Brush Lettering on CreativeLive-Class Review

***This post contains affiliate links. To learn more about our affiliate links click here***

Yesterday I had the chance to watch three brush lettering classes by Laura Worthington on CreativeLive. Laura is a font designer and expert hand letterer. The classes were Brush Lettering Basics, Flourishes and Ornamentation, and Putting Together a Final Piece. Each of these classes can be purchased individually or you can buy the bundle that includes all three at a discount. I really enjoyed following along and doing the exercises along with the class, at least as much of the exercises as Miss Hannah would allow in between nursing and snuggling.

Brush Lettering Basics

Brush Lettering Class on CreativeLive| Smithsquad.com| Online educational resources| Class review
Practicing basic letters with my name.

In the first class Laura discussed the basic tools she uses as well as how to practice the basic strokes and letter forms. The brush that Laura used during the class and that she gave to the seven studio audience members was a Pentel Color Brush pen which can be purchased from Amazon or Blick Art. On Amazon there was also an option for a set of 18 different colors. She also had both regular and tracing paper as well as scissors and tape. When at home she also uses digital tools to refine and vectorize her artwork. I personally was using the Sakura Koi watercolor brush pens and look forward to also trying out drawing directly in Corel Painter, Photoshop, and Illustrator with my Wacom tablet.

After showing us her supplies she started doing simple strokes and shapes to help us get used to the was the brush feels. She showed the proper grip for both right and left handed artists as well as discussing how the motions were different from traditional writing. As a free download with the class she provided a paper with different lines indicating where the different parts of a letter should fall. She had us focus on light pressure on the upstrokes and heavy pressure on the downstrokes. After doing the basic practice strokes we moved on to doing letter forms, both lowercase and uppercase. The final project for this first class was to practice writing your name.

Brush Lettering Flourishes and Ornamentation

Brush Lettering Class on CreativeLive| Smithsquad.com| Online educational resources| Class review
Flourishing my name

After a short break we moved on to the second class on flourishes and ornamentation. When you purchase the class there is a free download of several sample flourishes that you can practice tracing to get the feel for them. After practicing some of these flourishes Laura had us work on adding flourishes to our own name. As a demonstration she did my name! First she drew the name and added some flourishes in pencil then when she was happy with the shape she went over it with the brush. My own attempts aren’t nearly as nice as hers, but it was definitely fun.

Brush Lettering Putting Together a Final Piece

Brush Lettering Class on CreativeLive| Smithsquad.com| Online educational resources| Class review
My work in progress, still have a long way to go.

The third class focused on how to create a complete piece of artwork with a short phrase. She had each of the students choose a phrase to work on and talked through each one with them pointing out which words to draw focus to and a few suggestions on how to do that. She then had each person to several thumbnail sketches of their chosen phrase. From there they chose a thumbnail and started drawing a larger version of their final choice. She cautioned that it often takes MANY tries to get to the final product. This is where she pulled out the scissors and tape and showed us how she would take the best parts from each attempt and pull them together to then trace over for her final piece. I decided to practice with the phrase “let your faith be bigger than your fear” which will become the focal point of one of the pages in my Pregnancy and Birth Coloring Book.

I have been trying to teach myself lettering from the book “Modern Calligraphy” as well as a few worksheets form “The Postman’s Knock“. They have both been EXCELLENT resources, but it was completely different to actually watch Laura doing the lettering and talking through her thought process. I think that my books and worksheets will be even more useful now as I am better able to apply what they teach. I am excited to continue to hone my skills with lettering and be able to offer it as a service to my clients soon.

Are you an expert or do you want to learn brush lettering? What are your favorite resources? I’d love to see some links to your work in the comments!

Zentangle- How to Get Started

**This post contains affiliate links**

It’s no secret that I have fallen in love with doodle art, more commonly known as Zentangle. The idea behind Zentangling is that you learn to create simple repetitive patterns then integrate those patterns into a completed art piece. It can be very calming for the spirit and mind to sit and draw repeated patterns. It also exercises the creativity muscles as you learn new patterns as well as decide what patterns will work well together for each piece.

Zentangle doodle drawing|http://emilyjartist.com|meditation|adult coloring
My First Zentangle

What I do is more Zentangle inspired than a true Zentangle. I like to take a quote or an image and add patterns to it for additional visual interest. In addition you can add color and/or shading for very dramatic results. This is the method I am using to create the adult coloring book I am currently working on about pregnancy and labor.

mother and child zentangle|http://emilyjartist.com| inspired art|pregnancy and childbirth|pen and ink|black and white

Getting started in Zentangle is really easy, and can be very inexpensive. You can google “Zentangle pattern step out” and get tons of free instructions on how to draw the different patterns. As far as supplies paper and a black pen are really all you need to get started. Here is what I personally started with.

Zentangle Gem|http://emilyjartist.com|Koh-i-noor woodless colored pencils|Watercolor paper
My first attempt at coloring a gem. I do NOT like this watercolor paper, way too rough.

As I’ve gotten more into it I’ve purchased a few more supplies and books to add to what I can do. As I am trying to incorporate thoughts, quotes, and motivational sayings into my work I have also started learning about modern calligraphy.

Of course my wishlist never ends as well! These are the supplies I would love to try out and add to my collection.

I may or may not have just added a few of these things to my Amazon cart while making this post. Shhh I won’t tell on you if you don’t tell on me!

What are your favorite supplies or what is on your artist wishlist?