This month I have been trying to learn brush lettering and thought I would share what I have learned so far.
Tools of the Trade: There are tons of brush options out there from actual water color brushes, to Crayola markers, to Tombow brush pens and the like. I think the Crayola markers are a great way to start. They are cheap and easy to use. After struggling for a month with a Prismacolor brush pen I finally bought a cheap set of Crayola markers and the brush lettering started to click (below). I then “graduated” to a set of Tombow dual brush pens that worked relatively well (above).
I just received an order of Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens that everyone on Instagram seems to swear by and I’m looking forward to experimenting with them (the big drawback with them is that they aren’t available locally so I had to order them online). It looks like the Fudenosuke Brush Pen may be between the Crayola markers and the dual brush pens in terms of hardness and difficulty of use. I tried a watercolor brush with watercolors briefly but that seemed to add an unnecessary degree of difficulty. I think you really need to master the techniques first before trying that and I’m not there yet.
Scale: I had a tough time with scale and I think scale is definitely linked to size and type of pen. Initially I think I was trying to write too small. With the Tombow brush pens and the Crayola markers 3/4 inch seems to be the right size between base line and x line (bottom and top of most lower case letters). The new Fudenosuke Brush Pen have a smaller tip which allows a smaller scale (1/4 – 1/2″).
Slant: I don’t typically slant my writing at all in my day to day life, but for some reason slanting the letters seemed to work better for me. It was also helpful to slant my paper about 45 degrees (or maybe more) to the front of my desk to write. Initially I was doing my writing on a pad on my lap which is not a great way to learn.
Embellish your lettering: These embellishments can add enough zing to your lettering to compensate for a less than perfect script.
Shadows: I use either a gray Tombow brush marker or a Faber Design Art Marker (and even the gray Crayola) to shade below and to the right of all the letters. The Tombow is more subtle but it can also “bleed” if it gets too close to the lettering.
Multi tone letters: Lots of ways to do this but my favorite is relettering the bottom part of each letter in a second color. You do this by putting a piece of cardstock over the part you do not want to color and relettering.
Highlights: I put some highlights on my letters with a white gel pen (Mitsubishi Pencil company Signo White Pigment Ink) that I had laying around.
I’m a long way from perfect but it is fun to practice and try new techniques and pens.
I printed the inside sentiment on my computer and the fish stamp on the envelope.
I also made a few Halloween cards on my Silhouette Cameo with die cuts from Silhouette Studio.
Here are a couple more Halloween Cards. The first was made with Stampin’ Up Jar of Love, patterned paper and Washi tape. I also used the double pierced rectangular die from Avery Elle. I used the Silhouette Cameo to print and cut the candy corn for the shaker portion. The second card was made entirely on the Silhouette Cameo – well, okay I used a circle die for the moon – but everything else was Silhouette.
Celebrating the 4th with a few cards using my Silhouette Cameo to cut the stripes (used both negative and positive space), Darice fireworks embossing folder, Stampin’ Up nested star die cut and Lifestyle Crafts polka dot embossing folder.
I purchased and made Stampin’ Up Enjoy the Little Things Project Kit as a gift. I was thrilled with the way each of the panels turned out and kept two for myself. In fact I was so inspired I have started making my own to hang as clipboard wall art. It is a nice alternative to card making or scrapbooking and adds a little inspiration to my office. And I can swap them out or make more as my mood changes.
And here is the storage solution I came up with: Using Stampin Up Clear Mount Stamp Cases (http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/ProductDetails.aspx?productID=119105) to store my mint stamps. Since my craft area is basically a closet, storage is at a premium so using these cases for all of my stamps has been a real space saver while allowing me to see what stamps are stored in each case.
I also made myself a cheat sheet for the mint stamp sizes to help with reordering the stamp refills.
An easy St. Patrick’s Day card. I may not be into green beer, but I love having any excuse to make cards. The shamrock is made from 6 hearts (punched from Stampin’ Up designer paper), folded in half and glued down center to center. The stem was cut with my bird punch from the same paper. The green background was embossed with a herringbone pattern. I added three black eyelets for no other reason than I wanted to play with my Crop-A-Dile.
The sentiment (Stampin’ Up Teeny Tiny Wishes) was stamped on the black and white striped cutout that I made using print and cut on my Silhouette Cameo. The shape was made by punching the label punch inside of another label punch in a piece of scrap card stock. I then scanning the shape into my computer. I colored in the stripes in the Silhouette software. I actually made a sheet of these using different patterns and colors so that I would have a quick and easy base for the sentiments in the Teeny Tiny Wishes set.
On the inside of the card I added an Irish blessing which I printed on Whisper White card stock and glued inside: “May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.”
Here is a quick guide for A2 Card Mat Measurements so you don’t have to keep recalculating. Obviously you wouldn’t put all these mats on one card, but hopefully it can help when figuring out what you need.
For example you might make a card with the red and yellow mat sizes and the orange and back mat sizes, skipping the green and blue and the pink and top white. Hope it helps.
This month I tried a few more Silhouette Mint Stamps. Both of these feature ClipArt imported directly to the Mint Software from my desktop. With previous stamps I found it necessary to use Silhouette Studio to first design the stamps (fill text and shapes, size and position artwork, etc.), then save the designs to my desktop and finally import them to the Mint Software. But here I simply save the pictures I wanted to use and just opened them in the Mint Software. Easy Peasy.
I also made some Valentine’s Day Cards. I used the Silhouette Cameo to cut out the window for the second card and the leaves for the third. I used a heart border punch from Martha Stewart, some Love stamps from Stampin’ Up, Lovely As a Tree from Stampin’ Up, a Hearts Embossing Folder by Darice and a Polka Dot embossing folder from Lifestyle Crafts.
This month I made some more stamps with my Silhouette Mint.
I made three mail related stamps: one small (the flourish), one medium (my etsy logo), and one large (the postmark).
I also made a medium quatrefoil stamp which fits a punch that I have.
To create this last stamp, I punched a piece of scrap cardstock and scanned it into my Silhouette Cameo Software on my computer. I traced it and then used the “inset” function to create the design I wanted. I experimented with several different interior designs (stripes, checks, solid) and finally settled on the tiny polka dots. I may go back later and make more stamps with the other interior designs but for now I am happy with this one. Add a pearl or rhinestone in the middle, a dimensional on the back and they are good to go.