How To: Calligraphy & Hand Lettering for Beginners! Tutorial + Tips!

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- Hey, everyone, it's Amanda.

Welcome back to my channel.

Today's video was super highly requested.

A ton of you guys have asked me to do

a video on my hand lettering

slash brush lettering, slash calligraphy.

I know it's not like actual calligraphy,

but it's modern calligraphy kinda like

the stuff that I'm sure a bunch of you

have been seeing on Pinterest and on Instagram.

And it took me a while to learn.

There's definitely a lot of tips and tricks

that I found helpful, so hopefully today

I can pass those on to you,

and some of you find it useful.

I wanted to make sure that it is very detailed

and in depth, so that you can really get

the hang of it and learn about typography.

Let me know if you wanna see more

writing videos in the future.

I can definitely do that for you.

I will also have my whole bullet journal

video playlist links down below if you wanna

check that out.

But without further ado, let's just get

right into the tutorial.

Alright, so getting started with the materials

and supplies that you will need.

There's a couple of different options

that you can use.

The first is the most popular,

which is the Tombow Dual Brush Pens,

these are kind of like a brush marker.

And then we also have the Tombow Fudenosuke

Brush Pens, kinda like the baby sister

of the Dual Brush Pens.

These are smaller and more precise.

You can also use regular brushes.

This one is a water brush so it has

the water in it, standard watercolor brushes,

and then also you can actually use Crayola markers.

I have the super tips markers,

but I've heard that the fatter Crayola markers

work as well.

I'm also gonna be showing you guys

how to use regular fineliners for calligraphy.

I'll show you that later on,

but these are just standard fine-tipped fineliners.

And lastly, you're gonna wanna

keep in mind the type of paper you're using

because you wanna make sure the paper

is smooth and not textured in any way

because the texture will actually fray

any marker tips that you use and also make it

harder for you to get a smooth calligraphy stroke.

If you're a complete beginner at calligraphy,

I recommend doing these exercises,

just kind of doing a wavy line.

And what you're gonna wanna do is make sure

that you are using less pressure

on your upstroke and more pressure

on the downstroke, and this will make it

so that your upstrokes are thin

and your downstrokes look thicker.

Doing this exercise will also help you

figure out the proper grip you should be using.

You wanna make sure you're not using

the tip perpendicular to the paper,

kind of at a diagonal so that you have

more control, and I'll help you

when you're constructing your letters.

So now on to the basics of calligraphy and typography.

I wanted to talk about this just because

it'll help you guys later on.

As you can see, I've drawn sort of like

a guide, kinda like what you would do

in kindergarten when you're learning

to write letters.

The middle space is for your x-height,

the top space is for ascending letters,

and then the bottom space is for descending letters.

So if you're wondering about x-height,

x-height is basically the height

of all of these middle-sized letters,

like, an a, an i, an x, of course, an n.

As you can see, they fit perfectly

within those middle lines.

Characters that are descenders,

obviously descend into the lower space,

but as you can see, the x-height

is still the same, they just hit

that bottom line when they go down.

So these letters would be your p's,

your j's, your q's all of that.

Same thing goes for letters that are ascenders,

except these are for your h's, your t's,

your l's, anything that hits that top line.

What I would recommend is to practice

doing the whole alphabet.

That's the only way you're gonna

get the hang of it.

Just make sure you do a thin upstroke

and a thick downstroke, and you can practice

this a ton of times, and this is how

you'll also find your stylistic preference

because there's different ways that you can

do every single letter as I'm showcasing here.

There's like different variations of s's

that you can do, r's, all of that stuff,

and you'll only find your favorite

by practicing it.

When you get the hang of writing letters

and all of the downstrokes and upstrokes,

it's time to put it all together

and this should be pretty simple

if you've been practicing your letters

because they kinda just seamlessly connect.

Just make sure you're not going too fast

or too slow, you wanna be at a steady pace.

If you really want, you can also draw

those guidelines that I drew earlier,

and that'll help you to get your x-height

and your baseline all the same

if that's the look that you're going for.

But of course, as you're gonna see very soon,

you can actually switch things up

and change the x-height and the baseline

of all of these letters.

This is something that you can do

when you get a little bit more comfortable

with calligraphy and hand lettering

because it adds a little bit more personality

to your hand lettering.

It looks a little bit more whimsical and fun,

and there really isn't a formula

for doing this, you kinda just get

an eye for it once you practice it a lot.

Here I'm just demonstrating what I mean

by changing up the baseline.

The top example, you can kind of draw

a straight line across, but the bottom one,

as you can see, the baseline changes

from letter to letter.

Other things that you can do to switch up

your calligraphy is change the spacing

of your letters, so this one I've done it

more spaced out and more kind of italicized.

And then on the flip side, I've also done

an example where I've squished the letters

closer together and made them thinner and taller.

So it's really completely up to you.

I wanted to show you guys the difference

between each of the tools that I mentioned earlier,

and kinda talk about my tips and tricks

for each one because they are completely different.

Obviously, the one that I've been using

this whole time is the Tombow Dual Brush Pen,

but the Tombow Fudenosuke Pens, as I mentioned,

are kind of like the baby sister

of the Dual Brush Pens.

They come in hard tip and soft tip.

I personally prefer the soft tip

because it's the most similar

to the Dual Brush Pen.

These work a lot better for smaller lettering

because they are quite thin,

and you do have to add a bit more pressure

than you do on the Dual Brush Pens.

If you didn't know, you can actually do

calligraphy with Crayola markers,

which is kinda like a cheap alternative

to getting the brush pens.

This takes a little bit of getting used to,

you have to kind of adjust your grip

and be super light on your upstrokes

and very heavy on your downstrokes,

so you get that difference in the lines.

Obviously, you can use watercolor brushes as well,

I guess this was kind of like the original brush.

The only thing is, with watercolor you do

have to re-dip your brush back into the paint

quite often, or else it's gonna have

like a faded effect, unless of course

that's the look that you're going for,

which is totally cool.

Okay, now I'm gonna show you guys

how to fake calligraphy if you don't wanna

buy a brush pen.

So I'm just using a normal fineliner

and I've gone ahead and done some

cursive lettering, and what you're gonna do is,

on the downstroke of the letter,

you're going to add an extra stroke

next to it.

So it's gonna make it look thicker

on one side of the letter.

You can kind of pretend to redraw the word,

and then on the downstroke add that extra stroke.

You can even leave it hollow like this,

it kinda looks cool.

But if you want to really emulate

the brush pen effect, you just have to

fill in those spaces, and there you go,

you have your very own faux calligraphy.

Obviously, it takes a little bit more time,

but I think it looks pretty accurate.

So this was kind of like a quick overview,

but if you wanna learn even more about lettering,

I definitely recommend you check out Skillshare.

I personally learned how to do lettering

through their website.

It's the best.

If you don't know what it is, it's an online

learning community with over 15,000 classes

in design, photo and more.

You can take a class, you can teach one,

and it's only $10 a month for a premium membership

with unlimited access to classes on mobile and offline.

I've mentioned Skillshare before because

I really do believe in what they're doing

and I love their platform so much,

which is why I partnered up with them again

to give you guys a free two-month trial

for the first 250 people to click the link

in the description box.

Definitely check them out if you're interested

in learning new skills.

It's honestly such a great resource,

you will not regret it.

All right, guys, so those were all

of my personal tips and tricks

for hand lettering and calligraphy.

I hope you guys learned something.

If you wanna follow me on Instagram

and see more of my art in calligraphy

and all that jazz, you can follow me

at AmandaRachLee and at AmandaRachDoodles.

But other than that, make sure you check

the description box.

I will have a ton of important links

and details there including all of the materials

and supplies that I used in this video.

And while you're there, you might as well

just click that little bell button

so you're notified every time I post a new video.

I hope you have an awesome day,

and I will talk to you in my next video.

Bye, guys.

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