Do you have a love-hate relationship with your brush pens? I did! I remember the first time I bought a pack of brush pens; I was into card making back then and I thought I'd use them to color some of my doodles and do some kind of "fancy writing" on my cards. I knew nothing (no techniques) about hand lettering back then, so of course I was horrified by the way my writing looked when I used them. So much that I neglected them till they dried out and became unusable.
Fast forward a few years later to 2015 when I bought a new set of black brush pens specifically for practicing my hand lettering. By this time, I had seen those lovely Instagram videos of people who made it look so easy. I tried them out and once again, I hated them.
I set them aside for a while and focused on using Sharpie fine tip pens for most of my lettering projects. I loved them, and I still do, but the day came when I didn't feel challenged by them anymore and was ready to face my fears. I picked up those brush pens and began to practice, pressing hard on the down strokes and going lighter on the up strokes. Aghhh - the frustration.
But I kept at it for a while and I soon realized that the next time I tried it, it was easier than the time before. The next day, the same thing happened. The process was a bit easier and the next thing I lettered looked slightly better than the thing I'd lettered minutes before. I also realized that not all brush pens are created equal and that some of them make my writing look better than others, most likely due to the combination of the softness / resistance in the brush and the natural amount of pressure in my hand as I write. In a matter of days, my lines began to look smoother and the thickness of my strokes became more uniform. My letters began to look more polished and in just a few weeks, I began to see my own style revealing itself to me.
How to overcome your hate / fear of brush pens:
I firmly believe that in order to overcome a fear or hate, you just have to face it and decide it will no longer hold you back. In this case, you really don't need to learn how to use a brush pen in order to start embellishing the world with your writing. There are many successful lettering artists out there who never use brush pens in their work. They use Sharpies, Micron Pens, iPads, chalk, etc. But if brush lettering is something you really want to explore, below are a few things you can do to help you break through the initial disappointment and discomfort:
And there you have it. It really is that easy. Trust me. I've been there. I also felt the same way about running. I hated it, and here I am now training for my first half marathon and actually enjoying it. I felt the same way about my new iPad Pro, I HATED the way my digital lettering looked, so much that I almost returned it. But in just 4 weeks, I've gone from the artwork you'll see in Workbook 1, to this faux chalkboard sign below. You just gotta put in the time, my friend. That's it.
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Hey there! So glad you stopped by - I have a cool freebie for you today!
As you may already know, I launched Lettering Bootcamp last week, an e-course designed to guide you through the process of exploring different techniques that will lead you to develop and refine your own lettering style. As part of the course, I've included assignments and daily lettering prompts for every day of the week.
Students are encouraged to interpret the lettering prompts either by lettering the word on its own or incorporating it into a sentence.
But, have you ever looked at a blank page and wondered what to do, or how to execute a lettering exercise? Of course, we all have! That is why I have decided to take it a step further and create weekly workbooks containing the lettering prompts for each day of the week, along with further instructions that will hopefully ignite your inspiration and unleash your creativity.
Some pages are lesson-specific, such as the one one above that refers to the section in which I teach how to create a bouncy effect in your lettering. Others are pretty general and a few don't include further instructions, just the word alone so that you may interpret as you wish. For the most part, this first workbook is easy enough for anyone starting in their lettering journey who has no real point of reference.
So, if you'd like to join in the fun, click on the button below to download your free lettering practice workbook! Just print and keep your pages in a binder so that you can look back a few weeks down the line and see your growth.
And remember, you don't need to have fancy shmancy writing tools to begin practicing your hand lettering skills. Sure, brush pens are nice, but never underestimate the power of a good ol' number 2 pencil.
Don't forget to share your work on Instagram and use the #letteringbootcamp hashtag on your pictures and tag me (@paisleyinparis) on your caption so that I may cheer you on!
Funny how a new pen can rekindle your love for a certain style or type of art you've enjoyed in the past. Over the past 6 months, I have been focusing on creating hand lettered mugs, a project I started (and thoroughly enjoy) as a means to help raise funds for my daughter's band competition trip to San Francisco.
Now that the orders have died down (sort of), I decided to get back to daily bedtime doodling rituals, and thought I"d experiment with a new pen. I shopping online, when I came across the Pentel Brush Pen. I've seen some of the beautiful art on Instagram that others have created with this pen, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Oh, em, gee - I love it!
It's so fun and easy to use. I find that the rough edges formed as the bristles begin to dry, give any playful lettering style a more artistic and intentional look.
The brush pen has also inspired me to start doodling in my sketchbook once again. Boy - have I missed it! In the coming weeks I'll be sharing more from my sketchbook and letting you know about the pros and cons of using this pen.
In the meantime, please allow me to share a bit of my joy, and download this free coloring page I created for you! It's ready to print, color and frame.
Hey paper lover! Sign up to receive all our free printables directly to your inbox!
It's not a 4th of July party without some red white and blue! Don't forget to get your printable banner and food flags while you're getting free menu planner form the Freebie Friday library. Now you're ready to plan, decorate, and enjoy your holiday!
Mother's Day is only two days away, and guess what? This year it falls on May 10th, same day as Mexican Mother's Day, so HURRAY for not having to remember to call my mom twice in one week to wish her a "happy Mother's Day" and then a "Feliz dia de Las Madres!"
So, have you bought anything or do you have anything planned for your mamacita linda? If you're like me, the answer is "OMG, I gotta go to the store!" Makes me want to give myself a chanclaso right now just for waiting till the last minute. But maybe you're a badass and you already have your mom's gift, you just didn't buy a greeting card for her because they're all mushy and your mom is an anti-mushy Mexican badass woman who gives awkward hugs because she doesn't want you to break down her protective emotional walls. Well, regardless, if you were raised by a Mexican woman, you know first hand that her favorite disciplinary weapon of choice was, and always will be, the chancla (yes, a sandal). Hasta te arde la espalda just thinking about it, right? Ouch...I think I see a little smoke coming out of there, haber, turn around. No, you're okay, I think it was just my vision getting cloudy with the tears of joy brought on by the memories of the many chanclasos I got which turned me into (you guessed it) the badass woman that I am today. This one's for you mom! No mushy cards for you, no way - guakala!
Some moms get Tony Awards. Others win Oscars or Golden Globes. Today, I am providing you with this printable file of "The Golden Chancla Award," which you can dedicate and lovingly present to the woman who gave you life, gave you love and gave you many consejos and chanclasos. Because let's face it, she deserves this beautiful homage as much as you deserved las chingas que te puso.
Get your free copy today! I bet she'll laugh and then smack you with it too.
It's only available as free printable through Saturday, May 9th - andale apurate, _get it now!
Card measures 5"x7", fits in a standard A7 envelope.
I've got a sweet treat for you today - printable recipe cards! They measure 4x6 inches, and are set up to print 2 on an 8.5"x11" sheet of card stock. These are great for sharing family recipes with friends, and they also make a great bridal shower gift. Simply fill-in the cards with a couple of your favorite recipes, package them together with a few baking supplies and viola! You have yourself a cute, usable gift, something both the bride and groom will enjoy over and over again.
Hi - I'm Dio!
Spanglish Lettering Artist
I am often asked what tools I use to create my work, so I’ve incorporated Amazon affiliate links in my posts to products I like, use and recommend. This means that if you click and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission paid for by Amazon, not the customer.
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