Wandering around boutiques and scrolling through etsy, I’ve noticed a certain font making its appearance on just about EVERYTHING. Handlettering has become the most trendy penmanship I think I’ve seen since bubble letters in fifth grade. I, of course, had to learn how to recreate this adorable, whimsy font myself so I signed up for a handlettering basics class through one of my favorite companies in Raleigh – Skillpop. I absolutely had to give learning handlettering a try and now, you should to0. So, let me tell you a little bit about how I went about giving this new writing technique a try and maybe teach you a little something!
How I Learned
So – Handlettering. Flawlessly stringing together letters to make these fun filled words was not nearly as easy as I had hoped but I think with a bit of practice I can get there.
Christy of Christy Britt designs was my teacher and she was SO good. Somehow, Christy made learning an entirely new way to write seem totally doable. The key was walking us through each letter one stroke at a time. Do you remember back in kindergarten when you wrote the letter A at least 200 times in a row. Yep. That’s pretty much what tonight felt like but with a permanent marker and a far looser wrist. If you can, I totally encourage you to take a class and if you’re in Raleigh, take this one!
So you want to learn handlettering?
For those that don’t want to take a class, I put a quick cheat sheet together of the strokes for each letter together and that is the perfect place to start learning!
Here’s the key. Draw each letter about 100 times. I’m not kidding. Get a big big big notepad and your sharpie ready for some serious practice. The picture below this paragraph is of a cheat sheet I made myself with each stroke labeled in order. Most are only a few strokes, but if you follow them in order, you’ll catch on pretty quickly. My teacher taught me to keep a loose wrist and it makes a world of difference! Grab your pen and hold it like you normally would. Now – relax and follow the numbered strokes. Once you’ve got the initial lines of your letter down, you can add the dimension that makes this modern calligraphy so fun. Ready for the trick? Any time your pen is moving down the page, your going to double that line. Don’t do it as you go because you’ll totally loose your flow and your words will end up looking choppy. When you’re done with your pen strokes, start back at the beginning of your letter or word and go over any stroke where your pen was moving from the top of the page to the bottom. Thats it! Let’s recap the three keys to this new skill you’re about to pick up. 1- loose wrist. 2 – follow the strokes below and practice them a million times. 3- double the down strokes. You’ve got it!
Once you’ve got the letters down, you’re going to want to start connecting letters. Unfortunately I don’t have a ton of advice on this front other than play around. The first few words I put together ended up slanting down the page at a 75 degree angle instead going horizontal. My one trick was to bring each letter back to the midline of the letter when it was finished. That kept my word pretty straight eventually. It takes a ton of practice and a lot of random words to figure out just how each letter interacts with each other but this part is fun! Find your style mixing these letters together and make this penmanship your own!
Are you in Raleigh? Want to learn just like I did?
If you are a Raleigh local, keep reading – You absolutely HAVE to check out Skillpop RDU. Skillpop is an amazing little company that aims to bring in person learning to as many people as it can through pop up classes with local expert teachers. They host their classes at some of the coolest spots in the area including coworking spaces, swanky hotels, glass walled wedding venues, and treasure filed antique stores. This was my fourth skillpop class so I think it is safe to say, I have a bit of an addiction. But we’ve established my learning addiction already right – after all, this blog is called “yeah, she tried that”.