Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Artist's Hand: Lettering Part 4

Before we dive into the actual creation of personal fonts from our handwriting on Friday, I wanted to offer up some basic tips to keep in mind when you sit down to either practice or add stuff for real in your journal.

Slow Down!  
There's no rush.  Set aside time to letter just as you do would journaling. 

Don't worry about creating perfectly formed, spaced, and straight lettering!  It's not natural (excepting professional calligraphers) and sucks all the fun out of it.  To this end, be careful about overusing your pencil eraser.

Practice, practice, practice!
This cliché has been drilled into us since elementary school but it still holds true: the more you letter, the better.  In my experience, students' two biggest obstacles are lack of self-confidence and lack of practice, NOT a lack of innate skill.  Practicing helps ease the inner critic.

Play, play, play!
Create your very own collection of fonts unique to your personality and lettering needs.  Have fun!  Letter a favorite saying or silly newspaper titles.  Pick a holiday randomly and develop a font for it.  Make up a holiday for that matter...

Note:  When I say "font," I mean a set of letters that has a consistent style and form.  Your natural handwriting is your base "font."  On Friday, we'll start manipulating that handwriting to develop new permutations of your basic letterforms.  These new fonts will be useful for adding quotes, titles, and even short paragraphs in your journals.  (For longer passages, I recommend just using your regular handwriting as the words will flow much better if you're not trying to make your letters fancy whilst thinking.)


  1. Thanks again Michelle.

  2. Thank you, thank you! Wise words as always!

  3. Can't wait for the next lettering installment, Michelle! This series is awesome!!! Hugs, Terri xoxo

  4. I agree with all of this, relax, play and write, write, write. And maybe, one day, you'll even learn to love (at least like) your own handwriting. I think I do (kind of) these days... :-)


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Thank you again for the time you've spent here. Most sincerely, Michelle

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