Before we get started, I want to give you a quick list of supplies I recommend. When I first began hand lettering, I used what I had—Sharpie pens and basic watercolors. These are great to begin with, but over time I’ve found my absolute favorite tools.
supplies I'LL BE USING DURING THE COURSE:
Pentel Duo Point Flex double ended Brush Pen.
This pen is amazing. It has a nylon tip that won’t loose it’s shape, giving you a clean finish. The brush is soft, or flexible, allowing you to create a nice contrast between your thick and thin strokes. I love how the small brush side is also flexible so you can still create contrasting strokes instead of mono line like many other dual tip brushes.
Derwent Graphite Drawing Pencils
I always recommend using pencils when you’re first sketching out your design, choosing a layout, and figuring out the best option and style. You don’t want to waste precious watercolor or ink. It’s important to find a pencil that is smooth and erases well. I love using graphite pencils because they come in various weights, and a lighter weight is easier to erase.
Tombow 62038 Fudenosuke brush pen, soft tip.
This pen is one of my very favorites because it is really easy to use. When you press down at an angle, you can create different thicknesses of strokes for your letters. The tip holds its shape and glides beautifully while the pen is odorless and precise—amazing for perfecting your letters.
Pentel Arts aquash brush pen, light black ink.
No mess, and it gives you a beautiful watercolor effect. You don’t have to constantly dip your pen in ink, and it provides a controlled flow. This pen comes filled with a permanent, acid-free ink, but you can re-fill it whenever you need with an ink of your choosing. I recommend refilling it with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India ink that comes with a dropper top so it’s easier to fill into the pen. Take it with you wherever you go to keep practicing. (Tip: Before using your pentel brush, remove the red cap)
Field Notes dot-graph paper notebook.
I love these small notebooks for practicing on the go. They have faint dots on the pages, making it easy to work on your strokes and lay out designs. You’ll also want to have a sketchbook or plain paper to use the majority of the time while you’re practicing. I use my sketchbook about 98 percent of the time and my nicer paper, like my Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Pad or my Canson XL Watercolor Textured Paper Pad, when I’m ready to create a piece of artwork.
Prismacolor magic rub drafting eraser.
These erasers are wonderful because not only do they erase graphite, but they can also erase India ink. No smudging or ripping the paper, either!
WANT MORE OPTIONS?
Keep yourself inspired with these incredible resources:
BOOKS ON LETTERING
Fonts & Logos by Doyald Young
Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design’s Golden Age by Steven Heller, Louise Fili
Little Book of Lettering by Emily Gregory
Hand-Lettering Ledger by Mary Kate McDevitt
SETTING UP YOUR PRACTICE AREA
This is an exciting time! You’ve invested in learning the art of hand lettering. After you’ve gathered your supplies (see the next section for suggestions), I encourage you to set up an inspiring practice area. What makes you feel relaxed? Creating can be extremely therapeutic, so take full advantage of this time to just enjoy learning. When you are ready to start practicing, I encourage you to go to a space where you feel the most inspired. Maybe this is in your studio, your living room, outside at a park, or in a coffee shop. Wherever it is, find that retreat.
Next, have a little fun with it! Set out your lettering tools, make or order your favorite beverage, and put on some of your favorite worship music. Make this a time to enjoy the process.
CHECKOUT THIS RELAXING PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY. PERFECT FOR PRACTICING YOUR LETTERING!
Get familiar with your tools! Take out each tool and practice using it. Get a feel for how the pencils and pens work by making both squiggles and straight lines across a blank sheet of paper.