Watercolour Brush Lettering for Beginners + Faux Calligraphy | Nyasha Lukacs | Skillshare

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Watercolour Brush Lettering for Beginners + Faux Calligraphy

teacher avatar Nyasha Lukacs, Watercolour and Ink Illustrator

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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.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.

      Postcards Part. 1


    • 8.

      Postcards Part. 2


    • 9.

      Last Thoughts & Thank You!


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About This Class

Welcome! In this class, you will learn brush lettering with 2 different techniques & use your new skill to make a postcard for a loved one, or yourself. :)

We will also cover:

-Setting up your paint.


-How to avoid and correct common pitfalls.

-And a few surprises along the way!!

I'm looking forward to seeing you in the class!

So grab your paint and let's start painting!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nyasha Lukacs

Watercolour and Ink Illustrator


Nyasha is a freelance illustrator and creative who enjoys sparking creativity and joy with her artwork.

Her work is mainly made with watercolour and ink, and inspired by nature and fashion. 

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome!: Hi, I'm Yesha and welcome to watercolor brush lettering for beginners. In this class, you'll learn how to create beautiful brush lettering and use your new skills to create a postcard for a loved one. Or yourself will cover brushstrokes getting set up and show some common pitfalls and how to avoid them all will giving tips, throat and real time examples and instructions ready to level up your lettering game. I look forward to seeing in the glass Let's get started. 2. Supplies: All right, let's go over. The supplies will need to get started in the class. The first thing will need is watercolors. I have do different pans here. The 1st 1 is a semi moist style, which will give more of a glossy look. The 2nd 1 is more of ah, dryer. Chalk your consistency. You can tell the difference between the two by touching them when they're dry. The semi moist will always be a little bit wet so your finger will stick and the chalky year ones will always be dry and heart. The second thing you'll need is a brush pin. If you haven't seen these before, it's basically a tube of water in a brush, and when you squeeze it, water comes out. The next thing you'll need is watercolor paper. This is really important. I'll go over why it is later in the class. You don't need to get expensive or, um, high quality for this class. You can get some cheaper stuff. Skansen is a really good brand. Just to practice and try. Fixed up is a pencil, just anyone you may have on hand. You'll also need an eraser. You'll probably want one that isn't too hard. A little bit of softness is good when a racing around watercolor Next up is a pair of scissors. You may want these on hand to cut down your watercolor paper to the size of a postcard or any other size you may want. Lastly, is some paper towel. This is always really good to have on hand when painting with water color. All right, now that we have our supplies, let's go into setting up and getting our paint ready. 3. Setting-Up: All right, let's start by setting up our pain. The first thing you want to do to get our pans ready for painting is simply just wet. All the colors that you want, what the brush penned. This is really easy. All you have to do is just squeeze a few drops of water and spread it around. You can see that I keep my paint palette a little bit messy. Personally, I like it that way. I have all the colors that I use most often right there, ready to go, just re wet them. It's really good to just start off and not have to mix all your colors right off the bat. All right, now that we have our color is set up and ready to go. We're going to start by playing with the consistency of our paint. I'm just testing on a little piece of paper. Here you can see that I am squeezy amar water or adding more pain to get the right consistency. When brush lettering, it's important to have a nice flow with your letters, so your want something that feels effortless to glide on the paper but still have enough color in it and opacity to show through on your paper. This could take a little bit of practice to feel out. What is the right consistency? But once playing with a little bit, you'll know. And I'm just going to demonstrate the difference between having more paint on your brush and more water. With the 1st 1 you can see that the color is much more deep, but it can be a little bit dry. And then, with a lot of water, you can see that it's much lighter. All right now we're gonna go over a couple of common pitfalls that I see and how to you of with them and correct them. The 1st 1 that I see is just having too much pain and not enough water in your brush. You can see that it's very dry and doesn't flow very well on the paper. The next one is just the opposite. It's having too much water on your brush. As you can see, the color runs out, which is something you don't want in your lettering, because it's pretty much a continuous stroke. It can also kind of bleed a little bit as well. The next one that's easy to do is squeeze. While you're lettering, you can see that the water is just pulling too much, which can be kind of hard to control. The next one that I see can happen is just holding your brush in on angle that isn't quite right. You'll want your brush to be at a 45 degree angle, not straight up and down or flat on its side. I'm just going to demonstrate what can happen when you're trying to use your brush on the different angles straight up and down. You can see you can't get a very can't get a variation in the strokes. It's very much the same. Same thing when on its side, which is kind of hard to get those nice, thin and thick strokes. Now you can see that I'm holding my brush of the 45 degree angle, and you can see the difference of the thin to thick strokes. Lastly, is paper. It's really important to have some nice watercolor paper when lettering, because you'll want to go over your strokes or apply some pressure. You can see here when I'm applying my strokes. It's already pulling the paint a little bit and kind of breaking up the paper particles. As you can see, the water color is working the paper and pooling and almost falling apart. Now you can see the difference on the watercolor paper. You get a really nice, clean, dry edge. The tooth of the paper holds the color really nicely, even when there is a lot of water on their pooling. All right now that were set up and gone over a few things to make our painting easier. Let's go over strokes. 4. Strokes: All right, let's go over a few practice strokes to get ready and warmed up, all right, I'm just getting my paint ready. This 1st 1 is super easy. We're just going to do a bunch of twirly pretty much controlled squiggly lines just to loosen up and get the feel of the brush and the paint on the paper. All right for our next stroke, making sure you're holding your brush at a 45 degree angle. We're going to do a very common stroke that's important with calligraphy and lettering. It's basically just kind of like a rainbow shape we're going to do up. Strokes are always thinner and lighter and down. Strokes are always thicker and harder, so make sure you're lessening your pressure on the up strokes and pressing down on your down strokes. Now we're just going to connect that into one continuous line. It could be a little tricky. It first feel free to use as much paper and paint as you need. It's worth it always. This will really help you when you start to form letters and words, It will help you feel more loose, Um, and get your speed up, which will help to make your lettering less streaky and more smooth for next stroke. We're just gonna be doing a bunch of lines tilted. So for these ones, they're up strokes. So we're doing the thin, less pressure lines. The next stroke is the down strokes again, using that pressure, trying to make all of our lines uniform for our last practice stroke. We're going to do kind of up then and decline. This will help with learning control. And getting that pressure right were simply just growing across the page, doing harder pressure and lighter pressure all along in a line you can dio then our strokes like I'm doing down here or the thicker strokes like the one above. Feel free to do this as many times as you want, or even a little more. You'll be glad that you have that muscle memory already in there. As you start to form letters and words 5. Letters: all right. Now that we're warmed up, an r P is set up. Let's move on to making letters. You can print out the practice sheets that I have here by just downloading them. They're right under the class going to go over each letter in real time so you can see how my brush pen moves, the pressure I use and even a few mistakes that I make or the letters that turn out the best. As you can see, it really all is about the pressure on the up and down strokes. If you remember up, strokes are thin down. Strokes are thick. Oh, - just like how we practiced the rainbow shapes for our warm up. It's also really important to do the opposite. So you can see in there why and the U letter we're gonna dio Ah, you shape so again, down strokes, thick up strokes then this could be really good for a lot more letters. So feel free to practice that over and over again. All right, now that we're practice upon our letters, let's start forming some words 6. Words: all right. Now that we practice the letter separately, let's move on to creating words for this basics class. We're just gonna be focusing on the lower case letters when practicing you pretty much just want to write one word over and over and over. I do this with the word love I found. You can really see the difference from the beginning when you started Teoh later on, once year, maybe fill a few pages and this point of your practice don't worry about the speed that will come with time. As you get a feel of how the brush flows on the paper with the watercolors, the most important thing you want to keep in mind is making sure it's legible. Now I'm gonna demonstrate a couple different ways to change up the baseline of your lettering That will give a really different look. So this 1st 1 I'm just going with a straight line. You can see all the letters are lined up at the bottom for this next one, you can see that my H is going lower, and then my e is higher for the style. It's called a bouncy effect. So every other letter is staggered in height, you can see that the H goes lower e higher l lower. Here's a visual to get a feel with the line in there so you can see the difference. And if you're ever stumped on a word toe letter, your name is always a perfect thing to use. Another thing that makes watercolor lettering so great as you can get ingredient in colors . You can see how I'm starting out with the purple color for the 1st 2 letters, and then it's getting more pink as I go along. I'm doing that by stopping at the thin line of each letter and then just picking up more pink and adding that in because of the wetness of the flow of water color, it doesn't show where you stopped and started the same way it would with ink. All right, now that you've seen a few different ways to use watercolor lettering, now it's your turn. Grab some paper, your brush and your watercolors and start creating some beautiful words 7. Postcards Part. 1: All right, let's get started. And our class project, We're gonna put together everything we learned. If you want to use the same size card that I'm using here, simply, just cut down a piece of watercolor paper to five by seven inches when lettering on my card . I like to start using a pencil. This helps me figure out where the letters need to go, how big they need to be and how everything will fit together. As you can see, Before I actually started writing on my card, I went over it just like I would with writing to see where everything will fit together. You can see I'm doing that for the next word. To that way, I have less to erase, and I can figure out where to start and stop. Once you're happy with how your letters are looking on your paper, you're just going to go in with your racer and very lightly get rid of the excess lead on there. You don't want that to show through on your watercolors, as it can't really be erased once you paint over it. Now that I have a very faint outline for where to start my letters. I'm gonna start adding them in. I'm doing the same thing as you saw with the practice words and letters, but just more of a controlled way with the guides for me there. As you can see with my lettering, I use a little bit of that bouncy style as my letters are all lined up on a baseline. I like to have just a little bit of variation in the heights. This adds a little bit more interest to my watercolors. - All right, Once you're happy with how your lettering has turned out, you can. This is totally optional, but you can add in little details for this one. I just decided to add little flower speckled around my paper. All right, there we have it. The first card done. 8. Postcards Part. 2: All right, I'm gonna walk you through my process on one more card here, this time in portrait style. I'm going again with my pencil again, doing the overline instead of writing to see where the spacing. And here you can see I got ahead of myself a little bit and didn't quite space out my word the same way I wanted Teoh. So I can simply just go in, erase it and start over again . I'm going in there and lightly erasing my line. So I just have a fate outline of where I'm going to be left for this card. I'm gonna be using a different style on lettering, kind of a faux calligraphy. You can see that I'm not changing the variation of wait in my strokes. It's all just one kind of continuous line. Then I'm simply going in on all the down strokes and just adding that in after this could be a really good way to start out. When you're doing calligraphy, especially with water colors, you can get the feel of it and a really beautiful look without getting that pressure Master . All right, now I'm gonna let you watch my process on each one of the remaining words. You could get a better feel of the process and how I do it All right. There is our second car done. You can see that I'm going over my paper quite a few times in this style, so it's really important to have some nice watercolor paper. Me again. This step is totally optional. But if you want to add a few little fund details at the end of your illustration, totally feel free. I'm just adding a few fun little dots all around my painting for the last part in this painting, I'm just going to give a quick demo on some drop shadows. I'm going into my yellow, and I'm simply just going behind each one of the strokes of my letter and giving a little drop shadow. This could be a little tricky for beginners, but if you want to give it a go, it will give a really beautiful effect to your lettering. - All right, and that is the second finish Postcard. As you can see, there is still a little speckles of let in there from the pencil. Once it's completely dry, could go in with Nicer and get rid of any little gods. If you'd like to use the example illustrations that I did in this video, they're available for download right underneath the video. 9. Last Thoughts & Thank You!: congratulations. You made it to the last video. Now it's your turn to pick up your paint and start creating. I hope you feel inspired to start lettering your own postcard for a loved one or even yourself. Be sure to download the exercise files for this class were the illustrations as well as the lettering sheets. Now I'm just going to go over a few last thoughts and tips to help you get set up for success. The 1st 1 is keep creating. It may not look exactly the way you want it, Teoh when you're starting, but as you go along, you'll be surprised at the progress you make. Speaking of making one thing to keep in mind is make bad art. Allowing yourself to do that relieves a lot of pressure and allows you to grow even faster lettering from your life. It can be easy to just find a quote online, which is good to do but remember to keep in mind tude letter, the little things you hear in your everyday life or that you say and be sure to post your project here on skill share. It can always be inspiring for other people and really rewarding to see the comments that other people leave on yours asked lots of questions. I'm always handy to answer any question you may have. And sculpture is a great community toe learn. And lastly, don't forget to follow me here on skill share Joined the community and grow with us Last but most important have fun. This is about taking time to you Learn a new skill. So have fun with it. Thank you so much for taking the time to learn in this class with me. I hope you leave feeling inspired and empowered to start your own lettering Practice. I can't wait to see what you create.