August 21, 2019 37

Brush Calligraphy With Watercolor

Brush Calligraphy With Watercolor

Have you seen artwork done with beautiful
brushed lettering and wondered how they did it? Or perhaps you’ve wanted to attempt this watercolor
technique, but have been too intimated to try. Hi, I’m
Jill with Close To My Heart, and today I want to show you how easy and fun
it is to paint your words. Let me show you how! I want to show you first this layout that
I’ve done here, of my cute daughter, Georgia, and
my titling here. I’ve used some stickers, but then I also went
through and with a nice, organic, brush gripped, I added some hand
written titling, and I want to teach you how this comes together. Here I have some White Daisy cardstock, as
well as some watercolor paper. This technique will work on either cardstock, but I like
to use watercolor paper when it’s available because I can move my paint around just a
little bit more than you can with regular White Daisy. So I’m going to start with White Daisy—no,
I’m sorry—watercolor paper. I also have my watercolor paints, some water,
and my paintbrushes. Now, in the Close To My Heart® paintbrushes, you have three different sizes of brush tips. If you’re a beginner, I recommend starting
with the smallest one. This lets your writing be tight, and
gives you a lot more flexibility in keeping your tip, in training your hand to get this technique
down. As you get better, you can do some of these bigger tips, and you’ll see kind of the versatility that you can create with the bigger tips. But let’s start today with just using this small tip, and I’m just going to take,
I’m going to start with just black, just to show you the technique of your lines. So I’m just getting my brush nice and wet,
my paint nice and wet, getting a little puddle that
I can work out of. Now the whole technique behind brush lettering is that you go light pressure on the up stroke, and high, or hard pressure on the down stroke. So light up, hard down, and the best thing
to do is just give yourself drills of practicing
that stroke. Up light, heavy down. Up light, heavy down. And you just keep going until you really get comfortable with that. Now, brush lettering is not a thing that you say, “Oh, I have bad
handwriting so I can’t be a brush letterer.” It’s really
more like drawing. And so really when you get the technique
down, you’ll be able to get the feel of it, and
then you go out of the mindset of your handwriting, and
go into the mindset of I’m drawing a little picture
here. So here again, I’m just practicing up light,
and then heavy pressure when you come down, on your brush. And so you just keep practicing that, and then once you feel good about that flow and that structure, then you can go into painting words. And think of this not as a full word; think
of it letter by letter. You don’t have to go like you would your typical cursive and just continue on. You can pick up you brush and start and stop whenever you want to. So
we could just do the word “smile;” I’m going light on my
up stroke, heavy on my down stroke, come light again, heavy on my
down stroke light on my upstroke, heavy–see, even then I’m starting to run
out of paint? But I love that about using watercolor paints for my brush lettering. You can also use markers
and things, but the fun about the watercolor is
that you get that great gradient of dark to light, and you can see where you’ve picked up more
paint, and where you haven’t. So again, just going light on your upstroke, heavy on your down, I can’t say that enough because that’s really all there is to learning how to brush letter. Okay? So there you’ve got a full word, and then you can go back through, and you
can add flourishes, if it’s not dark enough, the nice thing about watercoloring
is you can go back through and darken that up,
or smooth out a line here and there to get it the way you want it to look. You can go back over—doesn’t have to be
perfect. But again, you’re starting and stopping with
every letter. I love to just sit and practice an alphabet,
because then you can really just do a whole sheet of “S’s”
until you get a really good feel for how that “S”
structure goes, and a whole a sheet of “M’s” and
just work on your letters, and then start putting it together into words. So now I want to show you another fun technique,
with brush lettering and your watercolor paints, and that is the ombre effect. And we’ve seen this with
our stamping and with all kinds of watercolor painting, but you can also do it with your lettering. So here I’m starting with just this dark orange
color, and I’m just going to spell the word “sunshine.” So, here I go up heavy, or up light, sorry,
down heavy, and again, just pick up a little more paint. That’s why I do letter by letter, because
then you really have time to think about what that letter should look
like. And always pull your light, your light pressure
tail up before you let go to start the next letter— it really lets it finish out its look. So
now I’m picking up a different color of the orange, and tapping into the two colors together, so that I can just start blending those together. So now I’m just going to work on the next letter and you can see the colors just adjusting. Again, I make my tail before I pick up my next color. I’m going to do another “S,” my tail comes up, and I’m just going through these oranges and
yellows in my paint palette, and mixing them together, and letting them just blend together. Heavy on your down stroke, light on your up, make that tail. Now I’m going to start picking up some yellow, even this lighter yellow, and let that mix together. That’s what I love about watercolors, is just
blending your colors together. And, down heavy, light up, down heavy, light up. Finish out your word. You can come
back if that got a little too light for you, but I actually love that.
I love when it looks like it’s just starting to fade
away. So you can see that I’ve got just this gradient of color, and again, my technique
is always the same– it’s just the light stroke up on the up strokes, and then heavy pressure when you’re coming
down. So that’s another fun technique, and then
the other great thing is using it on cards. All right, so I’ve got my card base here, and, again, you could add some B&T papers
to this, you could add some shimmer trim, but basically I’m just
going to do a word on the front of my card, just to show that you could grab a piece of
paper, and add your brush lettering to it, and make an original unique card in just a quick second. So I’m just going to do a thank you card. And on your “As” you want to come around light like that, and then go back and put your down stroke. And connect your “n” it goes up, heavy down; and I like to bring my ascenders and descenders just to give it a little variety and look. You could size your letters differently. It’s
not like calligraphy where you have to have a very perfect flow to it and a real precise letter. It’s really organic and it’s about just that hand-lettered look. I’m going to go back over that little part and keep it dark, from my down stroke here. This is always my favorite part, putting in
your little crosses of your “T’s” On your “O’s,” I like to always try
and bring around just something that gives it a little interest. So thick on my down stroke here, and then let my loop come up and around on the thin stroke. So you can see that would be a finished, easy-to-use thank you card, that you really just did in thirty seconds, so it’s a great way to just quickly give someone something
handmade and special with your unique handwriting on
that. So lastly, I’m going to take an 8” x 10”
piece of cardstock, and I’m going to just hand letter a quote. Usually when I do this, if I’m going to use it as a gift, or as something I’m going to put in a frame, I like to go ahead and draw myself pencil lines, and pre-letter that, which you can do if you use really light pressure on your pencil,
just to give you some guide marks. I’m going to totally free hand
this one, because I don’t what to take the time
to do all of that. But just know: if you were going to frame
it, I would take a little extra time to plan out
your spacing. But we’re just going to go totally organic
with this. And I am going to do our favorite tagline
at Close To My Heart [music playing] It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, I promise you’ll become addicted. Get out
your brushes, and show us your brush lettering by using
the hashtag #ctmhbrushlettering. Subscribe to our channel; and find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and our blog, And to learn more about the products used in this video, contact your Close To My Heart® Independent Consultant, or go to to find one in your area.

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