The Start of my Brush Lettering Journey
Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a relaxing three hours learning how to do brush pen calligraphy. I was at a workshop run by the very lovely Jen, who owns Toasty Type.
I used to be a primary teacher, so I my handwriting is a mix of all the different handwriting schemes that I've had to teach over the years. It means that it's legible but it's also very boring.
I love wrapping presents, using kraft paper and lots of ribbon, but the overall effect has always been let down by my tags. The names are clear, but they have always lacked that special something.
So, I decided to do something about it. And that's how I found myself sitting at a table with about 8 other people, feeling nervous about my (lack of) pen skills!
We spent the first half of the workshop doing drills. This may sound boring, but it was actually very relaxing. Jen demonstrated all of the different shapes we had to make, which are the foundations of letters. It reminded me of teaching a handwriting lesson at school, but this time I was the pupil. It also allowed us to get comfortable with using our brush pens. I'd tried a brush pen before several times, but didn't know what to do with it, but now I do!
After a quick break, we moved on to forming letters. This was tricky, but I could see how all of the drill shapes fitted together to form them. This was something that I definitely need to keep practising.
For the last part of the workshop, Jen let us loose on different types of brush pens, and provided us with cards and more practise paper. It was great to be able to try out what I'd learned, however, the results weren't too promising... yet!
I would really recommend this workshop if you're interested in brush lettering. It was a beginners one (Jen also does intermediate workshops) and it gave me a good basis to start my brush lettering journey.
Since the workshop, I've been practising most days, usually in odd 5 minutes here and there on scraps of paper (I've always got good quality paper off cuts lying around from making fortune tellers). I've been experimenting with forming letters in different ways and trying out lots of words to see what works and what doesn't!
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself with two birthday presents to wrap... and I gave the tags my best shot. I've still got a long long way to go (it was difficult writing on the rough texture), but they are more interesting than what I would have done with a 'normal' pen in the past. I'd call that a win!
If you'd like to find out more about Jen's workshops, or to book a place, go to Toasty Type