brush lettering class at paper source

Hey friends! 

A couple of weekends ago, I had the opportunity of taking a brush lettering class at Paper Source! I have long been interested in brush lettering and have bought several brush pens before, but nothing ever came out looking quite right. I have been inspired by people on Instagram, showing befores and afters of their brush lettering skills, often dramatically improving in just a few months, so I took the plunge. 

I love taking craft classes because I am a very tactile learner. I am not one to learn things just by having it explained. I am very visual and I have to do things myself to understand it. We had a teacher named Smith whose lettering style is so cute and I was excited to learn from her. That is probably my number one tip about taking classes- find someone whose work you like. I had been told about another brush lettering class by a friend but when I looked at the teacher's Instagram, I didn't like her style, so I decided to save my money and wait for another person's class. It's ok to be picky! 

Here is what I saw when I came to the table: 

Who doesn't love seeing their name written all pretty?!

We practiced for about 2 hours, writing all sorts of things and having fun. Smith and our group talked about how if anyone ever found our practice sheets they might think we are up to no good because of all the random names that we write when we are practicing. I'm pretty sure every single one of my friends' names have been featured in my calligraphy practice sheets. 

I texted this to my sister because her name turned out so pretty! 

After we practiced for a while, we made an adorable project! We learned how to make our own envelope liners and cards and we did some brush lettering on both. We were all very quick learners so at the end of the class Smith taught us how to do ombre brush lettering! 

My final project! 

My main takeaways from the class were: 1. practice makes perfect. I obviously already knew that but I must say I was hoping for some insider secret to having perfect brush letters! 2. It's all about the pen! I had been practicing at home with pretty loose brushes which are much harder to control, and in class I got to practice with a very stiff brush and I was shocked at how much easier it was! I added several colors to my Amazon wishlist! 

I really want to make improving my lettering a priority, so I think I'm going to start writing out a poem a day (definitely gonna start with Nayyirah Waheed's poetry!) and practice using my oblique pen, my brush pen, and also a paintbrush. 

If you ever get the chance to take a class at Paper Source, I definitely recommend it! It was very affordable and it made for a fun Saturday afternoon! 

recently in the sketchbook


Keeping a sketchbook is a concept that I have pretty much grown up with. Having done art classes for most of my life, the practice of having a sketchbook and drawing in it often was something that was sort of ingrained in me. I found it daunting to follow through, though. I loved the idea of keeping a sketchbook, but the pages were big and I was worried about making things look good. 

A couple of years ago I decided to take some of the pressure off of myself- nobody said I had to have a big sketchbook! So I purchased a small sketchbook, mod podged a cute collage on the cover, and suddenly, it was fun to have a sketchbook! It has been a great place for me to explore watercolors and lettering especially. It's just for fun, but I have had good ideas for final pieces come from my sketchbook and flipping through it is inspiring. I screenshot a lot of instagram photos, especially of color combinations I like and quotes to practice later. 

Here are some recent pages from my little sketchbook. I'm going to have to start another one soon! 

I'm super into moon phases right now. I've always been a fan of celestial stuff and it's starting to show through in my art! 

I want to make a large version of this to hang above my bed. 

One of my very favorite song lyrics- I practice writing this one often. 

My small sketchbook makes it a lot easier to tote it around with me, so I'll bring it with me various places, along with my travel watercolor set, and favorite brush