I’m building up quite the library of calligraphy and lettering books.

The latest one to be added to my collection is Grace Song’s Brush Pen Lettering: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Lettering Decorative Scripts and Creating Inspired Styles.

brush pen lettering 1

Brush Pen Lettering by Grace Song

I have an on-off relationship with brush lettering that has been more off than on recently.

I was introduced to it by Joyce Lee, from Artsynibs, who was kind enough to recommend a brush pen to get me started way back in November 2015.

Earlier this year, I took part in several online brush lettering challenges organised by The Happy Ever Crafter, as well as a brush lettering workshop with The Crafthood.

But it still hasn’t quite clicked with me, although that may be about to change.

A perfect step-by-step guide 

Grace’s book was sent to me by Ulysses Press and it has spurred me on to pick up my pens and start practising again.

brush pen lettering 3

Guidelines!

I love the conversational tone of the book – it’s almost like having Toronto-based Grace there with you.

I’m also very happy about the inclusion of guidelines. I love guidelines – I’m a traditional calligrapher at heart and I panic if I don’t have an x-height!

These guidelines are set with an x-height of 15mm for large tip pens and 7mm for small tip pens.

Tools and supplies are covered in the first chapter of the book, along with how to hold a brush pen and how to position your body and paper.

Lettering is drawing, not writing

My first lightbulb moment came on p10 – lettering is an action that requires the whole arm, as opposed to day-to-day handwriting, where your fingers do most of the work.

brush pen lettering 4

The staircase method

“Making this simple but profound mind-shift – that lettering is not writing, it is drawing – will have a great impact on your progress,” Grace points out a few pages later.

The step-by-step format of the book takes you on a logical journey from basic strokes, drills and making connections to letterforms, letter combinations and words.

There is a useful troubleshooting section and I particularly liked the staircase method for practising words, something I had never come across before.

Practice makes progress

Throughout the early chapters, Grace warns against trying to jump too far ahead.

“With lettering, it’s all about building a strong foundation and progressing in small steps so that you’ll be more than ready when it’s time to build words,” she writes.

brush pen lettering 2

Testing out my brush pens

So I’ll be paying particular attention to chapter four – Practice Makes Progress – before moving on to the latter stages of the book, which covers embellishing your lettering, developing your own style, flourishing, layouts, faux calligraphy and DIY projects.

Grace also advocates sharing your work via social media, particularly Instagram (you can follow her @gracesongcalligraphy), but not to compare yourself with others.

Brush Pen Lettering: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Lettering Decorative Scripts and Creating Inspired Styles is now available in the UK and retails at around £11.99.

I have a copy to give away, courtesy of Ulysses Press. Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter. The closing date is Sunday, September 30.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 Comments

  1. Brenda on September 23, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    A brush lettering workbook is a nice giveaway, thanks

  2. Colette on September 23, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I’ve loved seeing all the different people doing brush lettering on instagram and I want to learn!

  3. Carol Hutchinson on September 24, 2017 at 6:35 am

    I love the style of brush lettering and am keen to give it a go !

  4. Meg on September 24, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Would love to master this technique for my wedding invites xo !

  5. Stuart Forster on September 25, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Calligraphy is a gorgeous art. Unfortunately my handwriting is a scrawl. I’m in awe of people who practice calligraphy well.

  6. Stuart Forster on September 25, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Calligraphy is a gorgeous art. Unfortunately my handwriting is a scrawl. I’m in awe of people who practice calligraphy well.

  7. Wendy Ashurst on September 25, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Bought a pen and would love to learn how to use it!

Leave a Comment