Brush Lettering Made Simple | Type Stuff | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Brush Lettering Made Simple

teacher avatar Type Stuff, Art Director & Type Junkie

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

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

12 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Getting to know your Pens | Part 1

    • 3. Getting to know your Pens | Part 2

    • 4. Guidelines | Part: 1

    • 5. Guidelines | Part: 2

    • 6. Drawing Letters

    • 7. Writing

    • 8. Breaking the Rules | Part: 1

    • 9. Breaking the Rules | Part: 2

    • 10. Project Example | Part: 1

    • 11. Project Example | Part: 2

    • 12. Practice

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this 30(ish) minute class we’ll be breaking down Brush Lettering and making it easy for you to learn! We'll go over guidelines, strokes, practice stokes, pen pressure, and how to break all of these rules to create your own style. By the end of this class we will be creating our very own brush lettered frameable piece of art! :)

These are the pens I use in this class:



If you want to have a reference like the booklet to work off of, many of these practice patterns can be found with a simple search. "calligraphy practice drills" We're trying to mimic the calligraphy look, so always look for calligraphy references, not fauxlligraphy.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Type Stuff

Art Director & Type Junkie


Get your type kits at

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro: My name is Andrea. I'm an art director and letter for most Salvador, based in Miami. I've been doing brush lettering for a couple of years now, and since I've been posting them on social media, I got a lot of questions from people. The most common questions are all about first lettering and how to get into it, the tools and all that. So I decided to create a class based on a little booklet that I created all brush letter. In this class, we're going to cover everything from the beginning steps to creating a final peace. If you want to learn the very basics of drawing letter, such as techniques, tools, anatomy, you can take my other class fundamentals of drawing letters. But in this class, we're going to be focusing on brush lettering on Lee. By the end of this class, you'll have a strong understanding off brush lettering and what you have to do to create a beautiful piece. As I'm sure many of you have seen before. A lot of lettering artists create these beautiful all those minimalistic designs with a catchy phrase or a fun little quote, and they saw them is prints on their stores. So that's gonna be our project for this class. We're going to be lettering, our very own piece. 2. Getting to know your Pens | Part 1: step one is getting to know your brush pens. This is one of the most important steps because you have to feel comfortable with the toy you'll be using for a while. I have to go to brush. Size is the 1st 1 is a larger brush tip, and that is the tumble worker. I usually use that one when I'm labeling envelopes that are so I need to take up a lot more state so it's easier to draw with a tumble marker. Whenever I'm shipping my little books in these envelopes, I'd like to use my tumble marker to label them. If I were to use a smaller tip, it would take me forever to create a larger piece because the brush tip it's so small. I also use my tumble markers for bigger pieces. So if in the project you want to use a big a sheet of paper and create a big poster like design, you might want to use your Tombaugh marker because you'll have to take up a lot of space. In contrast, the smaller brush tip I use it for lettering, smaller envelopes for creating smaller pieces that don't need me to take up so much space now that you know what each brush tip for, you need to start practicing the strokes. And this is when you really start to see what the difference are between the two pens. I've gotten a lot of questions about how to control the contrast in your letters. The easiest way to actually practice it is to go really drastic. Start doing your up strokes really, really thin. Almost have to barely touch your pun, your paper. And then when you do your down stroke, really press down on your pen. As you start working, start trying to get to a middle point and you'll start to understand a little bit better how much pressure you need to do when you're doing up strokes and don strokes. To really understand the difference between the two pens, you have to do a practice stroke. So if you see here, the's help, you practice up strokes and down, stroke down strokes and then transitioning into curbed shame. This is very helpful when you're doing use ends, and this is also very helpful for controlling that upstroke down strict transition and then finally thes are good for when you're curving your brush or sees for ease. For else 3. Getting to know your Pens | Part 2: you start thing thick. 10 thin, I think in I think thing. 10. You'll start seeing that automatically. You start making things a lot smaller with this pen because brushed it is a lot smaller. So when you start holding your pen, hold it around here. The lower third of your pen. Let it wobble a little bit, moving like that in your hand and then hold it lightly. Don't do this. Don't do this. Don't do this When you start doing euros, start with the down stroke transition into the upstroke. Start with the down stroke transition into the upstroke. Practice the down, stroke up, stripped down, stroke upstream, downstream. Forbes Trip. When you feel like you're starting to lose the thick and thin press down hard, go lately. Press down hard. Go like when I was starting out. It was a lot easier for me to control that. My strokes with the Pressman color barker because the brush tip is a lot smaller, so the contrast was a lot easier to achieve. If you're starting out and you struggle with the Tom bow, try out the person of color pen. Here you'll start seeing that you have to open up when you're doing this transition. Don't do it like this because you start to fray Your tip. When I'm starting to do these without warming up my hand, they still come out a little wobbly. It doesn't matter how experienced or not, you're It always helps to warm up your hand. Before you start working, you go down. Stroke, stroke, stroke. Try to do it in the same motion without lifting up your pen. This will help you transition from letter to letter. Eventually, we'll talk about moving from letter to letter within the same stroke, So this will help you out a lot for this one. You start out thick and then you think this is really hard, but it really does help you gain control of the pressure you put in your fix. Intends. I really recommend doing this one. If you're struggling with fixing things and how much pressure you need to put in your pen to create a thick struck and thin strips, you'll start seeing that your hands will start getting a little bit tired. I've seen along. These are good for for drawing little curves and knowing how to control your six and sends when you're doing occurred, and you probably don't be able to get through all of these at the same time because your hand really does start to get a little bit tired. We'll upload these in the class so you can refer back to them. 4. Guidelines | Part: 1: the second step is knowing how to set your guidelines. I've noticed that a lot of people, when they're starting out, they struggle with setting the composition of their phrases. Thes guidelines will help you know where to place their letters, help you set the spacings between the letters between your margins and just give you a better idea of how to create your composition. So let's start out. The 1st 1 is the baseline. The baseline is where your letters will sit whenever I'm talking. I always mentioned this as the D centerline. It's not called the dissenter line. What the dissenter line really is is another line under the baseline that tells you where the tales of your letters will go. This is the Ascender line. This is where the top part of the letters will go. And then sometimes I even set an X height. The X height is the height of your lower case letters. If you're drawing the word hello, you would do something like this. You started your baseline. Your higher point goes to the Ascender than your X height will be. Where your h we'll go up to your elbows all the way to the top all the way to the top. And then the O goes down here. If you write something like, I don't know goats, I don't know why goat, but that's fright goat. So now you have an idea of how these lines work. This is the descend er, ascender baseline X height. So usually, when I'm working, I set up my guidelines with a pencil and remember to set them lightly. So it's easy for you to raise them afterwards when you're starting starting out something that does help a lot is making a little square, and within the square you can start setting your guidelines. Let's write, talk overly big. Let's will go around here so these are gonna be our line, and then this is gonna be about it. When you're using brush pens, you really don't need to sketch out when you're practicing. But if you want to set up your composition and you want to create a piece that you'll put some time behind it, of course, sketch it out before you dry 5. Guidelines | Part: 2: So let's write Taco here. Your letter will end here at the Ascender and at the baseline we have our Oh, I almost forgot my ex height and then we'll end it here. Well, right. Let's here. We're gonna make it a little bit bigger. Also, these lines, you should not follow them if it doesn't feel right. For example here, I don't think this word should be a lot bigger than how I wrote it. So if you feel like you're lines are too big, don't follow them. But at least it gives you a guide. For example, here I try to keep the border between my line in my letters. Pretty consistent. Now, wouldn't you go to your brush pen? Try to follow those as much as you can. Remember that when you're practicing, you don't need to do this step. But when you're starting out and you want to practice in your composition, I get this question a lot about how do I improve on my composition? The best way is to start with pencil and set up your words with guidelines. That way it all works as one single element, something that helps when you're doing that these letters is Do your doctor down strokes first, and this way it helps know how big to make all of them. What helps me a lot when doing thes horizontal lines Whenever you have any line that goes hard core simply, I like to turn my paper and just drag my my arm and now all you do is you race your guidelines and you're good to go. 6. Drawing Letters : next step is drawing letters. In this booklet, I have two different alphabets. As you'll see, I have this one. I have this one in upper case and I have this one that's a little bit more curly. I'm gonna do Ah, whole off of it. So you see how the brush is supposed to move throughout the letter. Try to do all of your alphabets and see which letters are your problem letters and try to practice those a little bit more. We start out with upstroke town stroke and then when you dio blind set, go horizontal. I like to tell my pain, so it's a little bit easier to control the line. - You can also do sans serif letters with brush pens. Just super cool, because when you combine a really intricate script design with the San Serif design, it looks really cool, especially if you are writing a longer phrase in your project. You can combine the the script within Sarah, and it looks really pretty, so that's a sansa of style. You see that it's very easy to do. Just keep in mind that you need to know your anatomy before you can do your letters quickly . If you want Teoh, learn how you can practice anatomy of letters. You can refer back to my class fundamentals of drawing letters, so it's really fun when you combine thes two alphabets in the same composition, these air just two different styles that you can use, but you can refer to any letters, work any font, any style and try to mimic that with your brush paints. 7. Writing: now we can finally rate something. I know you probably already started writing stuff, but whatever. After you've done your alphabets, now you can start writing your words. I know it sucks and having to write words with the letters you can't to. When I was learning, I would avoid using the the letters I couldn't right. But it only helps if you do whatever it teach people lettering in person. Ah, lot of people struggle with joining the words. I see a lot of this, and this is a very important thing. You shouldn't do. Do a thick struck when you go up. This is something else that you shouldn't do separating your letters. Um, this to try to keep your letters together. Whenever you have a t, give it some space, because here you won't be able to do your crossbar. So we should be doing something more like this. So see, let it flow. You can practice with words that have a lot of ends. And when you were doing your alphabet, if you see that you were struggling with a specific letter, try repeating that over and over and over again. So, for example, I struggled with my end. There was one end that I did that wasn't right. So here, that's already grown because end, it goes down and we're going to write notes. No, that's right. So now if we take all the stuff we've learned so far, we can create a little phrase. Let's make stuff we're gonna right, Let's hear in a sans serif make here in a script and stuff here. So let's do the smaller letters with the Christmas color pen. Yeah, what's to make here? It's spring. These things we keep the the stuff down here, it's gonna look like it's too far apart from Make. I do the down strokes for all the work. And then I do the horizontal line. E told me Page, have a better control of my horse on tolling. So see now we've combined the sansei air with script. If you want to clean up your lines, you can do so slowly with your brush. And now what we do is we just raise this even this. If we got a really nice circular frame, cut it to shape and then put it in there, it would look really pretty 8. Breaking the Rules | Part: 1: Now, the next step is to break the rules, take everything I've said and do whatever you want. Um, not really. But when it comes to the guidelines with the letters, try your own style. Don't limit yourself to the guidelines. Try doing swash is swirls. Whatever you want to find different ways of drawing your letters. And in this lesson, I'm gonna talk a little bit about the things I like to do to break the rules. So, for example, how can we break the rules? If we take the guidelines, we would usually write like this, trying to get the lines touch our baseline. Now we can do this. Me too. So now what we can do is have a little bit more fun with where the letters set. So, for example, we can do so. This already looks a lot more fun, Thani. Thetis. More serious. Hooray for words where you want to put more motion in them, have them look more organic. You can do this. I have your guidelines. Always. So you know how much you want to go up or down. You don't wanna have no idea where you're going. You could end up with something like that's too much. In my opinion, you need a little bit more guidance, especially when you're starting to break the rules to know how much you want to play with your letters. Another thing that you can do. For example, if you know that you like to make your K like this, try Eddings. A couple of swash is before and afterwards. I know this might look like a lottery now, but you can do whatever you want, Shin, and you could do whatever crazy stuff. 9. Breaking the Rules | Part: 2: in the little booklet. I have a couple of quick swash is that they like to do. I'm gonna recreate some of them. If you have something that I really like to do is if I have my G that I usually do it like this, I would do something like I'm adding a little swirl in the middle to make it a little bit fancier, and then you can touch them up. Now you're squiggly, more horizontal, and then you touch it up. If you want to make it thicker, you can make it thicker now so you can do whatever you want. See, now you start adding little swirls everywhere. Just play around reference. Different swash is that you can find online Google squashes worlds and just try mimicking them. The more you do, the more you'll understand where the line starts the line here, for example, and go backwards trying to see where the upstroke is, where the down stroke is, and that's how you can guide yourself a little bit with the swash is you get to play a little bit more with what you want. You're up shirts and Dow strokes to be If you don't want Europe stripped to be thin. You don't have to make it thin because you can go back in and make everything think if you want, just try to reference Swash is do them yourself and play around with it a little bit. 10. Project Example | Part: 1: another that you know, the whole process from setting your guidelines to drawing letters to putting them all together to breaking all the rules and all the things that you learned. You can start working on your final piece for the video. One of using regular paper. But you can use vellum, smooth Bristol and Bristol board with a little bit of texture. I prefer you saying the smooth Bristol Lord for rush lottery, but that's just a personal preference. I think it looks really nice. So get your paper, get your pens and figure out what you want to say. So I'm gonna have good night figure out how you want to arrange your four words. I wanted to be somewhere around the center, and I want it. Teoh have some sort of a border here. So I'm going to mark where I want to stop writing and all right. Good night. Yeah. Um and then my love is gonna go here. I'm going to be combining a script in San Serif. And the first time you draw something, do it in pencil. By now, you know how your letters are formed. So it's pretty much the same thing except he won't be thinking about thick and thins. See, now that I draw it out in pencil, I know that the words are too big for my page, so I'm gonna do them in two lines. So I'm gonna bring this down a little bit to integrate it with the nights. I think my basically from here and then here. Alright, my love. So that's pretty much what I want to do. I know that my friend is a little bit smaller than letter sized. So it doesn't matter if I have too much space here, depending on where you want to put your final piece. Think about that. So if I know that I have to cut off a little bit of the page, I can do it here and then my border. We will match eventually. So let's go ahead and start. Remember, when you're sketching, try to do it lightly. I've done it a little bit harder here, just so you are able to see it on camera. So let's start 11. Project Example | Part: 2: I also want my fixed to be a little bit thicker than they are right now. - You know, we have the night done now. I love with my small and that's it. All you do now is wait for it to dry. Erase your pencil marks. This is our final peace. Now that I have duly a heavy raised the pencil marks were really helped. The composition here was setting our guidelines. They changed a little along the way, and that's normal. I never feel like you have to stick to those guidelines and not break thumb. Do whatever feels right. And, as a little advice, tryto have all of your elements work as a single unit, at least when you're starting out. Keep everything working as a single element. If you had, if I would have written my love down here, it would have looked like two different elements in my composition, and it probably wouldn't have looked as nice. So when you're starting out, keep everything is one and make sure works as a whole and that's it. That's all you need to know. And now you can start doing your own project 12. Practice: So finally, of course, our last step is practicing Practice practice effective, and then when you're a little bit bored of practicing, practice a little bit more. If you're in the middle of a lecture of your in a meeting, take your little brush pen and to a couple of words, practice your upstream sounds. Drugs Practice those letters that you're struggling with, and you'll eventually start kneeling everything. If you can try to post your work online, try to get feedback from other people and just practice as much as you can. I can't stress this enough practice, but there is going to get a point where your lines aren't going to get any cleaner or sharper. And that sign There's always ways of cleaning up your strokes once you've done them. So if your hand is forever wobbly and there's nothing you can do about that because that's the way you were born, don't stress that you could still be a brush lettering artist, and it's fine. Um, just clean up your strokes afterwards, and it's and a song as you keep on practicing. Everything will be fine and you will be creating beautiful work. So start practicing If you have any questions, let me know in the discussions and I'm excited to see all of your projects.