Modern Calligraphy: 4 Easy Steps to Go From Beginner to Brush Lettering Pro | Peggy Dean | Skillshare

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Modern Calligraphy: 4 Easy Steps to Go From Beginner to Brush Lettering Pro

teacher avatar Peggy Dean, Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

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.

      Welcome to Modern Calligraphy


    • 2.

      Materials & Supplies


    • 3.

      Top 6 Mistakes to Avoid


    • 4.

      Foolproof Letter Structure - PART 1


    • 5.

      Foolproof Letter Structure - PART 2


    • 6.

      Use Proper Spacing to Create the Vibe You Want


    • 7.

      Where to Add Weight Lines


    • 8.

      Introduction to Brush Pens & Their Basic Strokes


    • 9.

      Apply Brush Pen Strokes to Your Letter Forms


    • 10.

      Time to Break the Rules: Bounce Lettering


    • 11.

      How to Create Compositions


    • 12.

      Create Your Final Piece


    • 13.

      Your Class Project + Flourishing


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About This Class

Welcome to the brush lettering craze!

Join letterer and illlustrator Peggy Dean in an exploration of your very own calligraphy lettering style, starting with items you already have in your home! In this simple class, you will learn through bite-sized calligraphy lessons with step-by-step instructions for how to craft your own modern script. You'll discover tips and tricks for basic letter formations, connecting letters and phrases and even how to form the best compositions for lettering quotes! This class is focused more on letter structures than on design, so you'll be prepared to take on all stylistic approaches.

We'll cover how to...

  • Create cohesive letters in your calligraphy alphabet
  • Add weight lines to emphasize character in your letters
  • Master brush pens to bring your brush lettering to life
  • Establish the perfect compositions for quotes and phrases
  • Transfer your ideas to your final piece

Practice makes progress.

The beauty behind hand lettering is in the imperfections. Learning how to master flaws and channel them into character is what makes your brand unique to you. Breaking down these elements will give you a foundation that you can confidently build your craft upon. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Peggy Dean

Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

Top Teacher

Snag your free 50-page workbook right here!

Hey hey! I'm Peggy.

I'm native to the Pacific Northwest and I love all things creative. From a young age I was dipping everything I could into the arts. I've dabbled in quite an abundance of varieties, such as ballet, fire dancing, crafting, graphic design, traditional calligraphy, hand lettering, painting with acrylics and watercolors, illustrating, creative writing, jazz, you name it. If it's something involving being artistic, I've probably cycled through it a time or two (or 700). I'm thrilled to be sharing them with you!

Visit my Instagram for daily inspiration: @thepigeonletters, and head over to my blog for more goodies curated just for youuuu.

I'm the author of the best selling... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome to Modern Calligraphy: [MUSIC] Welcome to your course. I am so happy that you are here. We are going to be diving in and exploring a lot of techniques, a lot of rules, and foundations, but those are going to really set you up for an evergreen structure in your modern calligraphy skills. Don't worry, I'm a rule breaker too, so we'll get to that point. Would it comes time. But if I can follow these rules, then you can too. [LAUGHTER] I'm Peggy Dean. I am an artist, author and educator. My favorite thing to do and the whole world is to help facilitate this type of knowledge to everybody that has a passion to create. This is my favorite part you guys. I'm so excited to be able to offer it to you on this platform. Who is this class for? What's the game plan? We have four very short phases to this course. In the first phase we will be identifying, lettering structure to give you evergreens skills. So all your calligraphy is always cohesive. Once you have solid fundamentals, we'll move into Phase 2, where you will be mastering brush pens with calligraphy. Once these two learn skills are paired up, we will break the rules and Phase 3 to infuse unique character throughout your words. Finally, Phase 4, everything you want to know about placement for the ideal composition so that you can create beautiful work time and time again. Did I mention I've got a ton of downloads for you? Without further ado, let's jump in. Welcome. I can't wait to see where this takes us all. 2. Materials & Supplies: We're going into supplies now which is one of my favorite things because who doesn't love hoarding art supplies? But don't worry, I'm not going to make that happen to you. I'm going to go over just my favorites because I've used them all. I'm going to go in order of my favorites to letter with specifically. The first is the Pentel touch. The reason why is because the tip on this one is a medium-ish size. It's small, but it has the flexibility to be able to go more of a medium width with your letters or a small tip because it's got a nice fine tip. The other part about these is that they have more flow from the tips than a lot of other brush pens that I've used. I will say that the Tombow Fudenosuke; this one here, well, I do like it. It's got a little bit of a harder tip. This is the soft, so there's two tips. There the same size pens, there's a navy outside and then the black outside. The black one is a tip that's similar to the Pentel and then the navy one has a harder tip, so basically it means the flexibility isn't as strong so you can get a little bit smaller with it which is nice and I do like that. But I'll show you this side by side and why I like the Pentel more so now as I use them more frequently, and I'll go with a black so you can look at the black comparison. This goes by a few different names. This is the Pentel touch, it's also known as the Pentel flexible tip. It's got nice hair lines but it also has that nice bold downstroke, and then this is the one that's comparable by Tombow and this one is pretty dry. I have another one. There we go. But I will say that's another thing that I noticed. This one's new, and you can see already if you speed up it all and I want to flick. See like this, it's not as generous. That's the difference. If you look closely at it, you'll see that the blacks are a little bit different. I don't know if you can tell on camera, but basically the black on the Pentel touch is a little more of a blue undertone and the Tombow Fudenosuke is a little more of a warm undertone. I don't know if that matters to you, but that's something to also keep in mind. That's the difference there but these are the smaller tip for smaller lettering, and then when we get into larger lettering I love the Tombow dual brush pens. I love them. The other part that's a little interesting to me, I wrote supplies with this pen. These are dual tips, so they have this nice large brush pen but then they have a bullet tip on the other side which is helpful if you ever want to do outlines or smaller writing nearby or drawing [LAUGHTER]. But the other thing I find interesting is that what I wrote with the Tombow and with the Pentel, this color matches a lot better than the Tombow dual brush pen with the Tombow Fudenosuke. It's like the ink is different and it doesn't have that matching black if you care about matching those undertones. That's just an FYI, but this I'll just write it right here so that you know, Tombow Dual Brush Pen. Then the one that I really love and I'm going to do,;I grab the green, is the Karin brush marker. It's Karin with an I, Brush Marker Pro. They call it liquid ink technology, but this is for larger lettering but it is a dream to letter with. They are so generous with ink, it's just so smooth. The colors; they come in so many different colors, and they're just so pretty. They also have [NOISE] acrylic-based brush pens which is really fun if you want to do any lettering on a surface that isn't just regular paper. That's the Karin brush pens. This is Tombow Pentel. I'm just putting these in order. Tombow Fudenosuke, Karin markers, and then the only other one that we're going to be using is just a regular drawing pen. This is the Pigeon Letters Monoline Studio; this is for when we do, and you can grab any type of ink pen. This is just for when we do no pressure when we're learning the basics of lettering, anatomy, and whatnot. The Pigeon Letters Monoline. That is what we're using for pens. When it comes to paper, LaserJet printer paper is great. This is HP 30, I think it is. I've linked it for you guys in the download that you have, but this is great. It totally passes because it's nice and smooth, otherwise anything that's marketed toward actual marker paper because your felt tips need to have something smooth to letter on. Otherwise, you're going to think that your pens suck because they stop having ink flow or they stop producing as well or they start to fray, and that's usually because of the microfibers that are inside of paper that shreds the tips of the pen. You want to make sure you're using the right paper or your pens are going to suffer for it and then you're going to be really upset. This is the cheapest, most economical, and it's a great paper to use for practice. You just need your downloads which have the guides on them. I recommend printing them on LaserJet paper, not ink jet paper. It is very different and you will find out the hard way. Without further ado, let's jump right on in. 3. Top 6 Mistakes to Avoid: Before we jump in, there are some common mistakes that I want to plant in your mind to avoid right away before you make those mistakes because it's going to save you a lot of time and a lot of frustration, so here we go. Mistake number 1, thinking that your handwriting sucks, so you can't do calligraphy. Here's the thing. When you're doing calligraphy, you're not writing. For example, this is writing, whereas this is drawing. You can see that I lifted my pen. I was very intentional with where I was placing what. I was thinking about structure and format which we're going to be going over. This is writing, this is drawing. Mistake number 2 is thinking that you don't need guides. This is a mistake that I made over and over and over again. When you start to perhaps do a quote of some kind, it's just natural as you keep going to start to mess up your spacing to where you have gaps that don't belong. You might get smaller and smaller, that's good. Anybody who hasn't used guides to this is something that we all struggle with. Not using guides and the same goes not just for these longer versions, but also for our letterforms. When we don't use guides, we might not realize that we don't have consistency with the size. You want to be sure you're using your guides. Mistake number 3 is not lifting your pen. You don't want to create lettering with one stroke. When we start doing this, what ends up happening is our letter forms are not accurate and we lose sight of everything that we've learned in fundamentals and we don't want to do that. Mistake number 4, you want to use the right tool. If you use the wrong tools, it's not going to look right and you're going to be struggling and confused. This means frayed tips, not using the right size brush pen, or the size of the lettering that you want to create in this example, it doesn't look right because it isn't a brush pen at all. You also don't want to use a chisel tip for modern brush lettering because it's a totally different type of calligraphy that uses that pen. Mistake number 5, do not ever want to write perpendicular against the paper because you will ruin your brush tip and it will not be effective in thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes, you just will lose all that pressure sensitivity. Lastly, mistake number 6 is to avoid using the basic strokes. We will be getting into these, don't you worry about it. But I can't emphasize enough how important this is. When we learn the basic strokes, we learn how to use our brush pens correctly and how they will effectively create wait lines on our letters. For example, if I do the word basics, you will see the structures there. But if I don't do the basic strokes correctly, then I'm going to lose my form. I'm going to lose my weight lines, and overall not going to be happy with my progress. Be sure to use your basic strokes always, always, always, which we will get into, don't you worry. That's it. As a recap mindset. Your handwriting can suck super bad and you can still create the most beautiful modern calligraphy. Number 2, always use guides even when you think you don't need them. Number 3, no, to one stroke, be sure to lift your pen. Number 4, make sure to use the right tools. Number 5, use the right angles, and number 6, always come back to your basic strokes. Let's get into structure and anatomy of guidelines so that we can make sure that you get set up on the right foot. Can't wait. 4. Foolproof Letter Structure - PART 1: Welcome back. We're not going to be touching brush pens yet, we're going to continue with just regular monoline pen. You could use a pencil, you can use anything that doesn't give you stroke size variation depending on pressure basically because we don't want to touch brush pens until we really understand the structure of the alphabet that we're creating. I'm just using an O5 tip, if you're curious, of the Pigeon Letters monoline, and I'm excited for this because this is where I get to show you my magic formula, which very well might be what I'm most excited about this entire course [LAUGHTER] because it's going to help you really, really structure exactly the way you want to. The first thing to note is that there are four corners here, and I'm going to make these a little bit more bold so that you can see them right now. The way that I think about this is I am using these four corners as a guide. Now, if I was to draw an a that connect it to all these corners, it would be really boxy. If I was to break that up, and instead of going all four corners, let's make it three. So with my a, if I bring it over from the top right to the top left, from the top left to the bottom left, from the bottom left up to the top right again, skipping that bottom-right corner and then coming down, that would be my form. How would I soften this? I would treat each of these dots as magnets. Rather than actually starting there, I'm starting underneath it. As it's softer, see how I've made this curve from the top right to top left to bottom left and then I'm going to go straight back up to meet the top right. See how that's a really nice form. Then I can come straight down to the next corner and create my tail, which side note for later is called an exit stroke. [LAUGHTER. This is how I create this form. Peggy, how do I know which three corners to use? Great question. It's where the stroke connects. When you're drawing letters, you want each stroke to be its own separate stroke, which means you're going to lift your pen in-between each stroke. My a, for example, is going to be this stroke lift, and then come back down and finish. Because this is where my connection is, that is where I'm going to make sure I have that nice opening. What this will do is once we get into creating our weight lines, it's going to make sure that it doesn't get muddied up. Let me show you a quick example of what that looks like versus this. If I had a weight line here and right here, see how that gets muddied. Whereas if I have my weight line here and then here, I know that's really sloppy, but you're getting the point, it keeps that separation, whereas it doesn't exist right here. We want to keep this separation to where everything looks nice and flowy. That is how we figured that out and with time, it's going to come a lot easier, but let's go through this structure now. I'm going to try to keep this to three most critical aspects of this course to pay attention to and this is definitely number 1 by far, it outweighs everything else we're going to go over because there are your fundamentals. We know how to do a, let's move into b. For b, I'm not going to jump my b all the way up here because that doesn't make sense. If you look at our guidelines, it's probably more around right here. What I like to do is come straight down. These two corners are holding that magnet, and then because this is where that stroke, I lift my pen, and then I'm going to return to it, that's where that separation is going to be. I know that to create the rest of my b, I know I'm going to use the bottom-left, the top-right, the bottom-right, and then return. I'm going to use it as a magnet and then I create this consistency. When I have a next to that, see how it's creating that same structure on each letter. Continuing on, my c, I want it to take on the same form as my a. This right here, that is my consistency along everything else and same with this. My c, I'm going to bring that around just like so. It's not super, super sharp. If it was, it would look like this, which doesn't make sense. I'm just using it. I'm softening it up. Listen, do not fret if your letters look sharp at first. When I was practicing this and when I was really getting to know my structure, I'm so happy that I didn't skip this step and I'm so happy to look back and see how sharp my letters were because it was allowing me to really build that foundation to organically loosen up and really develop my style over time. It's something that's missed a lot and I don't want that to happen to you. Continuing on, my d is going to look really similar to my a, it just has a higher second stroke. I lift my pen, I bring this straight down with an exit stroke. Notice that my exit stroke, this is called an axis line. My exit stroke mirrors the axis line, and even if it's soft like this, you'll see it consistently throughout the entire alphabet I create. Then e, you can start this wherever you want to, but I just keep it the same as we would do the c where I just have that softness at the end. F can be tricky because it's like, well, what do we do with the f? [LAUGHTER] I just keep it at a similar angle, so it's just a nice soft curves, so I'm going to come up, you can do a regular f like this or you can cast of it out and then go through with an exit stroke. It really depends, but notice how it's just soft, it's along the same angle and you're good to go. Then my g, creating that very similarly to my a, and then my h. Notice that I put a loop here and I didn't put a loop on my d. The difference here is that this right here is an ascending stem. If it did have this loop around before it went down, it would be an ascending stem loop. The big thing to keep in mind as you create your alphabet, not only is it to make sure that the balls of your letters, the centers, are consistent, but also, the height of your ascenders or the length if you will, and the length of your descenders. Additionally, the width. See how this one is yay wide and then my d matches. That's another thing to keep in mind. That's why you guys, if you're first starting this, do not hate on yourself for making things look sharp. The most important thing is you're getting these rules down first. Trust me, I am a rule-breaker. I don't like rules at all whatsoever. If I can swear by these rules and love them, I promise they're worth it. If it's not exactly, it's fine. You just don't want it to be huge when this one is so small or super small and skinny when that one's basically like this, but this is okay. Then my edge, it's connected right here. That's where I'm going to shoot off to the top-right corner, come down. You can see that even though it's not connected right here, it's still using the bottom left, the top right, the bottom right, and then technically this invisible line here, so that is where that connection is. Then my i, I'm just going to match that soft angle with the axis line, j, I'll just match the descending stem loop. k is tricky, so I'm just going to for now, just do my straight line down. You'll notice too, I just tend to use style thing I just developed over time. I'm not going straight down, I'm going at a slight inward bow. [LAUGHTER] I habitually do it. From here, I can either come straight down like this and then down and then meet the axis line, or if I wanted to do this k, I can treat this as its own miniature four corners situations. Let me explain. I'll start down here because that's where that connection is and I'll come up to the top right, but then in this tiny spot, do you see how I've also pretended that there's a dot here, here, here, and here and I've done that same connection trick. I wouldn't fill it in but it would if it's faux calligraphy, but if I add a weight line, essentially, what's going to happen is it doesn't get all muddied up and it stays nice and soft. This is what it's going to look like. Don't worry about weight lines right now, there is a method to them and I don't want you to skip ahead. I just wanted to show you the end result. See how nice that looks? Again, it's down, it's skipping over from the bottom left dot up to the top right and then creating a mini version of that before it goes out to the exit stroke. Pretty snazzy. Now we'll go into l. You could have put an ascending stem loop right here. I just didn't want to over-complicate that k. Then my l, ascending stem loop down and exit stroke. m can be tricky for people. It's because it has double overturns and you're not going to want to smoosh it inside of one of these, but you're also not going to want to stretch it the whole way. Rather than using this as a literal guide, use it as the idea. I'm going to come down with my first stroke. I know that's where the connection is, so that's where I'm going to hit that angle. But I'm not going to bring it all the way out before I come down and then so I basically have that smooshed and then I'm going to do it again, and that way it's not too wide or too skinny. There is a trick to this that I will explain as we get into faux calligraphy if you mess this up. It's very possible that you will, it's just common it happens and the same with w. Once I get to m, you are pretty much done with the fundamentals of the alphabet. I don't want to sit here with you guys and make you stretch, stretch this out. What I'm going to do is split this lesson into two videos. You can either stop now, continue the alphabet, and skip that next session because I'm not going to go over anything that's different other than just completing the alphabet, or if you want to work along with me, please feel welcome to, I just want you, I really value your time. Optional, and I might see you in the next lesson, and I might see you in the one just after that. 5. Foolproof Letter Structure - PART 2: Welcome back. Let's continue the alphabet. I'm glad that you decided to join and continue on because practice is key. Doing N, we're going to come down from the top left to the bottom left, and then this is where our separation is. We're going to skip that, and go straight to the top right and then straight down and then exit stroke, just like our H. We're just missing the ascending stem loop. Then N, O, so O can be a little wonky. See our C, it's similar. You can do this where you're using this as a magnet and then just skipping that last one and you have this nice bowl shape. This is essentially the core of everything. We're going to jump into this a lot more when we get into brush pens because of the basic strokes for brush pens, but just know that as far as the angle and whatnot. You're not just doing a quick O, this has form. Of course, you'll be able to break up these letters and do fancy-schmancy things like this. But for now, just know that that is our core and you'll see that core repeating right here. Once you get familiar, you'll just end up making that a seamless transition into something that's more flowy. My P, I'm not coming all the way down because it's not going to be super, super long. I'm just imagining those guidelines. In this one, you can do one of two things. You can bring a very slight disconnect until you get to your general baseline guide, or you can start just at the baseline. I'll show you what both of those look like. If I was to start just at the baseline, I'm using these four corners. It would look like this. But if I wanted to make it have a little bit more, I went all the way down, ignore that. Don't do that. If I wanted it to have a little more character, it's not much of a difference, but it just separates it a little bit lower. I think that it just adds, this is like the baseline, maybe just slightly under and then this one. See how that just separates it. This is a style thing. Just know that either is acceptable. Moving into Q, we're going to do the base shape that we've been doing this whole time. I go from the top right to top left to bottom left and then back up, and then I'm going to come straight down. This would be a descending stem or I can do it with a descending stem loop like this, and then your exit stroke would just come off as a separate stroke. They're separate strokes. I know it seems weird to have a separate exit stroke, but the same goes for entry strokes. If I was to do a Q that had an entry stroke, it would come up, lift my pen, come around. I know I overlap that, but I wanted to stay in my guide so just pretend that it's not overlapped. Lift my pen, come down, lift my pen, and release, lift my pen. So four different ways. I'll do it one more time that's not overlapping. I'm using these for the guide. My entry stroke, my base form, coming down to my descending stem loop, and then my exit stroke. That is the buildup of a Q. It's four pieces. Make sure to lift your pen. I'm going to be a broken record. Then R, you can do R where it's come straight down, and then just like our P, separates and comes up to the top right. But you can also do a cursive version where it comes straight up, and then this is tricky because where do I put it. I tend to just go 3/4 of the way in before I come right back down. It's where I'm forging my own path. You can follow the guidelines exactly. Knowing that this part of the R comes down, it can go all the way over. I wouldn't do it, it looks bad. [LAUGHTER] It doesn't look bad, it's too wide. It doesn't seem like it's correct. That's where we want to stop and then continue. You can also put loops in here and then continue on. Basically with the R, I think of it like an M where I just stopped a little bit short of the guideline. S's, there are so many different ways to do S's. You can have them at that slight soft curve like this. You can see it's assumed that it's along this axis, even though it's up and down but it works. You can also do them where they come up and then around. Basically, it's hovering above, the bottom left goes toward the top right and then curves back around, skipping the top left, keeping that form. Then with your T, I'm going to come here. My T straight down and my exit stroke is what matches. I like to put my cross bar up higher. Rather than having it be here, I put it here and then to soften it up a little bit. You can do a T that has just this nice, soft, mild S curve which is S curve. It's just like this little guy, so lifts and then flows out. Once you get even more fancy, they can be really exaggerated and it's really fun to see that come to life. Then U, I'm going to come straight down, shoot up. Top left, bottom left, top right, lift my pen, comes straight down, and back out for my exit stroke. Look at that axis line. It feels good. Then my V, V's can be soft or they can be sharp. When they're sharp, I don't do a super harsh angle at first, it's the second angle that I care about because I want the second angle to go along the axis line. I usually have the axis line and then come back in. If you do it soft, it would look like this. You can also do an exit stroke with a V like this or have it loop, so softer version. We're onto W which is tricky like the M, but it's basically the V just not as extended, so it stops a little bit short. I start and then I come back around. It's just that easy. If you want to do it sharper, you can do that. But just know that this and this, these two strokes are aligned and then these two strokes are aligned. They do the same thing, and that's where the consistency is built with the W. X, Y, Z. X, this is hard because it's like, well, this breaks all the rules. Now I don't really know what to do because they do. They go in an X, why wouldn't you use all four corners? You totally can. Just because I'm at this angle, I stop short a little bit of that one. I don't think it ever makes a difference, but then I'll come up like this. Notice that when I came down and then I went back up, I didn't pull down. I went up from the bottom. I go downstroke from the top left to the bottom right area, and then from the bottom left up to the top right. The reason for that is because when you're using a brush pen, all of your upstrokes are going to be less pressure than your downstrokes. This is going to be a thinner line than this one. It'll make sense later on. Everything else, for the most part, it does that automatically for you, like your hands going the right direction. But X, I want you to really train yourself to do a downstroke and then an upstroke. Then Y, you come straight down, shoot over. We have that separation right here as we get into our descending stem loop. Finally, we have Z. I usually do a soft S curve, come down, and then a soft S curve again, and then you can add a little swooshy, or you can also do a cursive version where it comes down like this and then like this. That doesn't have a ton of form, it's like the F. If I did it along the same line, it would have actually been more angled like this. That's one of those things where you're just like, "Well, how am I going to make this work in my benefit to actually do what I want it to do?" That is practice. Practice, practice, practice. What I want you to do now is repeat everything that we just did on a separate page, and I want you to do each letter three times at least. You can do more than that three times. Don't look at weight line, just practice this part. I will see you in the next lesson where we start to actually build words with these letters. The letter forms are very important to practice first. I want to see all of those pages, so be sure to share them and I'll see you shortly. 6. Use Proper Spacing to Create the Vibe You Want: Welcome back. By now you should have pages of practice on your cohesive alphabet and I trust that this is getting more familiar to you and if you're struggling with it, that's okay. Remember if it looks sharp, if it looks shaky, anything like that, that is okay right now we're in the practice stages. A lot is going to look shaky for a little while and that is normal. Now we're going to look at spacing and the thing about spacing is you can create vibes based off of spacing alone. That means if you have something that is elongated, [LAUGHTER] it's going to have more of a flowy feel, more of a luxurious airy feel to it. Whereas if your spacing is more narrow, it might look more playful, cheery and fun, and bubbly. This is the stuff to keep in mind with spacing. You can create so many different vibes just based off of the spacing and so the key here, you'll see at the top of your download is to concentrate on the exit strokes. Let's look at what this will be as we build words. We're going to start building our words and I want you to choose any word if you want to work along with me, I'm going with happy. I'm going to do this in three ways. I'm going to do it and I believe that I usually do, my brush lettering, calligraphy, and then I'm going to force myself out of that mindset so that I can really exaggerate with intention to change the mood. To do, I'm just going to do everything based off of what we already know and you can follow this guideline exactly or you can break the rules a little bit. I usually break the rules and just use them as a mental guide so I know where things sit. With happy, I'm going to do my ascending stem loop and bring it down and then do my overturn here and then release. That's exit stroke that determines my spacing. I'm not able to do any other spacing other than that exit stroke and it's already done. What I can do is if I want to change my spacing, I can extend it a little bit by dragging it back out. That's something that's always a [LAUGHTER] possibility. But now I'm going to go into the a and all that I need to do is just hover and make sure that my /a/ overlaps the very end of that exit stroke. I'm going to start my /a/. I'm thinking about these four dots. I go from the top right over to the top left, down to the bottom left, and then back up to the top right. Then this is where my tail comes with my exit strokes. They come straight down and my exit stroke. These need to be consistent throughout all of your spacing when you're creating words. My /p/ is going to overlap the end of that tail and then it's going to come up and around and then have that exit stroke. Then the same thing happens again. I'm thinking about this exit stroke and the width of it. Then my /y/ overlaps, lift my pen, come down, and through. You'll notice a few things here. You'll notice that the shape of the core of all my letters are consistent. You'll notice that my ascending stem loop is the same width and length approximately as my /y/. You'll notice that my spacing in-between my letters are all consistent. This is what we want to look for. Now continue doing this. Do it again if you want to or need to. I recommend practicing words and spacing as much as you possibly can because that is what is going to build your skill. Let's do the same thing one more time before we get into exaggerated spacing because I want you to really get familiar with the intention of a standard spacing, if you will. Your standard, it'll be different than mine but either way. I'm thinking about these four corners. I'm skipping the top left as I create the second part of my /h/ and then my exit stroke, I'm going to overlap that with my /a/ and come back up, lift my pen, return, come back up, overlap my /p/, lift my pen, return, finish that off. Now let's say you don't want to create this loop. That's okay too because this is where [LAUGHTER] here's Eddy to say hello. This is where you have the option to lift your pen and create a separate exit stroke. You can create any letter that you want like so they don't have to be exactly like this. The point is to lift your pen, create that exit stroke, and then continue and finish. Same thing. You'll see that my spacing is consistent. You'll see that my ascending and descending stem loops are the same in width and length, you'll see that the main shape of my letters are consistent and that is what we want. Let's focus on extending that exit stroke to make our words look even more exaggerated. I'm going to do the exact same thing. I'm going to do the exact same size. The only thing that's going to be different is the length of my exit stroke. This is something that I have to force myself to do because if I just go to my default and just start lettering, I might start with three letters and then all of a sudden, I don t think about being so deliberate and intentional and then I end up having inconsistent spacing. So let's be very intentional with these. I'll do my /h/ just like I did and then I know I lift my pen. I know this next stroke is going to include my exit stroke. I'm going to come up, down, and then really extend it and that's really exaggerated. I know it's very strange, but I'm going to continue on, have that overlap with my /a/, lift my pen, and then continue on and I know that this is going to be exaggerated longer. Then I'm going to continue with my /p/, lift my pen, continue on and I'll stop right here so that I can make this easy for myself and continue with my exit stroke and then continue do the same thing. Lift my pen, continue with the exit stroke. Come down and finish this guy off with a longer. But now I really extended those way more than I would have otherwise it's to really exaggerate the idea of how you can make something nice and airy like that. The next way that we can do this is by really shortening those exit strokes. I'm going to keep my same angle that I usually letter at and I'm just going to basically have a non-existent exit stroke where it just pokes out and then there we have it. We have something that's a lot smaller. This looks a lot more like, oh, that's nice handwriting. That's what [LAUGHTER] it looks like. This looks more like modern calligraphy, whereas this looks like, oh, that belongs on a wedding invitation. What I want you to do now is you have another sheet of practice. I mean, really you have a ton of practice guides, but I want you to use your guide to create words and I want you to letter five different animals, five different flowers, and five different foods. I want you to practice spacing them consistently. Pick one spacing that you like and you can start with one and then decide to change it. Maybe the first one you chose you don't love, but I want you to practice doing those consistently. So five animals, five flowers, and five foods. I can't wait to see what you guys create. 7. Where to Add Weight Lines: Are you ready to start creating your beautiful faux calligraphy? We're going to take the fundamentals that we learned from our first alphabet, and you can grab that sheet of paper if you want to, or you can start a new. But what I want you to keep in mind every single time is the direction that your hand is moving. For example, on my a, I'm going to come up a little bit, come down, go up, and then down, and up again. That's going to look like my downstroke right here, and another downstroke right here. You can already have a letter done, so you don't have to try to remember. You can hover and think, okay, side, downstroke, downstroke, downstroke, back up, downstroke, downstroke and hover. Then when you have your a, you know exactly where those weight lines go. If this is my downstroke, what I'm going to do is add a weight line to it. How do I do this? All you need to do is go to the side of that stroke and create a line just inside of it, and then connect it to the bottom. You'll notice that it follows the curve and then I can fill this in. That creates that weight line. I'm going to do the same thing to this side. I'm going to come just to the left and then make it soft on that exit stroke. Couple of things I want to mention about your faux calligraphy. The first is, make sure that your width is consistent. I know this is a lot about consistency here, but you don't want to have a super thick line with a super thin line or it's not going to look correct. Instead, I want to have those be evenly spaced. One of the biggest questions that I get all the time is, how do I know what side of the stroke to put my weight line, to add it in? Do I put it on the outside right here, or do I put it on the inside? Do I put it on the inside here, of the connection or do I do the outside? It might look like on the right basically. This is up to you. Some people are going to tell you that there's one way to do it. I disagree and the reason why is because we're not machines, so there's no way that we're going to effortlessly create all of our letters perfectly seamless with no mistakes that we might have to ever fix. What I mean by that is, if I had an a that was perfectly structured, great. I can pick and choose exactly what I want to do here. I might want to keep that separation nice and crisp. In that case, I'll add my weight line to the other side. When I do that, I can determine, okay, well where do I want it on this side in comparison? This one, I added it to the left, that's going to make it look wider in the center. If I added inside, it's going to make it look a little more petite. Those are things to think about. The part that I think matters the most is, let's say your a didn't really work out as planned, and it ended up being not this nice separation, but rather smushed together right here. This is where it's rule-breaking time. Let's say you always do your weight line on the inside of your second stroke. This time, you're going to put it on the outside and the reason for that is because you can salvage this letter by your outside placement here, and then I can put this on the inside. What that's going to do is create a more on purpose look, and see suddenly it doesn't look so smushed because of my placement of my weight lines. That's my answer. Overall, pick a side. I like to do it on the outside, but if I have it to where it's too wide, I'll put it on the inside. Because guess what? When I fill this in, it looks about the same as this, and I put this on the outside. Really it depends on your form. If you're not perfectly cohesive, which we're not, we're not machines, then you will probably find that there is plenty of room for error and I want you to embrace it, because this isn't about perfection. The whole point of brush lettering, modern calligraphy, hand lettering is that it's hand-drawn, and that is what brings that special element to it. That being said, basic rules, what I was saying, I was going to mention earlier about the m, same thing that I just went over and that is if you were to scrunch up your m too much in just one section, you would be able to bring this weight line on the outside, bring this weight line on the inside, and then on the inside, and see how it just totally fills it and makes it intentional. That's the idea here. Now, that's what we're going to do to our letters. I'm actually going to refer back to my first sheet that we went over it together. I'm going to add weight lines to these, and I'm going to do it in a different color so that it's really easy for you to read. With my a, you just saw me do that, with my b, this one is hidden. I'll draw another one right over here. Thinking about this, I come down, that's a downstroke, up and then down again, that's another downstroke. I'm going to bring a downstroke weight line right here, and then a downstroke weight line here. Notice that I did this one second. That's just because I wanted to see exactly how it would balance once I put my weight line on this side. That's just how my brain works. You don't have to do it that way, but I think that I really like having a lot of separation in my letters. I think that it just really adds more form to it. I'll do my a real quick, just so everything is finished. What I'm thinking about is the width and then making sure it's on all downstrokes. Here I'm going up, side, and then my downstroke. I'm going to go on the inside, I don't want my letters to look too wide, and then it connects before it goes back up. Then it goes back up, lift my pen. I do the whole thing when I hover too, I just thinking about it. Upstroke into my downstroke and then up again. This part is my downstroke. Notice that I taper toward the bottom and top so that it has a soft connection that way. Then I have my D, my E upstroke, upstroke, upstroke and around downstrokes, so I'm going to put my downstroke and right here and then my F up into my downstrokes. Up above soft and connection the tapers into my downstroke. All I did at the bottom was I drew a soft line to connect the bottom to the other side. For this F, upstroke, upstroke upstroke into my downstrokes, so my downstroke, and then up and then back out. Just right here is where I'm going to put that weight line. I'm going to skip Z since we're not there yet. My G coming around and down, so down and then up and then I'll go down again. Add that weight line here. There we go. My H up and down, you'll notice a huge separation here in comparison to the rest of my alphabet. I'm looking at this and thinking, that's a little much two things. If I was to decrease that a little bit, if I was to put my weight line on the inside, I know it's going to really shrink my ascending stem loop here, so I might start soft and then get thicker toward the bottom. I know that's cheating. But it's just what I'm doing, I make my own rules. Then this one I'll put on the inside, which is the left. That way it shrinks it together and makes it look more cohesive. Then my I, I'm just going to do a soft line out and then down where it connects softly. My J, I will bring that on the inside. I don't have a good reason why I just decided to. K, upstroke into a downstroke and then upstroke, this is my little downstroke here and then another little downstroke and that's done. L, upstroke into my downstroke here. Then M, I'm going to create that soft connection here, because I wanted to keep that separation, just personal preference. Go upstroke into my downstroke. I'll put that on the left so I can keep that separation here. You totally don't have to. I just like it. Then upstroke, downstroke, downstroke. But that is good to know. If you do keep separation, you got to make that consistent in the rest of your alphabet too , I mean mostly. There's rules and then there's breaking rules. My N, see, this is wider than I would have liked, so I actually will come on the inside. See I'm doing it right now, I'm breaking those rules. Then I'm coming up and down, so I'm going to have this nice soft curve and then it goes back up. One of the reasons I like to hover as I do it is so that I don't create like super harsh up and down lines, I want it to be nice and curved. If I go up into this curve here, I know that I can start and then meet into the stroke rather than just having like a harsh connection. P, I'm going to bring this in actually, which I'm also breaking my own rules. But I think it'll just look better and more complete as a shape. Then Q, I'm going to do this line, up and around and connect, and then back up and then downstroke around and connect, so the only one left is just this stroke here. I need to make that a little thicker for it to be cohesive. Then with R, I'm going to do this one over here. Upstroke around into a downstroke. Big question, do we put a line here? Do we thicken it? What do we do? I do. You don't have to. I always have, but these sideways ones. It's up to you whether you do or not, but I'm just going to extend that, then continue the downstroke. Then with my S, I'll do this one, so up and then downstrokes. Here, it's nice and soft. It goes the same direction as the downstroke. Then my T, soft line to bring it out and then down to fill that in. U, I'm going to come in soft line and then I'll come on the same side, the right side of my stroke. My V, I like this one. I'm going to come in and down. Soft connection that goes the same direction as the stroke, upstroke and then it comes into a downstroke here. On these exit loops, I know people who do not put pressure there and who do. You don't have to or you could, you could put it on the inside or on the I guess that would be the inside. You get what I'm saying. Just depending on what vibe you're going for. That's one of the things I love about faux calligraphy because it gives you a lot of control over the final look, whereas if you're using a brush pen, it doesn't. W, downstroke and then W downstroke. There we go. My X, here's where if I was using a brush pen, I would have this downstroke here and then my upstroke which wouldn't have weight to it. That's where that differentiates. If you remember that from our lesson when we were filling this out. Then Y, my downstroke, upstroke and downstroke, I'm going to bring it on the inside because I didn't like how wide my Y was. Then lastly my Z to bring it here, nice soft connection and then I'm going to bring it on the outside here. I did it opposite. I went inside on the left of this stroke and then I went on the outside and I did that so that I could bump it's second part over to the right a little bit so that it just had a little more personality. That's the main everything you need to know about your weight lines. It's just the rule is on your downstrokes. That's all you have to remember. That being said, let's continue on, we're building skills like crazy. I'm so excited to see what you guys are doing. Share your weight lines because I want to see and be able to help you with consistency and whatnot. We'll see you soon. 8. Introduction to Brush Pens & Their Basic Strokes: After all of this I'm sure that you are more than ready to get into brush pens. This is where we take all of those rules and we merge them into an effortless tool, which doesn't sort out for this, but it will over time with practice. There's a method to why I teach the way that I do. If you're trying to learn the foundations of modern calligraphy, and a brush pen at the same time, it can be very overwhelming. That being said we're going to get into basic strokes, and now is when you can pull out your brush pen. Now I have made these practice sheets a medium size, so if you want to use a large brush pen you can. If you want to use to use a small tip pen you can. It doesn't have to match these examples perfectly. It's just going to give you the idea of getting started. The first thing downstroke. We've learned about this in our faux calligraphy practice. The main thing to keep in mind with brush pens is the angle you hold your pen. You're going to see me hold mine very strange. Some of you, a very small percentage, will have the same thing as me where we are over righters event though maybe you're left hander, or you're just a weird right hander of a holder pen guy, I don't know, but ideally you're going to be at a 45 or 35 degree angle, and you're going to be higher up on your pen. This is the ideal position for your hand. You're not going to see me do this. I don't know what the deal is. I probably could have learned that way, and it would have made it easier on me moving forward. But if you're starting, let's go with this nice angle. The thing to think about is that we're not writing. We are really intentional with a regular pens as far as getting in there forming. But with brush pens, we're letting the tip work to our benefit. We really want to be able to hit it on its side, and be able to make these nice clean strokes. You don't want to damage the tips. You don't want to go directly on top of it. You just want it to glide with pressure. The pressure is the only thing you really need to change. That said, on your downstroke, you're at this angle, you're going to place your pen on the paper with full pressure, bring it down. Full pressure, bring it down. You're just going to do this the whole way across this page. There's room. If you want to put some in-between and continue on, by all means. Your upstroke, you're going to pull away from yourself. This is where people have a harder time because when you pull away from yourself with light pressure but you're still trying to have control, shaking happens. I'm going to put that out there right now. It's because it might take a really long time before you don't shake anymore. That's okay. I don't want that to hold you up. In fact, I still have shakiness on a lot of my turns where I have to transition into lighter pressure, where I'm pulling away. It just, it is what it is. You know what the best thing about lettering is, you can go over it again to clean it up. [LAUGHTER] You will develop muscle memory and tricks that will help you to avoid that as much as possible. But just know that upstrokes can be our nemesis sometimes. Our overturn. You heard me say this before and this is where we're getting into the actual terms. Your overturn is exactly what it sounds like. It's over turn. It's like an archer, or a rainbow arch. We're going light pressure because it's an upstroke, and then as we get into our downstroke, we slowly transition into putting more pressure on our pen. We're going up, light, light, light, and then transition into full pressure. Light, light, light, light, transition, transition into full pressure. I just want you to do that the whole way through and remember to go slow. If you don't go slow, it's easier to have less flow between the upstroke and downstroke, and it will get lost. Now let's do the underturn, and this is the opposite of the overturn. You're going to start going with a downstroke, which means that you'll apply pressure and then slowly transition into your upstroke. This one causes me problems. This is the one I get shaky on, and that's normal. If you go slow you're not going to shake as much. I tend to at this point rather than, so you'll see my hand gripping, but then as I get here, you'll see I stop the grip and push. It's like my arm or my wrist starts pushing the pen for me instead of my hand doing it because I will shake. Using your wrist, or using your arm, and pivoting from different areas is going to help you have more or less control in certain aspects. Experiment with that, if you have any issues on certain curves. This is our compound curves. It begins with an overturn, but then it seamlessly transitions into an underturn. Up, down, and up, so we go up, hairline stroke, pressure down, up again with light hairline stroke. Hairline stroke, transition into pressure, transition into a nice light hairline. Up, push down, and lift. See I got shaky there, and I can just fix it no problem. Do one more of those up, full pressure, and up again. Next compound curve beginning with the underturn. This one's probably going to be easier for most of us where we come full pressure down, switch to light pressure, and full of pressure down again. Full pressure, lift, and push. Push, transition into lifting and push down again. Push transition into light pressure, push down again. You can see I didn't get as light as I could have right there, normal also, that's why these exercises are really going to help you because the more you practice, the more you're going to get that down. Those are some of the basic strokes. I actually left out the oval, which I want to do with you guys too. We'll do it down here. But then the ascending stem loop and descending stem loop, those are also basic strokes which we went over in our faux calligraphy. But essentially you're going to be going light into your full pressure stroke down. Light into full pressure stroke down. Light full pressure. Then when you come the other way with the descending stem loop, you're going to go full pressure and then switch up to light pressure. Full pressure switch into light. That one was much better. Switch into light. There we go. Now when it's time for the oval, that's something I really, I can't believe I left it out of this. That's something I really want you to get familiar with with your brush pen because it's the core of our letters. It's basically your O, but see how you're starting off. Full pressure you go into light pressure. There's some shakiness here. It doesn't really meet well. What I like to do, I actually start about two o'clock. That way I can guide it lightly and then go to full pressure, and then the light that I pull back up will meet, and it's a lot more seamless. That's my trick for this. I think it will help you too. I start here, and then meet up here, instead of starting at the top because see how the top, it's just like there's this disconnect here, whereas this is nice and seamless. Practice your O's, and see how starting at different places really makes a difference. I'm doing this way too fast, sorry. [LAUGHTER] Some of you will try to do that too. Remember to go slow. It's something I have to constantly tell myself too. But see how that was really shaky even though I started at two o'clock, I can just go back in here and just lightly fix it. There's no rule against that. Obviously it's ideal for us to be able to do this effortlessly, but that's just not always the case. Practice your basic strokes. I'd love to see a full page of each of these. It's just going to really push you to understand how to use the brush pen before we get into letters. Ideally, you'll do that. Then I'll see you in the next video where we apply it to our letters. 9. Apply Brush Pen Strokes to Your Letter Forms: Welcome back. Let's go over applying our basic strokes with our brush pen to actual letters. This is where things get very fun because we're merging these skills together and finally seeing it come to life with a brush pen. You're going to have these basic lowercase strokes, practice sheets to download. You can grab those. You can also follow along on any blank practice sheet. Remember, guides are our friends. In this case. I have everything drawn out for you. Do you have to match the style exactly? No, but it will help you, for the most part, have a base to understand and bonus, I made these bounds for you guys so that you have that interest as you get into forming these. Now if you don't want to add the bounds, you don't have to, you have your guidelines here, so it should be easy to continue on without any bounds. You will see that I have these separated in two different strokes. That is to remind you to lift your pen. You can trace these or you can do them separately over here. Remember, we're coming back to all of our skills that we've learned. But what we've done here is imagining these four corners here. I started top-right, go to top-left, go to bottom-left, come back up. I've also kept in mind that my weight line is on my downstrokes. I do this light pressure, downstroke, light stroke back up, lift my pen, and then I'll come back in and I'm going to bounce this exit stroke like this. That is my a. What I want you guys to do is really practice these letter forms on this page, complete it. I'm just going to go over once with you, but I want you to really spend time working on these. I'm going to do my b now, come down. Then I'm going to bounce this. You can see that it just starts here, drops, and comes around. You don't have to do your b like this. You can have it be connecting and then do an exit stroke. You can have it come through around the side and through, it doesn't matter. Remember as you're going through this, this is just to show you form, is to show you weight line. If you need reference, you'll see these are hairline strokes, these are heavyweight lines. My c, I down slide a little bit. My d, I have that base shape. Keeping in mind where my light hairline strokes are, where my weight lines are. My e upstroke, downstroke, upstroke. My f, upstroke, downstroke, upstroke. Then I have to lift my pen with an exit stroke. G, it's an upstroke and do a downstroke, upstroke, lift my pen, come down and through with my descending stem loop. My h, upstroke, downstroke, lift my pen. Upstroke, downstroke. My i, downstroke, upstroke. Add a little dot. We're just applying everything that we've already learned to these letters. Downstroke around upstroke, add a dot. K, these ones are fun ones, so we have around and the ascending stem-loop and down. Light pressure, heavy pressure. Then starting separating here. We have our weight line. Upstroke, downstroke, upstroke, and then downstroke and upstroke and I bounce that a little bit for fancies. You can see I have shakiness too, and that's not something I would even fix. Don't hate on your own lettering if you have that happen to you. Just continue on with the same rules. Here's where I bounce that higher down, lower down and through and bounce that. Your o, see I add a little loop de, you don't have to, but that's basically I keep the same shape in mind, but then I just push it over to the left and through just to add a little spice to it. My p, it comes straight down, lift my pen, come back up, and surround down and around and through. Q, downstroke, upstroke, lift my pen, downstroke around in an upstroke, lift my pen, exit stroke. My r, up around with a pressure. I lift my pen, down and through. I want to point out, you're going to see me doing my exit strokes like an arch. That's just what I ended up doing. You don't have to, you can absolutely have your exit strokes come through like this. They can also be up like this. As long as they're consistent it doesn't matter. This is just something that developed with me over time as I practiced. You're going to have little things like that, that happen with you too. Now I'm going to, with my s come up, lift my pen around with full pressure up and through. I had some shakiness here. I can smooth that out. I'm going to apply real light pressure just to create, it's going to be a little bit of a thicker line, but it's not the end of the world. Then my t, come down, up, and then have this nice crossbar. You'll also see that I crossed this really close to the top of the t stylistic choice. You've got a lot of creative choices going on when you letter. Think about different ways that you can practice doing that. This v, I have as a sharp v. You'll also see if you've ever watched people lettering on this follow-through here, you might have seen me just flick that like this. [LAUGHTER] That's muscle memory. I did that to prevent me from shaking because I do, I shake. I have a lot of caffeine all the time, I've got a lot of energy. I also don't have amazing control. There's a million reasons why. Try to avoid doing any flicks until you really know where you want your weight lines to be. Because I know I'm going to do a weight line and then lift up. But if you do that, it might not be accurate or it might look like this and we don't want this. We want it to be seamless. If you can practice and get that forming slowly, your muscle memory will build up and you'll be able to apply tricks like this as well. I just want to mention that because I don't want you to skip the part of cohesiveness. W, bend that down and around and then exit stroke. My x here it is an action. Then nice hairline. Oops, I went the other way. That's okay. You can do x's however you want to, but this one, it looks like there we go. Nice hairline stroke. Then my y, it's downstroke, upstroke, and through. Then my z, lift my pen, and follow-through. I want you to really practice these letters. Not only should you fill out these three sheets, but also continue them on additional paper. I would love to see how this worked out for you as well, just for fun. I don't know if you guys ever did the whole, let's circle our favorite one, our best letter that we made in school when we were learning penmanship. But I think that's so fun to do in lettering. Please feel free to take a marker and circle your favorite one of each letter. Because gosh, then we can refer back to it and think, okay, this is what I liked about how I did that. In our next lesson, we're going to really put some personality into these letters and words as we go into bounce lettering, this is even more exciting. I'll see you soon. 10. Time to Break the Rules: Bounce Lettering: We learn the rules to break the rules, I know. This is all about breaking the rules, but with rules. [LAUGHTER] There are rules to how we're breaking the rules. Sorry, not sorry, you're going to thank me later. This is about approaching bounce lettering. I'm going to use a bigger tip just because this is my larger guideline. But I want to show you, if this is my baseline here, I'm just going to put it in color so that you can really see my baseline. The main rule that I think is most important when it comes to bounce lettering is to remember to always return to your baseline. Always return to the baseline. [LAUGHTER] The second rule that I want to share is to keep your x-height the same in all of your letters. We'll go to the next in a minute. These are the two rules to focus on right now. We're going to start with the word remember, I think it's a good example on bouncing. What this is going to look like is, this is my x-height, this is my baseline, so I'm going to create my r. Right now, I'm just going to letter this without bounce. This is what it's going to look like. It's going to be nice and structured. That's what it looks like. Now let's make this bounce. I'm actually going to switch the rules of this guideline and make this my baseline, just so to make this easier. Because all I'm really looking at is my baseline anyway as a change, just ignore this line. I'm going to do the same thing, only this time, on the second stroke of my letters that have two strokes, so my M, on the second one, I'm just going to dip it below and come back up to my baseline. Same thing, I'm going to dip it below, come back up to my baseline here, and then continue on, and then it is finished. That's a really easy example. I'm going to show you another example with the word remember to bounce it even more. Now, I'm going to use this baseline again. Same thing, but this time what I ended up doing was bouncing these two spots, those are done. Now I'm also going to bounce the top of them and make them higher. What that will look like is r, e, and then my top. I have my first line, but then it comes up a little higher, and then down, and then continue. First stroke up a little higher, and then down, and then my b just follows. I'm shrinking this down because [LAUGHTER] I ran out of room, but you get the idea. I bounced the top and I bounced the bottom. Here, these spots. [NOISE] I would put this up higher too. [LAUGHTER] That's an example of how you can bounce very easily. Let's look at another word. If we use the word bouncy as an example. I can start, so here's my baseline. If I did this normally, it would look like this, which is not bouncy at all. If I made it bouncy, I would do my regular b on the baseline, my regular o on the baseline, u on the baseline. But here, even though it's not a double overturn, if I want to bounce that I can by just dropping it slightly below that line. Then I return to the baseline, but then this one can drop slightly under, return to the baseline on the next stroke, and then add my y. Simple bouncy. But you can see how already it just changes it up and makes it a lot more playful. Now let's do the word calligraphy. The reason I want to do this one is to show you how I like to bounce letters that are repeating, so LL in calligraphy. I can have my C, it's on my baseline. My A on my baseline. I lift my pen, continue. Then my L, so I can put this on the baseline, but then the second one, I'm just going to drop. It's going to be approximately the same length, I'm just dropping it below and then returning to my baseline, that's the biggest rule. Then I go into my G, and then into my R, and then my A. I can drop this just below if I want. P, return to the baseline. H, and I'll drop this stroke below, the second stroke, and then return to my baseline, and done. What I find a lot of times when people do bounce lettering at first is they end up having bounce all over the place and there's not structure, [LAUGHTER] and then it just doesn't look right. In order to make that structure, the biggest rule I can tell you is, anytime you bounce, return to baseline. Bounce, return to baseline on the next stroke. That's going to be your easiest way to actually make this effective. Let's do this again with a few more words. I'm going to do lettering. I have my L. This is going to be normal way. Notice I changed guidelines. That's what I mean by they are interchangeable. This is what lettering looks like, normal. But then I can bounce it. Remember that soft t that we talked about, this is where the bounce lettering and those soft t's and things like that really bring it to life. I'm going to immediately bounce my L by bringing it below if I treat this as my baseline. Drop the L and then the next letter is going to sit on the baseline. Then I have my T. I'm going to have that sit on the baseline and then have my next T, drop below it. Have my E, meet at the baseline again, otherwise it's going to start looking sloppy. Then I'll have my R, drop. My I, meet at the baseline again. My first stroke of my N baseline, and then drop below. Then my G to finish off, and then my soft crossbar over my T's. See how nice and playful that looks. But I stayed on that baseline throughout all the whole word, but I was able to bounce still. It just makes it so much more playful. You could do this with the double letters opposite too. You could drop the first t and then bring the next one up. Not a rule to that, it ends up being something that you just start doing [LAUGHTER] and not realizing that you have a method to yours. Now you have new practice with bounce calligraphy. What I want you to do is letter five drinks, five different textures, and five different gemstones. I know that that's very random, but that's one of the things that I love about lettering, is that you can choose the weirdest words to practice, things that you wouldn't even think about. Once again, five drinks, five textures, five gemstones. I can't wait to see all of your bounce lettering. 11. How to Create Compositions: I want to challenge you to pick a quote that is maybe 4-7 words long. You can absolutely follow along with me and that way you have your practice really set and down or watch me go through this process and then do it yourself, whatever you prefer doing. The first thing that I like to do is actually write the quote that I'll be doing at the top of my page. That will make me be able to count the letters to see what it is, seal everything I have to fit, not miss a word or chopins. I'm choosing one that is the full seven words and it's by Theodore Roosevelt, ''Believe you can and you're halfway there.'' I'm going to write that down. [NOISE] I also want to make sure that I credit the author of the quote if I didn't make it up. That can be a lot smaller so I'm not going to think really about where I'm going to put that because the only thing I care about for composition is, believe you can, and you're halfway there. You can do this with pencil or you can do it with a pen, I'm just going to grab my monoline O3 and just sketch it out. First, what I'm going to do is just write this out. Assuming this is a vertical portrait piece of paper, I can say, believe, I'm not worried about what this looks like as far as being pretty I'm just seeing where the words will fit, believe you can, and maybe I'll do this. [LAUGHTER] You're halfway there. This is what it could look like, this could also be the word. That would look fine. But what if I wanted to have a call-out area, so maybe you believe you can is larger and the rest of it is just smaller and more of an afterthought so I might say, believe you can, and then smaller and you're halfway there. I could also have that on one line or I could do this opposite so maybe it's, or have it be on an arc, I don't know. That word is tripping me up. Believe you can, and then and you are maybe halfway is larger there. That's an option, maybe I'll do it the other way, so I'll have, believe you can and then like this and you're halfway there. It doesn't have to be perfect. I can get the gist or I could say, and then move this over, and then another one maybe it's just believe is larger. Believe you can and you're halfway there. Then let's do one more. Maybe have believe be normal and then the largest call-out as you can and then a line break and you're halfway there. From this exercise, feel free to go all nine. I can look at this at a glance and think, well, if I just jumped into this project, I would end up going with this first one because that's just what would come out. But because I did this very easy thumbnail sketch and you can of course, see how we did that in art, you could do it in shapes, having it go around the whole thing, anything you want to do, in a circle and have it go around anything. Anything thumbnail, creativity these are sketches you don't have to make anything perfect, it doesn't have to be hard, doesn't have to be anything, it's just a matter of, I can look at this at a glance and see what I like. I know that I am not a fan, I can eliminate some. I actually don't like number 1. I also don't like number 5, I don't like number 4, I like number 2. I like three enough, but not enough to beat these two out, and I think that I'm actually going to go with number 6, which is really I was just stretching to try to find one that was different and I actually liked this better. It's similar to number 2, but the you can is what's really prominent and I like that because it's a great message overall. That's the one I'm going to go with. Once this is done, you've got your thumbnail sketch out of the way and it's time to move into composition. I want you guys to work on your thumbnail sketches, I push you to do nine, but just do six if you can, and it can look like mine or it can look like something else, you could do a different quote. I do recommend doing a different quote, you can work along with me on this project but as far as for you guys, just because of your finished piece for this assignment, I would love to see your own quote that you use. Share that, I can't wait to see them and then we'll move into our next video which is where we start to actually build this thing. 12. Create Your Final Piece: When you have a blank piece of paper, obviously it's not ideal to do a final quote on a guideline, but it's also not ideal to not have a guideline. What I recommend doing is, yes, you can use pencil to put in a guideline and then erase it. But, what I recommend doing, take a dark marker and hit the main lines that I want to stay within. I'll hit the ascending stem line and I'll hit the baseline, and I'll know everything in-between. I'm just going to put these in so I can see them through the paper and you may not be able to see them on camera as well as I will, but this is what I have done actually since the very beginning. Those are just basic guides that are going to help me see through it. You maybe you will see through it. Yeah, you can maybe. From here, I like to create a draft, and then I can do it again but that way I can see like, okay, this is where I placed everything, this is what I want to keep in mind and then I can continue on. I have my sketch here, I have the full quote. What I tend to do is just think, if I'm going to make it this large, where's my middle letter going to sit? Believe has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 letters. I is the very middle letter so B-E-L-I. It has to be, B-E-L-I, it has to be about big. I know that going in, and I can just go in blindly, or I can use a pencil to sketch it out first, which is what I want to do with you guys and I'm actually going to be using a pen because the pencil doesn't show up as well. Here's a thicker tip, my O5, but I do recommend using a pencil very lightly. [LAUGHTER] But this is what I'm going to do so that you can see it. The next part is you can, so Y-O-U space C-A-N, so the space is going to be the center and then and you're halfway there. But I want to focus on this. I'll put this right here so you can see it. I want to focus on this as the main quote. Assuming, let's pretend that this is a pencil. I'm going to do this pretty large. I'm going to just start putting that overall shape in. This is too wide, so that's one of the reasons why I like to do a draft first so that you don't screw that up. I know I need to inch it over this way so maybe start here and then believe. I can do, you know, what would be fun? Just to keep things interesting is to do that exaggerative spacing, believe you can and then have maybe a flourish right here and you're halfway there. Look at this guide, and I'm just doing it quickly. I'll have to move this over to about right here, you're halfway there about a for halfway. Maybe that'll be, [NOISE] seeing that's too far. Is it? I don't know. No, that's right. There's my draft. I want to shrink this down so I might even start here after all and just have that be a little bit smaller. I just don't want it so close to the edge. Now, I can take a paper, my final one, and actually start doing that based off of these two drafts. I can see exactly how I want this to be completed. You can go in with pencil, but if you trust yourself based off your draft, you can always go in and go to town. I would go in with pencil just as we're learning this so pretend this is my pencil just so you can see it. I start with you can because it is the boldest part and then I work my way around it. Any call-outs, I like to have those words be placed first. I'm really feeling like I want to put can underneath. I think I will. I think I'll do this and then have my y flourish. Let's see y. Yeah, I think I'll do that. This is what I'm talking about it's like that's where you even build up even more with a draft and see, okay, well what can I create with this? My y, I'm going to place it in a little more now that I know it's going to drop. But because I know I'm going to have a flourish here, I'm not going to do my descending stem-loop of my y. I'm just going to put the first stroke in. I'm going to spend a little more time. Then I'm going to change my guide just a little bit because I want can to be right here. I'll drop this to bounce and then drop this to bounce and then my flourish can come in here like that. Then believe I'll put that next since I know that's the next main word to call out. I'm going to make this have these longer exit strokes, here we go. Then I might do like some little stars right here [LAUGHTER] and you're halfway there. I know I want to push that over a little bit, probably start about here. I'm going to form this a lot better since this will be my final. [NOISE] There we go. See nice and centered and I know that just from my draft and then halfway there. [NOISE] There we go. There is my quote, and then I can put Theodore Roosevelt down here, but overall, I have the draft finished. I can get rid of this now. I can get rid of this now. This is my focus. If this was all pencil, what I would end up doing is taking one of those flat erasers and just taking the edge of it and lightly pulling down. What that's going to do is lift most of it, but you'll still be able to see it, which makes your guide super helpful. Then moving into the rest of everything. If you have only large brush pens or you have only small brush pens, remember that you know how to do faux calligraphy?. A lot of times when I do these larger quotes, I end up doing faux calligraphy. Let's say I don't have this large brush pen. Well, I can go in now and I can trace over my pencil. I'm going to do it slow just because this is pen and I might lift my pen in weird places, but I don't have the ability to erase this like you do. I just want to make sure it actually covers the whole thing. That's okay. Then come down. That's going to be a downstroke, so I didn't really worry too much about having it hover. This is pretty close together. I'm going to show you how I can salvage that in my u. If I was to go over this, because this is close together I'm going to make my downstroke on my y be on the left. I'm going to have that come through and then connect here. Then I can fill that in. I'm not going to do it right this second. I'll put that on the outside, on the left side also. Then this little downstroke I'm not going to have it be super thick because it's at an angle but I still want it there, and then it'll come to that point. Then the o I can bring that now on the right side, and that's going to make it so it's not smashing even more. I have a little bit of a downstroke here, and then I'll bring the u downstroke to the left and to the left, and that's going to make it closer to the o and it balances a little bit. Just little hacks you can do. I'm going to do the same thing here, assuming I don't have a large brush pen. If you do, you just go right over this. I'm going to have my downstroke, my downstroke, my downstroke. This right here, I'm going to close that separation because if I do it on this side, it's just going to be too close together. My downstroke and then my downstroke. There we go. Then believe, so let's say now I do have a brush pen. [LAUGHTER] Well, do I have the right size? This one's super big. It would work really well for this size lettering, but not for this size. Whereas if I use something real small like this, it might not be quite as thick as I want it, so that's something to think about as far as what tip size you use. I think this will actually be just fine, but I just wanted to mention that. Then I'm also going to go real slow here because it's pen underneath. I normally wouldn't go this slow but I want to just overlap. I'm doing the same thing where my light upstroke, heavy downstroke. See how I messed this guy up a little bit. I'm going to fill it in, it's not ideal. But that's like pencils better than putting pen down first. Heavy downstroke, and then I'm lifting just because I want to make sure that I have a better grip to make sure I go over this right. Here we go. But normally it would be in one stroke like this. V one stroke, I'm going to lift only so that I can trace this. Same thing here. Not ideal. [LAUGHTER] There we have that done. You see, if I was to do faux calligraphy, it would look very similar, but I would have to color that in. I'll color this part in so that it all comes together. Then I can go and finish with my smaller brush tip. I actually I'm switching this out because the Pentel tends to not dry out as easily. I'm going to come up and down. There we go, and just trace over this. I got to slow down or I'm not going to trace slow. Then you have your quote, and it's so fun because it was clearly planned out. You can see all my little mistakes, which I would normally just go in and erase, but I can't because it was in pen. If you're excited about the little swash that I put in here, I recommend heading to my flourishing class right after this. I've linked it for you in the project section of the class, which will allow you to explore swashes and flourishes that you can add to your pieces to make them even more ornamental. In the next video, we'll go over your project for this class. I can't wait to see what you guys are up to, so see you in a moment. 13. Your Class Project + Flourishing: [MUSIC] While we may have come to the end of our curriculum, it doesn't mean that your modern calligraphy journey is over. Nay, no. You now have the fundamental knowledge and structure and skills in place to be able to expand, to really develop your style and tweak as needed as long as you always come back to basics. Remember your brush strokes, remember your cohesive alphabet. Remember to utilize these skills that you've been practicing and everything else is your playground. That's the most exciting part. Your final project for the class is to create a piece of wall art that you can either gift or proudly hang on your own walls, or create a greeting card that you can either create analog or you can digitize and print to your heart's content, it will make a wonderful gift for your loved ones. This practice never gets boring. I want to give you a hot tip. Think about ways that you can take your modern calligraphy and push the boundaries. Rather than typical quotes that we might see, what can you say through your lettering? What can you say through your calligraphy that is going to reach the people who you want to reach? Think about those types of phrases and that is really going to set you apart. I can't wait to continue to watch you as you go along this journey and be sure to check out my other 50 plus classes because there's always something fun to dive into creatively. I'll see you soon on the Internet. Until then.