Lettering With Intention and Watercolor | Mark Making Tips

Swoopy, curvy, free form…these are the words that Emily Cromwell uses to describe her contemporary approach to handmade lettering. In her new Lettering Lesson (download it here for only $3.99), Emily shows you how to use a water brush to create expressive letters that are above and beyond your everyday handwriting. Here’s Emily’s enthusiastic preview of the lesson, including an awesome tip about applying pressure with your water brush. Enjoy! ~Cherie

Mark making with Emily Cromwell | ClothPaperScissors.com
Lettering example by Emily Cromwell

Lettering with Watercolor | Mark Making Ideas

by Emily Cromwell

Lettering with Emily Cromwell | ClothPaperScissors.com
Mark making ideas

Working with watercolor is so much fun! Not only does it create a beautiful finished piece, it’s also very forgiving and easy to work with. I really enjoy lettering with watercolor because it’s so simple to create letterforms. If you ever do mess up (and it’s okay, it happens to everyone!), you can just take some water and go over it, and it’s pretty much gone. In that sense, it’s much easier to work with watercolor than traditional pen and ink calligraphy, since ink is often permanent.

The possibilities of lettering with watercolor are infinite. I wish I could tell you all of the things you could do with this technique, but I’ll stick with just a few–my favorites! From greeting cards to art prints to business cards to wedding stationery, you can create anything you set your mind to. Watercolor adds a unique handmade look and feel to any project, and it’s sure to grab lots of wanted attention.

I enjoy lettering with an ombre/gradient look that uses two or more colors to create beautiful multicolor lettering. My personal color combo favorites are:

1. Different shades of blue. I’m talking sky blue, ocean aqua, and a nice navy or ultramarine. I use this color combination when I want to create a lettering piece that makes you think of the ocean or summer.

2. Red, orange, and yellow. Sunset colors! This color combo never gets old, and it comes out absolutely beautiful every time.

My favorite tool to use when I’m lettering with watercolor is the Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush. This tool comes in several different sizes, so feel free to experiment.

I want to leave you with one piece of advice. When you are lettering, try to remember the natural flow of a letter. You’re probably saying, “Emily, what are you talking about?” When we’re just writing and not lettering, we write without thinking. But lettering requires a bit of thought. You want to use more pressure on a downwards stroke, and less pressure on an upward stroke. This is just a good thing to keep in mind to help you create natural looking letters, and it adds some dimension, which is always a good thing!

I hope you have a ton of fun lettering. And remember–practice, practice, and more practice! Happy lettering! ~Emily


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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