Using Tombow Markers for Light-Hearted Lettering

Art journaling with creative lettering is a beautiful expression of what we love about life. It gives us room to expand on words that move us, whether they’re from famous quotes, favorite movie lines, inspirational poetry, or even a current catch phrase that resonates with us. Recently, I used hand lettering techniques that I learned from Joanne Sharpe to create an accordion-style miniature art journal spread to celebrate my newest love–my ukulele.

Creative Hand Lettering | Joanne Sharpe,
Fun and creative lettering examples from Joanne Sharpe!

My husband gave me a ukulele for Christmas after I mentioned that I’d like to have one, just for fun (doesn’t everything start out that way?). I had been picking around on my long-neglected acoustic guitar for months, and so when this uke came into my life, my fingers were newly calloused and ready to pick. I’ve played it almost every day, and I can’t even tell you how much joy it brings me.

Creative lettering | Cherie Dawn Haas,

I decided to use a fun phrase that is on one of my son’s T-shirts, “Music is my nature,” for this lettering exercise. Before I began, I penciled in some ideas on how I would compose the words and images so that I would have a visual before laying down the ink.

I started with a torn strip of Strathmore watercolor paper and folded it to make the accordion booklet, as Joanne showed me during the filming of her art video workshop Inspirational Art Journals.

Creative Hand Lettering | Joanne Sharpe,
This is an example of the awesome lettering techniques you’ll learn with Joanne. She calls this family “soupy serifs.”

For the first section of the booklet, I chose a small selection of Tombow markers to draw a heart and the clef note. I used a small paintbrush dipped in water to pull and soften the background color.

In the second and third sections, I began lettering in the phrase. I knew I wanted the words “music” and “nature” to stand out, so I made them as big as I could with the brush tip of the marker, and used the fine tip to write the words “is” and “my.”

In the last section, I drew a sun shape and used a stencil to draw the rabbit.

I then went over some of the letters with a different colored marker and filled in the remaining white space, using a wet brush as I did in the first section to spread the ink.

Lastly, I used a charcoal pencil to draw a squiggly border around all four sections, and voila!

Cherie Dawn Haas and Joanne Sharpe |
Joanne both educated and entertained me – we had so much fun on the set of her lettering workshops!

Drawing creative letters is something that I love to do, especially after learning so many awesome tips from Joanne. I was honored to be her student in two video workshops on hand lettering. Watch the videos (and save big) when you get the Letter Love Ultimate Collection, which is only available at North Light Shop.

Use the comment section below to fill in the blank and then use this phrase to create your own art journal spread: __________ is my nature!

Yours in art,
Cherie Dawn Haas



Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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