Waterbrush Lettering Essentials | Teela Cunningham | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

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

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.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      What is a Waterbrush?


    • 4.

      Waterbrush + Watercolor Blending Overview


    • 5.

      Waterbrush + Ink Texture and Pressure Overview


    • 6.

      Letterform Structure Overview


    • 7.

      The Light Box Method


    • 8.

      The Letter Over Method


    • 9.

      The Look and Letter Method


    • 10.

      Applying Watercolor Blends to Lettering


    • 11.

      How to Use the Greeting Card Template


    • 12.

      Watercolor Wash: Thinking of You


    • 13.

      Ombre Effect: You're My Favorite


    • 14.

      Watercolor Blending: Thankful


    • 15.

      Waterbrush Lettering with Ink: It's Your Birthday!


    • 16.

      Next Steps


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class, we’ll create our own waterbrush lettered greeting cards using ink or watercolors. We’ll go over lettering techniques for forming letters with the waterbrush, creating typographic watercolor blends and finding your own waterbrush lettering style. At the end of this class, you’ll be able to create your own custom lettered greeting card and walk away with a unique skillset that you’ll be able to use on your own projects well into the future.

Bonus material for this class: a pdf that lists every resource mentioned in the class so you’ll have access to the exact products used. Also included: a lettering inspiration sheet filled with different brush-style lettering resources and a printable pdf greeting card template to make a folded card from any paper you choose.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Teela Cunningham

Hand Lettering + Graphic Design


Hey! I'm Teela and I help designers + hand letterers build their skillsets to open new creative + financial opportunities. Freebies + tutorials here! > https://every-tuesday.com

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro: Hi. I'm Teela Cunningham, and some of you might know me from past Skillshare classes, my blog, or my Instagram every Tuesday, where I share time lapses in photos of waterbrush lettering every week. Ever since I discovered the waterbrush, I became obsessed with it; lettering on a daily basis, improving my letter fonts, and paying attention to every meticulous detail. I've learned a lot along the way, and I'm here to share every tip, trick, and lesson I've picked up. Throughout this class, you'll learn how to create your own lettering style with a waterbrush, watercolor typographic blending methods, and I'll walk you step-by-step through four unique waterbrush-lettered greeting cards. Once you enroll in the class, you'll have access to resources PDF, with links to every product mentioned throughout the entire class, a brush style font inspiration PDF, and a printable greeting card template so you can start creating your custom greeting cards right away. At the end of this class, you'll have a waterbrush-lettered greeting card you can give to a loved one and a skill set you'll be able to use for years to come. Hit "Enroll", and let's start waterbrush lettering. 2. Overview: Hello and welcome to the class. I'm so happy to have you here and I want to kick things off by sharing the exact art supplies that I'll be using throughout this entire class. With your enrollment, you'll have access to a resource as PDF that I've put together that has links to every single product mentioned. So if you want to use the exact same items I have, you'll have access to those. So just jumping right in. This is just a regular paint palette that I'm using for my watercolors. This is Speedball Super Black Ink because I like having water in my water brushes and also ink just to get some unique outcomes, and I found the super black ink to have the most opaque quality and smooth writing and I have no complaints so far, so I haven't needed to change. I also like using these Painters markers. I like the gold and the silver metallic markers to add embellishments around my typography, and I like using the white Painter marker to add details within the letter forms themselves. I'm using a set of 24 pentile watercolors, but if you'd like to use a smaller set, that's totally fine too. I'm using two sets of water brushes. Each set comes as a small tip, a medium tip, and a large tip, and I have two sets because I like filling them with ink and I like filling them with water, so I have access to whatever I need at any time depending on the size of lettering that I'm creating. As far as paper goes, I like using just regular card stock. This is the exact card stock I'm using. It's 110 pound. I found that it actually does work well with watercolors, which you'd think that water would be too much for it. But because you have a lot of control over how much water gets through your water brush and onto your paper, you can control it to a certain extent. If you want to go any heavier with your water usage, I would definitely recommend using some watercolor paper, and for this class, this is the watercolor paper I'll be using. Is just a Canson cold press watercolor paper. It is on the more affordable end but it works great so we're going with it. I want to get you inspired and really excited about the class so I want to share some greeting cards that I've put together. I did want to mention that with your enrollment, you also have access to a printable card template so you can use any type of paper that you may have at home. I'll just make sure it's non-porous just so your color doesn't bleed throughout your stock and also keep it on the thicker end. That 110 pound weight is probably a good reference to work of off. You'll be able to throw that paper through your home printer and you'll be able to create your own cards out of your own paper. Getting into the example of cards, I am going to show you how to create every single technique that I'm showing here. This is a color blend from blue to purple, and I've added that extra detail with the white paint marker inside of it. This one has some gold accents, some illustrations, and there's a color blend from a lighter green to a darker green. This one is actually on that watercolor paper because in order to create this watercolor wash on the background, a lot of water needs to be used for that. After it dries, I was able to apply some black lettering and then add some extra detail with a white paint marker. This is a little more simple. This is just using the water brush filled with ink and then adding some gold details at the end to take it up a notch. This is a tonal blend accomplished with just using one color and some water that creates some natural gradients in here, and then I've just added some extra illustrations around it with a little touch of gold. This is another example of watercolor blends. I'm going from yellow to orange to a deeper orange and then adding in those metallics at the end. This is an example of an ombre effect where you create a gradient as you read through the phrase on the card. Then this last example is just the tonal blend effect and then an added element, just another detail using that metallic silver paint marker. I hope these have you excited and inspired and ready to start your own project. Now is a great time to get it started and just list out whatever phrase you'd like to use on your card and share it with everyone. I would recommend using any phrase that's five words or less, or you can just use one word if you want. I would suggest that because we have limited room and if you want to add any extra embellishments that way you'll have room and you'll have the time to do it. Share that with everyone and we'll have a great foundation to build upon as we work through the class. I'm so happy to have you here, so let's dive right in. 3. What is a Waterbrush?: What is a water brush? A water brush is very similar to regular paintbrush, except that it has three components. You have a water chamber, a valve system, and a tip. Depending on how much pressure you put on your water chamber, will determine how much water passes through your valve system on your tip and then eventually onto your paper. The tip is made of a nylon material, which I really like because you don't get those rogue bristles in your artwork and it behaves exactly like a regular paintbrush and it's soft and it's versatile and I've had great luck with it. As you can see, the tips of this one, these come in small, medium, and large. This is a small right here. You can see that the tip of this is stained and that's just going to happen naturally with the use of watercolors, so don't worry about that, it's totally fine. It doesn't mean that when you start writing, you're going to get that color on your paper. It's still clean. It's just the staining happens. This is a small, this is a medium, and this is a large tips. So you can see the comparison of all of them. I like using the small and the medium for my lettering the most and I like reserving the large one for watercolor washes like you saw on that greeting card in the previous video. I used this for that watercolor wash and it's nice because you can dispense a lot of water at once with it. This is great to give you some versatility, the small and the medium for the different size lettering that you may want to use. You can fill your water chamber with water or with ink and I'll show you how to fill both of them up. I typically fill the water chamber with water under a faucet, but I'll show you how to do it with an eyedropper here. You can just unscrew the valve system from the water chamber and you'll typically have a little bubble right here, so you'll want to make sure that's popped before you add any water to it because if you don't do that, they're it goes, you'll get water everywhere and it'll be super messy. I'm just going to grab my little eyedropper right here, pick up some water, and fill it up. That's all there is to. When you're all full, just simply screw your valve system back on your water chamber and you're in business and ready to go. Obviously, refilling the ink is definitely messier. So you're going to unscrew the water chamber from the valve system once again. Be very careful when you do this. You're going to get that bubble again and it can be very messy, so I like having an extra paper towel handy and you're just going to want to pop that bubble as it happens, and we're good. Do not forget this stuff because trust me, it's not fun. I'm just going to open up my super black ink right here and do the same thing that I did with the water, just grabbing some from the container and then dumping it into the chamber. Then to clean your eye dropper once you're done, just fill it with water, let it out. Do this a few times and you'll be back to new, a nice and clean. Screw your valve system back on to your water chamber or your ink chamber here and sometimes, this will happen. You can see it's bubbling up around the base, so you're going to want to have that extra paper towel handy just to clean up around it, so you don't get ink everywhere like I just did. That's how to fill your water brush with ink. With water for storage, especially for your ink, I would recommend if you're going to go a few weeks without using it, definitely clean off your tip because it will get sticky over time and if you're not going to use it for a few months, then definitely do a thorough cleaning of your water brush, so all the components don't get too sticky over time just sitting there. With the water in your water brush, don't even worry about it, you can cap these off and store these anywhere and they're going to be perfectly fine because it's just water. The ink is the one that you'd have to worry about. That's how to store them, that's how to fill them, and we're going to move on to using them next. 4. Waterbrush + Watercolor Blending Overview: Before we dive into typography and watercolors, I want to break it down a little further and go over some basic blending techniques with your water brush and then we can apply those later to our typography. For these examples, I'm using my medium water brush and I'm just going to soak in this blue. I'm going to give my water brush a gentle squeeze, a very gentle squeeze, and then I'll send a little bit of water through the valve system and onto my tip. I'm going to douse my tip pretty much halfway, and then I'm just going to draw a line. You can see I'm getting us really pretty gradient. As I draw more lines and the paint starts coming out of the brush, you'll notice a nice gradient happening, tonal gradient. That's blending technique 1, pretty simple. You're just going and using the water to create that really pretty gradient and that transition from your paint to your water. If you wanted to take one of these blends and create a colorful blend on top of that, I'm going to remove the water or the color for my water brush just by giving it a squeeze, and as I'm squeezing, I'm moving the tip around. I'm going to stop squeezing. Once I'm not getting any more color, and I'm going to make sure my tip is still wet but not soaking wet. You want to get some of the moisture out of that tip. Then I'm going to come into my purple over here and just grab a little bit on the tip, and I'm going to apply it to the top of this blend to create a multi-color blend right here. Once I have the color on, I'm going to remove the excess moisture because you can use the moisture that's already in the paper to finish the blend and create that transition from color to color. I'm just going to move this down. You've got this really pretty color blend happening. If you wanted to do a monocolor blend where I'm just going to make my dark darker on one end, I'm going to grab my Prussian blue once again and just hit the top of this with an extra dose of the same color. Remove the color from my tip and some of them moisture, and then use the moisture from the paper and the rest of my tip, whatever is remaining to finish the transition, so you're getting that pretty blend. That is a tonal blend, a monocolor blend, and a multicolor blend. I want to show with one more color so you can see it in action a little more. I'm going to use my red purple right here, and I'll just do the same thing I did before with creating some color streaks. This time I'm going to grab my dark purple just a little bit on the tip and hit the top of it with it. Remove the color and then blend it. If you wanted to add an additional color to this, to just up the blend that much more, you can add a little bit of blue end. I'm just going to grab a little bit cobalt blue, just a little bit on my tip. Hit the top of it, get rid of it, and then start blending. You just have to be very careful and monitor how much water you're getting into your paper because the paper will begin breaking down if you do too many blends on card stock. At that point, if you do plan on doing a larger blend, definitely move into the watercolor paper versus the card stock. The last one that I want to share is how to create a color streak blend, a multicolor streak blend. I'm going to grab some sky blue right here. Get that on my water brush and then I'm going to hit the Prussian blue just once. Now when I draw it, I'm going to get these really pretty streaks through it. I'm just grabbing a bunch of sky blue, hitting the Prussian blue once, and then dragging my water brush. As you can imagine, as you do curves, you're going to get these nice streaks throughout your typography. I'll show you one more example with purple, I'm going to grab my red purple. Let me grab my dark purple first since it's a little more dry and then hit the red, and then come on to the paper. You can get some really pretty blends happening. I could grab my red purple and then hit my Prussian ones. This one becomes a little more complicated when it's with typography. But if you're a little calculated and you have shorter words, it's much easier to execute. That's how to create a tonal blend, a monocolor blend, a dual color blend, a triplet color blend, and then we've got color streaks. I would keep it to two colors if you're doing colors streaks, if you go to three, you might have a good streak here and there, but it my end up getting a little muddy after a while. That's how to use blends with watercolor and we're going to move into ink next. 5. Waterbrush + Ink Texture and Pressure Overview: Since we just talked about different watercolor blends, now I want to talk about the different options you have when you're lettering with ink. So depending on the flow of ink that you have going to your brush, if I give this a slight squeeze, just like you gave the water chamber a squeeze with water. I can start out by having a nice flow. This is just a medium tip right here. The more that I letter as I go along, you can see that as the tip gets a little dryer, you can start getting some really nice textures with your water brush. So whether or not you want textures in your typography, if you start getting textures and you don't want them, that's an indication that you need to give your water chamber another squeeze to get some more ink flowing. Or if you like having the texture in there, you're going to want to begin your lettering having a dryer brush. Next, I want to talk about pressure settings when it comes to an ink filled water brush. A really important thing to remember is, whenever you're drawing up strokes with your typography, you're going to have less pressure than when you're having a down stroke. To show you that, I'm going to draw a capital letter A. If my upstroke is a lightly in pressure, my down stroke is going to be heavier in pressure. That's going to give you the really nice, consistent contrast throughout your type faces as your lettering. With the water brush, I mean, this is just a medium and you're going to have a lot of options. So here's a light pressure, here's a little bit of extra pressure, more pressure. As you go along, you can see you can get pretty thick just off of a medium water brush. When it comes to lettering, that might look like, something like this. Probably the most difficult part that you'll encounter as you're trying to keep your style of lettering consistent, is maintaining a consistent pressure just because it can vary so much, that if you begin with your heaviest pressure looking like this, you don't want to end your word with pressure like this, because then you're going to start introducing inconsistencies and it's going to start looking like a different style. Just something to keep in mind as you begin lettering. Experiment with different pressures, see what you're comfortable with and what you can maintain consistency with as you go along. Those are just a few tips to keep in mind when you're lettering with ink and your water brush. Next, we're going to go over the anatomy of typography. So you can structure your letters right before we move on to creating our own individual styles. 6. Letterform Structure Overview: So before we establish our own lettering style, it's important to understand the anatomy and structure of typography. The basic structure of typography revolves around four guidelines. Those four guidelines are your cap height, your x-height, your baseline, and your descender line. Descender, baseline, x-height, cap height. All letters fall within this structure wise, and I will show you how that works. If I draw an a, my a would go from my x-height to my baseline and down. A b would go from my cap height, to my baseline to my x-height and down. X-height really just gets its name from the height at which a lowercase x is measured, which obviously a b, this would be the exact same and same with the a. An uppercase a may look like this, where the crossbar is where the x-height is. A lowercase g may look like this, where the x-height hits, it comes down to the baseline and then it hits the descender line. A capital b would go from the cap height to the baseline and then its counters would meet at the x-height. The personality and the real characteristics of your lettering, really come down to the space between these guidelines. If I change up and vary that spacing, so my cap height is here, maybe this time my x-height were here, my baseline here, and my descender line here, now we can see how different our topography will look once we applied these new rules. This would now be a lowercase a, this would be lowercase b, this would be an x, uppercase a, lowercase g, uppercase b. You can see already how different they feel when you look at them versus the actual style they're drawn in is very similar. If you wanted to add an italicized field to this or draw them at an angle, we have to introduce a new set of guides. We're going to keep our cap height, our x-height, our baseline, and our descender line. Now we're also going to introduce guidelines for our angles at which those letters will be drawn. I'm going to attempt to draw all these guides the same angle, and now our lettering has to take on those angles. This would be my a, this would be my b, this would be my g, and this might be my A, and this would be my B. Once you practice your structure, definitely practice this quite a bit so you can understand and kind of get that muscle memory in your hand of how everything lines up with each other. Now you can begin free handing and that's where the fun really happens. If I were to keep everything structurally sound and draw out just the word alpha, keeping with the structure, It would look like this. I'm using a medium water brush for this. If we looked at where our guides were, this would be the baseline, this would be the x-height, this would be the cap height, and this would be the descender. If you look, these are very close as you look at the lettering as a whole. If you wanted a more structured lettering, this is what you'd want to be keeping in mind as you drew it. You want to change it up and have a little more fun and create more playful lettering, you would want to vary one of these guides. So I'll show you an example of varying your baseline. If we look at the structure of this, you can see it's still drawn in a similar style as this, but if we draw our baseline, this would be the baseline for the a, this would be the baseline for the p, this would be the cap height for the a, this would be the cap height for this a, or the x-height, I'm sorry. This would be the cap height for the l, this would be the cap height for the h, and then this would be my descender right here. The important thing is, is you want to try and stay as consistent as you can with your other guides when you're varying one quite a bit. This baseline is probably varied the most followed by this cap height. I would actually want to keep my cap height a little closer than this, and my x heights very close, and I would just want to draw any other descenders that I might have in-line with this p. That's where you start having a lot of fun, but definitely practice your structure first before you move on to free hand, and it'll get really exciting after that. In the next few videos, we're going to use some inspiration and start creating our own style of lettering based off of that inspiration. 7. The Light Box Method: Now that we've established the main structure of topography, we can move on to learning how to form our letter forms, and we're going to base it off of some inspiration. Your assignment is to find brush fonts that you really love and that you're inspired by and choose one and print it off. I've got lowercase, uppercase, and then I've even typeset some phrases out too, so I can experiment with full words as well. What we're going to do is use this as a base. We're going to learn how these letter forms were created using a water brush, and then we can move on to creating our own style that will end up being very similar to our inspiration because we're going to practice off of this and use it as a base to begin with. This is what I'm calling the light box method, and I've got three methods. So this is the very first one. What I'm going to do is take a regular sheet of paper and set it on top. I do want to mention that for these types of exercises, learning how to create your letter forms, it's best to use a water brush filled with ink because it'll work much better, especially with the light box technique with being able to see, I'm just using a regular sheet of paper here because it's not a final so it doesn't matter if it bleeds a little bit, and there's not as much water or liquid being put on the paper as there would be if this was filled with water instead. I'm just going to mount this on the light box, and then we're going to start tracing and experimenting. This part is pretty fun because we're going to look at the letters, and we know that wherever it's much heavier, that the water brush is likely at this angle and lots of pressure. So by looking at how much pressure or how thick these lines are, we can start experimenting with where we need to hold the water brush and how much pressure we need to put on the water brush to create those strokes. Then from there we can start getting some muscle memory into our hands for when we freehand our own lettering. I'm just going to go through and use my best guess. This is a thin, it's gets a little thicker at the bottom. Since then this is really thick. The goal here is to try and draw your letters with one stroke. Like over here on the A, I missed this part, I shouldn't want to draw in here. I should want to just leave it as it is and learn from it. So the next time I draw this one out, because you should do this exercise more than once. Your hand will get really smart, really quick. The more that you do this, and I'll just start coming naturally to you when you create your own letter forms and figure out your own style. I'm just going to go through. This is your own interpretation because how you're forming these is obviously going to be different than the original artist, but you do want to start varying things after a while. Once you get comfortable with working through an alphabet, you want to start altering things and bringing your own creativity into it. For example, this k, this artist chose to create a k that looked like this whereas maybe I want a k that looks like this. This l is formed in one stroke, maybe I want mine to be a loop. This m has light pressure in the middle, and heavy pressure on the ends. Maybe I want this alternating pressure on mine. This is where it gets really exciting once you draw it out and get a feel for how all the letters are formed, you can start creating your own letters. It's really important to not just stick with one style of lettering. I'm using Hartwell right now and I should go on and try some different styles that I'm inspired by, and that I really liked that differ quite a bit from Hartwell. That way my hand can get used to creating different styles and personalities of letter forms. Because if you had a greeting card that said, "I'm so sorry for your loss" versus "I'm so excited for you," you obviously would be using a different style for both of those cards. So get used to one, get really good with free handing it and then move on to another one and expand your skill set from there. This is the light box method, and once I shut it off, we can compare side-by-side and we can see where we've done a pretty good job of staying consistent and places where maybe we didn't do such a good job staying consistent. That's good to know to just go back, and once you're drawing again, pay special attention to the areas that you felt you could improve the next time around and see how consistent you can stay with the letters that you did draw well. The next method that I'm going to share is for anyone that doesn't have a light box that wants to do a similar exercise as we just went through. The next method is called the letter over method, and that's in the next video. 8. The Letter Over Method: Similar to the light-box method, this one I'm calling the letter-over method, and it's for people who don't have a light-box that want to draw over the typeface before trying to freehand it on their own. I also wanted to mention that I've got a free PDF that has a bunch of links to different brush style fonts that you can look at and then figure out what you'd like to use for your inspiration. For this example, we're just going to draw over the uppercase portion of the alphabet and get comfortable there. So we're just going to come up, same thing as before, figuring out where the pressure is. Because this is a different color, the way that I've printed out in blue, you can see where you're hitting and where you're not hitting. It's a nice alternative if you don't have a light box. I'm just going to go through. Once again, keep in mind how you might form some of the letters that you're tracing over differently to adapt them to your style once you get comfortable with how to form the letters with a water brush. Maybe I don't want the tops on my I and my J. Maybe instead of the K connecting like this, I want the K to connect like this. Maybe I don't want my M to hit partway down but instead to come all the way down like that. So just once again, go through, have a look at where maybe you're hitting and maybe where you're not hitting, and then readjust the next time that you draw over all of your letter forms. In the next method, which is the more complex but I feel like you'll learn the very most from, it's called the look in letter method, so we're going to get into that next. 9. The Look and Letter Method: The spinal method for drawing letter forms or learning how letter forms are created with a water brush, I'm calling the look in letter method. It's definitely a little more complex, but you will learn a lot and you'll figure out your style much quicker than just tracing over at the font. What we're going to do is just that we're going to look at the letter forms and how they're formed, and then we're going to letter them over here. We're just going to go one letter at a time and you're going to notice very quickly that it's not going to be exactly the same, but that's a really good thing because you're starting to create your style with how you're interpreting it as you look in your letter. We'll just start and I'm just going to do this phrase, "Good Luck" right here. I'm going to look at how the G is formed. We had a little practice in the last video. I'm just going to do my best to copy it as closely as possible. My Os. Because we went over the video about structure in the anatomy of type, we can look at this one right now and we can see that our Os do not share the same baseline as the d. Our d is raised up a little bit. That's another thing you can keep in mind as you're looking and you're lettering, is just how the structure compares to maybe what you would do just naturally. I know that my o comes over here and my d is up a little higher here. This is really thick. I'm going to just draw Luck underneath it. u small, comes down. The c is very large here. Then I got my k. So now that we've looked and lettered, now we're going to take what we learned as we lettered it on our own. We are going to reinterpret that up here just by going off of what we learned at forming these letters, we can bring on our own style now. I know that my G is going to be thick as I come down. Maybe instead of having this part extend beyond, maybe I just wanted to extend on one side. Keep my Os, and my d. This time maybe I want a similar baseline here. I'm already noticing that I've got really thick here and really thick here, but my Os are weak, so I need to put on a little bit of weight. That looks better. Now, I can go into Luck and bring in, making sure that I keep consistent, but I don't want my c to be quite as thick, so I'm just going to bring that down a little bit. I'm also going to change up my k a little bit. I'm just going to look at this thickness, and I know that my k needs to be a little thicker. I'm going to look at my o thickness and make sure my c matches, which is pretty similar and my u. This looks pretty consistent overall. It's okay if you have to draw over and you've got these little marks here, totally fine. This is just practice and we're learning a lot as we go. I would just continue to draw it out, again and again, until you find something that's comfortable. At that point, you're going to have these letters down. You're going to be able to put those letters on anything and they're going to look great. Now that we've gone through the different methods of creating letter forms based on a font that inspires you, it's time to share that font with the rest of us. Head on over to your project file and list out a link or a screen grab of a font that you love, that you're going to base your style upon. 10. Applying Watercolor Blends to Lettering: Now that we've practiced good luck a few times, we're going to introduce some blend modes and we're going to go right into our watercolor lettering. This is when things get really colorful and really pretty and really fun. I'm going to start by just doing that tonal blend, which is the simplest method. We'll start simple and then we'll work our way up to a little more complex. I'm just going to grab this deep green. My watercolors have dried out a little bit, so I'm going to soften this one up a little bit with some extra water from my brush and give it a slight squeeze. Now I'm just going to come over here and I'm just going to letter it however I want, but based on what I learned from all my exercises from the methods that we went over. So I'm just going to go right in. As you are drawing along, if you need to add extra color like I'm starting to fade a little bit and I want it to come back to being dark, it's totally fine to come over here and add some extra color. But just make sure when you add it onto your lettering, you're adding it onto a down-stroke because it will actually look like you're adding depth and it will feel more natural than if you added it to an upstroke. I'm just going to come back down. I can come back into u and add a little bit of extra blend to letters that I'd previously drawn if I want to pump those up a little bit. If not, they'll just look more interesting and more obvious that it's watercolor. I'm just going to let this one dry for now and we'll move on to a different blend. So this is our tonal blend. The next one we'll do a multi-color blend. So we will do our base first and then we'll get going with a different color at the bottom. I'm going to start this one with this emerald green here. I can get my brush into this. I'm going to draw this one out. Now, we want to add a little extra blend to it. So we're going to grab a similar color. Let's add some blue to it. I'm going to grab the sky blue, and I'm just going to grab a little bit on my tip, and we'll add it to the L first up at the top and see how that looks. Get rid of the excess and then transition in. That's looking pretty, but I think we can punch it up a little bit more. So let's move on to the cobalt blue and see what that looks like. Have it to the top of the u, I got a little too much water on my brush. Now, dry off the brush and blend it into the rest of the color. Come back to the blue, the cobalt, add it to the top of the c, and blend. I'm just going to speed up the video and get through the rest of this so you can see the entire thing at once. That's looking really good as a multi-color blend. The last blend method that we're going to use is the color streak blend method. We'll use the emerald and we'll also come in with a dark blue too, because we just want to make sure that that streak is really obvious, and if we have colors that are too similar to each other, it's not going to be as obvious to whoever is looking at it. So we're going to douse our brush with a whole lot of emerald. I want to make sure the Prussian needs to soften up a little bit, so I'm going to soften that up and clean off my brush. Now, I can get ready for streaking that color. So I'm going to get the emerald all over my brush, like we did earlier in the class, and then I'm going to grab just one scoop of the Prussian blue, and I can come in and letter it. I'm going to do the same thing again, grab a lot of the emerald, and then one sweep of the Prussian. Cell is really heavy. I might redo that look, let's redo that. It's trying to get a little bit muddy. So we went through three different blend modes. For our type, we've got the tonal, we've got the multi-color blend, and then we've got the color streak. In the next video, we're going to go through a bunch of different grading cards and how to use the template too or how to use the grading card template. 11. How to Use the Greeting Card Template: Your enrollment in this class comes with a free PDF greeting card template. You can pass any paper through your home printer and you'll have the guidelines that you need to cut out greeting cards. There's two templates that are included. One is for a six-inch by four-inch folded card which will fit in any A4 size envelope. The other one is a seven inch by five inch template, once folded and that can fit into any A7 envelope. I'm just going to show you how to cut this out using the template, and then you'll be able to have your own cards so you can begin lettering from there. I'm going to use this seven by five inch template for the example. I use a utility knife. You can definitely use an X-ACTO knife. I've just found that utility knife gives me a lot more control when I'm pressing down. I've always hated X-ACTO knives how the blades get really loose overtime and that just seems like an accident waiting to happen. That does not happen with my utility knife, so I really like using a utility knife. Spillover. This is how to use the templates. You're going to cut along these top lines, but you're not going to cut through the edges, both sides of the paper. You're just going to follow along. You're just going to cut from line to line. When you get to the score line, a nice little tip or secret on adding a score line, is using a pen that doesn't work or you can just take your knife or whether it's an X-ACTO or a utility, and just flip it over. If you put pressure on that, that makes a really nice score line. Then just come to your other cut lines, and then just cut from one line to the other. Remember, you're not going all the way through the paper on either side. This is really important because you don't want to lose any lines by cutting all the way through. We cut through both sides here. We wouldn't have the lines to follow. Right now we're going to cut along these two. Then cut along these two. Throw away the border folds right along that score line. Now you have the card that you can use to letter on. When you letter, just keep it flat, letter it out and then fold it afterwards. Because if you try and letter like this, this bump can get in the way. There you go. That's how you use the template. 12. Watercolor Wash: Thinking of You: As I was learning how to letter or improve my lettering, one of the things that I found that helped me the most was just watching other people letter. With that in mind, I wanted to share how I created the greeting cards in front of you, how I lettered every single one of them. We're going to walk through each one, and I'll explain step by step exactly what I did to achieve each result. I selected these cards in particular because I thought that they encompassed a lot of what we covered in the class. They all have different techniques used. We're going to go over the ombre effect, a color blend with details inside those letter forms. We're going to actually create the watercolor wash and then put the lettering on top, and we'll finish off with this black and gold typography. We'll start with this one first because it does take a little while to dry the watercolor wash. We're going to start here, and we'll work our way through the rest of the cards. I'm going to set these aside, and we're going to look at this one as our base, and I've got a watercolor card already cut out using the card template from earlier, and the other thing that we need is just a scrap sheet of paper. I'm going to set the original aside, and I'm just going to lay this one out flat so we can create on an even surface. I've pulled the large water brush right here. I'm going to get it really, really wet, and then I'm just going to do a blue wash like we did in the example. I'm going to grab my Prussian blue, and get my watercolor really wet, and then I'm just going to start putting that wash on the card. It's okay to go over the sides. That's why we have that scrap sheet of paper underneath there. Now I'm going to bring in a little bit of green too, just to mix up the color a little bit. Bring a little more green in here. I like how vibrant this is looking. I'm pretty happy with how that looks. Now all we're going to do is set it aside, and we'll come back in a little bit after it's totally dry. It's very important that it's completely dry because once we go over it with the black, we don't want the black to bleed into the color at all. We're going to wait on this and then I will be right back. Now our watercolor wash has finished drying, and we're ready to put our lettering on using water brush filled with black ink, and then we're going to add on these final details with the white right afterwards. We're just going to get in here and we'll letter it out. I'm just going to judge how long I'm expecting my word to take up and try my best to eye and center it. I'm just going to let this lettering dry for now and as soon as it's dry, we'll come back in with our white painters marker. Our lettering is now fully dried, so we're ready to come in and finish this off with adding these white highlights and details to the lettering. I'm just going to come in and my point here is to hit the left side of all the lettering. There's our finished lettering, and if I want to come back in later and make the white a little more opaque, I can definitely do that, but I need to do that once it's dry. But for right now, it's looking really nice to me, so we're going to call this done. 13. Ombre Effect: You're My Favorite: The next card that we're going to recreate is this ombre card and the whole idea behind it is that it reads like a gradient as you read through the phrase. We're going to go from a light and transition slowly into a darker purple. I've got a card already cut out and obviously, it bleeds off of this edge and it bleeds off of this edge too, but just a little bit onto the back of the card, which is fine. We need a scrap sheet of paper again, so I'm just reusing the scrap sheet of paper that I used before and I'm just going to lay it out and we're going to base everything off of this example, so we're going to try and copy what's here and put it over here. As you can see, I've got this lighter purple, and then it gets a little darker and then it gets to almost a blue over here. So I need to start with my red-purple, but maybe make it a little darker and then add in more purple and more darkness and then finally into our blues. I'm going to come over to my palette and grab some red-purple and then I'm going to mix it in with some regular purple over here until I get a shade that's close. I can just use my scrap sheet of paper to color some out and that's starting to look really nice, I'm liking that color. I'm just going to go ahead and start lettering the same phrase over here. Once again, we're going all the way to the edge to just make it a continuous stroke, don't even think twice about it. Now that we've got this color, we need to make it a lot darker so we can start transitioning into our blue. So I'm going to grab a little bit of ultramarine over here, and then bring into the purple and start changing that color up, and then I'm just going to test the color over here and that's starting to look really nice, these two together, so I'm just going to go with this and then start out with my. Once again, just a continuous stroke all the way without even thinking about it. Now we've got this really nice gradient starting to happen and we just need to finish it off with a little more blue and then we'll be all set. I'm going to wash a little bit off my brush and then come over and grab a good dose of the ultramarine to bring into my purple. Let's see what that looks like, I think that could go a little bit darker, a little more in the blue realm. Let's check on this, it's getting there, maybe just a little bit more blue. That's starting now to look really good. It needs to be different enough so you can see it visually, so you don't have to subtle of a transition because we only have three words. We would want a more subtle transition if we had more words on the card. I'm going to come back into this color and we'll just finish it off by lettering out favorite. As you can see I was run into a little bit of trouble with my t here, but I think I managed it okay, I could even play off of that y right there, my i should have been a little closer, but I think it works all right. So that's how to create an ombre effect with your lettering, just using different shades of purple. 14. Watercolor Blending: Thankful: So for this greeting card example, I'm going to change things up just slightly, and I'm going to use emerald green for where you see the blue here. Then where the purple is, I'm going to use the cobalt blue, and then we'll wait until it's all dry, and then we'll add in these details within the letter forms. I'm just going to grab my emerald green, get a healthy dose of it because I want to try and get as far as I can throughout the word. I'm just going to let her it out, nice and big so you can see it a little better rather than on a small card. Remember, when you have to read dip, edit to down-stroke rather than an upstroke. You can come back through if you'd like to add some extra color to portions that you feel might have gotten a little too light. Then whenever you need a crossbar or you have a cap that means a top to it, like this one does, I always try and look at the very top part of it and seeing what color that looks like. Since it's very saturated with the color, I want to make sure that my crossbar starts very saturated and then fades; so it follows the pattern of the lettering. I may get a good amount of paint on my brush, and then just paint my swoosh over. There we go. I'm just going to come back in and darken up some areas that I want to be a little darker, maybe fix any squiggly lines, and then we'll start adding our blend to it. I'm going to thicken up this t to better match the thicker parts of the word. Since I've got some thickness here and here, the t should also match that, since it's a down-stroke. I'm going to add a little extra color to the f. I'm pretty happy with how that looks. Now I'm going to introduce my blend color, which I'm going to use the cobalt blue for it, so we should get some good contrast here. I'm going to clean off my brush, come over to my cobalt, and just dip a little bit in there. It's looking a little too wet. Grab a little bit of paint, and then we'll start with the l and see what it looks like, and go from there. Take off the excess and then use the remaining moisture on the paper to start creating that blend, that nice transition between the two colors. That's looking like a really pretty bland, so I'm going to carry it throughout the rest of the word and I will be back. I'll speed up this video and be right back. I'm back. We've got a really nice color blend happening now from our emerald green to our cobalt blue, and I will be back as soon as this has finished drying because it's really important that this is dry before we go at it with a white paint marker to add in our final details. I'll be back soon. I'm back and our lettering is completely dry now, so now we can come in here and add in our final details with our white painters marker, and then this card will be done. I'm just going to come in. Whenever there's a crossbar or a connection happening, that's where I'm going to put a dot. I'm going to go line, dot, line. I'm only putting this detail on down-strokes. I'm just going to let this dry. If I come back later and feel like it might be a little too light, then I'll come back in and just go over those lines one more time, but I'm really liking how it looks. We're going to call this done for now. Under the next card- 15. Waterbrush Lettering with Ink: It's Your Birthday!: For our final card example, we're just going to recreate this birthday card using a water brush filled with black ink and our gold painters marker, and we'll be done in no time. So because it's a birthday card, we want the text to be a little funky and really excited. I'm going for all caps here, we'll add these little gold burst, and add a little pizzazz to all the letters with the cool dots and the gold lines. I'm going to write out "birthday" first and then it will help us to center it and layout. It's your right on top of it. I'm going to do this on a large sheet of paper just so you can see everything better. I'll just dive right in right now. Remember, downstrokes heavier way and you want make sure you're carrying some nice contrast through the rest of the lettering, so makes sure there's a healthy dose of thicks and thins. I'm using a medium water brush for this one, so I can get even thicker than my original on it because I think that'll look really nice. I'm just going to get super funky with the positioning. So we've got "birthday" all written out here and I'm just going to let "birthday" dry and then we'll come back in, we'll write, "it's your" and then we'll finish it off with the gold. So "birthday" is all done drying and now I'm just going to put in, "It's your" put an exclamation point since I realize I forgot it, and then we'll throw in our gold. I'm just going to center, right above "birthday". I'm going to keep the weight down just slightly because I want all the attention going on the word "birthday". We need an exclamation point. I really like how that looks. Now, all we have to do is add in our gold and we're totally done and give this a shake. Once again, we're going to keep all of the lines here to add a little bit of depth and fake shadow. We're going to keep it to the left of all the parts of the letter. Now, I'm going to come back in and wherever there is a downstroke that's really heavy, that's where I'm going to add the dots because I think it'd be overkill to add the dots along every single gold line. So we're just going to keep it on the left side of the thicker strokes. That's looking really nice. Now, all I need to do is do these first lines around it and we're all done. So that concludes our remaking of the greeting cards. Now, it's your turn to go into your project file and share all of your experimentation and your final greeting cards. 16. Next Steps: That concludes our class. Don't forget to pick up the free resources PDF and the greeting card template, located below this video by clicking class project and then scrolling to the bottom. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave them in the discussions area. I'm here to help and I'm really excited to see what you create. The best way to learn and continue improving your lettering is by practicing. You'll continue to build the muscle memory in your hand, and you'll be surprised to see how quickly you improve. You should now have a project file that lists out the word or phrase for your greeting card and any inspiration for your lettering style. Add on to that project by listing out any process shots and your final outcome, along with the lucky person who's about to receive your greeting card. Thanks so much for enrolling. I hope you enjoyed this class and now inspired to create your own water brush style lettering. I can't wait to see what you make.