Modern Calligraphy: Brush Lettering
Modern calligraphy is fantastic. It frees restictions, relaxes and pushes our imagination towards an expressive and completely artistic way of writing.
Basics of Brush Lettering
This technique is inspired by the basic movements of calligraphy, combining the ascending (upstrokes) and 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 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 thing is 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, thes brush pens contain liquid watercolour. The soft brush tip facilitates calligraphic strokes and the colours are vibrant, transparent and amazingly watercolour-like.
I Love Art, Indian Ink – Ideal for pen, brush, drawing, graphic arts and of course calligraphy. The ink is extra black, very opaque and non-toxic. Clean your equipment with water and artists’ soap.
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 age resistant.
Inspirations, Embellishments & Flourishes
Here are some pictures of work taken directly from my studio.
HAVE FUN with writing
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.
GREAT TO KNOW: For more inspiration and ‘How tos’, feel free to browse some pictures on Pinterest, Google Images, Instagram, DaFont, YouTube and some creative writing blogs or books.
French artist London-based, Amylee Paris loves to paint a colourful world dotted with flowers. Her paintings are represented in several art galleries (UK, Austria, Switzerland) and appear on social networks. www.amylee.paris