April Lettering Lesson: Lettering with a Painting Pen

Have you ever been intrigued by a new mixed-media tool, but you just can’t bring yourself to try it on your own? That’s one reason I love taking classes—they’re the perfect place to test out new supplies and techniques. The same is true for Cloth Paper Scissors Lettering Lessons, especially the new April lesson on using lettering with a painting pen.

I’ve been aware of this tool, but never had enough confidence to try it on my own. Art Lesson Volume 8: The Fine-Line Painting Pen by Kari McKnight Holbrook is the perfect incentive to try it out. Kari shows you everything that you need to know to start creating unique, beautiful lettering with this pen. This tool is unlike anything else, and your lettering will never be the same.

Cloth Paper Scissors Art Lesson Volume 8: The Fine-Line Painting Pen
Discover how easy it is to create beautiful lettering with a painting pen in this Art Lesson with Kari McKnight Holbrook.

Kari takes you through every facet of lettering with a painting pen, from achieving the best consistency of ink or paint, to loading the tool, cleaning it, and creating stunning lettering. Her instructions are so clear and precise that I was up and running in less than 10 minutes. How’s that for instant gratification?

The metal pen, which has a small reservoir that holds the ink, is inexpensive and comes with a little needle cleaner, so all you’ll need is ink or paint and thinner, some paper, and you’re good to go. I mixed some Liquitex and Daler-Rowney acrylic inks with Golden Artist Colors GAC 100 on an old CD case and loaded the reservoir of the pen with a small paintbrush, just like Kari recommends in the lesson. I’ll be honest—I didn’t think my first attempt would work, and that I’d have to keep mixing and testing until I got the right consistency. Nope. Got it on the first go. And it wasn’t beginner’s luck—each time I loaded the pen, it worked perfectly. Nothing dripped from the bottom, and the ink flowed perfectly.

Mixing acrylic ink and medium for lettering with a painting pen
It’s easy to mix acrylic ink and medium to create the perfect consistency for lettering with a painting pen.

The painting pen glides like no pen or marker I’ve tried before, and the slight color variations on the page are a fantastic bonus. I worked in a Ranger Dylusions Creative Journal, which has heavyweight, smooth pages that were perfectly suited to this pen. The pen’s reservoir looks small, but it holds enough to fill the better part of a page with  lettering or doodling without reloading. As Kari suggests, I gave the pen a test run by filling up a page with doodles, trying different colors and moving the pen in a variety of ways. She even has a great technique for loading the pen that lends a gorgeous ombre look.

Doodling to get comfortable with a painting pen
Doodling with the painting pen is a great way to get comfortable with it, and see what it can do.

When drawing large letters, I sometimes have a problem with getting lines straight. Not so when lettering with a painting pen. Something about its sturdiness makes it possible to do bold lines and tiny details easily. It also creates the most perfect dots I’ve ever seen.

I tried the lettering style in the lesson, and in seconds I was in the zone, creating flourishes and embellishments. Kari gives you lots of ideas for different designs, and you’ll be inspired to come up with your own as well.

Lettering with a painting pen
Creating lettering with the painting pen will put you in the zone in no time.

Our Lettering Lesson downloads are only $3.99, and each comes with a companion video; this one features Kari working with the pen in real time. Click here and you can get started right away. Be sure to check out these other great lettering resources!

Cloth Paper Scissors Lettering Lessons Volume 4: Creative Cursive Hand Lettering by Jodi Ohl
Create fun, dynamic lettering with your own handwriting in Lettering Lessons Volume 4: Creative Cursive Hand Lettering by Jodi Ohl.
Art Journaling Live 2: Easy Lettering With Julie Fei-Fan Balzer video download
Discover ways to build your lettering library with these fun techniques in the video Art Journaling Live 2: Easy Lettering With Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.
Creative Lettering Workshop by Lesley Riley
Your favorite quotes come alive when you hand letter them with techniques rom Creative Lettering Workshop by Lesley Riley.


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