It seems that I am routinely asked about my lettering in my journals, and how you can improve your own lettering for your art journals, your daily journals, artwork, etc. The answer, in short is simple: practice.
I have talked about how I practice my lettering a few times here, and my first suggestion to you is to go right now, while school supplies are on sale, and invest a few cents (yes, under $1.00) in a primary lettering tablet. The kind with the wide lines, with a dash in between the lines. My particular favorite is the Mead Primary Journal Creative Story Tablet. It is made similar to a composition notebook and is generally available anywhere school supplies are sold. I get mine at Wal-Mart and I stock up this time of year when school supplies are plentiful, and CHEAP. This particular one has a drawing area at the top of each page. You will find this type of writing tablet very helpful to align your letters and keep the proportional spacing good while practicing. You don't have to get THIS notebook, any primary grades writing tablet or paper will do, and will help you immensely. This particular tablet has fairly decent paper and I have had no issues using a myriad of art supplies in it.
Why practice? What did your Momma or Grandmother say to you? Practice makes perfect. It's true. You couldn't type well either until that typing teaching made you practice, and practice a lot. You couldn't dance without practice. And you won't be able to improve your lettering and handwriting skills without practice either.
So, armed with your Big Chief tablet and your #1 pencil (just kidding, many of you won't even know what these are--I'm old, remember??) you are about to embark on a journey that will transform your journal pages and your art by adding an important tool to your already burgeoning arsenal of art supplies: YOU! And the ability to add beautiful lettering to your art!
Beginning today, and every subsequent Friday, we will introduce to you a new "font" suited or adaptable to hand lettering with pen, ink, paint or whatever medium you choose and are comfortable with. At first, take it slow. Get out your primary lettering paper or tablet and a PENCIL. Practice writing out the alphabet in the suggested "font", both upper and lower case. Then, try it with your favorite pen. See? Wasn't that fun? Comfortable with the recommended font now? GO FOR IT! Add a quote or a word to a journal page or a piece of art using the new "font", then share with us. Feel free to share your practice pages, too! Feeling cocky? Grab a dip pen. Try out that font again, repeating the alphabet, both upper and lower case. Got a bamboo calligraphy pen? Try that. Is it an arty font? Grab the paint after you letter it, and tart it up. Use your Gelly pens, Tombows, Copics. Try everything.
As you repeat a line or series of lines many times, whether you are drawing a face, or practicing a specialized lettering style, your hand and your brain begin to remember the lines, the movement involved and what it takes to accomplish the task.
Let's all have fun learning some new lettering styles, and broadening our artistic horizons. I will be playing too as often as I can to keep you inspired. Remember, we are dealing with some serious medical issues at my house right now, so I might not have examples for you every week. But I will give it my best shot. I know you will too!
So your very first "NEW FONT FRIDAY" (#NFF) lettering challenge is on the group feed! We will start with an easy one, but the challenge is that no sample lower case alpha letters are shown for this week's lettering challenge, so it will be interesting to see what you improvise for the lower case! Have fun! When sharing your photos for this challenge, use the hashtag #NFF so we can find your posts!
Keep it artful!