Beginner to Brush Lettering

I have always loved to write.

When I was little, I would write short stories for fun in my bedroom. I wrote these stories as a way to pass the time when I was bored.

In school, English was always my favourite subject. I loved communicating my answers through writing and describing my perspective.

In College, I went to school for Public Relations, a program that focuses on communication and has a heavy amount of writing.

And so now, as an adult in my career, I decided I needed to find a way to write more and get back the satisfaction I feel after writing. This blog has been amazing for that, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to channel my love for writing in a different way: the actual writing itself.

So, for Christmas, I asked for a brush lettering kit and my lovely parents bought me one and I haven’t put it down since!

Brush lettering has a close relationship to penmanship. The dictionary defines penmanship as the art or skill of writing by hand; a person’s handwriting. Calligraphy, on the other hand, is the art of producing decorative handwriting or lettering with a pen or brush.

You know those beautiful big swoopy handwriting letters you see on decorative signs or cards? That’s what I wanted to be able to do! So after using my kit for just over a week now, I’ve learned a few tricks for those of you who may want to get started as well!

01/Thin strokes up, thick strokes down
This is the key thing I needed to master when starting brush lettering. When the direction of your pen or brush is taking you upwards, write with the tip of the utensil for a thin, neat line. When the direction is downwards, write with the side of your utensil for a thick, full line. This creates dimension in your letters and words!

02/Lift your pen!
Learning cursive writing in school, they always stressed the fact that you need to keep your pen on the page until the letter or word is complete. For brush lettering, however, you need to constantly lift your pen after every stroke to get the desired thinness or thickness of the line. Once you’re finished your upward stroke you need to stop, lift your pen, readjust and then start your downward stoke and vice versa.

03/Take it slow
I naturally write pretty quickly, and especially when I am doing cursive writing my hand starts to really like the fluid strokes and wants to write even faster. With brush lettering, it is important to take it slow to ensure all of the strokes are as thin or thick as they should be. It’s really developed my patience and given me a sense of calm while writing!

I cannot wait to continue with my lettering and have even more projects to share with you in the future! Right now, work has been very stressful for me in terms of workload and emotionally, but I am able to come home at night and letter for an hour or so with my tea and unwind. I’ll even shut my office door at lunch and bring my lettering with me in case I need some midday stress relief as well.

I feel so grateful and blessed to have my passion of writing so accessible to me and to have such a healthy release when life gets to be a little too much. Without writing or lettering, I’m sure I’d be a mess by now!

Are you thinking of starting lettering? Comment below!

Until next time,

Tiffany Nobes

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