” your letters, not writing. You’re not signing a document or writing someone a letter, you just need it to look good, and be legible. And even that is not always a necessity. It always depends on your piece and who the audience is.

YOU’RE CREATING ART

So you’re probably wondering…


“When exactly do I lift my pen?”


Well, I’m here to explain a little more about that.
There really is no official rule, but there are some places that are better than others.


Watch this video below and you’ll find out.

So, did that clear it up a bit?

Next time you’re doing lettering, don’t stress about it if you feel like your hand needs a break or your fingers need to readjust, just lift your brush and do it. Just remember to lift where you’re going to have an easier time picking back up. 

Do's and Don'ts of lettering with a Tombow brush pen

The idea is that it’s all up to you and your unique style, this, of course, is mostly based on mine and my experience.

If you have any other questions about this topic please leave a comment below. 


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