Whimsical Words: Learning Project Week Four

With Valentine’s Day coming up this week I decided I wanted to use my Learning Project to practice making a hand lettered Valentine’s card for my fiance. He doesn’t live in town and so I am always looking for fun things I can send him in the mail and I thought a hand made Valentines card would be perfect. I decided I would continue to use YouTube Videos this week to inspire my lettering. Another major part of hand lettering is not just the words but the accents you include around the words. So I started to experiment with the accent details this week. The first element I practiced was a simple dandelion.  My practice sheet for the card ended up looking like this:

I wanted a little more practice forming dramatic and sweeping words and I found a video that allowed me to do just that. This video is another one that was created by Julie Turrie. I really enjoy how she actually writes the letters out in the video because it makes it way easier to follow along.

My version actually looked pretty similar. The trickiest part about this word was that I attempted to write it out without the guidelines that appear in the video. Without the guidelines it made it difficult to judge how large to make each of the letters. It is also really difficult to create a fluid swirly detail under the “f”. The other accent detail that I wanted to work on this week was drawing feathers. Drawing a life-like feather takes a lot of patience and practice because there is so much detail in a feather. I chose a video where the form of the feather was more loose and less detailed simply because it is so difficult to draw a feather well. My finished product looked like this:

The feather looks way better on the picture than in my book.

So far in my project I have stuck to the fluid cursive hand lettering and brush lettering style but there are so many other fonts out there to play with. The other style of lettering I find really beautiful are the fonts that are geometric. I needed a break from the flowing cursive lettering and so I went on my Pinterest board and found some geometric fonts to try.

This is a list of the videos I used this week that you can check out if you want to give it a try:

Next week I think I am going to try the old Gothic style of calligraphy! Happy lettering!


Graduating from Practice Sheets: Learning Project Week Three

Last week I started on my hand-lettering journey using the grade one style alphabet practice sheets. After doing the alphabet in both upper and lower case I got bored and decided that I was ready to graduate to free-hand practice. I felt fairly confident about my lettering ability and when I set my pen to paper I imagined creating something like this….


I know that this will come as a shock to all of you but my letters did not look anything like that. It turns out that free handing the letters is much more difficult than I had anticipated. My letters were shaky and somewhat misshapen. You almost have to retrain your brain how to form the letters. When you use the calligraphy markers and pens you have to be conscious of two things: how you are holding the pen and where you are creating your down-strokes. I don’t think about either of these things when I write normally so it was a bit of an adjustment.

One of the distinct aspects of calligraphy is the use of the wider down-stroke and thinner up -stroke. In order to create the thicker down-strokes the writing tool has to be held a certain way. I found that it was easier to create the calligraphy effect using the pen which had free flowing ink. The shape of the tip on the markers made it a bit more challenging.

My first attempt at letting free hand.

I fond that because I had to think about how I form my letters differently it was much easier to watch a video on YouTube and mimic their motions. I browsed a few videos before I found this one by Julie Turrie. I like this video because the style is simple yet elegant. Also the pen that is used in the video is similar to the one that I use and so it made it much easier to mimic the letters. I also enjoyed that I could go back and watch the process over and over if I couldn’t get it just right.

I also used another video this week called Learn to write ABC Calligraphy for Kids. Now I realize it says “for kids” but that is the skill level I am at right now and I actually really like how the letters turned out.

The last thing I did this week was I attempted my first word. After all the lettering searches I had done a video about creating basic calligraphy words popped up and I decided to do it. Again I watched the video and then duplicated it as best I could.

Then I experimented with the lettering styles from the practice sheets and created this:

Videos are definitely the way to go in terms of learning how to form the letters. I had so much fun this week, especially with mixing words and art. Next week I will continue to experiment with individual words.



Brush Lettering Training Wheels: Learning Project Week Two

This week for my learning project my goal was to attempt every letter of the alphabet in brush script. When I set out to find practice sheets I discovered that there are millions of variations on hand lettering and once an artist gets good they often will develop their own variation of a popular style and then their words become a type of calling card for them. Going into this project I had no idea that there was so much variation.

So in order to narrow it down for myself I went to Pinterest and found some free hand lettering practice sheets that looked like what I had pictured as hand lettering. Turns out what I imagined is called brush lettering and it can be done with brush markers and if you get really good at it you can use paintbrushes and watercolors to create beautiful pieces of art.  The website that I took my free (woohoo!) printable practice sheets from is a blog called One Artsy Mama Creations and there were tons of awesome resources on there. I highly recommend this website and will likely come back to it for further resources.

So like I mentioned last week I bought calligraphy markers and a calligraphy pen. This is how they look on the paper:

After a bit of practice I have decided that the flow of the calligraphy pen makes it much easier to write the letters smoothly and makes it look more elegant. Now just a bit of a disclaimer here, I do not have nice handwriting and so this is going to be a bit of an adventure. I am starting with the upper-case alphabet just to try it out.

Practicing the letters was eye opening to the fact that this is a much more technical skill than I imagined. Next week I will do lower case letters and then attempt a new style. Stay tuned!

Today is Someday: Learning Project Week One

Learning Project board I created to compile online resources.

Pinterest is one of my favourite things in the entire world. I am not ashamed to say that I have spent hours scrolling through planning my future wedding (long before I was even engaged), dreaming about trips I may take one day, and pinning a million recipes to my food board. The biggest board on my Pinterest is my “Create” board. I am a fairly artistic person and the thought of taking time to create something thrills my soul. I have pinned a lot of hand lettering and calligraphy type projects over the last few years with the intention to try it someday. Well, today is finally someday!

I have decided to do try hand lettering/calligraphy for my Learning Project. For years I have pinned all sorts of beautiful, scripty sayings and quotes in the hopes of recreating them myself but I have never had time. My hand writing is legible but I don’t often write in cursive because my printing is neater and quicker. I am looking forward to playing with lettering and the little design elements that often come with hand lettering. Each week I will attempt a different aspect of hand lettering and my goal is to create a sign of sorts at the end that can be used in my wedding in July.

Materials: Artist’s Loft Sketching Pad, Elegant Writer Calligraphy Markers, 1.1 mm Calligraphy Fountain Pen.

This week I went to Michael’s and gathered my supplies. I am just a beginner and so I decided to go the less expensive route and start with some calligraphy markers that come in a variety of colours including black, blue, brown, red, and green. I also purchased a 1.1mm calligraphy fountain pen so that I get some experience using different mediums. I also bought a simple sketch book to practice in.

Super excited to get started! Check back next week for my first attempt at hand lettering.