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pen angle & pressure

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Before we get started, let’s take a look at a couple major things that can affect your lettering outcome. The first is the way you hold your pen. You want to hold your pen loosely and a little bit to the side—not vertically or with a tight grip, which would wear out the tip of your pen faster and produce poor lettering results. The second thing I want to mention is practice. You don’t have to have great handwriting to become great at lettering. All you need is to commit to practicing so that you develop the muscle memory to create consistent, smooth lettering. If you practice enough, you will learn exactly how much pressure and speed to apply to make your own beautiful lettering.


The key to the basic strokes of hand lettering is the thickness of your strokes. When you move the pen upward, your strokes should be thin. And when you move the pen downward, your strokes should be thick. Thin going up, thick going down.

In order to create the thin and thick strokes, you need to hold your brush at around a 45 degree angle and apply pressure to the pen to achieve the thick stroke going down and light pressure to create a thin, delicate line going up. When you are moving your pen, your whole arm should be moving, not just your wrist.

Take your time practicing these techniques in your notebook before moving on.


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