Lettering for Beginners: What I Wish I Would’ve Known | Jill Beamon | Skillshare

Lettering for Beginners: What I Wish I Would’ve Known

Jill Beamon, @jillianbeamoncreative

Lettering for Beginners: What I Wish I Would’ve Known

Jill Beamon, @jillianbeamoncreative

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7 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Lettering for Beginners: What I Wish I Would’ve Known

    • 2. Tools, Part 1

    • 3. Tools, Part 2

    • 4. Tools, Part 3

    • 5. More Examples

    • 6. Class Project

    • 7. Final thoughts

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About This Class

So you've bought a few trendy brush markers, and you just can't wait to start posting your beautiful lettering on Instagram. But there's just one problem...you're embarrassed that your work looks NOTHING like what you see on social media! You're getting frustrated and ready to give up. But don't worry - I've been there, and I know how you feel. 

It has taken me a long time and a lot of practice to feel more confident with my lettering. Improvement came with a lot of trial and error. I learned a few things the hard way- so let me save you some time by giving you all the information I wish I'd known when I started! In this class, I'll tell you all the things I wish I'd known when I started lettering:

How do I know which pen or marker is right for ME?

Other people make it look so easy! How do I make my work look like that? 

I want to letter in my journal, but I can't write small enough with my brush pens.

What about color blending, shadows, flourishing...? There are so many thing to remember!

This class is for you if you:

Have never attempted hand lettering

Have bought the supplies, but you're afraid to start.

Have written a word or phrase with a brush pen and immediately trashed it (I did)!

Have experimented with brush pens, and you want a little more practice to get the hang of it.

Want to see some of my embarrassing first attempts!

In this class, we'll explore the differences of some of the most popular brush pens. We'll practice basic strokes using the printable practice sheets. Our final projects will show "before and after" photos of our work, and we'll see that everyone starts as a beginner!

Meet Your Teacher

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Jill Beamon



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1. Lettering for Beginners: What I Wish I Would’ve Known: Do you love the lettering on social media? But you just can't quite get the hang of it. Do you have brush pins that you don't know how to use thin? This class is for you. We're gonna look at some popular pens and I'll show you the things I learned through a lot of trial and error. I'll provide some printable practice sheets for large and small brushes. We'll look at some different types of lettering projects you could do, and we'll see how the tools you choose. Effect those lettering projects. I'll show you how brush, size and paper type change the look of your work. We'll practice making strokes and letters. But the main focus of this class will be on the difference between some of the most popular brushes right now. And I'll show you how to practice for the project that matters to you. Hi, Jill. I first started lettering about three years ago, and it's still something I like to do every day. But I know how frustrating it could be when you first start. So grab a pen and let's practice together 2. Tools, Part 1: So let's talk about the brushes I'll be using in this class. I'm going to use all black. The 1st 3 brushes I'm going to use are larger and more flexible, and you can write larger letters. The next three are smaller. You have more control and you can write finer, thinner up strokes and right on a smaller piece of paper or in a planner or journal. Something to keep in mind is number four and five. The to Tom bows are sold together in a set number. One is the art line sticks. This is sold in a set with multiple colors. I ordered mine on Amazon, but you may be able to find it in a non art supply store. The 2nd 1 we will look at is the very popular Tom Bo dual brush pin. It has a bullet tip on one end and the brush pin on the other. You can find this at Hobby Lobby, Joanne Michael's or Amazon. The 3rd 1 is called Marv E Color in. I bought mine in a set at Hobby Lobby, but I'm sure you can order these on Amazon as well. Four and five are the Tom bows. I'm not even gonna pretend I know how to say this word, but it I call it a Tom Bo feud. There is a hard tip and a soft. The blue one that you can see on the bottom is the harder tip, and the black one is the softer tip. They both have black ink and the black one that's the soft tip is just a little bit more flexible. The last one that we're going to talk about is the pen tell touch Sign pin. I bought mine at a supply store. You can buy it on Amazon and you can buy the black individually. I believe the rest come in sets, and you have to be careful with this one because there's another version of this without a flex tip that looks exactly the same on the outside. 3. Tools, Part 2: When choosing paper, you want to look for something that's pretty smooth. My favorite is Skansen marker paper. Made specifically four markers and brush tips. It's very smooth. It's more smooth than regular paper from your printer. Let's do a comparison with the marker paper and watercolor paper. Watercolor paper has a lot more texture. It's not as smooth as the marker paper. I'm just doing some basic strokes, and I don't know if you'll be able to tell on on camera. But the watercolor paper. The marker bleeds a little. It feathers at the edges, but it's not too noticeable. Let's practice making some strokes with the's small brushes. I'll start with the pen tell. Want to go slowly and make thin up strokes and thick down strokes? Just apply a little more pressure when you're coming down. I've created this practice sheet to practice some of the strokes that you make in multiple letters. Now let's use the Tom Bo soft tip. You can see the down strokes are a little thicker. This brush is a little more flexible than the pen tell when you're using a more flexible brush. The transition between thin and thick strokes is a little trickier. And now the hard tip. This is my favorite because the tip is firm enough that it's easy to transition between strokes. But the down strokes are not as thick as you'll get with the pen tell or the Tom Bo soft tip. I have a lot more control. When I use the smaller, harder tip, I'm gonna continue making some strokes with the's smaller brushes. This one is something you'd see in the letter. Why or a lower case? J Maybe A. P. If you're doing a flourish, notice the difference when I'm transitioning from down to upward strokes with the different brushes. Now let's practice making some more transitions between strokes with these small brushes. Now I'm just going to write some of the letters with these small brushes to give you an idea of what it looks like. 4. Tools, Part 3: Okay, let's make some practice strokes with the large brush markers. So let's begin with the letters. You can see how flexible this tip is. The transition from upward to downward strokes is a little trickier. You can get a really nice wide down stroke, but it's a little more difficult for me to get a nice, thin and also not shaky upstroke. And remember, don't be afraid to pick up your pen. You can see that I have a lot less control than with one of the smaller brush pens. All right, let's move on and try the Tom Bow, which I feel like it's one of the most popular brush markers out there. This is the one I brought. I bought so many of these, um, and I almost wish I hadn't because I don't really use them for lettering. They're good to try their great for color blending, but for lettering, you can't really get small, which is what I I mainly do. There's a little more control than with the Marv E, but still a nice, big, flexible brush. All right, let's look at the third large brush the art line sticks. These are very new to me, the brush is large, but it's not as flexible. Being less flexible means I can control the smoothness, and I have a steadier hand. I don't know if if you comptel, but it has a little bit more bleed. So overall, the three of these appear to be about the same. But just know that the difference is how flexible the brush is and how much control you have. Using regular um, printer paper, I want to show you the difference between the size of the the letters that you can make with the large and small brushes. So this is the printable sheet for large brushes. I've sized this specifically for brushes of about this size for practice. So this is the Marv E. And let's compare to the most flexible small brush I'm using the Tom Bo Soft. We'll compare the same letter. This Tom Bow has no problem making letters of this size, but look at the difference in the up strokes. Tom Bo can make them a lot smaller. Now let's look at the dual brush Tom Bo. Same brand, different type of brush. Let's compare the small brush Tom Bo soft to the Tombaugh dual brush with the letter B. Again. This could make large letters, but the size of the strokes is the main difference. So we did. A little comparison of the brush size is on the practice sheet for large brushes. Let's try to do the same thing on the practice sheet for small brushes, just so you can get a better idea of what they can and can't do. So Tom Bo. Soft, nice, thick down strokes, then up strokes and the Tom Bo dual brush. Let's go with Letter a again. You see, it can be done, but the letter itself is a lot bigger. Now let's try with the Marv E. What's to be pretty good? And let's compare that to the Tom Bo feud. Soft. I'm sorry. This is hard. You see how thin these strokes are. There's still a difference between the down stroke and upstroke, but it's just a lot smaller overall, and not to be unfair to the dual brush pin. Let's write something large. This is our marker paper, Smooth marker paper. Let's just right Hello all across the page so you can see it fills up the page pretty nicely. You've got that down strokes, then up strokes. Looks pretty nice. And let's take the Tom Boat hard tip and see if we can do the same thing again. It's doable. I filled up the entire page. But when you're writing this large with the small brush, it's harder to distinguish between thick down strokes and thin up strokes. So for larger projects, I think the Tommo dual brush is a better choice. 5. More Examples: Okay, so I just want to take a minute to show you some examples of the lettering that I do and how I decided, which which markers to use. So this is a journaling bible that I like to use. And before I had really made a decision about the pens, you can see I was trying to used to many colors. Um, the pens were too big, too many colors, The pens were too big. And I really wasn't. This isn't what I was I was looking for. So after a while, I after using some of the pens, I decided, unlike a small black pen that fits, I can write as many things as I want to fit on the page. And then, um, as I as I progressed, I was able to get exactly exactly what I wanted. And so just to compare. So this is what I normally do when I journal a page, Um, and I just want to compare a pin. So if I had chosen the Tombaugh dual brush one of the more popular ones when I first started with this Bible, this is I'm just gonna rewrite. I'm just gonna rewrite a verse from this page. I'll choose this one right here, and I'll show you what what it would have looked like if I had tried to write with this brush marker in this book. Here's another example of something I was able to do with the Tom Bo hard nib. Um, you can actually take pretty quick notes, it writes, almost a swell as a regular pen, a regular ballpoint or felt tip. Bullet tip. Um, I can take notes. I can doodle, but I can also have the thick down stroke. So something else to keep in mind about a small pin. Here's an example of the more rough type paper that I mentioned before. Um, I ruined quite a few of these pen tell touch pins before I realized the paper was the problem. So you can letter on this paper, but just keep in mind. The brushes won't last long. Don't be afraid to use lines and guides when you're lettering. Sometimes I I use lined paper behind the paper I'm working on, and this is a journal that actually has lines. So don't be afraid of that. Sometimes I think we feel like we should be able to create a beautiful masterpiece with no guides, but definitely don't be afraid to do that 6. Class Project: So now I'm going to give you an example of something you could do for a final project. I'm going to show you a lettering project. I did probably two or three years ago, and it was I thought Instagram worthy. I was trying to do too many different things. Let's look at the picture now. Now I'm going to recreate that lettering project. Same words, same idea. But I'm going to stick to one color and I'm going to actually use pencil first, which I didn't do then And don't be afraid to do that. Not everyone can just right everything in a straight line. So I'm gonna keep the words on the same lines. The first line. I believe I had Happy National Handwriting Day on the second line finish with day. Now I'll do national handwriting in script, - even though my spacing is a little off. I did not choose the right pin for such a large page. It already looks a lot better just because I've practiced and I know which pins will do. Which things. Now let's try again with another pin. This time I have my four pencil lines aligned on the left. Gonna try different alignment this time I'm going to choose a little bigger, fresh Tom Bo soft. So I like this one a little better than the one before, and I like this one better than my original. Just keep practicing with different brushes to fill the page or to write small to find the one you want. Let's make this one more time with the Tom Bode ill brush. I believe Tom Bodo brush is what I used the first time waken. See that this larger brush builds up the paper a lot more nicely than the 2nd 1 and especially a lot more than the 1st 1 So something to keep in mind based on the size of the space that you're trying to fill. 7. Final thoughts: so just some final thoughts before you get started on your project. Remember using pencil to plan out your layout or the word you want to write is okay. Also, remember, it's okay to pick up your pin mid letter mid word. This is not your handwriting. Many people think, Oh, my handwriting doesn't look that good. I couldn't do that. But it's not about handwriting. It's more about drawing the word. No one is an expert from the beginning. Everyone starts with usually very little skill. It's something you have to learn and practice. Remember to focus on one thing at a time when you see really pretty lettering online that's got blended colors and shadows and outlines and flourishes those air, many skills toe learn, so just focus on one at a time. And don't compare yourself to someone who's already mastered those other skills. The last thing I want you to think about is your goal. Why are you lettering? Do you want to keep up with the monthly challenges that you see online that focus on one word or phrase? Do you want to journal? Do you want to use lettering in a planner or a bullet journal. If you remember what your goal is, you'll be able to select the tools that will help you reach that goal.