Lettering With Waterbrush: The Easy Way | Sheila B | Skillshare

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Lettering With Waterbrush: The Easy Way

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

9 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Class Intro

    • 2. Fun Project

    • 3. Tools You Need

    • 4. Gaining Control & Practicing

    • 5. Drawing Letters + Words

    • 6. Blending Technique

    • 7. How To Water-Color Washes

    • 8. Pseudo Masking Technique

    • 9. Thanks Everyone!

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About This Class

Get playful and fun with waterbrush pens, in my 30 minutes skillshare class. I will teach you about tools that you need for starting waterbrush lettering, How to maintain your workflow. How to achieve great results everytime, while staying frustration free.

I will teach you step-by-step, how to do watercolor washes with the same tools. Masking with masking fluids can be really messy and bad experience for a beginner. I have experienced the same when I tried it the first time. So, I will avoid that and teach you how you can achieve similar results using Adobe Illustrator. You can start right-away and have fun creating new things.

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, I'm Sheila, a maker, and Lederer. My skill share class focuses on this stuff you need to know to start water Brush lettering , water brush Lettering can be intimidating at first, but once you get a hold of it, it becomes super fun. You will get to know about the tools that are required and how to use them. How to use them for lettering. You will learn different practice strokes, which you should spend days filling all your pages with You will also learn how to draw the letter forms, how to do the ligatures. Then we're going to jump right into two of the most basic and important techniques for water brush lettering. One is the blending technique, and the other is How did you water color washes using your water brush pens. I will also introduce you to pseudo masking technique and how to use it with your letters. Without a messy masking fluid, you can create beautiful lettering artworks using these two techniques Altogether, you can enroll and see it for yourself how you can dio water, brush lettering and start right away 2. Fun Project: in this class, I will try to give you all the ideas that you need to get started with water. Brush lettering After the classes complete. Try to practice as many letters in words as you can to get better at it. Just write whatever you want and you are fine. Practice is all you need to master these techniques and become a fluent Lederer. The project for this class is about using all those basic techniques that will be taught in this class to create something unique, simple and beautiful. You can let her a word. Your favorite movie title song lyrics, your favorite quote or anything you want. Teoh. You are free at this point to write whatever you want. Try to feel comfortable with these tools and materials while doing the project in the final project, right Whatever you want with your water brush pen, try to do a freshwater color wash using your watercolor brush pen, then using the masking technique taught here, then combine both the elements together to recreate a piece of artwork. You can also take a photograph of the tools that you've used to make it even more fun. Toe watch for your fellow classmates the moment you feel confident, you can start working on the project. If this is your first time, you are doing a water brush lettering than try to be comfortable with the tools and get a feel of the material. Try to gain control over the pressure and strokes, but it should not stop you from completing the project as it will mark a starting point in your learning cycle. You can always do more and improvise, so just choose a piece that you want a letter with water. Brush pen, then do a freshwater color wash with it. You can be as creative as you want, then, using masking technique, create your final water brush, lettering peace and posted in the project gallery. 3. Tools You Need: Let's start by talking about the essential kit that you will need to get started. This will serve your needs for most of the water brush lettering works. The key supplies that I use are cancel. Awkward, well paper. 300 grams meter, too. It's the best quality, and I recommend this much thickness. I use aqua flow water brush pen for drawing letters. It's like a regular brush pin, but it has a water container, which keeps the tip wet toe. Let it be used with water colors. The amount of pressure you apply, the more water flows to the tip. You also need a handkerchief or similar supplies. You need a glass of water for applying watercolor and produce color variance sees. I'm using Van Gogh watercolor. You could get something similar with few or more color swatches and, of course, a color palette to mix the beautiful colors. Let me show you how to use a water brush pen. At first, you have to remove the head tip with the valve and fill it with water. By pressing the middle water chamber, you can use droppers to for this purpose. After that, fix the valve and the tip as before, make sure it is tightly screwed in place. After that, you should wipe it with the handkerchief to keep it clean and avoid any mess while you're lettering. Your work. Once done with that, dip the head in the water and shake until it gets uniformly wet and there are no bubbles there and then mix it with the water color. Take your time and make sure that the pigments of the water color are dissolves and mixed well enough to start lettering. You should use the pellet for better results and to mix with other colors. You can repeat these steps every time you want to change the color, or you're working on a separate piece of lettering for best results. Once you have completed a lettering work, it's always recommended that you do. Clean your water brush pen when you're ready washed pen in water, then with your handkerchief toe. Wipe your water brush to clean it. Totally. Watercolor can clog the valve and obstruct the flow of water from the tip. If left to dry without cleaning to clean that you can use the water in the pen. You have to push the midsection of the water brush pen, and then the water can come through the head and clean the brush toe. Check it again by wiping it with the handkerchief, and when you see it's transparent, then it's clean. If you see slight coloring of the tip, don't worry. It will not affect your work if it doesn't show colors when wiped with the handkerchief. Cleaning is very important process for the maintenance of the water brush pen. Good thing it's easy and fun to Dio. 4. Gaining Control & Practicing: before moving on to drawing letters and words. It's very important to understand the basics of laying down brush on the paper When you start out with water brush lettering techniques, it's important to get a feel of how this set up works. You should practice all these strokes that I will talk about here till you are perfect at it. To start any lettering work first dip the head of the water brush pen in the water, then mix it with water color from the color palette. Mix it well so that you have an optimal level of pigmentation. So the first thing that you should do is you have to start practicing with these kinds of smooth lines with uniform strokes. Try to achieve a Grady Int as you draw these lines with water brush, you can vary the color depth by squeezing the water chamber of the brush pen. Push the brush a bid heavier than gently tilt the end if the head goes dry, then squeeze the chamber and the water can come through the tip. The more lines you draw the lighter color depth. You get practice till you understand how it works. While practicing these strokes, try to control the level of transparency by varying pressure of each stroke. Now for the tip. If you want thicker lines, then push it for broad lines. If you want thinner lines than push just a little bit, or try to lift it till you get thin line to practice this. Let us see how it works in letter forms to draw these curvy strokes. At first, push harder on the paper with the brush pen tip, then gently lifted until the curve ends. Now continue with the curving lines harder from the top and lifting gently till the curve as you draw the water. Color can get dry. Use a water color inside the pen as needed by squeezing the chamber. Sometimes clean it as it is showed in the previous lesson. Try to play with the thickness of these lines and the lightness of the color pigments. It's nice to experiment with the tool that you have. It frees your hand and makes it easy as you work out more. Don't worry. If you can't get it right the first time, you can practice more to reach that level. Try different Grady int levels. You can also try to feel how watercolor works on a paper. This way, you will get to know how blending works. Continue with the lighter strokes. Use just a little water for this. Now practice these more curvy ones to see how the letters will be connecting with each other very from thick down strokes. Too thin up strokes. Keep varying these practice strokes. Let the muscle memory develop as you practice these strokes. The els are a good way to learn how to overlap the strokes. The's practice strokes will finally be replicated while you are drawing letters and words. The letter forms are nothing but the's strokes with a meaning. Then do some more. Practice. Stroke these air serpentine strokes Good for developing ability to vary the lettering styles once you get a hold of it, then the curvy lines again. But now little bit bigger ones. All these strokes flexes your muscles and make it easy for you to draw the complex letter forms while you're lettering 5. Drawing Letters + Words: Let's start by drawing some letters. It's more meaningful than the pressure and practice strokes that we did in the last video. But those strokes are the starting point, and drawing letters get much more obvious once you know how to work with these water brush pens. So first, dip the tip of the water brush pen in water than mix it with water color. I can start by telling you about the basics and terminologies around a letter form, but for this class, I don't want to get you board. I want you to get a feel of the water brush pens, working and usability for drawing lots of letters, but I promise I will try to cover it with some classes later. Now from letter a two letter J just using pressure and water from the pen, identifying those strokes and pressure variation for each of these letters. As you let the water color ink those letters with practice, it becomes obvious where you need more pressure and where it needs to be normal. You can practice drawing these letters by looking at how I am doing it right now. First, then you should focus on each strokes and letter forms, Thin up strokes and thick down strokes is the first thing that you need to focus on now. Once you are done with those letters, continue with these letter combinations that are connecting to each other. When you write a continuous phrase or texts. Always pause between the letters because it will be more beautiful and the tip is going to dry anyway. From a B two K L. You can see and feel the pressure at the tip of the water brush pen to get a regular and a nice flow. It's important to practice in your warm up session. I want you to grab your supplies and pause between this video and draw the letters with me . As I am drawing here first, practice the letters to use what we learned from the previous section. While practicing these letters, I suggest to you use two letters at a time like I am doing here. It makes your practice lessons more fruitful as you're catching up both the letters and connections. I want you to try and learn. Now we're going to use two colors for the connecting letters in practice, a little blunting technique while drawing letters for this juice two colors and mix them well in your palate separately. When you're ready, start with one of the colors and write a letter just like I am doing here, using blue color for letter L. The next thing is wash it, dry it with the handkerchief or tissue, and after that, used the next color with that color, right, The next letter, Just like earlier, you will see that both the colors blend together at the point of connection. This is the most basic way to do this. Repeat cleaning it until you're ready. The other option is to mix the colors anyway without cleaning the brush tip. The best seen with water brush lettering is you learn more as you experiment. One day you feel like you can't do it, and the next day you want more of it. I don't want you to copy the style as you will identify your style with time. But as a starting point, try to copy this style to understand these letter forms. One other helpful way to learn new ways to draw letters is you can browse some free water, brush or brush pen, letter fonts and take a print. Then you can practice different styles of brush on lettering, understanding those water forms, and eventually you'll develop your own style. 6. Blending Technique: Now let's take a look at blending technique. In the last video, I gave you a glimpse of it, but now let's look at it in much more depth. Blending technique is just the process of blending two colors with water brush, such as that a color gradually mixes with other color in a way that they dissolve together at the point of connection. There are other advanced blending techniques to, but I will demonstrate the most basic form of water brush blending technique. Start by mixing to watercolors in your color palette. Make sure that your water brushes clean before mixing the other color. Practice blending by, choosing to colors to mix. Then use a little water to clean what's left behind by the previous one before lettering or coloring to practice and get better understanding of blending technique. Dip the water brush in one of the colors like here. I am using the red color. Next, draw small patch of red color By moving the tip up and down, you can use thumb pressure on the water chamber to get it diluted. You need to press it harder enough so that there is enough water to mix the other color. It's important toe. Wipe the tip a little with the cleaning paper, such to avoid mixing the colors too much, and it also makes it easy to control the Grady int of blunted color. Repeat it with the other color till you get the desired results. The amount of water applied pressure on the chamber and amount of watercolor used. How much you have cleaned. The tip. All these results into different blending effects. It's important to understand the results of these. Try a few hands on patches to practice more This way. You can blend the letters to using the water brush. Continue with blending text. Use it like it was in the previous lesson. Just make sure that when a letter is ending, give a slight press on the water chamber of the water brush pen, then clean and using the other color. Like here, it's green Blend the other letter and the connecting node. You can try different short words for this and practice the blending technique. Repeat this with other colors and letter forms to perfect this technique. It's always good practice to make wet patches with the water brush well experimenting, it gives you an idea about what you desire and how to get that results. You should also experiment with different color combinations to get an idea of different effects that you can keep note of, and you could always refer it back whenever you need to work on any project. 7. How To Water-Color Washes: Now let's take a look at another technique that is how to create watercolor washes with water brush pens. They can be used for creating background and textures that can be used in your lettering and other purposes. So let's see how you use watercolor wash technique. First she needs and preparations. You'll need a board either wood or anything, because it's important to fix the paper on which you want to create watercolor wash just to avoid it from waving. For fixing the paper onto the board, you could use tape for this. I will recommend using paper tape, which can be easily removed. Unlike other papers. Check that all your corners are fixed and the paper is really smooth without any air bubbles or wobbles underneath it. It's the best if you make sure that the water is well, aligns wild taping and is flat from the middle while taping it. Or you could do it like I am doing it here. Start by mixing different water colors. You can do a quick, thorough research according to your project or work that you're doing. Then you could just plan out what or how you want your texture to be. I use several colors normally, so it's really easy to blend and get a nice rich texture from the previous section. We practice blunting, so the method will be the same. The only thing different is the area and the freedom. But while doing watercolor wash is, make sure that your watercolor mix in the palate is not very wet. You could use water from water brush chamber when you need more water for blending, use the pen and mix the brush with water color. Then use the water that's inside the pen to mix with the next color. You can push the middle chamber little harder than any usual water brush. Lettering work because you'll need more water for this To make it beautiful. Repeat this with all the other colors. You can work on the transparency level of different colors by diluting and blending it with the other color. If you want a dry brush feel, then use less water and you will have rough looking washes. Watercolor washes can be beautifully used as a background for lettering works. You can also use masking fluid for creating a beautiful artwork. I will try to demonstrate those in later classes. But now let's see how you can use it without masking fluid to when you're ready with your wash texture. Continue and pick a phrase or a quote for the next step. You can use water brush for this or any other brush pen I picked. Feel good two word phrase. You can let her anything. It's on your wish list. What you want. A letter working on the thick and thin lines for each letter form. It's a lot easier if you have practiced each letter forms for doing masking over the wash. You can use any dark color or ink for this, since it is much easier and clearer to mask it over the watercolor wash using Adobe Illustrator once everything is dried up, scanned both the watercolor wash and letter phrase for importing to illustrator. We're going to use this for the next step because one of the methods to make a text in front of a blending background is to finish the process in the illustrator. If you wants, then you could try one of those masking fluids onto your watercolor wash, but I feel I will cover that in the future. So let's move on with the project. I'm going to continue and finish it in the Illustrator 8. Pseudo Masking Technique: Now we will see how water color washes can be used to create a pseudo masking effect. Using Adobe Illustrator, you will also get a basic clarity on how water brush lettered works can be digitalized for various usage. First, scan your images, which means both the watercolor wash, structured background and the lettered piece we wrote than Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new documents. A four size paper will be good, and in the new document dialog box, check that it's in C m y que mode and 300 peopie I, or else you could change it to your custom settings. Then simply open both of your scanned images. At first, we're going to copy the blended background to our new blank art board by using the shortcut key control, see for copy and control F for shortcuts. The control of short cut is used for pasting our image right in front of the art board. Then we need to vector rise our water brush lettered piece for that. First we have to duplicate it. You can do this by dragging the image to your cursor while pressing the old key on your keyboard at the same time, it's good practice to use this duplicated item for vectoring. Now let's see how you convict arise any lettered piece that you have drawn. We're going to use the image trace option for that. If this panel is not visible in your illustrator workspace, you confined it under window menu and then clicking on image trace option. We can have the best results if we use the black and white logo option. It also depends on the purpose that you were doing this image. Trace Tick Mark the preview check box to see the results. To refine the image. There is the advanced option recon. Modify the paths, corners and noise you can take. Ignore white because you don't even need the white background in your vector art. You can experiment the different values for every option till you're satisfied with those results. And if you're happy with it, click on expand option in the toolbar on the top. Now this water brush lettered piece is a vector image, but there are lots of unwanted nodes that we don't need it all. So, after that select all click right and select up group, because their points in parts that we don't need. Look for those unwanted pieces and delete them. Once done, select the correct vector image. Use a control G shortcut, which is for grouping the vectors. Let's get back to the new document you created to finish off the project. You can copy and paste the vector letters to the new document over the watercolor wash. You can change the size of the vector to match the overall document, and we're going to change its color toe white. You see that there's a question mark in the color swatch, which means that illustrator doesn't recognize the form. You can quickly change it by double click on the vector image. We're inside the group of the letters now. Choose the Magic Wand Tool and click on one of the letters. You'll see that it recognizes the black color within the selection, so we just need to change it toe white by clicking on the fill box and choose whites. After that, click somewhere outside with the selection tool. This mimics effect of any masking fluid over a watercolor wash. Sorry for that extra exposure in the background, but you can make sure that you use right water color swatches to create nice, vibrant effect. You can create beautiful pieces. Using this technique. I find it really helpful because sometimes masking fluids get really messy and there are some bad quality fluids in the market to 9. Thanks Everyone!: Okay, that's it for this class. Thank you for taking my class and upload your lovely letters or water color washes or anything creative you can imagine and have fun doing after taking this class. I can't wait to see it. Leave your feedback in the community or discussion. And you can also leave a review for this skill share class. In case you feel it was helpful to you. I want you to grab your watercolor brush and start lettering. Don't stop for another day and just try to have fun with it. See soon. Bye.