For the first time on my blog, I am sharing a mini calligraphy tutorial: November. I am sharing how I lettered my November heading in my November Bullet journal setup 2021. Below, and in the video, I introduce some basic calligraphy strokes (without going into too much detail). This is primarily for learning how to letter November. The basics carry into calligraphy as whole, but I am breaking it down by sharing how to letter November. I use a variety of brush pens and do a brief overview of the different pens as well. If you don’t have any brush pens, I’ve got you covered too! So. let’s get started! (To see the actual lettering process, please check out my YouTube video).
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Calligraphy Lettering Supplies
I wanted to share a list of the different pens I used for you to check out. I like them all for very different reason but we will get into that next.
- Archer and Olive Calliograph Brush Pens (NML10 for 10%)
- Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens in Grey and Black
- Pentel Touch Sign Pens in Blue and Sky Blue
- Tombow Dual Brush Pens in 476 and 555
- Crayola Supertips
- PaperMate Flair in Black
- Tombow Mono Drawing Pens
- Sakura Gelly Roll in white size 08
- Archer and Olive Dot Grid Notepad in white
Calligraphy Basic Strokes
I just want to clarify that when I talk about calligraphy in this post, I am specifically referring to modern calligraphy brush lettering. There is a difference between traditional calligraphy and brush lettering, and we are learning about the latter.
Brush lettering is made up of individual strokes. These strokes are then combined to form a letter. This is what makes brush lettering so different from other forms of lettering. It’s also what can make it the most challenging. I won’t be going into too much detail here about the different strokes but I do share them below.
The number 1 thing to remember about brush lettering is to have thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes. Horizontal lines traditionally have thin strokes as well. This tip is what will help you the most in your modern calligraphy/lettering journey.
Different Brush Pens
As I mentioned above, I use different brush pens to give you an idea of what they look like. When I was learning, I loved the Fudenosuke from Tombow. It was easier to control and really emphasized how important controlling upstrokes and downstrokes are. They show every little error but it’s great when you’re learning. My other favourites are the Pentel Touch Brush Pens. They are a little more forgiving but still have a smaller tip to help with learning control.
Then, Archer and Olive came along and just blew me away. Yes I love their product and yes I am affiliated with them, but! But! These pens are amazing. The fine tip falls between a Fudenosuke and the Pentel, but a lot easier to control and a lot more forgiving! The bigger brush tip is bigger than a Pentel but much smaller than a Tombow Dual Brush Tip. Of course it all comes down to person preference. The Archer and Olive, and the Tombows are on the higher end of the budget spectrum, so it’s a bit of a leap of faith if you’re not sure if brush lettering is for you.
Because of these factors, I am also sharing how to “brush” letter with Crayola Supertips and then sharing some faux calligraphy. All of this is about lettering November, so that is the word I am focused on this month…
Mini Calligraphy Tutorial: November – Embelishments
It’s always great to have 2 similar colours, one darker than the other. It’s the easiest way to add a fun shadow effect. Of course, you can always use a grey marker, which I normally do. But adding a darker colour just gives it that extra flair. My other go to is to add white gel pen highlights (I always call them shadows on video but they’re highlights). I like to use an 08 and 10 size. If you are looking for a opaque white highlight, you have to make sure that the ink underneath is dried. Otherwise it’ll blend with the colour underneath.
Another personal preference is to outline my lettering – it finishes it nicely and makes it pop more. I will outline before adding shadows just to give it a cleaner look.
I hope you found some helpful tips and tricks throughout this post. To find out more about brush pens, I have some tutorials and reviews. My most popular is the Fudenosuke and Pentel Touch comparison. I am also linking my latest pen review that has a comparison chart to help you make a decision, if you are ready to commit to brush pens.
As always, thank you so much for your time today. If you would like to see more of these kinds of posts and videos, please let me know down in the comments below. I am working on something fun to share with you soon! So stay posted for that too!
Talk to you soon!
And I almost forgot! I am sharing a lettering sheet with you too. You can download that here: