Oh Snap! Hand Lettering Process

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Sometimes hand lettering is simple and fast. Other times, it takes many steps to reach a finished, final piece.

1. Initial Sketch

This first step is usually best in pencil. The initial sketch is the time to map out your idea as best you can.

Took usedStaedtler Lead Holder

 

2. Ink

Inking is my personal least favorite step. I am not very good at getting consistent lines and using pen makes me nervous. If I am planning to digitize my design (whether it’s hand lettering or some other illustration), I usually skip this.

Tool usedSakura Pigma Micron

 

3. Digitize!

I personally like to import a photo of my design into Paper by 53 and trace over it. It’s true that I could have done the whole thing in the app, but I usually feel more comfortable creating an initial sketch with real pencil and paper.

Tool usedPaper and Pencil by 53

 

4. Vectorize

I imported the design I made in Paper into Adobe Illustrator and converted it into Vector artwork. Now I can easily overlay it on photos, change the color, etc. These examples were made using photos from Creative Market.


Download the Oh Snap Vector Art

You can download the free artwork here and make something with it yourself!


Hope you enjoyed seeing my hand lettering process! You are invited to follow me on social media to see more art. If you ever have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please talk to me via the contact page.

Twitter Pinterest RSS social_media_round_icons_pink_color_set_256x256_0014_dribbble 53-icon

 

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Brush Pen Talk — Blending

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Koi-Color-ChartOne of the things that makes brush pens extra special tools is their amazing ability to blend!

Some examples would be:

How to Blend

Brush pens are great for drawing, coloring, and hand lettering. You can use blending techniques to mix colors and create unique gradients. There are two main ways to blend.

1. Mix the colors on a surface.

This is similar to mixing paint colors. On a plastic surface, (I use a ziplock bag, but if you want, Tombow sells a blending palette for their markers) you color with one brush pen. Then, color on top of that ink with a second brush pen (it’s better to use a lighter color). The tip of your second brush pen now has a layer of ink that is a nice mix of the two colors you used.

2. Tip to Tip

Hold your writing pen with the tip pointing up, and a second pen with tip pointing down, and touch their tips together. The pen that is facing down will fill the other one with some of it’s ink.

Mixing the colors on a surface tends to produce a cleaner blend than tip to tip blending, but both are fun to try.


The truth is that you only need a small set of blendable brush pens and you’re ready to go, because you can mix the colors you don’t have. You can purchase brush pens individually if you want a specific color.

Download a Free Brush Pen Blending Guide!

If you print the blending guide, don’t forget that the colors will look different than the marker ink. If you look at the blending guide your screen, it offers much more accurate colors.

Have fun blending!

Brush Lettering Process Tutorial

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Here’s a quick look at an easy way to create a hand lettered piece with marker.

First of all, I suggest you take a look at the “Get Better at Brush Pen Lettering” post if you haven’t yet and learn how to use a brush pen. Once you know that, you’re ready to go!

What you’ll need:

  • At least one colored marker or brush pen
  • One black marker or brush pen
  • Two sheets of printer paper
  • A pencil

1. Create an outline with your pencil.

A lot of hand lettering artists seem like they’re doing everything freehanded, and that’s fine, but I believe that an initial sketch is important. It gives you the opportunity to think of an interesting layout. In these photos, I am using a lead holder by Staedler.

2. Complete the rough draft by tracing with your black marker.

 

Don’t worry about erasing your pencil lines, this is not the final version. Here I used a black Tombow Dual Brush Pen.

3. Place the second sheet of Paper on top of your rough draft.

You should be able to see the faint outline of your text.

4. Trace over the faint outline with your colored markers.

This is the final piece, and it’s completely free of any erasing of Pencil marks. You can add flourishes, illustrations, or more text if you like. If you mess up tracing over your rough draft, you can simply grab another piece of paper and try again (which is exactly what I did: the final one is shown below).

Here I used Sakura Koi Coloring Brushes — pink blended with orange.

Shown here are two more pieces I made using this process.

Have fun trying this out, and don’t forget to share with me what you make on social media!