Of course, we always want to improve ourselves, especially when it comes to the things we’re passionate about. I spent hours a day practicing, doing drills, and trying out new techniques while developing my own. Here, I’ll share with you some tips I’ve learned on how to improve your brush lettering!
Get Better at Brush Lettering!
Of course, it’s important to practice. But how can you make the most of the time you spend practicing? These are a few ways that will improve your brush lettering by helping you gain complete control over your brush marker.
Make Sure You’re Holding Your Brush Pen Properly
In order to get the best results with your brush pen, you want to make sure that you’re holding it properly. You don’t want to hold it like a pencil so that the tip is perpendicular to the paper. Instead, you want to make sure that you’re holding it an angle. This ensures that you get the thinnest thin strokes possible and the thickest thick strokes possible. This is because when you are holding your brush pen at an angle you can easily switch between using just the tip of the pen to using the entire nib.
Know When to Apply Pressure to Your Brush Pen
If you’re not putting pressure on your pen when you’re supposed to or you’re putting too much pressure on your pen, your lettering won’t look right. The basic rule of them when it comes to lettering is that you want thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes. This means when you’re bringing your brush pen down, put more pressure on it, and when you’re bringing it up, try to use just the very tip of your pen!
One easy way to figure this out is to draw letters using a regular pen. take note of when you’re bringing your pen down and when you’re bringing it up. Draw arrows so that when you’re using your brush pen you can reference your guide and easily know when to apply pressure.
Drills to Improve Your Brush Lettering
Doing drills is one of the best ways to really get comfortable with your brush pen. Practice doing upstrokes and downstrokes over and over and…..over….again. Other good drills are o’s, u’s, ascending loops and descending loops. These are all really common letterforms that you will encounter when you’re lettering.
Another way I like to drill my lettering is just by writing the same letter over and over again. I’ll go through the alphabet and just take up an entire page of practicing the same letter. This was one of my favorite ways because as I was drawing each letter I could see where I was putting too much pressure or where my letters needed to be fixed. Then, on the next letter, I could try to make those changes. By the time I finished the page I could actually see the improvement in my lettering.
Break Down Your Letters
In typical cursive, you tend to not pick your pen off the page very often. When it comes to brush lettering you want to do the exact opposite. Take your pen off the page after every stroke. This will give you more control and allow you to reset your focus and precision. For example, let’s take a lowercase “a”. This is made up of a circle or “o” shape and a downstroke. So instead of drawing it all in one stroke break it down. First, draw your “o”, take your pen off your paper and then draw your downstroke.
Something else I LOVE is lettering worksheets! These are awesome because most of them allow you to trace the letters. This builds muscle memory and makes it easier to recreate the letters when you are on your own! You can get a free lettering worksheet from the Tombow website!
Social Media Inspiration
Instagram is one of my FAVORITE places to get inspiration. I save posts where I really love the lettering and then I try to recreate. I don’t want to copy it and sell it as my own but rather gain inspiration and learn from people who have more experience than me. Whether it be from a blending combination, a quote, a composition or a lettering style. By incorporating work and ideas that you love into your own you can build and sophisticate your own style.
If you are stressed and tense and giving your brush pen the death grip your lettering won’t look nice. If you’re holding your marker too tightly it’ll be hard to get nice smooth lines. So, loosen your grip on your pen and see how much of a difference it makes in the smoothness of your lines!
Let’s Start Lettering Course
This is an incredible course designed to jumpstart your adventure into hand lettering and even if you know the basics it will definitely help to improve your brush lettering! I highly recommend any of Amanda Arneill’s courses! This course takes you through uppercase and lowercase lettering, composition, numbers, and projects! You’ll definitely improve your brush lettering skills!