Hi Muggles, Wizards, Squibs and No-Majs! August 9th is Book Lovers Day and the Tombow Design Team is celebrating with Book Inspired projects! I’m going to share some of my favorite Harry Potter quotes and basic lettering tips. These are the tips you should read before picking up your Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens!
- Tombow Fudenosuke Color Brush Pens
- Marker Pad or paper with a smooth surface like the Rhodia Pad
- Patience, all of it! (Not optional!)
Tip #1: Pay Attention
I know that you are very excited to start your lettering practice but the word patience will come up a few times in this post. One common mistake I see when I teach lettering is that I haven’t explained the first stroke and people are already writing along. Imagine giving a 15 year old a car before they read the manual. The disaster is not that big but if you don’t listen to the instructions you won’t know what to do. For first time letterers, seeing what and how the teacher creates the strokes is a must!
Tip#2: Choose Helpful Supplies
I often see people asking, “which pen is the best?” I suggest starting with the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen Hard Tip. The Hard Tip will help keep the upstrokes thin, which is a struggle for newbies. Some beginners prefer the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen Soft Tip. So, it’s up to you to decide which one is better for you. The Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen is closer to the size you usually write, so it’s easier than starting with the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Subscribe to Tombow emails and follow them on social media. They have sales at least once a month!
Choosing a pen that is not designed for lettering will make learning incredibly difficult. Once you master your basics, feel free to try them.
Paper is the other 50% of this lettering marriage. Choose a paper with a smooth surface. If the surface is porous, the pen will fight the paper and you will have to use more force. My top choices for lettering paper are: Canson Marker Paper, Strathmore Mixed Media and the Rhodia Pad. If the price of the paper also worries you, Micheal’s has BOGO sales on paper pads all the time. If you print the Tombow Lettering Worksheets, use tracing paper on top of your copies instead of copy paper.
Tip #3: Drills, Drills, Drills!
Another rookie mistake is to go straight to words and quotes. Start with your pressure drills. Practice upstrokes, downstrokes, hills, loops and Os. Then, combine these strokes to make letters. For example, with the “o” you can add a downstroke to make it a lowercase “a” or you can add a loop and create a lowercase “d”. Once you are happy with your letters, work on words and then quotes.
Tip #4: Slow and steady win the race.
Writing slowly is the key to thin upstrokes and avoiding wobbly lines. You are drawing strokes, not really writing. All the videos you’ve seen online are sped up, so don’t compare your speed to those videos.
Tip #5: Comparisson is the thief of joy.
If you’ve been wanting to jump into the lettering world, I’m sure you’ve seen many videos and posts online. Inspiration is great! But know that these artists have been practicing for years! A lot of people get discouraged because their first tries are not what they expect. I bet that your favorite letterer wasn’t an expert when they started! Also, that photo that you just liked, was not their first try. At least for me, it takes a few times. All these Harry Potter quotes took a while. Be kind to yourself and respect your process.
Tip #6: Keep it simple!
If you are still new, don’t go straight to flourishing and blending. You will get there eventually. Look at Harry Potter! He spent 6 years at Hogwarts and kept using Expelliarmus!
Tip #7: Practice makes better!
Like any art, sport or discipline, you need practice. We are retraining the brain and ignoring things we’ve done since we started writing. Like going slower, controlling the pressure and drawing every stroke individually. Practice with your grocery shopping list, on your planner and in your notes.
I hope you found these tips helpful! If you want to learn more about lettering read this post by Mandy!