Brush Lettering Essentials: Starting Out | Carmel Wilson | Skillshare

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Brush Lettering Essentials: Starting Out

teacher avatar Carmel Wilson, Lettering & Illustration At Bricky House Co.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

    • 2. Tools Required

    • 3. Warming Up

    • 4. Understanding Basic Anatomy

    • 5. Standard Letterforms

    • 6. Custom Lettering A Quote

    • 7. Class Project

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn the very first steps of brush pen lettering. We’ll go over some warm-up exercises and drills, pressure strokes and basic anatomy of type. Then we'll see what are the basic letterforms and how to practice them. You can also find the attached worksheet for practicing brushpen lettering from the project description.

At the end of this class, you will learn how to sketch and letter a custom lettered phrase using brush pens. This class will also work as the foundation for other intermediate and advanced class that will follow in coming days. Hope you join!

Practice Sheets Download Link:

  1. Warm Ups
  2. Letters To Practice

Meet Your Teacher

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Carmel Wilson

Lettering & Illustration At Bricky House Co.


Lettering, creative illustration and late night blogging is what is fueled at Bricky House Co. It's nice to inspire creative people, glad to be here!

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1. Class Introduction: Hello. I have been brushed lettering for quite some time. I thought about making a skill share class about brush lettering. So in this class I will try to give you all the ideas that is required to start brush pen lettering. So it's like the first class for learning brush. Been lettering. It's for everyone of you who wants to learn brush pen lettering. For anyone who wants to make beautiful lettering works, it covers the basic techniques that you should follow toe, understand and get ahold of brush pen lettering. It's important to learn how to draw letters using brush pens. What are the tools of the trade, the basic anatomy of letters and how to practice the letter forms? And finally, we will let her a phrase using the learnings because learning something is different and creating something beautiful out of it is amazing. So join in, complete the class project and make yourself feel amazed with those letters 2. Tools Required: Hello. I welcome you to the first section before getting into brush lettering. I'm just gonna briefly take you through the tools that I like to use. A pencil with a soft lead is a great place to start on any design. There is a wide variety of brush pens available. Grab a few and see what works best for you. I am showing you firm through too soft brush tips here. This is the way you should hold your brush, pen and practice working with them. I will cover all of these in later chapters. This is my favorite. To use is a refillable brush pin. It is art spectrum. It's a lot more economical, and you can mix your own inks using different colors and types. I will now show you how you can refill a brush pin, open the brush pen and then, by squeezing the ink, comes out to refill. Simply submerge the brush, ink and squeeze. Always keep a handkerchief or tissue paper near you. It's because they could make your hands, your artworks and other stuffs. Very dirty. Ah, fine liner pen is handy to have around. If you have made any mistakes, it's a quick, easy way to pen in those details that you missed. They're very useful at times. Traditional brushes I find are a little harder to use with less control and the need to consistently dip into ink. They're handy when you were working with large size art but need lots of practice to make it perfect. These were the tools that I use for my hand lettering projects, but always keep yourself open for new tools. 3. Warming Up: here. We're just gonna go through some warm up strokes to start getting used to the brush, movement and pressure. I am using the refillable brush here. So to start off, I am just loosely getting a feel for the brush, moving back and forth in a looping motion and then pushing harder on the brush towards the end of the stroke to be a good lettering artist. Good control on pressure is mandatory. This first warm up. Don't worry too much what it looks like. It's just to get a feel for the brush and the pressure. The purpose of this is to start building confidence and an understanding of the brush. Practice the same movement over and over this time, squeeze as you move so you don't run out of ink. Try each time your brush is going downward to apply more pressure, making the line thicker and applying less pressure, making it thinner as you come up on each turn while practicing, use full paper uh, toe expertise, this skill quickly, your hand movement should be free and you should feel confident about your strokes. Try this a couple of times and then we will move on Now we're going to go through some more warm ups this time with more controlled movements. Ah, lightbox will make things easier in the beginning. If you have one, grab your practice sheet and let's begin. I am using the refillable brush pen again for the warm up, but you can use another to practice before starting any project. Check your brush tip. First, make sure you are all filled up and clean the tip. Taking off excess ink around the brush. The first is a continuous stroke. While going down, I am applying more pressure with a slight curve at the start. Then, when coming up, get that nice curve and really lightly pressing to get a nice thin line. Try doing this quite slowly. This is all about learning how to control the pen, not the speed. At this stage. Practise for control, not speed. Speed will come automatically when you start feeling confident using hand brush. On this straight up and down exercise, I am focusing on consistency of pressure for each of the strokes when going down, really pushing into the paper and when coming up, controlling the lightness similar to the 1st 2 But this one is all about the circles going through the curling motion, applying more pressure when going down and easing into the upward lighter stroke. The continuous motion here is about combining the first and third motions emphasizing thick downward and thin upward stroke and really working on that tight curve practice these warm up exercises more and more, the more you practice hand lettering will get user for you. 4. Understanding Basic Anatomy: in typography. There are guidelines to any cohesive fund. Here we are starting with the basics of what guides, makeup, letter forms and how we can play with them to create some new interesting letters. The first guide is the baseline. This is the line that text sit on. It's an imaginary line upon which a line of text rests. The next up from the baseline is called the median line, or X height. This is the height of the lower case letters. It doesn't include a sender's or D senders. The next is the cap height. Traditionally, this will be the same as the median height from the base. This marks the top of the capital letters. It specifically refers to the height of capital letters that are flat, such as H or I, as opposed to round letters such as oh, or pointed letters. The next one, usually a smaller distances Theus Centerline. This marks the top for the letters, like a lower case H, D, B, K, l or F, and the next. The opposite to the Ascender is the descended. This marks the bottom for the letters, like a lower case. Why or Q. P Z Ah ah Jeeves and J. These are the basic anatomy of types. It is mandatory to understand these terms before we get into projects without understanding the anatomy. You just can't create precise designs. This is the standard grid to really make a unique and playful alphabet used to play with these guidelines. Rules are meant to be broken and experimented with. Most designers don't always follow these guidelines. They always break the rules, but that should also have a limitation. You should experiment, but don't overdo it. Example. Here I am lowering the median guide, creating a long, slender alphabet with the different personality the way I am doing it. It is one way to break the rules. Once you understand the rules, you will know how to break it and when to break. In another example. Here I am reversing so that the mid height is no extremely high, creating a completely different letter form. Before getting into letters, I suggest you to practice all these warm up exercises and anatomy before drawing letters. Make your foundations strong. This is the key to become a good hand lettering artist 5. Standard Letterforms: next, I'm going over creating an alphabet and practicing those letters to create all letters. If you can get the basics of these forms here and the movements of the brush than any letter is possible, I usually start with the letter I and work out the thickness, direction and the degree of the angle. It is important to keep these strokes consistent here with E. M. I am mimicking the I in both thickness and the angle. So when coming up on the M, I go for a contrast ing thin line with light pressure. Same again with the U. It mimics the I and M, starting with the slight curve to the right, going down with pressure and coming up lightly with a circular curve and then starting from the top again, as if to create another I, the O should be as if it is the eye but warped into 1/2 circle. So going down, applying pressure, coming around to the bottom, easing off the pressure and then once ah, the top half of the pressure coming back around the circle with a little flick to connect to the next letter. The A is the same I am creating the first half of the previous Oh, and then coming around and finishing with an I focusing on trying to get those letters all the same angle and thickness. This is what will make your letters look. The best consistency and the relationship of letters to one another is important. The letter I've created here are from two shapes on Lee an eye and a C semi circle. Each letter has its own feature to draw. Ah, perfect letter To understand that feature is important based on those shapes, I'm creating an alphabet, focusing on just using the two shapes really looking at the angle and thickness. I am showing you all the letters one by one so that you can understand and practice them. I will also share a practice sheet, which will be helpful in your warm ups and practicing letters. Use them to trace. Tracing will be a good exercise for you. Follow the path and train your hand for that movement. Grab the practice sheet for this exercise. I am using a medium brush pen so that I can really get some clean lines, and a lot of control on lightbox really comes in handy for copying worksheets. Here I am really going slow as I can to achieve the same curves and lines as the sheep below as I start each letter pushing down hard and lightly and then hard when the pen is going down. When coming back up really lightly, pushing to get that thin line you can practice in the same way I am doing this is, ah, great way to understand the shape of each letters and master them. Just go nice and slow. Keep focusing on the thick, down and thin upward lines. No need to rush. The uppercase M is a tricky one, with lots of changes in pressure while curving the entire time. Focus on this one. Most styles of brush lettering have thick an thin nature. This is done by applying more pressure on the downward stroke while lifting. As you come up the letter forming a contracting thin line. It's all about thick and thin lines and getting a nice contrast between your strokes. You're done. Practice makes perfect. Do this a couple of times 6. Custom Lettering A Quote: here. I'm going to go over how I create a quote piece from sketching to the final brushstrokes with all my pieces. I like to start with a pencil very lightly. I start sketching out the basic flow of the piece where the letter should sit and how they loop into each other, work on the composition and follow the anatomy of type as beginner. Use guidelines. Keep your hands movement free. Draw the letters instead of writing them while creating composition, it is important to focus on spacing and placement of each type. I am happy with that placement. Next, I will convert thes skeletons into shapes. I like to go over with a pencil a second time to work out how thick and where I want the thick and thin lines to go. Maintain the consistency. At this stage, the thickness, angle and curves should look consistent, otherwise it will result in bad composition. I am linking up each letter to one another and varying the baseline heights, giving it a really organic feel. That's how you break the rules, be creative and be experimented in your approach. The more you experiment, the more you will develop your new skills and your own style. Okay, Next, I'm going over with just a black marker. Fast. I think doing this part rough and fast gets the flow and curves of the letters for me. Lee, really natural. After this step, I will refine this artwork again to make it final. I am working on consistency throughout this artwork. For now, I am just doing really rough movements here and along the way. I am making sure the angles and curves of the letters match one another. And the thickness is the same time to trace. Here I am using a soft, refillable ink brush. This gives the quote more free, less confined, thicker look and feel. With my left hand securing the paper, I start slowly working on that thick start and thin curve of the B. Here I am really focusing on consistency of the pressure you can see here. The letters are all the same thickness on where the brush goes down and the thinness where it comes up and joins to the next letter. Here I am going to go for a controlled thinner look and feel by using a medium brush pen. I have to push harder with this pen to achieve thickness. Once again, it's the same thickness on the letters going down, applying more pressure for thickness and coming up using off pressure around curves. The difference on how the peace can look is in the selection of the pen. The two have different thicknesses and up close. The first free piece has rough little bumps from the ink and organic, while the thin control is clean lines, giving it a more sophisticated finish. That's why I keep on recommending to experiment with your style and the tools you use. These can make lots of difference in us an artist. 7. Class Project: for project, you're going to create a composition from any of your favorite phrase. This class was all about foundation used, the basics and techniques taught in the class to be a good ham lettering artists. It is mandatory to understand and have good control on basics of hand lettering. Share your projects in the project section. The delivery bubbles of the project are images showing your initial phrase and then final phrase after refinements. You will want to share your project so that everyone can see it like it and give advice on them accordingly. As a skill share teacher. Personally, I just can't wait to see your projects. I'm excited to see which frees you chose and how you creatively designed that phrase. This project is a great way to practice and strengthen your basics. You can take your time in practicing the basics so warm up exercise, and when you start feeling confident, you can start the project. I've divided all the lessons and exercises in a way that will be easy to follow and to practice. The project can take up to a day, or maybe 2 to 3 days. It totally depends on how much time you want to give in practice and do the project. I would suggest you give more time in practice all the warm up exercises, because once you are confident with your strokes, the project will not take much time. So complete the project and publish it in the class gallery for others to get jealous and get my feet back by.