Hand Lettering Friday! Week 1 Challenge

It’s finally here! The first day of the Menagerie Stamps 12 week Hand Lettering Challenge! 😀

Brush lettering is the focus of this week’s 1 hour session, and this gorgeous font pictured below is the inspiration.

Julie, our design consultant, is a Master Calligrapher. She has been practising for over 30 years, won countless awards, been teaching for years, and now she is providing free tutelage to the Menagerie Stamps community!

So here it is, Julie’s words of wisdom on how to create your own beautiful brush lettering:

The secret to creating the ebb and flow, ie. the thick and thin, of lettering such as this is: pressure. Unfortunately, this is simple in theory but difficult to achieve in reality. It takes years of practise to achieve the precision necessary to produce visually perfect calligraphy, but you can accomplish a looser look such as this through some basic exercises focusing on pressure, grip and angle. First, to get a handle on pressure, take your brush marker and make elongated loops on some scrap paper. Apply pressure on the down and release pressure on the up section to create thick on the down and thin on the up. This may be trickier than you think as people are ingrained to apply even pressure, but practise makes perfect!

So this is what the pressure loops exercise looks like done by a complete novice (aka. me). Do at least half a page to begin with.

The other key element to calligraphic-style writing, is the angle of the pen. With different angles, you can achieve different looks. The issue here is that people are used to writing at one very specific angle, usually almost directly down onto the paper. With calligraphy, you will most likely need to hold the pen much further from the tip and with a much greater angle than you are used to, and this can make it very hard to control. Once again, it’s all about practise. The more you do it, the better results you will see.

Thank you Julie!

Once you have a grasp on being light-handed enough to create more and less pressure on demand, it’s time to try some letter forms 😀

Here is a template to show you an example of some brush lettering and how to achieve each.

To see the template in action, head over to the Menagerie Stamps YouTube channel for a demonstration video.

You can also download a free brush lettering worksheet here: Brush Lettering Worksheet 😀

Here is a photo of this week’s progress (still just tracing, next week I will try some free-hand). The demo video shows what I achieved in more detail.

Subscribe so you don’t miss next week’s instalment! You can see a sneak peek of the next focus font on our twitter & instagram accounts. We are also on YouTube, Facebook and Etsy.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

Meg & Merlin


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