Calligraphy for Beginners 3 – The Brush Pen Letters | Jackson Alves | Skillshare

Calligraphy for Beginners 3 – The Brush Pen Letters

Jackson Alves, Letterer, calligrapher and teacher, from Brazil

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13 Lessons (1h 9m)
    • 1. Trailer 1

      1:18
    • 2. Class 01 - Choosing your pen

      3:35
    • 3. Class 02 - Using your pen

      2:36
    • 4. Class 03 - Preparing the surface

      1:53
    • 5. Class 04 - Warming up exercises

      10:28
    • 6. Class 05 - The skeleton of italics

      1:56
    • 7. Class 06 - The miniscules

      14:12
    • 8. Class 07 - The capitals

      13:13
    • 9. Class 08 - The numbers

      3:06
    • 10. Class 09 - The words

      7:35
    • 11. Class 10 - The basic swashes

      7:35
    • 12. Class 11 - Conclusion

      0:57
    • 13. Next Steps

      0:51
24 students are watching this class

About This Class

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Calligraphy for beginners is a three class sequence for anyone who wants to start studying calligraphy. This is the final part of that sequence.

This class is about writing Brush Letters. Brush letters are a more freehand style than Italics or Foundational Hand, and there is a lot more freedom and wiggle room when writing in this style compared to the others. Because of this, and to make the learning process easier and more consistent, we'll use the same skeleton from the last class, the Italic letters.

So, what are you waiting for? Your calligraphy isn’t getting any better just reading this text! Join me to finish honing your basic calligraphy skills so we can move on to really interesting stuff. ;)

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Transcripts

1. Trailer 1: What's up, guys? My name is Jackson Alves. I'm a Brazilian letterer and calligrapher, leaving in Curitiba, a city in the south of Brazil, where I run my own studio working for an international clients such as Heineken, Tiffany and Co. and Coca-Cola. Today I'm totally psyched to be coming back with my online calligraphy class number 3, the last part of a three class sequence called "Calligraphy for beginners." This class is about Brush letters. Brush letters are more freehand style, than italics or foundational hand. There is a lot more freedom and the wiggle room when writing these style compared to the others. Because of this, and to make it the learning process easier and more consistent, we use the same skeleton from the last class, the "Italic letters''. So what are you waiting for? Your calligraphy isn't getting any better just to watch this trailer. Join me to finishing honing your base calligraphy skills so we can move on to the really interesting stuff. 2. Class 01 - Choosing your pen: I'm assuming have you watched my other two classes in the calligrapher for beginner sequence. If something sounds weird or unfamiliar to you, it might be a good idea to go back and review those lessons. I waiting for you right here. Oh, are you back? Wonderful. Let's rock and roll. In this class, we can't use that handmade calligraphy pen we made on the first place. For this brush letters, we need a tip similar to a pointed brush or even a real pointed brush. Remember, the right tool for the right job. You can always use that amazing handmade pen for other style I've taught you. Let me show you a few pens that I recommend for this class. The feel of the pen or brush is really important with brush lettering and different instruments have different spring to them. You will have to experiment to find the best one for your style. These are some of my top recommendations and their characteristics. Crayola, actually, this isn't a true brush pen because it doesn't have a flexible tip. But some people like to use this because you can emulate the brush effect. With this pen, instead of applying pressure for a thicker strokes, you have to tilt it like this. Tombow, I strongly recommend this pen for our class. It's sold at most every art supply store in Brazil and USA. The felt tip is good for beginners since it's nice and firm and easy to control, but there is one downside. The felt tip of this pen, will start to fray after awhile. When that happens, it's time to get a new pen. A frayed tip won't produce the thin strokes that you want. Copic Sketch, similar to the Tombow, but with a more slightly durable felt tip. You can refill this pen and buy a new tip when it starts to fray. Watercolor, waterbrush, normally used for watercolor work. You can fill it with watercolor ink and use it as a brush pen. I love this kind of pen because you can write with it all the time and the tip never frays, as it's made of synthetic bristles. The bad news is that, it requires more pressure control to produce constant lines. Pentel brush pen, very similar to the watercolor brush, but this pen already comes with a ink cartridge. It's the number 1 pen that I use for brush lettering. However, it requires more precisely pressure control, but you can replace the ink cartridge. Pointed brush, the most traditional brush made with natural animal hairs or synthetic bristles. Just like the other brush, it requires more control to achieve the desired effect and you will also need to dip the brush into the ink constantly. I recommend you guys using the Tombow brush pen in this class, but feel free to use another if you want to. 3. Class 02 - Using your pen: There's no secret to use a brush pen. The ink dries fast and also flows automatically. Try to keep your pen capped when you're not using it, to avoid drying out the tip and ruining the pen. Grip the pen in a natural way, just like a pencil. Something like that. But to achieve better results, if you are looking for the high contrast letters, it's better to grip the pen like this. Because if our using a pen with a felt tip, like this Tombow, you can't achieve high contrast if you use it at 90 degrees angle like this. For example, if you use a pen like this, you can start with a thin stroke, but you can add just a little bit of pressure here. But if you grip your pen more like this, you can draw a thin line and also a thicker line, like this. I think it's the better way to grip the pen with a felt tip. To achieve high contrast, you need to use a brush pen with a bristled tip. For example, if you are using a Pentel brush pen like this one, you can use the pen like this, and also if you use the pen like this, in this way, you can also achieve high contrast like this one, thinner and thicker. But is only possible with this bristled tip. Also, for you lefties, I think using a brush pen might be a little bit better for you. You need to grip the pen like this. Lefties, if you need more guidance, I'll you publish some links especially for you in the class community forum. If you grip the pen like this, I'm not a lefty. Release the pressure. 4. Class 03 - Preparing the surface: About the paper. We are using thinner illustration sheets of paper, because we'll need to see through the paper to use the guidelines. You could also use a thicker sheet of paper, but for that, you need that light box, like this. Paper with a smooth surface is better for your Tombow brush pen. A textured surface will fray your tip prematurely, and no one likes a prematurely frayed tip. About the guidelines. We don't have rules about guidelines for brush pen, as we had in other classes. You need to test the contrast of the pen and make the guidelines based on that. This has a lot to do with your own personal feel. So write several letters and see what feels right for you. For example. So you need to check which one you think is better for your project. For example, I'd like to use this contrast here. So you take this as your new guideline. But for this class, we'll use the guidelines sheet I provided you on the class project. 5. Class 04 - Warming up exercises: We'll do some quick exercise to warm up our hand with the brush pen. First, let's get our straight lines right. Try to find the thinnest line you can create with your pen and repeat for at least one entire line. Take your pen, try to write the thinnest line and repeat again and again and again. Also, you can test here for example, if you go from down to up, or up to down. It doesn't matter. Just try to find a better way to draw the line. Complete the entire line and after that you need to apply medium pressure on your pen to make slight thicker lines and practice the straight lines for an entire line again. Try to find something like the medium pressure you can do with this pen, and repeat again and again and again. After that, try to find the thickest line you can by applying the most pressure you can without ruining the tip. Something like that. Repeat again and again and again. The entire line. Now for the next section, you start the line with a lot of pressure and reduce it gradually, as you come to the end, finishing with a thinner stroke. The results should be something similar to a very skinny triangle or a wedge. Something like that. You add the pressure, draw the line and go and release the pressure to this point, and again and again. Probably, in the first lines you'll do something like this. We need to try to find this point here. You should do something more like this. Also, if you try to do this very quickly, like this, it's a little easier, but to draw the letters better, it's nice to do this a little slowly like this. In this way, you can understand better about the pressure you're adding in the pen. Repeat again the entire line. Now let's do the opposite. Start with low pressure and adding pressure along the line. start with thin line and add the pressure, and again and again. Again, try to avoid a line, something like this. You go adding pressure here. Repeat again the entire line. In both cases, we try to do something like a triangle like this, and this case something like that. Next, let's make the base for the letter N, but before we do that, I need to explain something about thin and thick strokes. The structure of brush letters came from the copperplate style made with a metal flexible nib pen. When you are writing with a metal flexible nib, the only way you can add contrast to letters is by adding pressure on the downstrokes and releasing the pressure on the upstroke. Check this out. Now, when you are writing with the brush, it doesn't make a difference if you apply pressure on the downstrokes or on the upstrokes. It's all the same for brushes. You can do this. Like this, this, this. It doesn't matter. But to achieve a better more consistent design, we will follow the same rules as the metal flexible nib. Add the pressure on the downstrokes and release pressure on the upstrokes. The letter N, you start like this, adding pressure, and to going up,the upstrokes, you release the pressure and draw a thinner stroke, and when you're going down, you add the pressure again. Take care of this detail like this, for example, when you draw the downstrokes, if you stop here and try just to release the pressure, probably you'll start to do something like this. You can see here, the downstrokes are something like that. The thicker line. The thinner line you need to start from this side here. Or, when you stop the pen, probably you'll draw something like this. This space here is not enough to design a good letter so start from this point here, and then you draw something like this, and from this point add pressure again and draw something like this. Repeat again and again and again. Start to add the pressure, release the pressure. Add the pressure, release the pressure. Repeat again and again and again, the entire line. After that, we need to draw the letter U. A lot of them. The same rule here, start with pressure. In this point, release the pressure going up, and here add pressure again. You need to understand again that, first, this is the downstroke. You only release the pressure after this point, in the middle of the curve. From this part, you draw the thinner line, and after this point here, you start the downstroke to draw something like this. It's very important you draw the line until the top here in the guideline. Don't be lazy. Don't start like this, and try to draw the downstrokes because if you draw like this, probably you'll do something like this. It's very common, this problem in brush pen. If you check all the internet, a lot of people publishing works in brush pen, you can see that. This letter, but you can check this part here. The inner part of the letter, this space here, should be something like a triangle. You need to have this space here, and this space here. Not this one. This is wrong, and this is right. Don't be lazy. Draw the downstrokes adding pressure from this part. This part here, you will release the pressure and draw the upstrokes, and from this part add pressure and draw the downstrokes. We try to draw something like this, and something like this. 6. Class 05 - The skeleton of italics: As I mentioned before, we'll use the same skeleton as the Italic class. It's interesting to see that the same skeleton is used for two different styles. As I've already talked about this skeleton, the shapes are more similar to a triangle, than a circle, for example. So a kind of triangle. So, skeleton is not something like this, or like this. It's kind of triangle, and they use the same as skeleton, we used in the Italic with the flat nib. In the last class,we drew something like this. Now with the brush pen, the same skeleton but adding pressure on the down strokes, releasing pressure on the up stroke, and again and again. You can check this and other class files on the Class Project Tab. Print your skeleton guidelines, and let's start writing. This is the original. We'll write above on this guideline sheet. 7. Class 06 - The miniscules: For this section, take your guideline sheet and put your blank sheet of paper on top of it to start writing. You should be able to see through the top sheet, like this or, if you have a light box like this, it's better. For the letter A, we start like this. We don't need to hold our brush at any particular angle, unlike the italics, but the way you grip your pen change the tails of the letters. The letter A, for example, let me show you another sheet of paper. The letter A. If you grip the pen something like this, or if you write the same letter but you grip your pen this time, for example, like this. You can draw the same letter but you can see some difference between this start of the stroke here and here because this is the same angle of the pen. You can create something like this and if you rotate the pen and hold it like this, the stroke will be something like this. I think for the brush style, the best way is something like this. Grip your pen something like this so you reach this detail of the strokes. Come back to letter A. Just like the Italic class, try to trace the skeleton guide as closely as possible. Start here adding pressure going down, releasing pressure going up. Again, add pressure and release the pressure. Letter B, again, start with a lot of pressure going down, stop here. Going up, releasing pressure and adding pressure when going down, and finish here. Letter C, again, you can seen the letter C. You can leave it like this or you can draw just a little stroke like this. Letter D, similar to letter A, start here, add pressure on the down-stroke, release the pressure on the upstrokes and add pressure on down strokes again. Letter E; start here. This part with a thinner stroke, and from this part, I add pressure, and release the pressure on this part. Letter F; start here, add pressure, release pressure here and from this horizontal line, you just need to draw a thin line like this or maybe something like this. You can see two little details here. This part of letter, you can draw another little stroke, something like a little triangle, so just a quick line like this. From this part, you can leave like this, just with the thinner line or for example, I'm gripping my pen like this in this angle. To draw this last part, you need to rotate your pen like this and draw a little detail like this. Of course, if you are a lefty, you'll probably write something on this angle, and from this part, you need to rotate the pen like this. Letter G. Again, similar to letter A, adding pressure going down, release the pressure going up, add the pressure going down. Draw this curve and you can rotate the pen from this, and draw this detail here. Letter G number one, letter G number two. Start to add the pressure, draw the curve. In this part, release the pressure in this part. Start this part because this part is a kind of connection so start with low pressure and add the pressure on this part only and finish here. Then rotate your pen, draw the detail here and this last part, something like that. Letter H, so add pressure going down, release the pressure going up. Going down, going up. Letter I; something similar so add pressure going down, release pressure going up and the little dot here, just draw a quick stroke. Letter J, add pressure here, release here, and rotate your pen. Letter K; this part, you need to remember that basic one-arm exercise. Start the pressure and go releasing the pressure until the end. It's very important, too, when you touch this first stroke, the line should be thinner here. From this part of letter "k", it's similar from these tails of other letters. If you don't rotate the pen here, let me show you on another paper here. So you're writing all the letters, most of the part gripping the pen like this. Draw like this, this part again, release the pressure here. In this last part, if you don't rotate the pen, probably you'll draw something like this. It's not a good design. It's better you rotate your pen in this last part. Draw this part, and this part, and rotate your pen at least to zero degree or more, and something like that. Rotate your pen, add pressure, and draw the last part. Letter "l". Again, add pressure. Letter "m", you can start with this little curve first, or start just with the straight line. Add the pressure, release the pressure, add the pressure, release the pressure, add the pressure. Letter "n", same thing. Letter "o", you add pressure on the first part of the letter, the left side, draw the curve, and from this side, you release the pressure, and finish the letter. Letter "p", first stroke, thicker line, going up with a thinner line, going down, thicker line and finish this part. Letter "q", similar to letter "a", and the last stroke, thicker line. Letter "r", here thinner, thicker. Letter "s", pressure, pressure. You can draw again that little stroke, and this part, rotate your pen and finish this detail here. I'll teach you a new design of the letter "r" and letter "s" in this end of the sheet. Adding pressure here, release it here. Again, horizontal line, just a thin line. This letter you already know how to draw because it's the same as the warm-up exercise. Letter "v", pressure here, release here. Probably if you check this letter, sometimes maybe you'll think it's too thin line here. So after you draw the upstroke, you come back here, you just draw just a little touch here, something like that. The letter "w", pressure here, release here, pressure here, release here, and like the letter "v", you can add a little detail here. Letter "x". Because these strokes is going down like this similar to the letter "k", the last part, you don't grip your pen like this. You need to rotate a little bit to draw the first part, and the last part, a thin line. Again, similar to the letter "v," you can add a little detail here or here. Let's just check this out. Letter "y" is the same as the letter "v", start here, in this part you add a little pressure here, release here, add pressure again here. Something like that. Letter "z", start with a little pressure here, but this stroke should be a thinner line, and the last stroke, just a thin line. You can rotate your pen like I'm rotating here. Here we have three new designs for letter "r", "s", and "v". Because all the letters I'm writing here, are the letters you write separated. Sometimes you probably will want to write something like cursive letters. These three models of letters are to draw something more cursive. Let's check this. Start here, thinner line, and from this part you add pressure, add pressure. From this part, release the pressure. Letter "s", again, thinner line and from this part, add pressure, add pressure, and finish it here. Letter "v", same thing. The letter "v" and letter "w", you can rotate your pen like this for the first stroke and upstroke, a thinner line, and you can make this curve loop and finish it here because from this part, you probably will connect with another letter. 8. Class 07 - The capitals: It's time to write the capitals. Take our capital skeleton guidelines and follow me. There is infinity ways to write the capitals, I'll teach you my way. As you keep practicing, you will probably start to develop your own style. Starting with the letter A, I like to draw this first part here as a swash. This part, you can draw just a thin line like this, or as I like most, so click that. After that you start here, adding pressure, and we are releasing pressure as you're going out, and last part, and horizontal line. Letter B, start here, downstrokes, and upstroke. Pressure, release the pressure in this part, similar to number 3, and from this part you add pressure again. This last part, you can release like this, leave like this, or you can add a little detail like this. Letter C, you can draw that quick stroke here. The quick stroke is something like a triangle, like this. Letter D, similar of our letter D, downstroke and upstroke in this part to start with a little pressure and release the pressure here and come back to adding pressure in this part. Again, you can leave like this or you can rotate your pen and draw this detail here. Letter E, start like similar to letter A, horizontal and this part here, little triangle. Downstroke, release the pressure on this part and draw horizontal line again, and again here. You can live like this, or you can draw a little triangle here and here also. So letter F, start here and downstroke. You can rotate your pen on this part and the last part, quick stroke here. Letter G, similarity of our letter C. Add the pressure here, release here, quick stoke, downstroke, thin line. Rotate your pen and draw the last detail here. So letter H. Again the first stroke here. You draw a stroke, notice that this part is almost a letter J. Add a horizontal line, downstroke. Letter I, a little bit pressure here. Downstroke, stop here. Letter G, little pressure, release the pressure, and downstroke, curve and finish. So Letter K, start with this first stroke again, downstroke and this part release the pressure. I like the small cap. Start with pressure and release the pressure here. Rotate your pen, draw the last part of the tail. Here, just a little detail here, just a little line here. Letter L. Start here, downstroke, release the pressure, quick stroke, rotate your pen, draw this part. Letter M. First stroke,similar of our letter, A. Start adding pressure in this part, release the pressure here. Second stroke, add pressure, release the pressure, add pressure, finish the letter. Letter N similar. Start here, add pressure in this part, release the pressure and add pressure again, release the pressure again. Similar of our letter V, you can add a little bit, a little detail here. Letter O. Start here, downstroke, upstroke, finish here. Letter P, you can start with this stroke or this stroke. For example, start here, downstroke, release the pressure in this part. Here add pressure, release the pressure. You can come back to add the pressure in this part. Then the last stroke, just add horizontal line. You can add more straight line, or just a quick stroke. Letter Q. You can start from this part, upstroke, downstroke, and finish something like this. Check this part here. The last part, again, you need to rotate your pen, something like that, and draw the last part. Letter R, similar on our Letter P, so pressure, release the pressure, pressure, release the pressure, pressure again, release in this part. The last part, rotate your pen again and as I told you, you can draw just a quick stroke here. Letter S, start here, pressure, pressure, pressure. A quick stroke here and rotate your pen, draw the last part. So letter T. Start here with a little bit pressure, horizontal line, finish here adding pressure. Downstroke, pressure, release the pressure on this part, and the last stroke, horizontal line. Letter U. First stroke, second stroke, downstroke, and release the pressure on this part, going up, and from this part. Letter V. You can draw something like, a little pressure here and release the pressure until here. Same thing here. Downstroke, upstroke, downstroke, upstroke, and the last stroke you can do something like this. Again the first stroke until here, rotate your pen a little bit, add pressure, finish it here. This part, again, you can draw just the thin line and add some pressure here in the beginning and the ending. Letter Y. First part, similarity of our Letter U, add pressure here, upstroke, downstroke, last part. The letter Z, quick stroke, horizontal line, downstroke. Last part, you can rotate your pen and draw like this. I write the ampersand, I like the ampersand. Start here. I think it's better to rotate your pen like this, draw the first part. Here, thinner line and here medium pressure. Then the last part, rotate your pen, pressure here and finish it here. I have now the capitals and our ampersand. 9. Class 08 - The numbers: Let's write the numbers. You will follow the same rules. First line in the left, going down, thicker line going up, thinner line. Number one, upstroke, downstroke, and horizontal line. The number two, you can add pressure even you going up. Pressure, pressure until we're here, and the last stroke you can rotate your pen to draw something like this. Number three, again. Pressure, pressure. Take care on this part because you add a pressure here and pressure here, but now this part releases the pressure. Just to draw this look add pressure again, and finish it here. Number four, downstrokes, downstrokes, horizontal line. Number five, downstrokes, downstrokes, and horizontal line. Here, you can draw something like just to get something like little triangle here. You can do it simply here in this part of [inaudible] number four. Number six, downstrokes, upstrokes, finish. Number seven. You can write something like this, quick stroke, then add pressure, and draw the last part. And number eight, start here, upstrokes, downstrokes, downstrokes, then upstroke. Number nine, you can check something like number six, and number nine. You draw the downstroke and upstroke. Upstroke you get the thinner line. But if think you can add more contrast here, you can add a little bit pressure along this part, and on this part. Is up to you. 10. Class 09 - The words: I already talked to you about this. There's a time to know which letter and write the alphabet. But the next step is to write the words to learn about the anatomy of the letter and also about the letter spacing. So let's start to write a lot of words. Also make sure to use words with different beginners letters to practice your various capital letters. I told you in the last class, not to try to do a cursive script with a broad ethnic pen. Some italic words look like a cursive script. But in fact, they are own separate letters that touch each other. In brush letters, we can write the letter separately, and also we can write as a cursive script. Now, we can change from the thinner lines should a thicker lines only change the pressure of the pen. In most parts of the connections of the letters, we use only the thinner lines. So for example, the first words we learned like this one, you need to write letters separately, like this. First one. So one letter, another letter, another letter. Even if you touch another letter, we are writing this separately. Well, if you want to write this as a cursive script, you need to change for example, the letter r and s, and write something like this. First letter. You can use this part to draw in a less powerful letter l. Because of this part I can increase, we leave it to the last part. We can write like this here, and another letter i and another letter s. Notice that, if this letter is a cursive, for example, the letter e. Something like this. The letter e, you don't write like this. It should write like this. Going up, stop here. Another curve, last part. So this part of the letter need to start from the middle of the letter like this part here. So you can see, we can write something like this. Forget about this. Another letter here, and finish. 11. Class 10 - The basic swashes: As I've been teaching you in other classes, and I will enforce it strongly. Walk first, they run. So I will teach you the same techniques of the other classes, but you need to know the moment you can move forward and start adding flourished. The role is the same here. We want to make use of the ascenders or descenders of the letters should create something more declarative or fancy. For example, in this word, letters, you can use a part of letters, like this part of letter L to draw some here, maybe we can draw a loop here, another one here, and you can increase these last part to go more the course, something like a swasher. Also, a double letter here so it can increase this part and draw something like this. It doesn't matter if you're writing the letters separately or a cursive script. Take these cards. For example here, all the time you're adding flourish, you need to draw a thinner line like this. So here, again, I draw something different to the letter L, and in the future, you can add, maybe try to write something quickly. In each trial and know your limits. Start and write something slowly. After some time you can increase your speed and it can change, for example, to write something like letter M, like this or like this. Learn how to use less ornament and achieve a better result. Remember what I said last class, many times with calligraphy, less is more. 12. Class 11 - Conclusion: Well guys, we've arrived to the end of this class. Thank you for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed this class. Now, you already know you need to practice calligraphy forever. But probably now, you're already addicted to it. So practicing calligraphy forever wont to be a boring task, but a pleasant hobby. Don't forget to publish your projects on the project gallery so we can share with each other our progress. You might even get a message from me about how you can prove. Stay tuned, keep practicing, and enjoy the process. Don't be sad, it's not a goodbye. Just a see you soon. Take care and see you soon. 13. Next Steps: Hey, I almost forgot. I'd like to invite you to know the other classes I'm teaching here on Skillshare. You can learn more about the elegance of italics on the class number 2. You can learn the bold and back of the black letters in the class number 4. Don't miss that classes. See you there.