I decided to randomly explore some videos and blog posts on hand lettering to have a better idea of the open resources available on the topic.
The huge majority of the videos and blog posts on how to learn hand lettering mentioned that we must make downstrokes thick and upstrokes thin. This is ridiculous, I thought. I can make the strokes as thick or thin as I want!
Not convinced of the veracity of this information, I decided to contact one of the lettering designers who, in my opinion, makes the most beautiful hand lettering strokes. Even though Argoos Letters’ hand lettering upstrokes are thinner than his downstrokes, his hand lettering style is unique and gorgeous!
And his Instagram feed is carefully designed:
This was his advice on how to learn hand lettering:
Indeed, Argoos Letters, I do not want to “‘clone’ somebody else’s handwriting”. Bingo! Now I know what to do: avoid practice sheets and learn how hand lettering works.
And how does hand lettering work?
Well, there are basic strokes that must be learned: downstrokes, upstrokes, c-strokes, and o-strokes. Elizabeth, from the Destination Decoration YouTube channel, explains how to make these strokes:
Jennifer Coyle also explains the basic strokes but uses technical vocabulary:
I love watching this short Instagram video showing basic upstrokes and downstrokes:
Great lessons! Now, it is my turn. I decided to start with brush lettering, so I tried all the brushes I had at home to identify my favourite:
I had more control of the strokes with the small Crayola marker, but I really enjoyed the smooth feeling of the Winsor & Newton brush (green) on the paper.
I was not very patient that day for making upstrokes and downstrokes, and I found it extremely hard to do c-strokes and o-strokes. I was disappointed. For some reason, I thought hand lettering was going to be the easiest and most fun part of my day. It wasn’t! Hand lettering is hard!
I had some fun, though, with the letters “l” and “u”, as you can see here:
If the video above does not work on your screen, click here.
Lessons of the day:
- Practice makes perfect; there is no short way.
- I need to be more patient; there is no need to rush.
- I want to find a way to make the process of learning hand lettering less arduous.