Modern Calligraphy: Brush Lettering
Modern calligraphy is fantastic.
This technique is inspired by the basic movements of calligraphy, combining:
- the ascending (upstrokes) lines
- the descending (downstrokes) lines,
- as well as varying the pressure on the tip.
At first, it is not really easy to form letters by changing the pressure while writing. So in order to acquire such automatisms, it is advisable to train one’s hand, and especially one’s wrist, by drawing repeated lines of o, a, n, w, uppercase, lowercase, and so on.
Getting The Look | Brush Lettering
The important is then to achieve a good flexibility of the wrist, to properly measure the right pressure on the tip, to lift the hand at the right moment, and to balance the letters and the words.
Upstrokes: fine lines with little pressure on your upstrokes (use just the tip, about 90°).
Downstrokes: thicker lines with heavy pressure on your downstrokes (full body of the tip almost parallel to the paper sheet, about 45°).
Tips: during your first brush lettering tests, use lined or dotted paper sheet to keep your writing horizontal. It’s also ok to lift your pen from the paper between strokes !
Royal Talens, Ecoline Brush Pens. Ready to use, these brush pens contain liquid watercolour. The soft brush tip facilitates calligraphic strokes and the colours are vibrant, transparent and amazingly watercolour-like.
Molotow, Aqua Squeeze Pen. This brush has an empty reservoir that can be filled with water, liquid watercolour or Indian ink. Its tip (made from synthetic hair, and available in different sizes) produces fine or thick strokes. Once your work is finished, rinse the brush pen (always keep it empty and clean).
Tip: to make filling the reservoir easier, use a pipette.
I Love Art, Watercolour Paper. For brush lettering. I recommend a thick watercolour paper (300gsm, fine grain). An ideal surface for working with wet techniques. Be sure to choose acid-free paper that is also age resistant.
Inspirations, Embellishments & Flourishes
Blend several colours or make graduations with the Ecoline blender.
Brighten up your writing, with watercolour backgrounds and diluted illustrations.
Play with some different styles like “Bounce Lettering”.
Add shadows or decorations on and around the letters (eg, ribbon banners, flowers wreaths, etc.).
Use masking tape for playing with white highlights.
Did you know? For more inspiration and ‘How tos’, also feel free to browse some pictures on Pinterest, Google Images, Instagram, DaFont, YouTube and some creative writing blogs or books.
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