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The Ink for Lettering

Monday, 29 February 2016
While it's probably no secret around this blog that I have a bit of a love for hand lettering. It's been going on for around two years now and I'm happy with how I've improved over the time. I'm still not the best but I'm happy to post my work over the internet so that's saying something. Over the time I've tried out a lot of pens, brushes, inks, combinations of all three and more so I'm not an expert but I'm pretty comfortable with what I currently use. Hand lettering is quite the 'in thing' around the internet these days and if it's something you're looking to get into I thought I'd share some of my favourite utensils. (Utensils is so not the right word.)

Anyways my Winsor & Newton watercolour palette was the first thing I'd tried out. I felt a little uncomfortable spending so much on a little palette but it's still going strong two years later so I'm okay with the price now! I still use the brush that came with the palette it's that good. With this you're able to go as light or dark as you like, it's not going to be full on black but sometimes dark greys are much better than black as you can see more of the texture, as seen above. With the wetter substance you're able to flow easily across the page, I do recommend a watercolour paper if you're wanting to work with very diluted pigments. 
Tombow pens are the pen for hand lettering, you'll see them recommended by all the best hand letterers. They create great curves and come with a fine liner which you can use to tidy up edges. Personally it's not my favourite pen but it does the job and lasts a long time compared to others, this is just me though as I much prefer working with brushes and wet substances rather than pens. 
Everyone's had a pack of these at some point in their lives, $10 for around 15 pens is a great deal and they're every colour you can ever need. I recently discovered that these pens aren't actually that bad at lettering, while they're not the best they do give a nice texture and if you're not wanting incredibly thin and thick lines they work well. Definitely great for a starter if you already have them lying around.
Another recent discovery and I have loved this pen to death. It's gotten to the stage where it's starting to go 'fluffy', if you've experienced fluffiness in felt pens you know what I mean, which kind of does effect the lettering above. Before the fluffiness it was great though just as good if not better than the tombow, it just doesn't last as long which is a shame.
My favourite thing to use for lettering is proper ink and a size 5 rounded brush. I love the effect it makes and it flows so nicely that you get all the natural flicks. As it doesn't dry too fast you're also able to go back into it and edit aspects of your lettering if you're not happy, for example I probably would've smoothed out the bottom curve of the S and the tips of the Y above for a more solid look.

The key thing is if you're wanting to get into lettering, just do it. I may prefer working with ink and watercolours over pens but you may be different. So grab any pen/brush you have and go for it, if you're not feeling that then try another one, hopefully this post will help you with that. Practice and practice until your hand is dead. If you want some ideas of what to practice the #BrushLetterPracticeChallenge on Instagram is a great starter, @randomolive makes up a word a day for you to complete and every month has a theme. Check out the hashtag and her account for more information and good luck!