The Quick & Dirty Guide to Brush Lettering | Chris Glover | Skillshare

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The Quick & Dirty Guide to Brush Lettering

teacher avatar Chris Glover, Professional Artist

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

6 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Opening video and tools

    • 2. The Only Eight Strokes You Need to Know

    • 3. Turning Strokes into Letters

    • 4. Let's do Upper Case Letters

    • 5. Lettering Practice Game - Three of a Kind

    • 6. Final Project - Write your name THREE different ways

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About This Class

Hey guys. I made this course because it's coming up on Christmas and wedding season and I know a lot of people love to DIY during this time. One of the best elements to a good DIY is knowing how to write pretty! This course will run through the basics of brush lettering with you, from tools of the trade and the eight basic strokes to beginning to develop your own style.

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Glover

Professional Artist


Chris is an artist and writer currently living in the southern part of the United States.

She studied English and Fine Art at the University of Mississippi. Her writing focus was African American literature and her art focus was figure drawing.

Chris loves painting on her iPad along with using traditional media. She loves using charcoal, pastels, and oil paints the most.

Chris' Website

Chris' 2018 Figure Drawing Project (on Instagram)

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1. Opening video and tools: Hi, guys. It's question. I love question days, and I'm going to be your instructor for this course. I designed this course because I think that everyone should experience the fun of hand lettering. And laddering is one of my favorite hobbies and anyone condone it, I promise. These quick video lessons break it down. So it's easy to understand and quick to learn. And at the end of this course, you will be able to start making your own thoughts. So the first thing I want to go over with you is some of my favorite tools Since you need a hand lettering. I'm sure you don't really know what the best tools already get started with. And I have honestly, better on the block. I have bought so many lettering tools, I can tell you. You know what? Which ones are good and which ones are kind of terrible. And I picked up three of my weight. No, I picked out for my favorites. So my first favorite, um, is the Covic marker. It's ah, dull tip marker. One side has a brush that aside, has a chisel tip. I basically never use digital tip. But I love the colors of these. There are lots of different options for using them. There's, you know, over like, at least over 100 different colors. And they blend very well. They're just kind of great markers. They're not exactly for beginners, but they are cheap, which in my head is important for beginners. I'm just gonna right nothing. And I can show you how these guys work on this this way. So all right, so one reason why I like them is because you can see the color change when you're going up and down. And I really like the look of that. It looks like ribbon, and I think it looks really cool. Um, that's co pick for you. My next favorite, which is the cheapest, is the Crayola marker. Or as I've been known to dio the off brand Crayola marker you get from the dollar store, they work the same. It's fine. Either way, the Krell a marker takes a little bit to get used to, but it is one of my favorite beginner tools at the same time. Beautiful. My absolute favorite right now is the Tom Bow dual tip marker. I love these guys again. never really use the side but for touch ups. But they have a point side and they have a brush side. And I kind of didn't want to get on the Tom boat train for a long time. I was kind of putting it off their their little hard to find. Um and I just didn't want to be that person who's like Tom. Bows are fantastic, But y'all Tom, those are fantastic. They're legitimately fantastic, and they're worth the purchase. So let me show you how the scar works. The difference between the Tom Bow and Deco pick is that the Tom Bows brush tip is a little bit softer, which is what I like about it. But it can be hard to control for, um, a new lettering person. I think you can see it here. The Tom Buis Stenner longer while the cop biggest batter and skinnier. So this one is more firm, and this one is a little less firm, but it takes a little while to get used to. It just has a fantastic effect once you know how to control. Um, that flexibility, my last favorite, is probably the hardest to get used to but it's actually a brush. Um, you can play with brush tip markers all you want, but the idea of brush lettering is to use a brush today. So for brush tip marker, you have to use a brush and ink. I'm sorry I'm shaking my because it's been sitting for a while. Um, you have these airbrushing Inc. And I use a 00 or 20 And again, this is one that takes a lot of practice is well, but it is one of my favorites, styles and tools to use. - I know I'm going downhill on that one, but there you go. Those are my three favorites. Um, are sorry. I keep saying three. Those are my four favorite tools. And like I said, these are all super easy to find and easy to purchase to get started. 2. The Only Eight Strokes You Need to Know: Hey, guys, today I would like to go over the eight basic strokes. So if you're just doing your hand lettering journey, there's basically about eight strokes you do constantly when they're doing hand lettering. And once you know these strokes, you basically just do them over and over and over again. Um, so today I'm gonna be using my Tom Bow acid free brush. It has a brush tip on one side and a you know, writing tip on the other side, and it's one of my favorite lettering tools. You can get them at a craft store or, you know, Amazon. I'll leave a link in the description box so you can check them out. Um, and let's go over these trucks So the first stroke is going to be our basic downstream. That's it. Um, the only rial tip I have for this is it. There's not much to say about this stroke except for you do apply pressure when you're going down to give a nice wide stroke. The second stroke is your basic upstroke as follows your only wanna have the tip of your pencil or pen touching the paper. Getting these consistent and take a lot of practice for the up strokes. So don't worry so much if yours aren't perfect at first, The next stroke is what I call the end stroke. It starts out with you going up and then going back down. So, like a hill like that, stroke number four is the opposite of this stroke. And I call it a you stroke. So you're gonna go down first, applying pressure and then come back up light. The fifth stroke is a combination of the hill and the U You're going to start out at the bottom, go up, down and then up again. Now, if you notice I go faster on my up strokes, then I do on my down strokes. That's to give it the feel of movement and to avoid a super shaky line. Okay, stroke number six. We're gonna call this the L stroke. It's, um, the main where I do my lower case. Else we're going to start at the bottom. Go up, come around on, then. Back down. Stroke number seven is the opposite. Uh, the L stroke is called. I call it the J Stroke. Start the bottom again, but make your loop the other direction. So start at the bottom, come around down like so and then the last stroke is a circle. Circles are hard because most people like to start at the top of the circle. I prefer to start on the side, so I'm going to start in the middle, on the side, going up. So we're gonna go up, down and then come back around and connect. That makes the joint look the least offensive and it blends the easiest. So basically, these states strokes or a combination of these strokes will make up every letter that you're going to be writing and every flourish and everything else when you're doing brush lettering, it is pretty beneficial that get to know these strokes. 3. Turning Strokes into Letters: The main thing to remember when forming letters and words is that it's okay to break your letters and words down into the simple forms we already discussed. It's okay if you have 12 or three strokes in one letter when you're first starting, eventually you'll get there and where you can combine them all and it's on a big deal. So I'm going to show you some of the letters that are multiple strokes to create, and we're going to just kind of walk our way through those letters. And then I'll do some words for you, and I'll show you how I break down each letter and word into individual strokes. And then we combined them. So let's get started. So I'm going to break down some of the more complex letters for you and show you how I take all the strokes we already practiced and turn them into words and letters. I'm going to start with a so the first moving with a first step is to do your circle, and then let's do de these another circle first and then the l that is more complex. We can stop in between f. I tend not to, but you can stop. So you start with the at the L. And then you would keep going for the other one so you could stop here and then continue their if you want to. So let's do a judge. H is an L and then the hill on K. Oh. Oh, Well, I m you could do the hill for these if you wanted Teoh. It's kind of up to you how you form those particular letters. Um, because the end even congee played with I think that p I don't know. Now I'm kind of playing around with different letters. T you is another one that you can do like the end w look second m, except for its adult for you to show you how I take the individual letters and make them in the words I'm going to just write the days of the week. I'm not really creative, so I don't want to think about what words to write, but I just want to show you how I break them down and turn them all into one word. So actually, - those are all the strokes that take up one word now. I was So this turns into this after you put all these strokes together. So let's do Tuesday. So the first trip on Tuesday is this one and the That's the easa t you part one you Part two e. Yes, the dress de part one de Part two a part one a part two. Why are one why are too and then, Of course, somewhere we have this quickly t crossing. So let's do one more still Wednesday. So again you stroke Well, I spelled that wrong so sometimes. So you're not thinking about it. You can just feel words wrong. You're not thinking about the world, everything about the strokes and it makes it difficult sometimes to do correct spelling. So let's try that again, because that was definitely spelled wrong. There we go. That looks Mork are facts. All right, so So there you are. So that's just how I take all of the individual strokes and combined them to form a word 4. Let's do Upper Case Letters: to show you a brush lettering. Today, I'm going to be using my Tom Bo dual tip marker. You can find this at any craft store. Any are so that has attracting or lettering section. You want to just do basic middle school lettering, So nothing special. We're just gonna focus on the upstroke on the down strokes. So let's start with the A heavy light again and then heavy. Also don't really remember how to write letters. So I'm going to be doing my version of whatever middle school cursive was. This is why I love Tom Boast is that you can see the darkness in the stroke. So, like when I go really hard down, you can see the darkness of the color saturation of the color and each stroke. And that's one of those things that creates the movement, feel of it and makes it feel more organic and one natural. That's really part of what I love about hand lettering. You not your basic brush lettering alphabet. I'm sorry I kind of breezed through it. I don't have much to say about it. It's really just the course of that you did in middle school 5. Lettering Practice Game - Three of a Kind: hi guys. So today, what I want to do is show you one of my favorite ways to practice lettering. I don't like doing drills. I don't like basically tracing someone else's style. I practice by developing thinking it's like a thinking game is the way I practice in. One of the ways I practice is by doing a project that I call it a kind three of a kind is basically where I spend some time writing every single letter of the alphabet and three different ways. I do this because you have to know different ways to write letters. Not every letter or not every style is gonna work for every application, and having plenty of different ways already in your mind can speed up the process of developing their own thought. And the point of this whole thing is to eventually develop your own fun or, you know, different phones or different writing styles, that kind of thing. So did you get started with three of a kind? I just get my sketchbook and, um, I'm gonna use a co pick today, and I just write the letters. I'm gonna start with A and, um, Mr with their basic course of A. I haven't used clippings for a while, so they're gonna be pretty rusty today, but a then I'll do a different A like so and then I will do like so they don't have to be drastically different, but they do have to be different enough where you can tell that it is a different style of letter. That's the main goal in this project. So my favorite be when I use the most, and then weaken Dio back and then weaken Dio. So there's three different bees. See is harder because I feel like there's not a lot of different ways to do a C. But I'll start with flourishes kind of see the basic C and my hand is slipping today. There you go. One thing I like to do with with these is I tend to start out with my favorite letter at the time, were my favorite style at the time. Currently, I'm kind of loving a bouncy style, so I usually just do the bouncy one first and then I'll practice different ways past that If you get stuck, it's OK. If I get stuck our fall back to what I would have done or what I would have been taught a middle school. So on this day, I kind of got stuck a little bit. I wasn't sure where I want to go from there. I could have done a more flourish e d like one of the bees backwards. But I decided that I was just gonna go with what, you know, just a basic. A basic letter. I don't like it, but that's okay. You don't have to like everything that you come up with when you're doing this project. It's really just to get your mind thinking about different ways to write every single letter. - It doesn't matter if these letters our capital or lower case for me. Some people do capital versions and lower case versions. But for me, I just do the version. I don't I don't really differentiate that much between lower case and capital letters besides the capital letter being bigger than the lower case letter when I'm writing. So I don't focus too much on my capital letters being different from my lower case. It's a personal preference, of course. Um, you can do it, however you want to do it But that's just the way that I have been doing it. Because you can see here. My peas are very reminiscent of a caterpillar. Like, this is a couple letter. This is probably Capital Letter Don't like that one. But, hey, it's there. And then this one is Could be either way and same thing with my owes. This is probably capital over me on these two are probably lower case, that kind of thing. So Oh, my God. I'm slipping so much today, So I kind of squeeze dizzy in there. I didn't want to start a new page just for one letter, but that is my way of doing, um, one letter three ways or three of a kind. I think this is a extremely good practice when you're kind of stuck on letters or you don't know where to go or you're trying to develop a new fund at the same time. This just gives you, you know, this is something that you could look back, and this is a reference that you've just made for yourself where you can go. Oh, I don't know how I want to write this letter. I could do it. One of these three ways. Then, of course, later, as you get better, you can redo these or do them. Or I know some people do 10 different ways and that kind of thing, and those are great. But I think that three of a kind, it's just a nice way to really get, um, your brain thinking about those kind of things in those little details that really make a letter, what they are and how they connect. So that's it for this one. And I will see you in the next video. Okay, bye. 6. Final Project - Write your name THREE different ways: Okay, guys. So your final project for this course is going to be too right a name. I was gonna say your name, but then I realized that maybe your name is not really interesting to write. I don't know. My name is Chris, and I just think it's really boring the right. So I tend to write the name Amanda. That's just me. I know it's probably pretty weird, but that's what I think is the most beneficial final product for this course. I want you to utilize the tips that you've already learned. And I want you to write the name of your choice three different ways. Not just the same, You know, the same way three times using the videos on how I write my upper case letters and also how I do want to have a kind. So I want you to utilize those, um, skills and right the name of your choice and three unique ways. This might be kind of hard if you're starting just starting out. But this is a good project, um, to get a feel for what you're doing. So I'm gonna write the name Amanda, and I'm going to start out by doing just a generically cursive writing like it's just gonna be cursed if it's not gonna be fancy. So there you go. That's my basic writing of the name. I like to start here because after this we're going to jazz it up a little bit. The first way I'm going to change up is I'm going to do what has been called bouncy lettering. I'm going to practice the letters, the little more variation, so we'll start with the A L to the again the same. But for the M, I'm going to do the first M higher, the hot first point higher. And then it's like I won low, so like that and then they will leave they the same. But for the end, we'll just do it higher. We'll leave the D the same again. We'll leave Daisy. So that's version two. So for Version three, I think that what I'm going to do is now that I made them in the end bigger. I'm going to make the ace and the DEA's the openings, these openings. I'm gonna make those smaller. Aside from the cover letter that will stay the same because it's a Capital letter. So let's do that. And then we'll still do the end like so that this time this will be small. All right, then end will be the same as round two, then the D We'll do it small and there you have it. That's three different ways. So that's your project. I'd love to see what you guys come up with. Please, you know, feel free to pick a different If your name is not that interesting. I understand. I completely get it. My name is four letters or five letters, and it's really not that exciting. So pick a name that you like to write and practice writing it three different ways. Start out with just the bare basic way of writing it. Don't do anything fancy. Just do the first basic cursive, and then you can look back at your three of a kind Change one or two of the letters if they're repeating letters and change the same repeating letter, or if there's not repeating letters and change, whichever one you want to change, which everyone you want to change but don't change everything. Just change, you know, one or two letters and then for time. Three change, two more letters and that will give you that will give you something that will give you a style. That's that's just how you do it. It's It's not as, um, daunting as it may it may feel. So I'd love to see what you come up with. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me. I'd love to help you if you're kind of feeling stuck. We don't know what named to pick. You can always pick the name Amanda. You can practice the where I practice. That's no problem. I mean, Amanda's everyone will be really happy that they think that we Do you think they're name is the best So happy lettering. And I hope to see you in my next course. Okay, Bye.