How to Create Lettering Practice Sheets without Adobe Illustrator | Shelley Hitz | Skillshare

How to Create Lettering Practice Sheets without Adobe Illustrator

Shelley Hitz, Watercolor and Lettering Artist

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9 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:18
    • 2. Lettering Basics

      3:27
    • 3. Using the Website to Create Your Templates

      0:54
    • 4. Creating Your Templates

      5:42
    • 5. Option One Letter Directly on Templates

      2:39
    • 6. Option Two Scanning and Editing with Photoshop

      8:07
    • 7. Option Three Using Procreate on the iPad

      5:33
    • 8. Other Ways to Use Your Practice Sheets

      3:23
    • 9. Next Steps

      2:33

About This Class

If you love lettering, you have probably noticed many artists selling lettering practice sheets. In this class, I'm going to teach you how to create your own practice sheets without using Adobe Illustrator.

One day I stumbled upon a free online tool and learned a process for creating my lettering practice sheets. Now I am sharing my system with you.

Currently, I sell these practice sheets in my Etsy shop and it's an additional stream of income. But not only that, I use them at my in-person lettering workshops and in many other ways.

I'm going to teach you how to create practice sheets both for large brush pens as well as small brush pens and why you need to have both. Once you have these templates, you can create an unlimited number of practice sheets in many different lettering styles.

I personally have created practice sheets in three different ways and I'm going to share with you all three ways. So depending on what resources you have available, at least one of these options should work for you.

By the end of the class, you will be able to create your own practice sheets, whether you want to use them for your own lettering practice or to sell them. This is a skill you will be able to use in so many ways.

So what are you waiting for?

Let's get started.

New to Lettering?

If you are new to lettering, I recommend taking my Brush Lettering for Beginners class first here: http://skl.sh/2lwvwWa.

You will learn the foundations of lettering, basic strokes, how to form your letters and be able to download many practice sheets. Then, come back to this class to learn watercolor lettering!

Let's Connect

If you want to know when I release new classes, make sure to click the "follow" button on my profile here: https://www.skillshare.com/user/shelleyhitz

Transcripts

1. Introduction: if you're in the lettering, You've probably seen people selling different types of lettering. Practice sheets. Hi, My name is Shelly Hits. I'm an artist, an illustrator. And in this class, I'm gonna teach you how to create these practice sheets of your own without illustrator so many times. In order to create something like these, practice shades and create the lines and have everything space out correctly. You need to have the expensive software or membership from adobe and be using Adobe Illustrator. However, one day I stumbled upon a free tool. I think another INSTAGRAM account was sharing it and I learned a process in a system for creating my own practice sheets. Now I want to share it with you. Currently, I sell these script practice sheets in my Etsy shop. It's an additional stream of income. But not only that. I've been able to use these practice sheets at in person live workshops and in so many other ways. I'm gonna teach you how to create practice sheets both for large brush pants as well. A small brush pens and why you need to have both Once you have these templates and you've created this blank practice she You can then create unlimited number of practice sheets in many different ways. I personally have created practice sheets in three different ways, and I'm going to share with you all three ways. So depending on what types of supplies and resources you have available, I'm sure at least one of them will work for you. I will share with you step by step what I did to create my practice sheets share with you the free tool you can get started using today. By the end of the class, you'll be able to create your own practice sheets whether for your own practice and to help you improve in your own lettering, or to sell them as an additional income stream to use them at live workshops to include them in workbooks and so much more. This is literally a skill you will be able to use in so many ways. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started 2. Lettering Basics: so typically, I open my classes and I talk about the supplies, but there really aren't a ton of supplies, and each method I show you is going to require a little bit different equipment and so forth. So I'm just going to include that in each of the videos. But what I am going to start with is some basics. When you're creating lettering practice sheets, you need to know the different lines. So in my faux calligraphy class, I go through the basics of calligraphy and the different lines and what they mean. If you want to go back through that class, I do recommend checking it out. It's the faux calligraphy class, but let me just briefly go through this again for you. So when you're creating a practice sheet, you're gonna have your baseline. No, What I did is I created my baseline thicker because I'm a visual person. I just need to know instantly where is my baseline? And that centers me. And so that's how I wanted to create my practice sheets. I researched a ton of practice sheets before I created my own, and so feel free to adapt your practice sheets toe what you want, and then you're going to have this center line, which is the X height, and I kept this dotted so that I could differentiate. The top line is either the cap height or a center line, and that's where your top of your letters like the top of the of the top of the B. That's where they're going to come up to and then you're gonna have a D sender line. That's gonna We were the D senders come down like the bottom of the F, so there's four different lines, and what I did on my practice sheets is I actually then created four different lines over and over. So right here underneath this D center line is the a center line of the next row, and that's the way I set mine up. However, you can set yours up any way that you want. Also, the traditional calligraphy is written out of 55 degree angle, so the tool I'm gonna show you you will be able to put the angled lines on your practice sheets if you want. My primary style is more up and down. It's more the modern calligraphy, which could be at any angle. So I didn't include the angles into my initial practice sheets. I may create some other ones eventually that have the angles just because I'm developing some other styles. But you can create your practice sheets however you want. In that way, I do recommend having two different sizes. So this is for large pens. So, like your Tom Bo dual brush pans. When I use my pen tele quash brush with ink in it. This is my favorite for the large brush. You can also use this just for when you're using like brushes like 012 size thes large brush pens work good. The small size is gonna be more for your Tom Bo food, Nasu keys and smaller brush pens like that. So I like to have two different sizes, and that way you can have it for the small pens and the large pens. Once you create these templates, you only have to create them once. Then you can use these templates over and over again in using one of the three different ways that I'm gonna teach you in this class. So let's go ahead and get started and let me show you the online tool 3. Using the Website to Create Your Templates: So I just want to show you with this tool. It's in another language. And so I just want to show you if you haven't translated yet, just refresh the screen, and it will come up. Translate this page, at least for me on Google Chrome Translate it and then it will show you what it actually is . Meaning. So don't get confused. Just do that. And then what they're doing is with the GDP, are there showing you a cookie and a privacy policy. Just click. I confirm my consent, and then you can use the tool. No problem. And so I just wanted to show you that part of it is gonna first. You know, that's what you're gonna first see when you come to the page. And then you can use the tool as I've shown you in the class 4. Creating Your Templates: in this video, I'm going to share with you the free online tools I used to create my practice Lettering. Sheet guides. So this is what I used to create the blank practice sheets. And you'll see this is the link. I will have it in your class. Resource is for you. L i n i us z e k dot prv dot pl I have no idea where this is from, who it is. It doesn't have any, like, copyright or anything I could find information about. So I am assuming we are able to use this for commercial use. And so what I did is I did, thankfully screenshot and saved what I used for my large pens and for my small pens. And so I will include these screen shots in the class. Resource is for you, so that you can follow them as well. So here's what I had saved for the large pens. So I need to change it to a letter. Just come up here and change that toe letter, and then it will change the specifications. There. You can see I left these as default 12.7 millimeters. I know here in the US were used two inches instead of, you know, millimeters. So if you need to, you can always come over. Just do millimeters to inches and a handy little calculator pops up on Google and you can use that if you want to do practice. She it's different than the ones I have set up. All right, so now we're gonna come down and I have the nib with as 1.7. So you're just gonna change this 1.7? And then there's a bunch of different lines here. This is where you're going to delete some of those. So I have one that's 14 above baseline. It is plain 0.2. Let's go ahead and just click that edit. So let's go ahead and change, such as your point to You can change the color if you want. I'm going to say, OK, then I have seven above the baseline and that's a dashed 0.2 said this. I just have to change us from 7.5 27 and okay, and then I have the baseline. So these other two I'm going to delete then I have the baseline, which here I had plain 0.75 Aren't you glad you don't have to figure all this out? I did all the figuring out for you. All right. And then And you can tweak it once you have these basics and you can tweak it. Whatever you want. Then I have seven below baseline playing 0.2. Let's go ahead, delete that one. Then we'll edit this one. So minus seven and 0.2 and that is it. So the other thing you could do is you can have the slant lines enabled. I did not include this. Land lines can also have the niv angle guides. I did not have that. So I unchecked both of those. And then you click draw. And while a There you have it. There is your large pen sheet, and so you'll just click this little download by him, and it's going to download as a PdF off. When I opened this PD off, you can see here it is just a plain sheet and so you can add your you, Earl, your copyright. I always add my copyright on the bottom of these sheets. Thes they're the ones that I've created So it is my copyright. And add your website or at your instagram user name. Put your information on there so that you have it. But this is your basic sheet. Yeah, that wasn't very hard, right? So now it's come over and come to the small pens. So this is for this small pens. Everything at the top is the same. The neb. With this the same. We're gonna go 7.5 above the baseline. So you're just gonna change this to 7.5? EUR 3.5? The baseline stays the same, and then you're gonna have four below the baseline. So what you do the 1st 1 the 2nd 1 is gonna be a lot easier. And then again, you're just gonna click. Draw? Yeah. Hey, there's the small. A pen. So you again, you just click download. You'll save it to your computer. You can open this up and there's the small pens so you can see the difference. The large pen is larger. The small pen is smaller. Now you can play around with these heights with the different angles. You know, you can play around with this as much as you want how fun with it. Create all sorts of different things and let me know in the class discussion. Any cool things, you figure out, Let's share with each other. You know, I am sharing this tool with you because I want you to be able to create practice sheets and so as you do. And if you find cool things and other ways to do stuff, please share. Let's share. But this is the basic way to create your blank, small pen, practice sheets and large pen practice sheets. Once you have these blank tablets, you can do so many things with them. I cannot wait to share with you the three different ways I've created my lettering practice sheets using these guides. 5. Option One Letter Directly on Templates: Now that you've created your small pens in your large pen template, we're gonna go through three different ways. You can then transformed these into lettering practice sheets. I've used all three of these ways, and the first and easiest way is to simply just letter directly on this. So you're going to print off your template and then you're going toe letter on that template so you can see I've done that several times for my focal, a Griffey Class C. I did that. I just took a micron 05 pen. I let her write on these practice sheets, and then what I did is I scanned the practice sheet into a pdf and then that is now available as your class resource is in that class. And so one thing you can do is you condemn Finitely just right into to these, scan them and have them that way. And if you don't have a scanner, either is also a skinner app you can use with your phone. I go into detail on how to ski in your pieces in my class on digitizing your work. So if you're interested in learning more about the app that you can use on your phone or how to scan your piece is definitely take that classes. I go into detail on how to scan your work in that class. You can see I did the same thing for these these air for my block lettering class and what I have done. Like I recommended in the last video as I put my copyright on the bottom. So says copyright. Shelley hits dot com. I think I did this in photo shop. You can add that in any image editor, but if you want to, you can just simply write it in. When I was first using these and I didn't add that in yet, I just wrote it in. So if you're using this technique and you don't really want to deal with photo shop or adding anything in, just write it in and make it easy. Don't make it too complicated. Let's just get this done so you can provide helpful resource is to those you serve so you can see I did that for these block letters, the capital and the lower case. So this is the first option. It's very simple. You just take your practice lettering sheet template. You print it off or you have it printed at an office supply store, and then you write directly on the sheet and then you're going to scan it so you can scan it either through a scanner or a scanner app on your phone or device. And for more information on that, check out my class on digitizing your work. I'll put the link also in your class. Resource is. 6. Option Two Scanning and Editing with Photoshop: the second way you can create your practice sheets is you can actually write out the letters on a piece of paper, then scan that paper and edit out your letters and photo shop. And then you just create layers. Your template will be one layer. Your letters will be another layer, and then you can make them different colors. So, like I have my 1st 1 black and then the other ones are gray. You see if you can see that. So I grade these out so that people can just trace over top of them. Or you can write directly on here and again. I looked at a lot of different practice sheets to see what style I wanted to use. You can do whatever style you want, something that I could have added is to have a little arrows and number one number two like the different strokes for each letter. That's something that's really nice toe Ada's well. But let me show you real life, these air, my rial life, things that I did nothing fancy here, guys. So what I did is I just took a piece of copy paper and used around to brush with ink and I just went through and did all of these different ones. And initially I was gonna add the little arrows, and I realized it was gonna be really, really tedious to do that in photo shop. So I decided not to do that after all. But I you could see I did it many, many times. So I just kept doing it until I found one that I wanted to keep. And what I learned along the way is to identify which one I want to keep. So as you're going through this and as you're deciding, like, which one you want to keep, you can see down here I put a little arrow for the W. I learned that sometimes I was forgetting which one was my favorite. And so definitely consider doing that. Something like a little arrow that tells you, or you could cross them off X amount. But this is as simple as it gets. I just literally took a brush with some ink, but you could use a Tom Bo do a brush pen. You can use whatever pen is most comfortable for you. Then I scanned in this again in my class about digitizing your work. I talk about scanning, and then once I had it scanned, I brought it into photo shop. I removed the background and I created layers. Let me just show you real quick and Photoshopped what it looks like here we are in photo shop elements. This is what I have its software I bought a long time ago. I am not a photo shop expert at this point, but I know enough to get stuff done. So I'm just gonna show you what I did in photo shop. You can find alternate ways to be able to get your scanned images onto the practice sheets . This is just what I've done. So in the original scan, you can see the background is there. So I first removed the background and there's different ways to do that. A really easy way is just to use the magic wand tool and gonna have to unlock this. And then I'm gonna click on the background. And then I'm just going to press delete on my keyboard so you can see all of that background has been deleted. I can then come in here to each individual letter and delete the background in here, and that's a really, really simple way to do it. It's not gonna be as precise. You're not gonna have as clean of lines, but I don't really want perfect clean lines so you can zoom in and you can just take out any of these little ones that you want to take out. But this so that's a really simple way to remove the background of your pieces. And then what I did is I created this template. So this is a photo shop temple and you can see have a lot of different layers. So I have. The first background layer is white, and that's just so I can have that crisp, clean white background. This next layer is the template, so I just imported the template in Just click File and then click open and find your pdf file that you saved. And when you find that file, you're going to see these different settings. You can change us to be whatever you want. Make sure it's 300 resolution so that its print quality then what you're gonna want to do is do new blank file and you want 300 resolution. I'm gonna change us over two inches, cause that's what I'm used to. And we want the with to be 8.5. We want the height to be 11. So this is how you're going to set up your initial paper. And then what I did is you can just use the paint bucket if this is already the white. If if it's the black, just click the little arrows and you can make that white. So there you have your background. Then what you can do on here. This is the template you imported in. You can right click on it, say duplicate layer, and then you can go over to that template that you created and you can say duplicate. So now the template is on the page, and you can just make sure to center it. Once you have it on the center of your page, you have your main templates. I would save this as your blank template. If you want to go ahead and add your text down here. Copyright Shelley hits dot com, and you can choose whatever font that you want and whatever size works good for you. Let's go ahead and zoom in just doing command and the plus key. And you can just make sure this is centered a swell. But then you have your main little template here and photo shop like hit command zero or controls your on a PC, It will bring the whole thing back up. So here's my main template. I would just save this somewhere on your computers that we can use it over and over again in photo shop. But then what you're gonna do is you're going to create different layers. So what I did is I named everywhere, differently. You can see. Um, but it doesn't always correspond because I just got lazy after a while. So this is the G. You can see their lower case. G and I have linked those together, so they go together. And then what I did is I just copied those and changed the color. So if you want to change the color of your letters once you've imported them in, you have them in layers here, and this does take time. It does. Um, I'm not gonna joke with you. Okay? I'm just gonna give you this gray color that I used its d one d three d four, and I'm just going to copy that, and I'm gonna put that in your class. Resource is so that if you want to use that same great color, I just researched a lot of different practice sheets and found a great color that I liked. So that's basically how you're going to do it. You're just going to have each of the different letters I chose toe have capital, a lower case A and then have it just all in one line, be on the next line and so forth. But you could have all Capital A's on one line all lower case liaison another line, and you would have more pages, but it may provide more value, and it just depends how you want to set up your practice sheets. I heard you to look around, see what other people are doing, and do that before you check it out. But now you have this basic template. You're going to do the same thing with a small pens so that you have that basic template for the small pens as well. And this is the way that I created the practice sheets. The very first practice shoots I sold in my Etsy shop. I have, like I said, I've I've used all three of the methods I'm teaching you in this class. But this is the method I used for those practice sheets. Now let's get to the final method. 7. Option Three Using Procreate on the iPad: let's cover the final method of creating lettering practice sheets. So this is a practice she I created for one month of the hope the lettering challenge. And these were all the prompts. And what I did is I created these in procreate on my iPod, and I created black ones, the black ones for those who want to use tracing paper. Or maybe you want to have them in procreate and have a new layer with a different color. And then I also created the gray one. And this is for those who want to let her right over top of this. And these are more for the small pens. And so I used the small pen template, But let me just show you here, I'm in procreate. So great app for your iPad. I used the apple pencil and I purchased a slicker up. And then I purchased this little thing that really helps me just not lose my cap. So I created a folder, my lettering guides. And when I opened that up, you can see some of the different ones I have in here. So this is where I created the hope filled lettering ones. You can see here. I just letter directly on here. And if you come over to the different layers, I was just practicing on it with that black. But I did the lettering on a different layer to Gonzaga. Turn that on and off, and then I have the guides on a layer. So basically, how you do this, just click the plus, but in and I created one that's 8.5 by 11 vertical so you can do a new canvas if you don't have one. And so for the whipped, you want to make sure that you change it two inches and you're gonna do 8.5 inches with. And for the height, make sure it's on inches. It's 11. You wanted 300 dp I for print, and then you can make this a template so you can put in what you want that to be. For the template. We're just gonna click done, and what it does is it provides you this screen, and then what you can do is just click the little wrench and you're gonna click Insert. You're a click and sort of flat image, and you can import it from different places. I have my things saved and Dropbox so I can just click import from and I can choose my Dropbox. So I have my blank practice sheets saved here, and I can just import blink, practice sheet for large pen and then it imports it right in here. Then I can lower this down, and that looks fine. You can change the size if that doesn't look right to you, and then what you're gonna do is just create a new layer. You want to create whatever color you want, so you can do, you know, the black You can do a form of gray, you know, have, ah, a form of gray. And then you're just going to letter directly on here with your pencil and what's really nice is you can very easily in here. Add the little lines. So let's say we wanted red lines, but I do read I could just Jews like a flop marker. One of the things you can do as well in here, if you don't know, is you can turn up the streamline, and that just makes your lines smoother. So that would be the 1st 1 this would be the second, and then you could add in your little arrows have mawr instructional content and I really feel like the iPad pro is probably the best way. Easiest way. And then once you have that, I recommend doing the everything on a different layer. So, like the letters on a layer, the arrows on a layer like put everything on different layers in case you need to change things out in the future. But then, after you're finished, you're just going to click share and you're gonna click share artwork. And then what you can do is you can save it as a PSD file you could always use, um edited Photoshopped PF pdf J. Peg and PNG. So what I recommend doing is saving your lettering practice sheets both as PDF and JPEG. The reason I recommend doing this is because some people like to import your practice sheets in to procreate, and in order to do that, it does need to be in the J Peg format. But I would recommend giving your practice sheets in both format. That's what I do in my Etsy shop, but you can just click. Pdf choose best quality export, and then you're just gonna choose where to save it. You can air drop it If you have a Mac and ideo I I could just send it to my Mac book pro, but I usually just save it to Dropbox, and I just choose which folder I want it to save on Dropbox. And then that way you could just title it right there. And that way you have it on your Dropbox, and you can do whatever you need to with it there. But this is a really easy way. If you have an iPod and you're able to use the procreate up, this is a simple way to curry your practice. Lettering, sheets. 8. Other Ways to Use Your Practice Sheets: congratulations. You should now have a really good understanding of how to create your own practice sheets. So once you have your practice sheets, what can you do with? Um, Well, there's several things that you can do, and I just want to mention it. In this video, you can provide extra value to your students if you teach still share classes. So I've already shown you some several of the practice sheets I created for my skill share classes. Then, as students, you can download those practice sheets in the class resource area. You can also use these as in live workshops or in person classes. So when I teach brush lettering for beginners, I can then provide copies of these exact practice sheets to my students. It's extra value thes are sold on Etsy, and so they're getting these for free as part of my workshop, so you can provide these as handouts or in some sort of packet for your in person workshops . You can also use these to grow your list. So the ones that I created for the hope filled lettering challenge I offer for free when you sign up for my hopeful lettering challenge email list. You could also use them and create more specific niche related practice sheets. So something I've seen some people Dio is, for instance, they'll create practice sheets. Just that are just wedding words is the words that people want to learn how to write for a wedding. So they're wanting to learn lettering and do lettering for their own wedding. Do it yourself. Or maybe they want to provide wedding services. You could write out some different words that our wedding related, and then you can sell those on your Etsy shop or wherever you sell your practice sheets. You can offer these bonuses So currently, as part of my insiders group, if you post a certain amount of projects to my school shirt costs is and I have so money that you can post projects. Do you are able to get these practice sheets for free? You can join my insiders group by going to Shelly heads dot com board slash insiders, and you can kind of see what I mean. Inside the Facebook group, I have a file with a list of the different levels and different bonuses you can get, so these could be bonuses you can also create your own lettering workbook. So now that you have the basics of how to create these templates, you could actually use these to create an entire lettering workbook. Now, I'm not. Every page is gonna be thes practice sheets. Some will just be regular instructional pages. But you could actually create entire workbook that you could sell on Etsy. You could sell it on Amazon print on demand like you could use a site like create space. I'm also an author coach, and I've published over, written and published over 40 books. And so I know a thing or two about publishing books. And so if you're interested in publishing a book, check out My free resource is at Shelley hits dot com for it slash free. I have a book, self publishing books, one a one that's free and you can get more information about that there. And so those are just a few ideas now that you have your practice sheets, how you can use them, let me know in the project area in the discussion area how you plan on using your practice sheets. I cannot wait to see what you create and how you put this new skill to use 9. Next Steps: there you have it. You now know how to create your own blank practice sheets in all different sizes, using a free online tool and three different ways to use those blank practice sheets to create your own lettering. Practice sheets that you can use on your own you can sell and so much more. My hope for all of my classes is that you don't just watch the class, but you actually put it toe action and you implement it. So now it's time to take action. Your project for this class is to create one practice sheet. It can even be a blank practice sheet, but I would love it if you actually created it with a script lettering or some type of lettering on it, and post a picture of it in your project area. And if you're selling your practice sheets, leave a link toe where you're selling your practice sheets because I'd love to see what you're doing with the skill you learned in this class. If you enjoy this class, I would really appreciate you simply taking a moment to post your review here on Skill Chair. There should be a pop up at the top of your screen that says, Would you recommend this class to other students? Simply click yes and post a sentence or two about what you learned, what you appreciated or what you've gained from this class, and it would mean the world to me. It also helps to reach more people with this training. And so I appreciate you taking a moment to do that again. My name is Shelly Hits, and I am so thankful that you join me for this class. I hope you learned a valuable skill that you put to action and that you use in many different ways. I have many different classes here on skill share. I have art classes as well as marketing classes that you may enjoy. If you're selling your practice sheets, you may be interested in my INSTAGRAM marketing class on how to edit your photos and videos and how to grow an audience on Instagram. Instagram is a great platform to gain exposure for your lettering and to sell your practice sheets to be notified. When I publish a new class, just make sure to click the follow button here on skill share, and I always am posting inspiration and tips and many tutorials on my instagram feed as well as instance stories. So follow me at color. My world beautiful for daily inspiration. Thank you again for joining me and I'll see you in the next class.