Brush lettering

I took a brush-lettering workshop through Old School New School recently – it's always great to get back into a learning environment and acquire some new skills!

I learnt a lot about the art of lettering and some of the basic techniques, but the best piece of wisdom was this: lettering isn't writing, it's DRAWING. You can have the worst handwriting, but be a wonderful letterer. GREAT, I thought, that's me!

Because it turns out, all of those amazing signs and artworks you see that were lettered? They weren't done all in one go. They were refined and refined and refined, like a sketch into a painting. Good to know! Maybe there is hope for my bad writing yet...

So on the first day we learnt the basics:

The different strokes and angles and what makes lettering 'clean'

The different strokes and angles and what makes lettering 'clean'

...and started to change those into words

...and started to change those into words

And on the second day we created a 'perfect word' - that is taking one word and doing it over and over in different ways, then refining the best choice. I chose the word "Rhythm" because I thought it would be fun with some ups and downs and interesting letter combinations.

I did it a gazillion times (all on tracing paper)

I did it a gazillion times (all on tracing paper)

And finally came up with one I was pretty happy with.

And finally came up with one I was pretty happy with.

After doing the class, practicing a bit more, and looking at more examples of different brush lettering, I think the attribute that makes it appealing to me is the contrast between a very thin upstroke and a thick downstroke, something like this by Duendehandlettering:

So I tried a bit more of this with a technique I invented for myself (I'm sure my OSNS teacher would cringe!). And I had been wanting to fill out a cooking pattern I had been working on for a while, so came up with lettering such as:

Which turned into this:

So there you go -- still a long way to go I know... but ya gotta start somewhere!