• Sam

How to get started with brush lettering

It's hard to know where to start. There are endless applications to brush lettering from personalised cards and gift wrap to beautiful prints and amazing works of art across social media platforms. It's so inspiring to see lots of beautiful brush lettering around so like I said it’s hard to know where to start. I'd love for you to join me at one of my brush lettering workshops to learn the basics but if you can't I’ve put together this little beginners’ guide to brush lettering – with this, you’re not far away from creating your first brush lettering masterpiece! If you have been to my workshop or you are going to attend then this is a great reminder guide.

here's what you'll need - brush pen

There’s a big variety of pens that are suitable for brush lettering but the TomBow Brush Pen is one of my favourites and I feel one of the best ones to use as a beginner. With a long and flexible brush tip it lets you create those gorgeous smooth brushstrokes. The long brush tip allows you to create bigger letters, which you will find easier as a beginner. The TomBow Brush Pen also has a fine tip on the opposite end, ideal for correcting small mistakes or adding finishing touches. When you attend one of my workshops the TomBow Brush Pen is included in the materials you get to take home.

here's what you'll need - paper

The paper needs to be nice and smooth so that the pen can move easily when you are writing.

let's get started - how to hold your brush pen

Your TomBow Brush Pen will move around a lot, but start by holding the pen at a 45 degree angle as a “neutral” position. Hold your brush pen with a firm grip, like you would with a regular pen. Also if you hold the TomBow Brush Pen closer to the brush tip it will give you more control.

brush lettering for beginners - basic brushstrokes

You need to be thinking Up is Thin and Down is Thick. Your upstrokes will be lighter (thinner lines), while your downstrokes will need more pressure (thicker lines). Start by making straight lines on your paper to get familiar with what line thickness corresponds to the level of pressure you apply. It’s all about pressure to be able to get the contrast between the thick and thin.

brush lettering for beginners - practice your hooks

Your next step to get closer to making letters is practicing hooks – lines that go from thick to thin and vice versa.

brush lettering for beginners - next step

Once you’ve got practiced your hooks, move to the next step and draw full circles – this will help you practice joining your lines, which is the final basic element of brush lettering, and will transform your alphabet into stunning words!

brush lettering for beginners - letterforms

Now you have practiced everything you need to start brush lettering. It’s time to find your style and create your own alphabet. Brush lettering takes lots of practice. Practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if your first words are a bit wobbly just keep going and you'll be creating fantastic pieces of lettering. If you fancy a lesson then do book a ticket to one of my workshops where you'll be taught all of the above and all materials are provided.

Show me your progress on social media with the hashtag #sammykinsdotcom

brush lettering workshops - the venues

I'd love to see you at one of my workshops. So far the venues are:

The Wilds Cafe

27 E Barnet Rd, London EN4 8RN

Held on a Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm after the cafe is closed but hot/cold drinks and cakes available to purchase.

The Waiting Room

50-52 Totteridge Ln, Whetstone, London N20 9QJ

Held on a Friday morning at 10am.

Balls Brothers

Unit 22, Hays Galleria, London SE1 2HD

Held on a Wednesday night at 6pm. Happy Hour is 5pm-7pm.

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