Design Beautiful Greeting Cards: Using Brushpen Lettering Techniques | Carmel Wilson | Skillshare

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Design Beautiful Greeting Cards: Using Brushpen Lettering Techniques

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. Basic Tools & Supplies

    • 3. Brainstorming & Thumbnail Sketches

    • 4. Initial Design

    • 5. Inking & Refinement

    • 6. Digitization & Final Design

    • 7. Class Project

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About This Class

Welcome to this new fun class! This class focuses on creating humble greeting card designs using techniques from brushpen & hand-lettering. It’s about teaching you a specific method and workflow where you learn how to design beautiful greeting cards for any occasion or for gifting it to your friends, family or your love. I will tell you about how you can express your feelings and emotions to someone by sending them a handmade greeting card.

If you have just started out or you know the basics of lettering in any form, then this class is for you. It also covers basics about the tools and techniques that can help you in other creative projects as a designer. So hit enroll and jump right in!

The tools that are required is nothing special. I recommed you to use all that you have if you already are doing such projects. If you are just starting out then you can try different tools that suites your style. Any pencil for sketching and a brush pen for inking is enough to get going.

But for your ease and curosity, here are few of the tools suggested:

  • Brush-pens: TomBow Dual Brushpens, Pentel Fude Brush Pen (Bold & Medium) or Pentel Color Brush Pens. You can use any refillable or soft brushpens for practicing.
  • Pencils: Mechanical or any simple pencils.
  • Eraser.
  • Scanner.
  • Sheet: You can use the copier paper too. But try to use bleed-proof marker sheets. Or anything which can withstand wet ink of a brush-pen. For practicing anything is good.

You can use any supplies that you own right-now. These are the basic tools that you can find at any art supplies store. You can also follow my "Brush Letterer's Shopping List". Thanks! 

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: Hi. Welcome to my new class entitled Design Beautiful Greeting Cards using brush pen lettering techniques. So this class will be specifically focused on creating beautiful and humble designs derived from hand lettering. XYZ using fresh pens. Here, I'll teach you the overall process that I follow, and you, too, can follow along, designing amazing greeting cards. It's for everyone of you who want to learn this technique and apply their brush pen lettering skills in a really fun project or anyone who wants to make beautiful lettering works. It covers the most specific requirements and workflow for designing greeting cards related to anything or anyone. You can learn news, new creative skills and send those handmade greeting cards to your lib lands. Your friends, your family and you can apply the tools and techniques taught here in other creative projects. You might find us well, so sign up and get started. 2. Basic Tools & Supplies: in this video, I'm gonna go over the tools that we need for this class. First thing we will need is a stack of blank paper. A four is fine, and any regular printing paper will work after that. A light box for tracing. You can use a window if you don't have this. There are many different ways of tracing, and you can use any method to trace. After lightbox, you will need a selection of various pens. I'm using a pencil, refillable brush pen and a black fine liner. I will use a brush pen with black ink. I will use this brush pen for creating refined sketches and for creating final design. Next, I will use a pencil to do the initial sketching and thumbnail sketching, and you can use any regular pencil. Next is fine liner. It is a very handy tool for finishing design, and you can use this for refinement process. Lastly, we will be using the computer to scan and then digitized the artwork. These are the basic tools that I am using for this class. You can use different brands or different tools that are easily available in your area. Use of different tools. They will give you a different results, so try and experiment with them to make yourself aware of different tools and their effects . 3. Brainstorming & Thumbnail Sketches: in this video, I will do thumbnail sketches for my thank you cards to work out the composition and lettering style. Creating thumbnail sketches is an important stage in the design process, because in this stage you tried to create different concepts as you explore different concepts and then finally select the best among them. I usually write the quote at the top of the page so that I have a better understanding of the content and I can create thumbnails keeping them in mind. So I'll start by writing out my message to look at for a reference thank you for always being there to support me and staying faithful to me. After reading the quote, I will decide whether it will be layout in portrait or in landscape. I can either go portrait or landscape. I'll try it in both ways to see which looks better here. I'm trying to visualize the quote in portrait and landscape mode and how it will be laid out. The words underlined are the ones I will emphasize. Follow the hierarchy rule here. If you want to know about the hierarchy rule, you can check out my previous class brush lettering, essentials starting out now, I will start creating thumbnail sketches. So first I will roughly map out letters and a portrait. You can decide to work on any mode, or you can try then and decide. Here I will try both in portrait and landscape. Then I will decide the better among those first, I will create thumbnails in landscape mode and then in portrait mode, and we'll start conceptualizing according to the hierarchy priorities. The most important word will get mawr emphasis, and less important words will get less emphasis. So at this stage, you can try different layouts. Just be experimented here after landscape layout. Here I will try the same coat in portrait mode. The process will be the same. It's totally dependent upon you how creative you want to make the layout of the quote. And here you can also start visualising about any ornamentation or design element you want to add. So after working with both modes, I think I prefer the landscape. I think that's working more for this message. After finalizing the layout, the next phase is to decide the style that will suit the quote and fulfill the design requirements, so I'll try outs in different styles of letters. Here, a mix of script and sound. Zarif typefaces. Here you can mix and match different style, or you can concentrate on just one, even if you can create some new style. As a designer, you have to work on these minor decisions making. So I am choosing the ones circled. I will use them because I feel like they just work well together. So in the next video, I will enhance the selected design. 4. Initial Design: after thumbnail sketches in this video, I will do some rough drawings to map it all out. So I'm going to start with a lead pencil and then I will add Marker using my thumb. Nail she as reference beside me. I start ruling out the baseline for each line. This is the way I create precisely out for my design. So before getting into details, you first have to create the skeleton for your design, where you're gonna work on layouts and spacing. There will be lots of refinement after, but this is the very first stage in them. I am working on curves here, trying to create perfect shape for each letters. Your baseline should be according to the flow of your design, and they will help you in keeping consistency, flow and even spacing in your design as well. So, after creating the first line, the next line is in San Serif and much smaller. I want to keep this line consistent in heights. This is where the base will help you. Same with the second line Sounds reef again focusing here on keeping the baseline straight and height the same. The next line is support me which is in script, and I want this to match thank you with style and size. So I am looking for similarities between letters so that it looks authentic. It should also complement the Sun Sarif to so the overall design should look connected together no matter how you do it. It's longer than I thought. But that's cool. Weaken rearrange things. These are the reasons rough sketch are important and you can correct the mistakes right away. Otherwise, once it's inked, nothing can be done after that. Apart from doing everything all over again, which I don't think anyone wants to dio, I will move the ampersand over and make the line go underneath. And this will correct the issue here. I will do the same with this son. Sorry, Flynt. I wanted to be the same mimicking the first Tucson Serie Flynt's. This will keep the balance of the design and the principle of hierarchy. So, to be better hand lettering artists, you have to keep basics in mind which is doing the work. You can alter them, but it is always important to keep them in mind. Okay, now I will roughly go over this with marker so I can trace it a little easier on my light box here. You also have a chance to fix any mistakes or move anything after a rough sketching. It is time to refine this on a new piece of paper. 5. Inking & Refinement: in this video, I will do the refinement and final brushwork for digitization. I will use my light box for this purpose. I will keep the rough sketch in the bottom of a four paper. Then I will use my black brush pen to refine it so I can start the process. I will really focus on getting a nice clean, even stroke. The slower the stroke, the more control nice and study. Keep your eye on the ink. It should not be excess. Otherwise it will make your design dirty. This is the stage to start working on details. Keep your design consistent, clean and maintain the flow of each letter. So, as I'm correcting space issues in size, I am really focusing on details. After the first line, I will move on to the next line and start creating sensory flutters here. I don't need to create any baselines because I can see it for my rough sketches sheet. I really want these to be as straight as possible and the same thickness and height. So take all the time needed to create your design. Precisely. I will move on to the next line, but before that I have to adjust the paper again. I want to support me to be the same style, size and shape as thank you. I am shifting the paper over to anticipate the left of these sentences aligning. But I can fix this later. An illustrator if it's required. The I finds things visually appealing. If it aligns so I will try to align the sentences in this piece. The R and T are tough, but I will fix that in Photoshopped Leader. I will invert this ampersand and illustrators so that it is white in a black circle. I want this third line to match the previous two sounds surreal lines and a line on the left hand side. It went a little too long, so I will move it over to the right slightly later. I will now move on and finish the whole design and this will be our final design. So in the last age, I worked previously so that I have less requirement of refining it. And here at this stage I created this refined design which is also our final design and finished ready for the computer and scamming 6. Digitization & Final Design: in this video, I will digitize the greetings design and show the final resolved card. I will start by placing this scanned image, dragged the image and place it into Adobe Illustrator I have scanned the design in 600 dp i to get high resolution image and to capture the details. The format is J. Peg. Now I'm gonna live. Trace the image by selecting the image and then by clicking on the image trace option in the option bar, the tracing will be perfect as it is high quality and pitch black image. Next I will expand and then using the direct selection tool selecting white and selecting same fill color and then deleting, leaving behind only black. You can see any remaining parts by switching to outline mode here it will show all the small or remaining objects that you should delete. So I will clean up any straight points here. Short cut for outline mode is control And why now I will smooth some of these lines out and edit all the parts that are able to trace Well, I want to invert this circle. A nice doily effect would be cool here. I might delete my circle and get a new one. This or goal, it does not come out well, so I think I will delete it and create the new circle they're using the circle toe. Yeah, this is looking better. Next, I will add some effects to it. So go to appearance panel. I can select, distort and transform and zigzag to achieve the doily shape. This is the zigzag panel and here I will adjust the settings to suit what I want it to be subtle and rounded. After working with the options, just click on OK when you are happy with the result. Next, I will simplify the path points here to make it smoother. 99% will do it. Go to object menu than path and then simplify. You can adjust setting heared according to your design and the result you're looking for now. I will manually use the smooth tool. It's an easy way to smoothing the letters. I can individually smooth out some letters, but I still wanted to maintain a rough ish look as it is hand lettering, and I want the person to know I made it and not it's some perfect fund that's the point here to clean, convey, be underappreciated. Using smooth tools, decreased the extra nodes that are not required and make the artwork much simpler and easy to edit. Next, I will adjust the design to make it more visually appealing. Will use guides for this purpose. By dragging a guide, I can get the right side all aligned. I will do the same with the baseline. I want to align and make sure it's all straight. You can do without guides also, but I choose to do it this way. I think it adds more precision, and I can see the spacing between the words so I can visually manage them. Accordingly. I will move words around to create a nice, even negative space between after completing the design illustrator. Next, I will save the image and open it in Adobe Photo Shop. Here I will add a watercolor ingredient that I created for this project. I have already dragged the car design and Grady and image into Adobe photo shop. Next, I will decrease the transparency of car layer to see the water color layer. Next, I will adjust the watercolor ingredient layer in a way that it covers the design properly, so I will use the move tool to resize the image and then the clone tool to fill the remaining spaces. Now I will move the watercolor Grady Int layer to the top and select the black region in the design to select. I will use Magic one tool. Select anywhere in the black region, then right click to select, similar. After selecting in the whole black area, click on water color layer and make masking it. So that's how you add water color Grady into your design. That's good enough to print. Here is what my card looks like. You can change colors of the letters and background, depending on what you think they will like. 7. Class Project: for Project. You are going to design and digitize a beautiful greeting card with hand lettering. You can choose any quote, dimension or style that you want. This class was all about understanding how to create greeting cards with hand lettering. Use the tools and techniques taught in the class and then try and experiment with different styles. Try different ways to digitize your greeting card. The greeting card that you will create should be according to a specific style or according to the essence of the quote that you choose. So share your projects in the project section the delivery bols of the project, or images showing your selected quote, concept thumbnails, refinement sketches, final design and, lastly, the final greeting card after digitization process. So share your project with skill shared communities so that everyone can see it and share their thoughts about the design. With you, I'm excited to see your chosen. Quote your designs and, of course, your final artwork. This project is a great way to practice and strengthen your basic so you can take your time instructing the quotes in the concept creation and, of course, finalizing in vectoring them as well. If you're a beginner and you want to understand the basics of hand lettering first. Then you can check out my other class brush lettering, essentials starting out in a few of my other classes. Also, the project can take up to a day. Maybe it will take 2 to 3 days. Totally depends on how much time you want to put in this. So I would suggest you give more time in concept, development and practice, creating better thumbnails. Enjoy the project. And lastly, thank you so much for enrolling in this class. I will see you in my next class.