Sunday, September 18, 2016

hand lettering, anyone?

i've always liked type. i have more alphabet stamps and stickers than any other category, and don't get me started on computer fonts. but the last couple of summers during ICAD i've really enjoyed doing little bits of hand-lettering on some of my cards, and this year i discovered quite a few calligraphy and lettering artists i like on pinterest. there are even some pretty cool challenges on instagram... so now and again, when i've got a little "sketchbook time" at the end of the evening, i will do a bit of hand-lettering. here's a bit of that now:

the fall lettering challenge, hosted by @inkcitra and @letteringbymhel runs the entire month of september and features (as you might've guessed from the name) a distinctly autumnal flavor. this might be my favorite entry for that so far, mostly because the finished piece looks almost exactly like the picture that was in my head. 
(gotta love it when that happens, right?!)

i do most of my lettering with tombow dualbrush pens. i've tried other brands of waterbased brush markers, i've got some copics, and occasionally i even treat myself to a fancy lettering pen. but 95% of my every day marker-ing is done with the tombows, and i have to say that if i was only going to own ONE BRAND, they'd be it. because they're good quality, come in LOTS of colors, and function well in pretty much any situation, on any type of paper. they are, in sports terminology, a true "utility player" imo.

most of my outlining is done with faber-castell's pitt artist pens, specifically the XS (.1mm) and S (.3mm) nibs. they have fairly durable tips, (admittedly, i'm a nib-killer) and i find them to be the *most* smear-proof of the major brands. they are not, however, as permanent as, say, a sharpie. so i tend to outline last (as in OVER my marker or watercolor) whenever possible. i do like sakura's micron pigma with the .005 nib, too, because it's such an amazingly light line.

more fall lettering challenge prompts, obviously. i've been experimenting with different letter shapes and styles. and every once in a while i manage to resist outlining in black, lol. (but, no, not all that often.)

"full harvest moon" is lettered with tombows over a background i watercolored using ken oliver crafts' color bursts, and the lettering has highlights done with liquid metals. in real life it looks soooooo much cooler, but for the life of me, i could not capture that in a photo. 

aaria baid, known on instagram as @surelysimpleblog is another of my lettering and doodling heroines. i especially love her short IG videos, one of which inspired this wreath, using her "geometric roses" technique. 

yep. another FLC entry. the pumpkin is watercolored with colorbursts and then the letters are tombow. again. because that's the way i roll. ;)

what's this, you ask? why, it's a sunflower rendered in blendy shades of colorburst, with tombow lettering on top. made for the FLC. what are the odds, people??!?!

amanda kammarada is a tombow brand ambassador, and yet another lettering star on instagram. i admire her amazing talent, of course, but i'm also impressed by how friendly she is, and how generously supportive she is of other letter-ers, especially beginners. she is a true "encourager" which i admire tremendously!
(if you want to absolutely marvel at her skill, check out this video in which she does a much more impressive version of "galaxy lettering".)


  1. Beautiful work, LOVE my Tombows and Pitt pens.

  2. Oh this is such a fabulous post, I always feel like I am getting a gift of eye candy when I see your hand drawn projects.

  3. Gorgeous! I love 'em all but that last one is my fantastic!!


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