Hand Lettering In Your Art Journal with Nikalola | Nikki Jouppe | Skillshare

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Hand Lettering In Your Art Journal with Nikalola

teacher avatar Nikki Jouppe, 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

    • 1.

      hello there!


    • 2.



    • 3.

      grocery list


    • 4.

      bubble letters


    • 5.

      brush lettering


    • 6.

      watercolor lettering


    • 7.

      bonus styles


    • 8.

      class project


    • 9.

      thx & good luck


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About This Class

Hello there! I am Nikki Jouppe a.k.a. Nikalola! I am super into art journaling and I also specialize in hand lettering in my Etsy shop! 

In this class, I'm going to teach you a few of my favorite styles of hand lettering that I use in my art journal. I also use these styles when I design stickers and cards as well!

I will show you the step by step process of each of them so you feel confident to incorporate them into your artistic practice; whether you have an art journal or not!

In the first lesson we'll talk about some of my most-used lettering supplies, and some resources that are available for you to download.

Canson Multimedia Art Journal

Tombow Fudenosuke Pen

Big Ink Brush Pen

Medium ink brush pen

Tombow Dual Brush Pen

Prima Marketing Watercolor Set

Pentel Water Brush

Then, we'll jump in to four different styles!

First: "grocery list" style.... In this style we're trying to write as much as we can as fast as we can. This is perfect for journaling around the edges of a page or filling in spaces. It will be as unique as each artist! I think your personality can show through in your everyday handwriting!!

Next: bubble letters.... For this one I'll demonstrate how I QUICKLY can make certain words POP with a loose, casual style that really adds a playful feeling to a page. I will show you how you can get started with some printable downloads, so you can trace the letterforms with your pen and develop confidence. Kind of like training wheels!

In the next lesson we'll talk about Brush Lettering.... This style is really having a moment right now; you'll see it all over Instagram and there are countless tutorials on Skillshare to teach it even more in-depth... but for this quick lesson we'll quickly touch on the downstrokes and upstrokes and how a flexible pen tip will give you varied "line-weights."

For the final lesson I'll show you Watercolor Lettering which is combining my love of watercolor with letterforms and we'll show how you can blend each letter into the next with a few easy steps.

I will also show you a few bonus styles in a rapid-fire round just to inspire you further and get your creative juices flowing!

Meet Your Teacher

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Nikki Jouppe



Hey everyone! My name is Nikki Jouppe, also known as Nikalola and I live with my rowdy family in Montana! I have been teaching on here since May 2019 and I love encouraging others to make time for creativity! I feel like making time for art has helped me so much with my mental health and my mood!I was always an artistic kid but I put most of my creativity on the back burner when I first became a mom in 2004. Later on, I realized that I am a happier mom and a more relaxed human being when I make time for art every day! I have an Etsy shop where I sell some of my hand lettering pieces, and also am dipping my toe into the many ways I can sell my artwork on different sites online:

I have always enjoyed opportunities to teach: I try to do art projects with my kids' classes (th... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. hello there!: Hey, guys, it's me again. Nicky Jobe, back with another are journaling class for you This time, instead of focusing on the artwork, we're going to talk about hand lettering. Lettering is something that absolutely anyone can dio. We've all been writing since we're three or four years old, and I'm not here to teach you how to be perfect at hand lettering. I'm just going to show you a few styles that you can practice and then make them your own. I love how everyone's personality shows through in their handwriting. Even if you have total chicken scratch, I can bet that your family and friends recognize it as such a unique part of you. Why try to hide it? Hand lettering is really my bread and butter. I've been writing letters and words as long as I can remember, and now I do it for other people to. I work on calendars and men use baby announcements, wedding stuff, all kinds of things. And I even have a Nazi shop called Nikola, where I sell all kinds of goodies with my hand lettering on it. When I first started our journaling, I really enjoy the process of combining art and lettering, and in this class, I'm going to show you some of the most common styles that I keep coming back to. I like to mix it up on each page. I don't plan them in advance. I just kind of let it happen. As it happens, I love it how in my art journal things don't have to be perfect like some of my client jobs Dio I can just have on an experiment if you haven't started an art journal yet. I encourage you to check out my first class on skill share where I talk about all the basics and the introductory class. And if you have no intention of starting in Argenteuil practice. No worries. These hand lettering techniques are perfect for any creative that ever uses hand lettering . I use them when I'm a greeting cards and in my kids baby books. Absolutely anyone can do this class in the first lesson will show you the super basic supplies that are all listed in the class. Resource is tab. Then I will move into my very favorite styles. There's four videos that are quite in depth and then I will do a rapid fire around 15 more lettering. Ideas, Frida, using your are journal. I think you'll come away from this class feeling inspired and ready to tackle hand lettering for the class project. We're going to do an entire art journal page together, and we're gonna use all four styles that we learn in this class, and I think you're really gonna like how it comes out. If this sounds like fun, I hope you'll join me in the next lesson. 2. supplies: for this class, I'm gonna be demonstrating a few different lettering techniques that will use a few different tools. I have my art journal here that have talked about in my other glasses on skill share. It's a mixed media spiral book that I have covered with stickers. We will be using this for the class project, but sometimes it feels stressful to use these pretty white pages for messing around. So I'll just set that aside for a minute. For practicing these methods, you'll need to get a hunk of free paper to really go wild with. I have a bunch of old school worksheets and copy paper to use today. I don't feel like I'm ruining my Arjun with my messy practice sheets. First of all, I have to tell you about my absolute favorite lettering pen, the Tommo food. No Suk a pen. It's similar to a permanent felt tip pen, but the typists flexible. So you get all sorts of variation in the line. Wait, what I mean by that is you get really thin lines and also really thick lines. As you press down harder, I'm going to demonstrate a couple styles with this pen And if you click the class description tab on your computer, you can get a link for these exact pens on Amazon. There are two different types of tips on these pens. One of them is more flexible on the other is more stiff. The next thing you're gonna want to get is a medium with brush run. These are water soluble markers in every craft store. Nowadays by Tomball. Choose a color that you love or start with just black. You can see on this type of pen. One end is just a fine tip felt marker and then the other. And this is where the good stuff is. It's a brush step where you go very thin or very thick, depending on how much pressure you put into the pan. I'm gonna practice here with some wavy lines. It's really fun to experiment with. This is how you get some really cool brush lettering style. I also really enjoy these brush pens that have actual brush, bristles on the tip and have permanent ink inside. I'm not sure how to say the name of it, but they start off with a really dry texture. As you can see here and are really kind of unpredictable. But I like the way they give a page kind of analogy. Feel like I mentioned before. I'm not teaching you how the letter perfectly perfect is boring. I'm also going to show you a very thick brush pen. This is another Japanese one. I'll put the link in my class description, but this one gives very juicy black ink marks. I just want to show you a variety here so that you can experiment. And none of these are mandatory to take this class. But I just want you to be aware of some of the fun pens that are out there. So you know what kind of look for the flexible tip will give you the brush lettering style . I'm also going to be going over some water color lettering. So any watercolors air fine for this. But I am going to show you my favorites that here it's by prima marketing and it's a travel kit. But I use it at home all the time, and I use it with this water brush pen by Penn. Tell these air really, really fun because the water and the pain is all in one again. I'm using my scrap paper here to just practice and show you it's not going to behave as well as the mixed media or watercolor paper. But you can definitely get a feel for the same kind of techniques that we talked about in the brush lettering section. You'll be using those same ideas with watercolor lettering, press on the down stroke and lift up on the upstroke. Another optional item you can have for this class is washi tape. I can use it in my art journal for keeping a straight line and then coming in and adding lettering above it or below it. And then I can peel it up when I'm done without ruining the paper. It's on Lee semi sticky, so even if you don't use it for decorating your page, you could have a role on hand just for this kind of guideline purpose. One of the coolest things that I did for this class is I made some practice sheets, so if you go underclass resource is you can download and print these pages where I made the words really pale in this pale turquoise color for you to come and trace over as we do the different styles. I made this one for the skinny bubble letters lesson. I made this she for the brush lettering lesson. And then I made this final page for the water clear lettering page. I really, really like how they turned out. So I also want to talk about using an iPad, an apple pencil. So much of lettering comes down to muscle memory, and if you aren't worried about using paper and ink at all, you can get a lot of valuable practice just by writing words over and over on a digital device like this. And if you have access to one, I would highly recommend it. It's so much fun, So gather your supplies and join me in the next lesson. 3. grocery list: for this style that I'm calling grocery list style. We're just gonna write as fast as we can in our own natural handwriting style. I like this casual style because it really shows your own unique personality. I use the style for journaling around the edges of my art journal pages, and I really don't even care if it's eligible to anyone else. I try to hold my pen sort of loosely, as I read as fast as I can and not even stop to dominate I's and cross my tease, so to speak. I let the words run together, and I don't worry too much about making things look good. One way to practice this on your scrap papers to write whatever comes to mind. The first time I drew quick little lines to write on what's in the room around me, what I'm thinking about or you could even right out something that you know from memory, like I'm doing here with the Pledge of Allegiance. I'm writing the words as soon as they pop into my head and not worrying about capitalization and punctuation. In fact, I'm kind of alternating between lower case and upper case. I'm just letting it all flow out of me. After I'm done, I can make a box around the bank of texts to make it look more finished and intentional. Now I'm going to list the things that are on my dining room table as I fill in this video. This little snapshot of my surroundings would work great on our journal page, where I don't have much else to say. It really captures the moment of that particular day in time, even if someone else glanced at a page in my art journal and couldn't read my grocery list style journaling, I think it really gives a page interest and personality. This is a good style to use for warm up before we start on the next lessons. So give it a try. Get out your scrap paper and see how fast you can write. These videos of me were all filmed in riel time 4. bubble letters: e feels like everyone has experimented with bubble letters at one time or another, but I'm going to show you my favorite style skinny bubble letters. They're a little bit more visually interesting, but they're still a style that I do super quickly, and I encourage you to give them a try. I usually just picture the shape of each letter form and then trace around the outline without using a pencil or anything to plan it out. But if this seems intimidating, here's where the practice sheets I provided come in. This is almost like training wheels. You don't overthink it just close fast as you can around each letter and through each word on this sheet and the wonky or the better, gives it the really playful, casual feeling. I try not to lift my pen it all, even when the letter has, like a circle inside, just kind of go assed fast as I can. I just cruise from one letter to another, mixing upper case letters with lower case letters and not stressing too much about how they line up with practice. You'll get even more confident using this style toe. Add visual interest on your art journal pages again. These videos are absolutely not sped up at all. I want to show you how fast you can go once you've practiced it a while. Once you are have done that practice she Then you can take your training wheels off and move on to your scrap paper. I, for some reason, always end up littering the name of myself, My friends, Um, a lot of the same words get lettered in my our journals Love Super. I don't know. And here I'm gonna show you how it's kind of a funky look to mix every other letter. Upper case, Lower case. Upper case. Lower case. It just looks extra unique and fun. So this is the next size Bigger than the grocery list lettering. So I kind of think of these lettering styles in order from small to big. And when we do the project, you'll see how that all goes together on your art journal page. Next up, we're gonna use our brush pens 5. brush lettering: as I mentioned in the Supplies video, The main thing you need to know about brush lettering is pressure on the down stroke. It takes a while to get used to it. So I'm showing you here in real time how carefully I traced these letters in the practice sheets and make thes down strokes faker than the up strokes. It gives the lettering a really sophisticated look that is very trendy right now. With a little practice, you can improve so much you can use it for cursive or printing styles of rating. This brush lettering style is great for a page title. It tends to be larger than the previous styles. You may want to sketch the word or words in advance, but you probably know by now that I don't I think it adds charm and the letters turn out a little wonky or the spacings a little bit weird. You can experiment with different sizes of brush, friends and different colors here, too. Some of these sample words air really fancy and embellished, and some are more simple. This style here is a stretched out cursive style. I just take it one letter at a time just like I learned cursive in school. No rush. So, basically the opposite of the previous two styles. This one I'm using that really big ink brush pen that makes very big, juicy letters. And it works great for this fast and furious style, not cursive like the others. It's really fun to see the expressive brushstrokes and get those little details here. I'm using the pen from the first lesson to do brush lettering. As you can see, if I press hard, I still get the fix and thins in the lettering, even though it's away. Finer tip. This bounty style up here is made by making each letter land on an imaginary line that IHS first down than up. It gives a lot of fun movement to the lettering. There's lots of other teachers that will give you a deep dive right here on skill share. If you want to learn more about this style, and if you haven't gotten yourself a bigger brush pin yet, you can always use a thinner pen to do a style called Fulla Griffey. Were you write the word is a regular Panter marker, and then you come back later and add the thickness where there would be a thicker down stroke to give it that brush lettering style. So I'm gonna just make those down strokes way thicker and kind of color there. Men like this. You knew this with any type of pen whatsoever, and then I usually go back over it one more time to just kind of smooth all those curves out and just make it look more polished when you're done. So if you haven't bought those pens yet, this is a fun style to try. Once you've traced a few of these words, you can experiment with this style on your scrap paper again. Here I'm practicing by quickly writing the names of my kids and then lettering. Some seasons just have fun experimenting with how the different brush pens behave, depending on how hard you push down and just have fun with it. Even though most of my scrap lettering ends up in the trash. If something does turn out okay, I can totally cut it out and glue it on a page in my art journal. Next up we're using are watercolors for lottery 6. watercolor lettering: Okay, So, technically, this style is just in extension of brush lettering. But this time we're using our paints so we can add color and even more personality to traditional brush lettering. I use this style for titles and headings of my our journal pages. So I made these practice sheets with even larger words, with fewer letters for you to trace over with your paints so skinny on the cross strokes, heavy line on the down stroke. You can totally use the same color for all the letters of the word. Or you could alternate different colors throughout the word. If they're cursive letters, they might bleed altogether. Makes him interesting or facts. It really gives a nice fix and thins to your lettering when you vary the pressure like this . Ah, lot of this is muscle memory when you first try to do these tiles that feel so clunky when a my school supply pressure and when of mice was lighten up. But I promise you, if you use your stack of scrap paper to really go wild with names and words and don't worry about how ugly your first ones turn out, you will start to get hang of it. The brush does a lot of the work for you. I love watercolor lettering because it feels like you're more drawing the letters, and you're able to go back and smooth things out and touch things up at a few details. At flourishes, you can dab in additional colors while it's drying. You can see that this paper is not designed to hold a lot of water. The way your journal. Well, it's getting a little bit Ripley and warped, But you can still get a feel for the way the brush feels in your hand and how the letters air formed. Just take it slow. The 1st 2 lessons are all about going as fast as you can, and these last two lessons air about. Take it slow. You can see how the red and the blue blend together to make a purple. It's kind of an experience like you don't even know how it's going to turn out as you're painting, and I love that. See, I could fix that. Are you? Go back and kind of fix this s and make it coordinate with the other colors Better. You have a lot of time to play with these letters. Just enjoy it. Enjoy the process. Once the letters start to dry, you can think about if you want to go back in and make some of these words a little more interesting at a few more colors, it's totally up to you. This is where it feels more like drawing than lettering. The letters have such nice shapes you can work with. I mean, you one more word on this practice, she so you can watch me do that. And then I'm gonna move on to the scrap paper for a little more lettering without the training wheels on. So I'm writing the word cozy here. I'm not exactly sure how the Z fits, but you know what? Just wing it and it end up looking okay. Like I mentioned before, when your lettering on the are journal paper the mixed media or watercolor that yellow and orange would have blended together. So much nicer. This is just printer paper, so it's tends to be, you know, get warped and what not? But you still can use these pages for practicing the movements of your hand. I think the process of lettering words is just so totally relaxing. And once you've gotten the practice on the scrap paper, it's easier to dive in in your art journal and make something that looks really good. So I'm writing my name again and a couple other names of my friends. Some of these. The brush bristles split apart, and it looks wider than I was expecting. But just like I have said 100 times, you're not going to know unless you practice a little more. And so consider all of it just a fun process, and it's all worthwhile. I like experimenting with block letters like this to not just cursive. So next up I'm going to show you a rapid fire round of a bunch more styles you could use in your journal. 7. bonus styles: the main take away I want you to get from this class is just Just have fun with lettering. I like to coffee styles that I see in books. I like to use things that I wouldn't normally use as lettering. Here I'm making some simple polka dots for the title of a page, adding letters to each one and then filling them in with watercolor. Oops, I didn't wait long enough for that blacking to dry and it's bleeding little. That's fine. We're not going for perfection here. Here's some tall, skinny letters that's pretty basic. Now I'm gonna draw a shape with pencil and fill it in with some journaling. When I'm done, I can erase that pencil line, and then it looks like it needs a little something extra so I can leer over watercolor again. As the watercolor is drying, you can drop in even more colors to kind of let that all bleed together. I'm a big Scrabble fan, so maybe I could make the letters with Scrabble tiles Here. I'm just doing a simple word with tiny dots or maybe a little path with a watercolor word mixed in. Absolutely anything goes letter boards are very trendy right now, and I had the idea that I could do a letter board style in my art journal. So I'm for strong a box, kind of using that skinny bubble letter style to add some words to my letter ward. And then this looks a little one dimensional. So we'll come back in here with that Russia pen and make that black board in the background . I think it actually looks kind of cool, But just remember, you can always just be experimenting, even if it doesn't turn out. Tear the page out, Move on here. I'm water coloring a little piece of notebook paper, and then I'm adding some journaling on top of it. This is a very simple way to lay out a page. The word is the title is the border. It's all connected. This looks pretty fancy, but it's pretty basic. Traced the letter l filling it in with some vaguely leaf shaped blobs, and then once it's sufficiently filled up, you can't even see my pencil lines anymore. But I thought it might need some more watercolor lettering to make it be a whole phrase. Here's something you can do without lettering stick on some vinyl letters you get out of thrift shop paint over the top of it. Had a little splatter, maybe. And then once all your watercolor has dried and come back in and peel those letters off. These are some very blobby bubble letters with some kind of ugly stripes. You're our journal is a place to just totally go wild. And here I'm gonna do some ribbon lettering. I traced out the word in advance adding some permanent pen to kind of make it look a little ribbon ish. And then I'm adding some watercolor attend. There you go. That was 15 more ideas for you to get going with lettering in your art journal. Next up, we're going to the class project. 8. class project: Okay, So for this class project, we are going to do an entire art journal page using all the lettering styles that we've discussed in this class, kind of going in reverse. We're starting with watercolor lettering, which is the biggest, and it's usually used for the big title on your page. So I'm gonna let her a simple four letter word here home and for my page. I am just going to go from very dark reddish pink here and then just keep adding more water as I go so that the letters kind of go hombre into lighter as I finished the word, but you could totally alternate colors or he was your whole pallet. However, you want to let her the wood home, we're gonna stick to a simple word for the title. And I'm just kind of perfecting and smoothing Majesty these letters like I showed you until I'm satisfied, I'll be doing this whole class project in real time. The only parts I'm gonna speed up is when I'm illustrating because illustrating is optional for this. If you don't feel comfortable next, I'm picking up my brush pen for the second line of this page. home is where I or hot home is Where you however you want toward it. So it's only three more words. We're going to use that pressing down on the down, stroke, lifting up on the upstroke. And then we're gonna use the skinny bubble at her style and picking up my Tom bullpen. And I am just going to without planning in advance, start finishing this quote for myself. I'm gonna keep you in suspense at what I chose for my home quote. But you can finish this sentence off however you want. Home is where I cuddle. Home is where there's no bra. Home is where whatever you want, but I am going to do something that applies for me. And then I will be adding some illustration as we go be just so that you can see my process in case it's interesting to you so you can see the rial speed that I just really quickly do these funky letters here, and I didn't plan it in advance, So even the layouts a little bit wonky. I probably could have centered that electric a little better, but I actually think it just looks casual and fun. Now that I have that filled in, I'm gonna speed it up for a little bit of my illustration process. You can see kind of how I go about it. I'm starting with whatever color is in my brush. There's a little bit of remaining red paint on my brush. So even though this is not the color of my tea kettle, I'm just kind of doing blobs at this point, working out the layout of the page and again just blobs here for the water. You'll watch it get more and more refined as I go can kind of see how I approach illustration. Um, I'm not gonna pick up my Tom bullpen again and now use the grocery list lettering up in the top Here. This is back to real time, so it looks like I'm writing fast. But that's because I am writing fast and it's barely legible, and I'm writing about how we use our electric tea kettle in the morning. My son has oatmeal. I make French press coffee later on a make a couple cups, the tea throughout the day and then down this corner, man at a little more journaling. This is just how you fill in the gaps with this style. I'm writing that in the evening. We all have Coco. I'm reading it because I truly don't know that everyone would be able to read this. But I can read my own writing, and that's all that in our journalists for its documenting a moment in time. So back to illustration kind of that has dried a little better was that home lettering still has not dried. But if you see I'm going back and I'm just adding accents just to kind of flesh out the ilustraciones cross hatching on the lid of that teakettle, you can kind of see these pauses where I'm just evaluating. What do I want to do next? And I want to add a cup coffee up here. So I start with a coffee and then just do a very loose rendition of a coffee mug. Some people when they watch me paint, they've been surprised to know that it's almost like the reverse of a coloring book. I'm calling first and then adding the black lines later, and I hadn't noticed, even though that was my method. But it's a good way to describe it. so I'm adding little shadows underneath the teakettle on the Magdy. Really? Like Teoh. Give it something to sit on, and I'm gonna add a little more grocery list littering up the side because I thought of something I could add. We just got a new teakettle That's glass and lights up. So I just wanted to add that little tidbit, and I'm going to be just doing some circles around some of the lettering here just to really kind of give it some dimension or some boundaries in some dimension. And I'm going back in here on the coffee cup and kind of putting some clarity around the edges. But, um, you know, all of this is just very fly by the seat of my pants. Now I'm coloring in these areas. There hasn't been anything very yellow and golden, and I feel like every page needs a little bit of that color. So when you do all these styles, you can always go back and add water color over them over your block pen because it is a permanent pen, and it's just fun to really make that pop. And no matter if you don't stay in the lines. It just looks kind of casual and fun. So I'm adding a little more darkness to that coffee, and I decided to add up here the bowl of oatmeal of my sons. So you know, just you're really watching that. There's a drip of coffee. You're watching me just kind of feel it out. What is this page? Need and splatter is always a good idea to keep things, you know, fun and casual. And next I'm going to actually darken in some of these areas on the teakettle. I never did really like that weird mauve color. But even if it's not the right color to begin with, you can always go back in and kind of add layers so that it's closer to what you picture. And I'm adding a little dimension on these bubbles in my teakettle, heading some splatter to that. And honestly, I'm pretty satisfied. It's starting to look how I imagine so I can't wait to see yours in the Project gallery, as you tell me what home means to you 9. thx & good luck: So there you have it and lettering in your art journal. I hope you learn tons and you've already started on your practice sheets. The lettering is such a fun thing to add to your art journal. I hope you believe me when I say that anyone can do it. And if you want to get better at any particular style, all you have to do is practice. Practice, practice. When you get the class project finished up, be sure to post it to the gallery so we can all see what everyone likes best about their homes. Follow me on skill share to hear about all my new classes, and you can follow me on Instagram to to see all my daily artwork and things that are new in my at sea shop. I love it when my students take the time to leave a rating and review or even reach out to start a discussion. Let me know if there's anything more you want to learn about. I feel like you students all give me little breadcrumbs from one class, said the next. What you guys really want to see and learn for me? Thank you so much. Guys, have fun hand lettering and we'll see you next time