Tag Your Art Journal with This Letter Style

Top to bottom:
Steps 1, 3, 4, and 6.

cate pratoA while back I mentioned how I hesitated to write while art journaling because I hate my handwriting. But, given that I always have something to say, I was looking for ways to form letters in alternative and artsy ways.

A lot of readers chimed in to say that they, too, hate their handwriting and could sympathize. So I've been keeping my eye out for creative types of hand lettering and I'm pleased to bring you a little tutorial on making balloon letters, courtesy of the amazing Alisa Burke.

A lot of Alisa's mixed-media art is inspired by graffiti, and her balloon writing mimics that style.

All you need is a pencil, marker, acrylic paint, and a piece of canvas or paper.

How to Make Balloon Letters
By Alisa Burke

1. Begin by picking a simple word. Sketch your word in light pencil on the fabric, letting the letters touch and overlap each other. Outline the letters with a thick marker.

2. Using the thick marker, highlight one side of each letter; this will begin to add extra dimension.

3. Mix acrylic paint in the color of your choice with a little white acrylic paint. Using a paintbrush, fill the letters with color.

4. Mix white paint to create different shades, working your way from dark to light in each of the letters. Fill in all of the letters with color.

5. Use the paint to add a wash of color around the word.

6. Finish by outlining the word with black marker for even more contrast.

The best part of this tutorial is that you can make these letters without hanging over the side of a bridge or scaling a freight train car by the light of the moon. Unless you want to, of course.

On the other hand, Alisa's new book with bonus DVD, Sew Wild: Creating with Stitch and Mixed Media, does encourage you to create freely, unencumbered by stodgy rules. So maybe a little art journaling by moonlight is something you should try. (Stay off the trains and bridges, though, OK?)

P.S. I think even I can accomplish this kind of artful lettering. Do you have a go-to lettering style or technique? Tell us about it in the comments section below.


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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