I have been a little obsessed lately with brush lettering. I started learning calligraphy many years ago after my Mom gave me a kit for Christmas and I loved it and have practiced ever since. Recently I have been noticing the trend of brush lettering. It's everywhere, and it is so beautiful. It's a little looser and more free-form than calligraphy, and yet there's something about it that is hard to capture... Brush lettering has a certain "je ne sai quoi"... a way of letters lacking uniformity and yet hanging together so well... letters going above and below the guidelines and still looking pleasing and perfect.
I've been puzzled and fascinated and I simply must figure it out. I've mostly been copying the beautiful lettering of others, and then trying to analyze it and figure out what makes it so good. In the process of all that I came across this "Brush letter practice challenge" on Instagram. Each month has a word list (this month is birds!), one for each day. Everyone doing the challenge does that word and posts a photo on Instagram with the hashtag (#brushletterpracticechallenge) so that others can find it. I really enjoy looking each day at what everyone else does-- all the different styles and ideas are very inspiring!
So today being November 4th, I have done 4 days. I practice the word on graph paper with a brush pen over and over until I am reasonably satisfied, then I do the word in my watercolor sketchbook with watercolors and a brush. Oddly enough, I find the real brush easier to control than the brushpen. I have thought of investing in colored brushpens, but I have lots of beautiful watercolors and they are so fun to work with.
Here are my Instagram photos so far. I'll post more throughout the month.
I have a lot to learn, but hopefully a month of daily practice will get me some improvement...