When was the last time you saw beautiful lettering and decided that it was too hard for you and you couldn't possibly learn it?
Well, I'm here to tell you that you are wrong. I'm not gonna lie, it takes
A LOT of practice. But, you can totally learn brush lettering.
All you need to do is start, practice and you will see the progress.
I started lettering back in 2015, almost 3 years ago, and I can finally say that I am starting to feel confident enough to not think of myself as a beginner. Even though I'm still learning every day.
Did you join the challenge?
This post is closely related to this years challenge where we (you and me) will learn a lot more about watercolors and watercolor lettering. So I'm kicking it off by starting with the basics and teaching you all you need to know to get started. If you wish to learn more about this Brush Lettering Challenge and how to join just follow the link below.
What do I need to get started?
You don't need anything fancy, or high quality, especially if you're just starting out and are just gonna be practicing. Art supplies can get expensive, especially watercolor paint. So stick to the basic cheap brands.
A round brush
I always recommend the Pentel Water Brushes because they are easy to use and come in a pack of 3 sizes for about $15. But, if you want something different, just go for a small round brush. Sized anywhere between 2-4.
Watercolor paint comes in many varieties, again, cheaper is fine. The difference between the higher brands and lower brands is the pigment. The more expensive the paint the more it's packed with pigment, meaning you don't need a lot of paint to get a nice rich color. With the cheaper brands, you will just need to work the paint a little more and eventually use it up more. But believe me, it's not a big deal when lettering. And no one will notice.
When practicing and learning, think of quantity not quality. You don't need fancy watercolor paper, it can be really expensive, and believe me, no matter how much you pay for paper, it will not magically make you better. So just grab some printer paper and you're good to go.
Multimedia paper and watercolor paper are great for final projects, if you want some texture, or for heavy watercoloring, like if you're adding a background.
Otherwise, stick to the cheap stuff, you will go though it very quickly.
How do I actually begin?
Get your brush wet, dip it in paint, and start making some marks on paper. Just get the feel of the brush first. See how it feels to make straight lines, horizontal, vertical and curvy. Don't expect a lot at first.
Slow and steady wins the race,
so take it slow and remember to have fun.
Don't jump right into creating words and layouts. Just practice simple strokes first, because every letter is made up of separate strokes.
Once you get a hang of those, then you can move on to practicing whole letters. It will be a lot easier.
I made an easy video for you to follow. I walk you through the different supplies I use and how to start using some worksheets to practice your first strokes.
P.S. These worksheets are also available in this Blog series about Water Brushes. If you want to learn more about them I highly recommend reading this post.
I really hope you enjoyed this lesson, and if you have any more questions about lettering or any of the supplies I mentioned just leave me a comment below. And don't forget to checkout the list of supplies below.
And don't forget to join the free Challenge this year, I'd love to learn more about watercolors with you.
Supplies I mention in the video
I included most of the supplies I mention in the video and where to find them. If you're not in the U.S. it may be harder to find these same brands but just look for something that won't break the bank. I get most of my supplies on Amazon and Michaels so that's usually where you can find them. The amazon links below are affiliate links, but no worries, it doesn't change the price for you at all.
Artist's Loft watercolor paint
These can be found at Michaels art stores or Amazon. But you can probably find an equivalent of different brand for about the same price.
Reeves tube watercolor paint
Watercolors are ok being left out to dry, just add water and bring it back to life.
Find the paint here Michaels or
St. Petersburg watercolor set
I love these paints so much I want to buy more. But I'm not even finished with the ones I have and I've had them for a couple years now. The colors are vibrant, and very rich.
I've only found them on Amazon and I think they ship internationally.
Jane Davenport watercolor set
They come in 2 or 3 different sets if you want different colors. They are pocket size for easy travel and so cute.
You can find them on Amazon or
Dr. Ph, Martin's Liquid Watercolors
These are pretty pricey and come in two variations. The Radiant ones and the Hydrus ones, which are lightfast. Lightfast means that they are more resistant to light exposure, like sun. So if you make frame your final piece and display it it won't fade.
Pentel Aquash water brushes
Fill them with water for easy color mixing on the go. Or on the couch if you like lettering while watching tv. You can also fill them with watercolor or ink. Although be careful with ink. Read this blog series to learn more about these brushes so you don't accidentally ruin them. Been there, done that.
You can also try other brands, I find these Jane Davenport aqua brushes to be the closest to Pentel and really nice. Beware of the cheap ones, they leak and the reservoir pulls the paint in, creating dirty water.
Just use any printer paper you got. Watercolor and mixed media paper can be found at any art supply store, so look for something on the cheaper side and touch the paper. Decide if you want texture or not.