Brushpen Lettering Techniques: For Beginners | Sheila B | Skillshare

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Brushpen Lettering Techniques: For Beginners

teacher avatar Sheila B, Letterer + Maker

Watch this class and thousands more

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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 (33m)
    • 1. Class Intro

    • 2. Tools & Supplies

    • 3. How To Hold & Practice

    • 4. Uppercase Letters

    • 5. Lowercase Letters

    • 6. Writing & How To Practice It

    • 7. Creative Lettering & Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Welcome to Brushpen Lettering Techniques: For Beginners with me!

Here you will learn both basic brushpen lettering techniques and fun new ways to use your brushpens for creative lettering and calligraphic works. I will give you a fast paced and easy to follow kind of look into my favorite types of brushpens and how to use them properly.

Brushpens like any other medium, can be intimidading at first. But I promise I will keep trying with new classes to make it easy and fun for you. Once you take the first steps, you will be surprised with the results that you get. So join in, and lets get started. 

This class will also work as a foundation for my brushpen classes that you will witness in this journey. I wanted to give you the perfect start at it. You can follow along and get started right now!

You can find the practice sheet here: Practice Sheet For Brush Lettering


Background music for intro by BENSOUND.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sheila B

Letterer + Maker


I love doing calligraphy, lettering, illustrations and making things.

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1. Class Intro: hi, long time ago, I started using brush pens for my lettering works, although I use other mediums to brush pens became one of my favorites. Lettering with them regularly improved my skills and practical understanding of this medium . Brush pens are easy to use and equally easy to access. I am here to share the tips, tricks and a pathway to learn this tool. I'd love to share my skills here with you. Enrolling in this class will give you access to fast paced lessons and exercises where I will teach you what are the different tools and brush pens, how to use them and how to follow some practice exercises to learn how these things work and how to write with a brush pin. You will also get a practice sheet to help you learn different letter forms along the way. Enroll in and get started with freshman lettering. 2. Tools & Supplies: said. Let's start this journey by taking a look at some of the tools you will be using while doing brush man lettering. We'll need a mechanical pencil or a simple pencil and eraser to sketch rough work. You can use any regular mechanical pencil and eraser that is available to you. Now I'll show different kinds of brush pens and markers. This 1st 1 is a classical brush pen. It's a middle sized cura. Talk, a zig pen, and it's good for bigger and thicker lettering things you can find this easily on Amazon or any artist. Artists shop around you if you can't find this one, then uses any similar brush pens with similar tip. Next one is a Sharpie pen, and I really like this one because you can easily write letters and beautiful calligraphy is with this pen. This is a must have tool for a hand lettering artist. 3rd 1 is a classical stub. ILO marker the sizes between 1.5 and 2.5 millimeters. 4th 1 is a really beautiful brush pen with a quite long ending, which is quite good for lettering pictures. I'll use this during this class and the last one is another marker with the same size of the previous one, except that the name is a lot softer, which gives more flexibility to your lettering style but makes it tough to control at the same time. Finally, we will need a paper that is not too thick. The best quality is around 1 50 grams per meter or more for brush lettering. It's not going to bleed, but for practicing, you can use any regular paper. Now I will demonstrate how these pens work so that you should also understand their differences and where you should use some. Let me show you the different test strokes. You can see how these results in different line thickness and flow. It's in the same order of the brush pens. The 1st 1 is a classical brush pen, but you can write thin up strokes as you can see on the example stroke that I have drawn here. The Sharpie is a bit tougher, but you can easily use it for lettering. The reason is it's tip, but it's a great tool for Lederer's, and you can find it everywhere. The third marker is not the best for calligraphy ease but you can write with it easily. The brush when is the best because of the long ending. It's beautiful for invitation cards or simple lettering pictures. You will see me using this one in later classes, too, and the last one is another marker, but you can that use it easier than the previous one. These are the tools I will use for this class. Having good tools makes it easy for you to master these techniques, but if you can't find specific ones than get anything which makes you feel comfortable, I would like you to get the feeling of how to control these tools. For that will practice few strokes and lines to get used to brush pens. It's like learning alphabets before you learn any other language. 3. How To Hold & Practice: now, Once you have the tool of your choice, you can start getting your hands dirty. As a beginner, you may face frustration of not being able to control it properly, or the letter forms are not as great as you would have thought of. That's because your hands are used to normal writing techniques, and using brush friends is completely different thing. For better control and precision over the handling of brush friends, you can follow a practice routine, which involves a few minutes of practice exercises. Every day. You could start by doing some strokes and warm ups. Then you could try some letter forms and words. This way you will gain control on tool of your choice much faster than before, so we're going to practice the basics before we start writing a whole word. These are the first steps of brush lettering. They're easy to follow, and you could practice along practice with me while watching this class to get most out of it. So as I showed you earlier, I'm going to use this brush pen for my calligraphy. You can hold the pen in around 45 degrees, so it works the same as a simple pen or marker. You can vary how you hold the pen to change the style of the lettering that you're doing. First, I'm going to draw simple strokes to feel how to use this brush. Man. You can buy a cheaper one for practicing, and when you will be good enough, you can buy a little more expensive pen. You just have to hold the pen easily and push consistently a bit harder until you reach the end of the line. Practice it two or three times at least, and move on to the next step only. If you're comfortable at this stage and just practice more and more. Don't worry. If it's not beautiful, as's the first attempt, it will be good later. Now I'll show you how to practice the thinner lines. You just have to touch the paper gently with the tip of the brush pen. And don't push too hard. Initially, it will be harder for you to control the pressure. But as you keep on practicing, you will master the skill. Soon. When you're ready with these practicing lines, you can write curvy ones. This is the next drill. Jump to this part after getting comfortable with the previous drill. This way you can practice how to push the pen at down strokes, end up strokes, and when you reach the end of your curvy line, hold up a little bit of the tip of the brush pen and push it gradually at the down strokes and repeat it at least three times. Try to create different curves with various thicknesses and do deliver it Practicing now all draw lines and strokes that are similar to the letter I S and N E. These are good for practicing the continual writing. This way you try different types of curves. Another important thing is this speed of writing. Here you can see the difference between slow and foster writing. Obviously, you can see the second strokes are really ugly, so you have to find a fine median of this speed. You don't need to hurry. Just draw your lines gently and this is an artistic work. You have to keep practice in your work and give your work the time it requires. Then, on Lee, the results will be beautiful. And when you work on so many letters like I e. C, then it is recommended to take a pause between the letters. As you can see, I am taking pauses between the letters and write just one at a time. Otherwise, the structure that you will create will be ugly. While you create these letter forms, Keep in mind night you treat each letter as an individual. Don't try to write a word without lifting your brush. Man, writing each letter on its own also gives you the freedom to space out your letters as you wish. And don't forget to include your ligatures when you write your letters. Ligatures are the little flicks that allows you to join your letter with the next letter. If you find it difficult to draw ligatures, then use your pencil to see in details how these ligatures work in different letter forms and words, and then try to practice it with the brush pen. Try to practice with different letter forms, style and do see famous artists work and observe their style and how they go for their design projects. These will help you enhancing your skills as a Lederer. Now here I drew something similar to writing, and you can see the 2nd 1 is not so pretty. I drew the lines too fast and hold the pen. Wrong, said their little ugly lines. These are a few cute details that you will have to practice, like how to hold your brush pen, creating different types of strokes curves, creating different pressure. Finally, there is one more thing that you should practice well, starting out, which is flourishing even when you have mastered how to use brush friends. It's still very good warm of exercise before doing any creative lettering work, and this is a classical one. You can push a bit harder at the down strokes and gently at the up strokes, and here's another one. You can see that the first to become really wavy because I drew them too fast and hold the pen incorrectly. When he draw the strokes gently and slowly, it will be beautiful. Try your hands out it and give yourself some time in practices sessions to master these skills 4. Uppercase Letters: Now you know how to use your brush pen. It's time to practice how to draw letters, and we're going to start with uppercase letters. It's easier than lower case letters because of less curves and letter forms. First thing to remember is that you always hold your pen in 45 degrees, as I showed earlier and start drawing the strokes gently. Don't forget down. Strokes are thick and up. Strokes are thin. Keep it slow and work on quality and consistency of strokes. Star with some upper case letters. First, few simple alphabets. Use your imagination, and you can complete the letters with simple, thin lines. And don't worry if it's not that beautiful. First attempts just write down the letters three times, at least, and it's going to work and then move on to the next letters. You can see at Letter B that you can write the whole letter from one line but off course. Take a pause if you feel like it's not going to work and can result into something wavy or ugly, and you can add a little ending line whenever you write a letter. I drew a nice one at the end of Letter D. It's going for continual writing. Just maintain the same thickness for both up strokes and down strokes. Start the lines gently and push a bit harder constantly until you reach the end of the down shrugs. Then hold the tip of your pen and draw thin lines for the up strokes and repeated again. Try to work on strokes and pressure. When you have control on that, you can do any type of Cala graphic work here. I will show you all the letters in upper case form. It'll be easier for you to understand and observe here how I'm going to work on curves and pressure work on each unique profile in each letter forms. For better understanding, try practicing different styles of upper case letters. The more you explore the letter forms, the more you will understand them and create them with perfection. It is not so hard to work with brush friend lettering. You just have to give the time, dedication and the effort what time it will become easy for you make a habit to draw something on a daily basis. In this way, you will practice new style every day. Go to be hands or instagram and select an artist's work. Try to copy their style or their letter forms. Copy them just for learning purpose. And this will help you in learning how to very different tiny details for a completely different results. You can't succeed by copping anyone's design, but toe learn a skill. You can study them, and then you can use that in your own way. That will also help you understand this medium much better and quickly. At the end of the day, it's your hand in style that will make you unique and a winner. So when you have finished your upper case, A, B and C practice it at least two or three times to feel the vibe of brush lettering, if you're ready, will continue with the lower case letters. 5. Lowercase Letters: so the next thing and the most important one is the lower case alphabets. It's going to be similar, like the upper case letters, but you have to be aware of way venous and too much thick lines. It will be curvy er than the upper case letters. Start learning how to draw simple letters. I'll start with simple A. The method is the same. Push a bit harder constantly for the down strokes and hold up the tip of your pen a little bit at the up strokes. When you are practicing different letter forms, don't worry if you can't see great results to practice well, start by doing really thick down strokes and really thin up strokes like barely touching the paper. This way, you will train your eyes and hands to work this way, then work on decreasing that gap for different letter forms. You can start with thin lines. It's up to you. Which starting point is easier for you? I like to use this process because the letters will be nice with these lines. Leave a little ending line at the end of your letter. Like I showed at the upper case letters the same method will be followed for all letters here, I will show you the problem with thicker lines. If you don't hold and push your pen right, you're going to draw ugly strokes and the empty part of letter E will disappear. You can see that the second letter is the correct one, because the most important part of E is visible. It's crucial toe. Hold your pen firmly and use it gently. You will have to practice thes things and do it perfectly to grow yourself as lettering. Artist. These small things create the difference between a good letter and a great letter. Let's continue with F G eight i and J. As an artist, it is very crucial that you travel a lot. Start observing things. It will keep yourself open to new creativity, and your brain will start thinking new things. Build a habit to continuously practice your brush lettering. It could be 30 minutes daily, but it should be regular as your hand eyes and brain needs to be trained. You will be so much more confident after just a few weeks in the way you let her just give yourself a dedicated time to practice progress. comes from getting comfy with your brush and paper and doing the work here I am drawing letter K. The letter K is a bit tough because you have to take care of the same problem as with letter E. The empty part will be invisible if you don't hold up the tip of your pen enough, the more you practice regularly, your letters will flow easily and gracefully by building up muscle memory. It is important, though, that you enjoy your creative freedom. You should create letters in the way you like. Use your imagination, and it will help you in achieving your unique style of lettering. Let's continue with em and oh P, Q. R, S, T, U and V. You should practice then and thick strokes. They're so important to create letter forms. Practicing the OH formation is also important, as it's a basis for many other letters, such as D A or G. After you've got hold of creating up and down strokes, you could practice using them in different words. Now, here I am, creating letter W here, the problem is the same. Take care of thicker lines. The second letter is the correct one leave enough space for the empty parts, finished a lowercase letters and repeated at least two or three times and repeat it until you are not comfortable with your brush pin. 6. Writing & How To Practice It: Once you're midway of this learning path, start writing some continual phrases. This will keep you motivated, and you gained feedback from your friends and family about your brush. Friend Learnings draw some phrases using basic techniques after doing warm ups and exercises. For that, you need to learn how to draw letters forms continually with uniformity. I'm going to start with Letter A that transitions into letter B in the previous sections. We practice the ending lines, too, so it will be easier to transition each. Letters always take a break between letters to avoid wavy and ugly lines. Let's continue with the word egg and fall. I am showing this word because it contains alphabets, E and G, which are so waving curvy. The word fall will be another example that I want you to understand right slowly or else it'll be ugly and unattractive. If you write the letters faster, you can see in egg and fall. I'm taking a pause between every alphabets, and it is important when you are starting out. In the next example, I'm writing fall because this time I will not take any pause so that you can understand the difference. You can see that I wrote the second word too quickly and didn't take a break. So it's not the best looking. It became wavy and a bit unclear, So the 1st 1 is the right one. Now I will write the word egg in the same way, and you can see how it is degraded by the first example word EG. The flow is not too attractive, so you must take a pause after writing each alphabet. Now I will continue with the word hold. I'm trying to maintain the flow of the lettering and keep it consistent throughout the alphabets. At the up strokes of the letter, I you can see that I hold up the pen too early, so it's too thin. Take care of that. With little variations, you can work on different styles of brush lettering. The 1st 1 is a classical and simple calligraphy. This is the most common way of lettering. The 2nd 1 is a bit more playful, and you can enlarge the upper parts of your letters. This way you create different mood for your lettering works. The 3rd 1 is a full cursive style. I suggest you write it a bit more slowly like the previous ones because it can be wavy at the up strokes. This is more of artistic version of the same letters in the last one is where the letters don't transition to each other. They're separated, but the writing is complete. These are a few types of styles in brush pen lettering. You can stick with them or create your own style by giving personal touch to it. You can see an example of speeding. I picked the letter F to show the right pace of writing. The first letter is beautiful because I didn't jaw the lines fast, unlike the 2nd 1 which I wrote to slowly. So it's really wavy and not so pretty. Practice continuous writing at least two times, and you can continue with the rest of the stuff. 7. Creative Lettering & Final Thoughts: we are at the final stage of this class in this section will use all of our learning and do creative project. This will align your learnings with real world projects. So let's continue with a complete phrase I selected Be your own kind of beautiful start by writing it down. You can choose any other phrase to write, or it can be any other written work. As I demonstrated earlier, we need a mechanical or simple pencil and an eraser for sketching. I'm going to sketch my phrase first, because I don't know yet. Weirdo add flourishing and little decorations around my sentence. This step is crucial to understand the style and spacing before we design it. With brush Ben, I start from top to bottom and write the phrase first. At this stage, you can edit any spacing, consistency and any other errors as it is written with pencil, you can use your imagination and bravely add more starting and ending lines to your words and position them where you think it's going to fit. You can use any theme or mood to get inspired and use that theme or mood to create your design. I don't use ruler because I want this to be irregular and playful. There could be many different ways of creating designs, and as a designer, it is your creative freedom to explore those different ways here. Don't worry. If you don't know where to position your letters, try and sketch them, and if you find it wrong, just easily race and draw it again. You can enlarge and reduce some letters and play with the words. Try to take a break between letters like you write it with your plan. Practice creative simple artworks using brush been lettering in your way to mastering these techniques. Now I see that the starting line of the letter K is perfect to continue the word beautiful . So I try to position close enough to sketch a lovely line between them. You can try connecting different alphabets, or you can use flourishes to decorate your lettering. Here I can extends lines of K and be to connect with ornaments and adding few more ornamentation elements to make design more appealing, I find the ending line of the word own very nice, so I will extend it and make it curvy. Er, adding these flourishes will always enhance your design, and it helps in balancing the overall look of the design, and it adds more humanly look to the design. It also balances empty spaces around your design. I add some lines here to complete the right side of my phrase. When you refine the sketch and you're happy with it, you can start working with your brush pen practicing brush. Ben lettering in this way will help you stay on track, and this will also boost your confidence. While starting out with brush pens, it's important to be study and slow, and you can also start with a warm up session. To get an understanding of how these brush pens work, you need to feel how the tip moves and behaves to get most out of this medium. One. Brush lettering. Make sure you're down. Strokes are all consistently angled. Use more pressure, and the down strokes are the thick parts of the brush lettering and try to hold the pen to the nib. When making up strokes, it will give you a thinner line. Make all of your abs strokes with very light pressure. The up strokes are the thin parts of brush lettering on Also, any crossbar strokes should be made with light pressure. These are the basic instructions to follow, but the most important thing is that you should feel comfortable at what you dio and don't forget. Write it down slowly and you can add some more details through rewriting if you like. Lastly, work on details of your artwork. It will make a difference in your overall process. Lastly, when you are finished, you can erase the pencil lines. So this is how you work with brush pens with lots of practice session. You will eventually feel like you don't need these pencil lines. But even for doing compositions, these are a great way to do such works. So here it issue can start by working on your project. After understanding each of the letter forms and how it works, you could use the practice sheet you're getting with this class to practice on it. Once you're comfortable with your choice of brush pens, choose a phrase and start working on it in your own style. That's it. I hope you have learned about how to get started with brush pins and thanks to you all for taking my classes, wishing you will have great fun with brush pen lettering, and you can use them in creating various projects. If you have any doubts related to how to do these stuff or anything related to this class, feel free to ask me. I have designed the class project in a way that you can apply everything learned in this class. So for your class project, you have to showcase the use of brush been lettering by writing and designing your own custom lettered phrase. You can be creative and fresh relative to color, style and decoration. Use everything that you have and be creative and work on details. To understand it. Better upload your beautiful projects and I can't wait to see it. Leave your feedback in the community or discussion, and you can also leave a review for this class in Casey. Feel it was helpful to you. Till then. Keep practicing and have fun with this project. Don't feel intimidated the first time by