Get Started On Letter Connections

Step Four: Get Started Working on Letter Connections

LetterConnections

Did you miss the last post? Click here to go back!

Get Started Working on Letter Connections

In the last post, we talked about using the basic strokes to begin forming letters. Practicing your basic strokes and letters is about the best thing that you can do to improve your lettering and get more comfortable with it.

Lately, I have a lot of people who ask me how to connect letters together and make words have good spacing or look consistent together!

One of the important things to realize and remember about lettering is that it is not the same as cursive.When we write in cursive, we write quickly & do not lift our pen from the paper unless we are starting a new word. When we do calligraphy, we lift the pen between each and every stroke- even multiple times within the same letter. Calligraphy is not as quick as cursive by any means!

The picture below should give a visual representation of each time your pen should lift while you are writing the word “hello” – the little x’s divide up each individual stroke. You may also notice that across the word the little x marks almost line up into a line because you want your exit strokes for each letter to be at about the mid-line level. This will help you to connect the letters a little bit better & more consistently throughout your words.

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The x marks show where I lift the pen between & during each individual letter.

The letters shown above & below are more spaced out than they would normally be to emphasize the different places to pick up the pen. I think that it helps to see the different connection points – while you are practicing this I would challenge you to actually space out your letters like this prior to writing the word as you would like to. This will help your brain to get in the habit of picking up the pen between strokes/letters. It’s a foreign concept, especially if you are a frequent user of cursive!

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The x’s within the word “hello” seem to all be about on the same line- but in the word “welcome” it is not quite linear!

I hope that this has been a helpful post in helping you to start figuring out how to connect your letters together- a bit part of it is learning how to lift your pen between strokes and where to lift the pen at! As your exit strokes become more consistent & meet in the middle of the word- you will start to see your letter connections improve!

Materials:

Crayola Markers*

What’s next?!
COMING SOON!

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The only two things that you ACTUALLY need to start lettering!

The TWO things you need to start lettering!

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When you first start lettering it can seem overwhelming to see all the different kinds of brush pens & supplies that are circulating out there.
What do I actually need to get started?

When I first started lettering I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on supplies, but I wanted to try different pens. The brush pens that I was able to find were not very cheap and I had a really hard time using them. A lot of the pens available at local stores were very difficult to manage and I thought that I would not be able to do brush lettering at all.

Now that I have been lettering for over a year, I feel like I’m able to give beginners a pretty good idea of the supplies that they will need to get started with!

ONE. A brush pen or two.
I think the temptation is to purchase multiple brush pens of all different kinds because you are excited about getting started. I can’t blame you for that because I definitely did the same thing. The downside to this is that you are more likely to ruin your brush pens because you haven’t quite learned how to hold them or use them yet. I recommend buying one or two brush pens to get started with and/or even beginning with a Crayola marker!
Click on the photo below to find what I think are the three best pens for beginners:

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TWO. Soft paper!
Once you have some brush pens, it is important to take great care of them! The Tombow Dual Brush Pens* are often some of the most popular pens around, but they are easily frayed and can be ruined just by writing on one wrong sheet of paper. The best paper that I can recommend to you are the Rhodia Notepads*. The paper is quite possibly the smoothest you’ll ever feel and comes in many different sizes. These are available in blank, dot grid, and grid styles!

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Once you have started to learn how to hold the pen, practice basic strokes, and begin to feel comfortable when building your letters THEN you should move toward buying some more brush pens. There are a lot of things out there on the market that it may feel like you NEED, but if you are looking to try a new hobby and spend the smallest amount of cash possible- I recommend buying a brush pen and a dot pad to get yourself ready!

Beyond those items, you may want to purchase an online class or a lettering guide to help you learn the basics. You can also look for calligraphy workshops within your local area!

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Beginner Brush Lettering Kit is back in stock + something new!

Have you been thinking about learning brush lettering, but aren’t completely sure where to begin? In January I created the Beginner Brush Lettering Kit, which has 40 pages packed with tips & practice pages.

This book can be purchased as a digital download or a physical copy which comes with one or two brush pens that are great for beginners!

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I created this booklet after I started getting asked frequently the best pens for beginners and how to get started! This book has been one of my favorite things that I’ve made so far. And now, I’ve decided that I think it’s time to do a continuation.

I am now working on an Intermediate Lettering Kit, which will feature the “next steps” in lettering. This will address the difficult letters, spacing, and connecting your letters together. These are some of the items that seem to be difficult once you’ve gotten the letter forms down. I plan to address all the letters that we hate & hope to encourage you to keep on trying!

Want to be the first to hear about this new kit? Be sure to subscribe to my e-mail list. This can be done by clicking the picture below!

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Have a question about lettering? Be sure to send me a message or leave your questions in a comment below!

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Step 2: Start Lettering with Crayola Markers!

Lettering With Crayola Markers

Did you miss the first step? Click here to start with step one!

So, you’ve got your Crayola markers* now. And I know what you were thinking…I had no idea that you could letter with Crayola markers when I first started! I thought that you had to have fancy brush pens to even remotely start brush lettering!

SO. Go grab those Crayola markers again. This time you’re going to create a few different kinds of strokes. These are the strokes that are a tiny little piece of the Beginner Brush Lettering Kit. You’re going to start with those first thin & thick strokes that I mentioned and then move to some new strokes!

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Now, I thought that perhaps you’re wondering HOW to create those thin and thick lines with a Crayola marker. I was right there with you, too! BUT hopefully this will help you.

When you are creating a THICK line you want to angle the pen (like shown in the photo below) so that a greater area of the pen will be touching the paper! You don’t want to use the tip and push the tip down for a thicker line- this won’t work as you will probably just bleed through the paper! If you tip the pen to the side, you’ll naturally be able to create a thicker line because there is a greater area to work with!

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When you are creating a THIN line you can use the tip of the Crayola marker!

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So, here’s another important tip about lettering…

You do NOT need to be writing fast. The pace of lettering is much slower than writing in cursive. You can take your time transitioning between those thin and thick strokes. Take your time creating each letter (we will talk about building letters soon, but not quite yet!). Don’t feel like you need to write fast when you are lettering because it is actually a much slower process than you might think!

AND most important of all, be nice to yourself! You are learning something new and you won’t become a professional overnight! Have some grace with yourself and enjoy the process of learning a new skill. Have some of your friends join you in learning this new skill & encourage each other as you finally start to like the lines (or letters!) you create!

What’s next?!
Use the Basic Strokes to Build Letters
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Hand Lettering Christmas Wishlist

I’m realizing now that this may actually be too late to share, BUT then again…some people need last minute ideas & love to live on the edge.

Thus, here is the last minute Hand Lettering Christmas Wishlist.
The items on this list are either a great thing to get for your loved one who enjoys hand lettering OR are things that I think you should put on your wish list!

A lot of these items can actually be found at Hobby Lobby or Blick Art Stores- so be sure to check there as well as these websites I’ve provided!

  1. FineTec Gold Palette – this gold palette is praised for it’s gorgeous golden shimmer & said to be the best! I have some coming in the mail right now.
  2. Rhodia Notepad – this is the softest paper you’ll probably ever touch. It’s perfect for all forms of hand lettering as your nibs won’t get caught on the paper & the ink won’t blot. It is available in blank, grid, and dot pads.
  3. A Calligraphy Starter Kit
    1. Higgins Eternal Black Ink
    2. Nikko G Nib
    3. Speedball Straight Pen Holder
    4. Rhodia Notepad
  4. A Brush Calligraphy Starter Kit
    1. Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip Brush Pen
    2. Pentel Color Brush
    3. Tombow Dual Brush Pen (I recommend you start with just one)
    4. Rhodia Notepad
  5. Handcrafted Pen Holder (there are many different places to find these!)
  6. Modern Calligraphy Summit Registration ($$$$)
  7. A Calligraphy One-Step-Above Starter Kit
    1. Speedball Oblique Pen Holder
    2. Gillott 404 Nib
    3. Brause Steno Pen Nib (use on the Straight pen holder)
    4. Rhodia Notepad
  8. Handlettered Personalized Return Address Stamp (you can even do some research to see if their hand lettering can be put on the stamp- it CAN be done!)
  9. Resealable Cellophane Bags (if they have an Etsy & sell prints, these would be SO helpful!)
  10. Envelope Drying Rack
  11. Dinky Dips
  12. Pentel Aquash Water Brush – water color brush lettering is made really simple with this pen! I love it.
  13. Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen
  14. Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White Ink
  15. Folded Horizon Pen – I’ve yet to use one of these, but I guess that makes this whole thing a genuine wish list. I’ve been wanting to try a folded pen really bad. I’m hoping to get one soon!

Okay, so by now I’m sure you can tell that I adore Rhodia notepads & have an obsession with brush pens. But I really think that these are some practical ideas of what you can get for your hand lettering loved ones!

 

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