Experimenting with Brush Lettering

IMG_4967It’s safe to say that I love letters, not the ones you write and pop in the post, but actual letters. Handwriting, typography, calligraphy, I love how different you can make words look simply by the way you write them. Having already given calligraphy a go, I was itching to have a go at brush lettering. When I saw that the Mollie Makes Crafternoon had a brush-lettering tutorial, it was time to give it a proper go.


There are many different styles of brush lettering about, and a number of methods. I’ve seen many people rave about watercolour brush pens, pens that you can fill with water or ink. I picked up a Derwent Size 2 brush quite cheaply from Amazon to experiment with. It may be the size of the brush, but I just didn’t get on with it. Although blending the colours was really easy, the bristles separated really easily, meaning that I didn’t get a very crisp line. I haven’t written off brush pens as lots of people seem to get on well with them, but I’d definitely want to try a smaller size, and perhaps a different brand.

My efforts with a paintbrush proved much more successful, which isn’t entirely surprising seeing as I often feel most comfortable with a paintbrush in my hand! I used a small, slightly angled brush, which gave me nice crisp lines, but allowed me to experiment with thick and thin brushstrokes.


Ink-wise, I wanted my lettering to be bright and colourful, so treated myself to a new watercolour palette from Hobbycraft. I’ve already got a mixture of watercolours, both in tubes and blocks, which varied in price. I’ve usually found that the cheaper palettes don’t have great pigment, but was pleasantly surprised by my Hobbycraft bargain. The colours are really bright and it was easy to get a bold colour without having to apply lots of coats. I was fully expecting to have to use black ink, but even the black came out really strong! (Which is just as well, as my black ink is running dangerously low).


Even after just a few hours practising, I feel like brush lettering is definitely a craft that I will continue with. Compared to pen and ink calligraphy, it felt more natural for me, and much easier to get the smooth, flowing lines I’d been struggling to get with a pen. Expect to see more crafts making use of my newly learned skills!

If you’d like to find out more about brush lettering, there is a fab tutorial by Rachel Basinger in the Mollie Makes Big Comic Relief Crafternoon (proceeds go to Comic Relief). I’d also recommend checking out the lovely Kate from Daphne Rosa whose brush lettering skills are fantastic!

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