09/26/2016

My Top Five Hand Lettering Tools

My Top Five Lettering Tools | Native State Design Co.

1. Pentel brush pen

Easy to pull out and use quickly, clean, mobile, inexpensive. I always use black because I usually re-color my lettering on the computer. Get the exact one I use here. Or stop into your local art supply shop and ask if they have some.

2. Designer-quality gouache

I use Windsor & Newton brand and prefer it to other brand’s I’ve used. The color is rich and vibrant and one tube goes a long way. You can usually find these in your local art store, or you can buy them here.

3. Strathmore Sketchbook + Canson Marker paper

Strathmore – The pages aren’t technically for wet use, but it’s thick enough that a light application of watercolor doesn’t cause the paper to buckle. I also like how smooth the paper is because I’m able to get cleaner lines with my brush. It also doesn’t bleed. You can grab the exact one I use here.

Canson Marker Paper – I use this for tracing and calligraphy. The paper is super smooth and easy to work on. It’s also bright white—favorable for scanning. Here’s the one I have.

You may be surprised that I don’t have watercolor paper listed here. I almost never letter on watercolor paper. Number one it’s expensive to blow through on lettering practice. Number two the texture causes my brush to drag in a way I find frustrating. Number three I save the nice paper for paintings where I’ll be really loading the water on. With lettering there ends up being so little moisture compared to the amount watercolor paper is made for that it really isn’t necessary to spring for the 140 lb cold pressed paper. Also, I letter almost exclusively for digital purposes so my Strathmore sketchbook works just fine.

4. Large Watercolor Brush

I like working larger with brush lettering. This size brush is easy to handle and loads up really well with paint. I like having something a bit more substantial to grasp while I paint. Grab an inexpensive set at your local art store and play around with them to find out which one feels comfortable to you. A set like this would be a great place to start.

5. Plastic paint palette

I love this thing because it’s cheap and makes me nostalgic about those elementary school art classes where we loaded these things up with primary colored tempera paint. It’s a classic tool for a reason! If it ain’t broke…keep using it? You can grab one here or at any local art store.

So, do you have any preferred tools I didn’t mention? Questions about anything? Ask away!

My Top Five Hand Lettering Tools

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