Arts & Culture

New Year, New Letter

Happy New Year everyone!

Can you actually believe it? It’s 2019, which means we have survived half of the school year!

In previous articles, we have covered equipment and all the basic techniques for hand-lettering. Now it’s finally the time to have some fun!

Let’s start with a common material that almost everyone has in their house–watercolors!

I love using watercolors for many of my projects. I like the gentle and subtle texture, which is unlike gouache that gives a strong and define texture. I’ll be walking you guys through how I create lettering using watercolor and fixed tip pen, and of course you can apply these skills to other materials as well!

1. Decide what and how you want to write.

Usually I already have this in mind unless I’m just messing around or practicing. For this example, I’m planning to create a tiny poster for my friend that has the Bible verse Psalm 139:14 on it, using cursive and some decorative flowers on the corner.

2. Draft it out.

After I know the plan for the project, I will sketch out where I want to write each letter on the paper using a pencil. I will also draw a rough draft of the flowers that I would use to decorate the poster and make it look less plain. This process usually takes the longest for me, because I need to experiment with the words by moving them around, considering what words I want to make stand out, and determining whether the words are balanced evenly on the paper.

the rough draft

Oftentimes I end up revising the draft over and over until I finally get the desired effect. Yup, just like writing an essay!

3. Letter!

Once I finalize my draft, I start writing the letters, very slowly and as meticulously as possible. I usually use a Sakura water brush pen since it is convenient, but you can use any watercolor brush you like. Sometimes mistakes happen in spite of your cautiousness. If it’s a minor mistake, like a dot of watercolor paint that could be covered by an additional flower, I’ll leave it. However, if it greatly influences the overall look, like a misspelled word, I would start it all over again. Since watercolor is fairly subtle it can be hard to read sometimes, so if I use watercolor to write the letters I would layer the words using a fix tipped pen, which creates another fun effect while making the piece more legible. This time I decided to be more minimalistic.

lettering it out

4. Decorate!

Now that I have finished writing my letters, I will start decorating and finalizing the project. Usually for something like a flower, I would search Pinterest to find examples of watercolor flowers and use them as a guide to draw.

decorative elements

5. Enjoy your final result!

And now I’m done! I’ll be sending the poster to my friend who will use it to decorate her room.

final result

And that’s how I made the poster! One of the best perks of hand-lettering Bible verses is that it gives you the opportunity to meditate on the verse while you draw it out on the paper.
For this month, I have a small challenge for my readers: letter Psalms 139:14! Think about how we are wonderfully made by God and take time to ponder how can we praise Him this year through our actions and words. How can we glorify Him more in this new year? Post your results on Instagram using #rosyhandlettering! I will have one post featured at the end of the article for next month. Till then!

7 Comments

  1. This is so beautiful!

  2. That looks so pretty and professional! Great job as always, Rose!

  3. Glad you like the article!

  4. Your art is so beautiful!! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  5. So pretty!!