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How to Make Lettering with Watercolor?

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Do you like to draw? As simple as the line you make, drawing is considered a sophisticated therapeutic technique, which helps to externalize feelings and the way of seeing the world.

For this reason, some have drawing as a hobby, since it helps them get out of the daily routine and acts as a stress-releasing agent and the problems that we all deal with.

Drawing can be especially useful in this time of pandemic, where everyone is absorbed in their own world. Drawing can be a good option if you want to forget about the chaos caused by Covid-19. In fact, if you’re not very good at it, there’s always an opportunity to learn.

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Today, given that we spend more time at home, a large number of courses have emerged that we can take online, why not take a drawing course? In this way you could start in the world of drawing. However, if you already have basic notions, there is also the possibility of going deeper into the subject and learning new techniques.

One of them is lettering, it is the art of drawing words, which has gained popularity in recent months. Would you like to learn how to do it? If you already know how to draw, it may seem very easy to do, in this case, a personal challenge could be to learn to do watercolor lettering.

Undoubtedly, this technique requires much more precision when making the strokes. So how can you do it? What recommendations should you follow? What are the basic materials needed? In this short article you will find the answers to all these questions.

In addition, we will tell you the step by step of watercolor lettering, so you can get perfect results. Let’s see it.

Instructions for lettering with watercolor

As we have mentioned, lettering is considered an art and consists of drawing the words. It is very useful to decorate notebooks, rooms or to personalize an object, such as a flannel. It can also be a unique and original gift for someone very special.

To make it more complex, and aesthetic at the same time, there is the option of drawing with watercolors. But how can you do it? Don’t let the parrot go away! And follow these simple instructions:

  1. The first thing you have to do is wet the brush with the paint. The technique for this is to make it in a circle shape. This way, you won’t deform the tip of the brush like you would if you pressed it into the paint.
  2. Before you make your first stroke, soak your brush in water so that when you start to draw, the paint doesn’t look cracked on the paper, but rather flows.
  3. The next thing will be practice. The down stroke should be thick, while the up stroke should be thinner. Practice whatever it takes to get it right.
  4. In this case, your hand will be the one that obeys the movement of the brush and not the other way around, as is customary in the case of conventional writing. Let the brush go along the bristles and along the path it takes according to the curves of the letters.
  5. To start, the ideal is that you follow a guide or template of basic strokes, in order to practice enough. Take some water with the dropper and apply a couple of them in the watercolor color that you like the most. Wet the brush and start.
  6. In lettering, the strokes that go up are thinner, as are those that are made horizontally, such as those that correspond to the letter “T” or “F”, while the strokes that we make downward, they have to be thicker. This will help you control the brush.
  7. Work each letter individually. Since you’re drawing them, you should take enough time to do a basic first stroke and then touch it up. Remember that, in this case, you cannot use eraser. Which means that if you make a mistake, you will lose the paper, as well as the time and effort you have invested.
  8. Don’t press too hard on the brush, as this will make the stroke not as clean as you want it to be.
  9. When you are done with the basic strokes, this is the time to start with the letters of the alphabet, both upper and lower case. To do this, you can also use a template, and don’t forget to spend time getting all its details and flourishes right.
  10. After you have mastered the letters, the next step is to form words. Start with short words and then move on to longer ones.
  11. The next thing will be to practice other more complicated letter styles and, finally, gradients and shadows that allow to give life and personality to the letters.

Now, up to this point, we have learned the basics to start working on lettering with watercolors. But, in order to do it right, you must locate the necessary materials, what are they? Let’s see it, next.

What do you need to make watercolor lettering?

In case you want to do lettering with watercolors, have the following materials on hand:

  •  Watercolors of different colors. You can use any presentation, paste, palette, tubes or even liquid with or without a dropper. However, to start with, it is best to use the cheapest and most basic ones you can find on the market.
  •  A base for making color mixtures.
  •  An eyedropper to grab clean water and add it to the paint to work with.
  • To begin with, it may be necessary to use a thick paper so that it does not wrinkle when you are practicing and they are made of cotton.
  •  Brushes. Use the normal ones, which are made of synthetic hair. The advantage of these is that the hair is very flexible and quickly returns to its place. That is, if we are going to make a thick stroke and then a thin one, there is no problem, because it recovers its shape after finishing the stroke.

Try to make them round and with a fine tip so that the controls are better and you obtain greater precision when using it.

This is the basic material you need to start lettering with watercolors. As time goes by, and you gain experience, you will be able to buy other brushes, of different thicknesses. Which have a specific function.

Likewise, you can acquire palettes with different colors, to make mixtures, gradients, shadows, borders and other details that make up the art of lettering. But, what advice should you take into account when starting out in the world of lettering with watercolors?

Tips for lettering with watercolor

One of the most important aspects of lettering is having the right brush. To know if they are in good condition, look at how the bristles are. They should always be in the same direction, and not as if it were a feather duster.

Even if you follow all the instructions that we have given you, to the letter, if your brush is not the right one, you will never get the letters right. The finish will look sloppy and very clumsy, which you don’t want to happen.

If at the time of painting, you notice that the tip of the brush has opened, this may be synonymous with a lack of water. To return it to its original shape, you just have to soak it a little and voila! Problem solved.

Take a break between letters to soak the brush, reload it with paint, and to check that the bristles are not open. In this way, you will ensure that everything goes as you expect.

In case you want to do color gradients, use a light base color. For example, pink. Then, apply a stronger one to it, and for them to combine, you will only have to add a little more water.

Because of a stronger paint stain on the lower part of the letter. Then, with a clean brush, dip it in water and pass it over the strong color, spreading over the letter so that it fades and the colors mix completely.

Practice, practice and practice again. Make stripes, letters, shapes, words, everything you can think of. Remember that practice makes perfect. As you practice this art, the improvement will be noticeable. Therefore, do not get impatient and keep practicing so that you can see the results of doing it.

On the other hand, don’t feel sad or frustrated if it doesn’t work out the first time. Watercolor lettering involves applying a different technique than the one used when working with a marker. In that case, the pen goes where the hand directs it. In the case of the brush, the story is quite another.

It will take time for you to master it. Actually, this is the most complicated part of watercolor lettering. However, if you are a person of challenges, in a short time, with a lot of practice, you will be able to master it perfectly and then you will feel free to create your own style.

In lettering there is a whole universe of options and possibilities. Therefore, strive to find your own and the one that works best for you. By doing so, the art of drawing letters will become a true source of pleasure for you and you will spend very pleasant and stress-free moments, something that would come in handy today.

So what are you waiting for? Get to work. Buy everything you need, online, so you can start doing lettering with watercolors today. You will see that, in the blink of an eye, you will have become a professional in this beautiful art.

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