Practice Brush Lettering without Breaking the Bank


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Brush lettering has been getting popularity that different brand of markers are innovating their products to compete the trend in lettering. Not only that but also different brand of papers.

Each letterer has it’s recommended products. Some expert letterers are also offering classes available online that will cost you  whooping hundred bucks. And if you follow them by buying all the products that they are using, surely you will max out your credit card.

The question is, will expensive brands change the way you write? My answer is definitely no. But  I can’t deny that it will give you a different quality of output. For picture perfect, yes buy it! But if you are just practicing like me I’ll go for basic cheap tools.

Tools for Brush Lettering Practice

Pens – I will recommend Tombow Fudenosuke brushpen soft and hard. Either of the two work good. Personally, I like the Tombow Fudenosuke brushpen Hard because it’s easier to manage with the curve strokes. But it is also good to try the soft tip, after all it’s about brush lettering and soft tip resembles closely to brushes.


For newbies, just try those two. And if you feel like you want to level up your style by adding colors try other color brushes. Tombow has wide selection of colors but quiet expensive though. You can buy cheaper brands. You can check my post about comparison of brush pens for your reference.

Pencil or pen – are good tools to develop muscle memory in terms of upward and downward strokes. I learned this from Amanda Arneill, one of the amazing letterers I followed at Instagram. Surprisingly this tool will give you a nice thin and thick stroke just like brush pens but of course thinner.

brush lettering

Used/Scrap Paper – many letterers are raving about Rhodia brand. I was curious with this brand so when I went to De Serres Craft Store I specifically look for that brand of paper. I cannot blame them because the  quality of paper is really smooth. And I believe that it is friendly to felt tip pens because of it’s smoothness.

But then, if you are practicing or doing some hand drills and throwing away the practice sheets after why waste expensive paper. Use scrap paper for practice. It’s free and eco-friendly as well. Tip: put some mark on pens that you specifically use for regular papers. The fibrous quality of this paper will ruin the felt tip of your pen. But base on my experience, my brush pens are still in good shape for several months of practice.

Lettering Resources

Internet has tons of resources. There are classes where you can enroll and learn the different techniques. But as I said it’s not cheap. I was surprised how expensive it is to learn lettering like around $200.00. If you have no budget for that, there are free downloadable practice sheets online. And just read blogs, watch videos of the letterers and for sure you will learn from them.

Here are the blogs that I followed. You have to opt-in though to their email list:

  1. Dawn Nicole Designs – I enjoyed her monthly freebies that goes straight to my mailbox every first week of the month. You can access all her resources if you will join her Happy Email Club.
  2. Amanda Arneill – I love Amanda’s fun, chic and unique style.

There also groups of letterer in Facebook that inspires each other.

  1. Art and Hand Lettering Class by Dawn Nicole – Dawn is the person behind the #DNDChallenge. It’s a daily activity that you can join where you can showcase your art and meet discover also different artist.
  2. Lettering League – meet great artist from this group and learn from them. It’s like a community helping each others to develop their skills in lettering.

Learning Technique

Enrolling on classes is surely better than learning by yourself. Considering that it gives you a direction where to start up to developing the skills of lettering. The problem is choosing the right classes because we can’t deny that there are classes that aren’t worth the money because you can simply find the resources online for free. So to save you money do the learning for free and do it yourself.

I usually watch videos of other artists on their hand movement and copy their styles. I actually have collections of letters from different artist.

collections of letter style

You can also install brush scripts font and use it as a practice reference. Check the weekly freebies at Creative Market. It is where I downloaded my collections of brush scripts.

But to make things clear, I have no intention of copying other artist’s work. I am doing it for the sake of practice, and I know I will find my own style too. There is a book titled, “Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” by Austin Kleon that I believe will support what I am doing.

From the book:

…. new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path.


P.S. Thanks to bydawnnicole for sharing the mock-up photos.

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