Art Journal Every Day: Top Ten Tips for Artful Lettering
July 29, 2011
If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, all the posts can be found here. Please read this post first. There is a flickr group for sharing right here. Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day! No need to finish anything or even like it. Just play! You can join the linky list for July right here. The August linky list will go up on August 1.
Today we have a fantastic guest post from Joanne Sharpe about artful lettering. I had the chance to meet Joanne at the CREATE retreat in Costa Mesa, CA where her lettering class was entirely sold out! She is teaching the class again at the CREATE event in Chicago next month and once again, it is sold out! Enjoy!
“TOP TEN TIPS for ARTFUL LETTERING” by Joanne Sharpe
Our art journals are created with our heartful creative expressions that reflect our thoughts, our secrets, dreams and play. As we experiment with mixed media, drawing, painting, collaging in these journals it’s fun to play with different lettering styles and tools. Develop your own handwriting into a signature font.
I've had a love affair with lettering since I was in Catholic grade school where the sweet nuns made sure we had perfect penmanship every single day. As an art form, I began collecting quotes and journaling with creative lettering in my teens. Over the years my “font” has evolved and as my signature style is easily recognized. It’s nothing magical, it’s comfortable, my interpretation of the alphabet and creatively writing consistently in my own style.
If you want unique lettering on your journal pages, begin with your very own handwriting. Get comfortable with making letters and writing words and quotes. Explore and experiment with new pens and supplies to write with. Each tool gives you a different look and feel. It takes practice, practice, practice just as if you were learning to play the piano! Try making a new alphabet where all the letters have a common element. You must make “artful letters” every day!
Try my “TOP TEN TIPS for ARTFUL LETTERING!
Find your own “inner font” on ten new journal pages:
1) SHARPIES: Write with a variety of colors as well as the classic black. Practice adding a swirl to the ends of each letter. Sharpie has some really fun color sets on the market.
2) PITT PENS: This is a permanent pen that comes in Big Brush, Fine, and Super Fine for journaling, making it easy to enlarge and thicken your letters.
3) EYE DROPPER LETTERING: Use the eyedropper in your ink bottle to letter words.
4) CALLIGRAPHY MARKERS: Use a Faber-Castell or Sakura calligraphy marker for a beautiful italic font.
5) WHITE PENS: “The (secret) Perfect White Pen” is the Signo by Uniball. This is my favorite, and I use it pretty much on most of my journal pages and is the highlight that makes everything pop. The trick for getting consistent bold white lines is to write very slowly.
6) TOMBOW MARKERS: Write with the brush tip, then soften the letters with a water brush exposing the vivid water colors.
7) DIMENSIONAL PAINT: Use the thin bottle tip to write letters and words, let dry. Paint over with watercolor or twinkling H20s.
8) PAINTED LETTERS: A good old fashioned ROUND paintbrush loaded up with your favorite colored ink makes a rich expression.
9) OIL PASTELS: Write your words and watercolor over the page.
10) GEL PENS: Who doesn’t love going back into the 80’s with a hoard of gel pens! The Sakura line has an extensive colorful paletter of gel, sparkle and glaze pens that always add shine to a page.
Mix and match your lettering tools when illustrating journal pages with words. Experiment with the various effects from varieties of pens and paint. I have to say it again, when developing your lettering style, remember that it takes practice, practice, practice! Write artfully every day to create a font that is “artfully you”!
"Whimsical art maker" Joanne Sharpe is a nationally recognized artist, licensing designs to the crafts, fabric and giftware markets. She is known for her brand of distinctive hand lettering and use of bright, bold colors. You can also find Joanne teaching art journaling and lettering classes nationwide. A native New Yorker, she resides in Rochester, NY with her family of 4 kids, 3 bengal cats and a spunky golden retreiver.
Come visit me at my blog: