Share Your Lettering on Your Own Terms

Why You Need to Start a Lettering Blog

 

Now that you’re totally skilled at brush lettering, it’s time to share it and make some money.

There are a few ways you could make money from your lettering:

  • Sell your services (envelopes, signs, design).
  • Sell products (art prints, t-shirts, tote bags).
  • Teach lettering (workshops, online classes).
  • Earn affiliate commission by sharing your favorite classes or supplies.

To get attention for any of those things, you need to have your own website or blog.

Why?

  • You get to create a portfolio of your best work (and show off the kind of work you want to be known for).
  • You get to tell your story.
  • You get to build an audience that doesn’t depend on social media (or its wacky algorithms).

Step one of creating a money-making machine with your lettering is to make a website.

There are tons of tutorials you could cobble together on how to get started, but I recommend referring to a comprehensive source that walks you through all the steps you need to build a blog.

If you need help starting a blog, Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog can help. Abby and her husband Donnie are full time bloggers, and they just released their third edition of Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook.

Framework teaches the best practices for all of the most major areas of blogging– getting set up, growing an email list, driving traffic to your site, growing your social media channels, working with brands, growing an income, and more.

You don’t have to do a bunch of research or guessing, trying to figure it all out. Framework covers it all for you.

Click here to learn more about Building a Framework!

Building_a_Framework_3D_Cover
Disclaimer: Links provided to Building a Framework are affiliate links. If you ultimately purchase the course, I receive a small commission.

Free Holiday Brush Lettering Practice Page and Blog Hop

Free Holiday Brush Lettering Practice Page - www.randomolive.com

Are you getting ready for the holidays? I like to celebrate with extra cake and cookies. (Maybe you do too!)

You can practice your brush lettering with this fun saying on a downloadable, printable, practice page.

Just add your email address below to download.

If you’re looking for supplies to get started, I’ve rounded up my very favorite basic supplies in a blog post here.

A Hand Lettered Holiday Blog Hop

This freebie is part of a blog hop of holiday printables hosted by Dawn of Dawn Nicole Designs. Check out all the other awesome freebies!

handletteredholidaybloghop-pin

  1. Holiday Montage: How to Do Doodle Lettering on Photos by Dawn Nicole Designs
  2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Practice Sheets by Printable Crush
  3. Noel Practice Sheets by Lemon Thistle
  4. O Come Let us Adore Him Lettering Tutorial by One Artsy Mama
  5. Happy Holidays Brush Lettering Worksheet by Brittany Luiz
  6. Joy to the World Printable + Practice Sheet by Liz on Call
  7. Be Merry & Eats Lots of Cake Brush Lettering Worksheet by Random Olive (that’s me!)
  8. ‘Tis the time to be Jolly Lettering Tutorial by Inkstruck Studio
  9. All is Calm, All is Bright Snowglobe Lettering Tutorial by Here Comes the Sun
  10. Gift Tag Printables by Persia Lou
  11. Comfort and Joy Printable by Kleinworth & Co.



Random Love Letter: Second Annual Challenge!

Remember last year when we left a bunch of notes of positivity in random places? We’re back at it again this year for the Second Annual Random Love Letter Challenge!

Random Love Letter Challenge

For the month of June, you’re charged with leaving random notes of positivity (a.k.a. a random love letter) out in the world to spread joy around your neighborhood.

To join in, take a photo of your random love letter and post a picture on social media using the hashtag #randomloveletter. Check out the past posts with that hashtag to get some more ideas!

This year, we’re also introducing weekly themes to help get you started.

Print

If you need some ideas for what to write, we’ve got a cheatsheet for you to download here.

Looking forward to seeing everyone’s posts!

April Brush Letter Practice Challenge

Showcase your brush lettering skills and get to know other who share your love for brush lettering.

How to join the challenge for free:

  1. Download and/or print the prompt graphic for this month.
  2. Post this graphic on Instagram or Twitter to let us know you’re joining along.
  3. Every day, share a picture or video of your brush lettering on Instagram, Twitter or Periscope using the hashtag #brushletterpracticechallenge.
  4. Check out other awesome people using the hashtag and leave them some likes and comments!

Download and Pin the graphic below!

Brush Letter Practice Challenge - www.randomolive.com

Click to tweet: I’m joining @randomoliveblog this month for the #brushletterpracticechallenge. Find out more at http://bit.ly/blpchallenge

How about some extra guidance?

I’ve created a set of traceables to help you practice all of this month’s prompts.

Downloadable, printable, traceable pages to get your brushy letters looking smooth. Also comes with extra lined paper.

Brush Letter Practice Challenge - www.randomolive.com

Brush Letter Practice Challenge - bit.ly/blpchallenge

Looking for the original Brush Letter Practice Guide with over 250 printable pages and a structured 45-day practice schedule? Click here.

March Brush Letter Practice Challenge

Showcase your brush lettering skills and get to know other who share your love for brush lettering.

How to join the challenge for free:

  1. Download and/or print the prompt graphic for this month.
  2. Post this graphic on Instagram or Twitter to let us know you’re joining along.
  3. Every day, share a picture or video of your brush lettering on Instagram, Twitter or Periscope using the hashtag #brushletterpracticechallenge.
  4. Check out other awesome people using the hashtag and leave them some likes and comments!

Download and Pin the graphic below!

Brush Letter Practice Challenge

Click to tweet: I’m joining @randomoliveblog this month for the #brushletterpracticechallenge. Find out more at http://bit.ly/blpchallenge

How about some extra guidance?

I’ve created a set of traceables to help you practice all of this month’s prompts.

Downloadable, printable, traceable pages to get your brushy letters looking smooth. Also comes with extra lined paper.

Brush Letter Practice Challenge

Brush Letter Practice Challenge - bit.ly/blpchallenge

Looking for the original Brush Letter Practice Guide with over 250 printable pages and a structured 45-day practice schedule? Click here.

Tutorial: Putting Together a Polished Lettering Piece in Photoshop Elements

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

With your newfound lettering skills, you’re interested in putting together your favorite quote as a piece of art. (You may also be wondering how I put together quotes like I do here)

I use a mix of physical and digital techniques. Letters and words are created on paper and then all the composition and color is added digitally. I’ll show you how I put it all together here.

Part 1: Letter on Paper

I’m lettering the phrase: “insert your favorite quote here” with black sumi ink that I’ve filled into a Pentel Aquash Waterbrush in Medium (affiliate link).

First thing to tell you. I do not compose the words on paper. I letter each word separately with the intent to cut it up and re-organize it in the computer.

Why? I know myself. I have a touch of perfectionism and I’d be totally unrelaxed and locked up if I knew it wasn’t just a draft. Also, if I mess up the spacing or spelling of one of the words, I can just letter that small portion again.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

I also know that I letter big. It’s my way of getting smooth lines. So a standard letter-sized sheet of paper doesn’t have much room to play. Longer quotes or saying will often take up 2 to 4 sheets of paper to fit all my lettering.

This page gets to sit and dry for a few hours while I go eat a snack or a meal and watch TV.

When I come back to it, I scan at 600 dpi on grayscale using my Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner (affiliate link)

Part 2: Separate the Words from the Background

The next part is to separate the lettering from the white background. I like to use this process to keep the translucency of the letters – it keeps a brushy texture when layered over photos and other backgrounds.

I’m using Photoshop Elements 11 for this process.

Rotate the image.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Convert to RGB color.
Use levels to make sure the white is really white and the black is dark.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Convert the background layer to an editable layer.
Add a layer mask to the layer.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Select all and copy your lettering.
Paste your lettering into the layer mask.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Invert the layer mask.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Simplify layer.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

And the white background is totally gone! You can now see the checkerboard pattern, which means it’s all empty pixels.

Use levels to make sure the black are dark again.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Part 3: Slice

When cutting the words apart, I put each word on its own layer. This will make it easy to move things around and rotate if necessary. Knowing that I was going to cut apart the words, I make sure to leave sufficient white space in my lettering stage.

Select the word using the rectangular marquee tool.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Right click.
Layer by cut.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Repeat for each word.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Avoid the word that was an error.
Hide the original layer.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Now each word is on its own layer to be able to manipulate.

Part 4: Compose

I use the move tool to click and drag the words to the ideal position. You can also turn on the gridlines to better see if things are aligned and then rotate any words that are crooked. I also like turning on a guideline in the center of the page to make sure things are centered.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

After moving things around to my liking, I’ll crop down and save as a PNG file.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Part 5: Create Your Final Print Size and Add Color

Open a new document with the final print size you want to create. In this case, we’re creating an 4×4 print.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Resize your PNG file to fit.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Drag in your PNG file.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

If you wanted a simple black and white print, you’re done here.

To add a solid color, create a new layer and fill it with whichever color you choose.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Clip the color layer to your lettering layer.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

To add a watercolor effect, create a new layer and fill it with a watercolor pattern.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

Clip the pattern layer to your lettering layer.

Digitizing Your Brush Lettering - www.randomolive.com

I have a variety of watercolor effects in my collection from Nicky Laatz and MakeMediaCo. (The Mammoth! Watercolour Kit, Give Me Watercolour Textures Quick!, The Ultimate Watercolor Bundle – affiliate links)

And that’s it!

Click to Tweet: Learn how @randomoliveblog digitizes brush lettering and adds blended color! Plus a free cheatsheet!

Let’s get lettering with actual letters!

Ready to see some letters in action?

In these videos, I’m using a Pentel Aquash Waterbrush (affiliate link) in Medium with the Artist Loft Watercolor palette from Michael’s (similar palette here – affiliate link) and the jumbo sized practice pages from the Brush Letter Practice Guide.

Watch the video playlist below to see all the letters in action.

(click here to watch on YouTube directly)

Click to Tweet: Learn to brush letter lowercase letters with @randomoliveblog with this video playlist!

Ready to get practicing? Get the downloadable, printable, traceable Brush Letter Practice Guide.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

If you’ve been practicing your brush lettering, you might be starting to think of ways to get creative and add variety to your style. I have a list of ten examples here to get you started on some ideas.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

This is your typical style with consistent use of thicks and thins within the letter forms and keeping a consistent baseline with the words.
Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

Here we start to play with the baseline a bit to exaggerate those curves and get a playful feel to the letters.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

Go at an angle with all your letters. You can use this with a consistent baseline or with a bouncy baseline.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

Go tall and narrow with this style. Exaggerate the height of your letters and bring them closer together.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

Thicker and shorter is the name of the game here.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

Flourishes are not my strong suit, but they can add an extra swirly touch.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

Set the letters relatively farther apart from each other than you usually would.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

Keep your brush pressure steady to try to make all the lines thin in your letters.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

Same idea as the delicate monoline, but we’re also adding a bouncy baseline.

Ten ways to add variety to your brush lettering - www.randomolive.com

This one’s not a script at all and takes some practice to form totally different letter shapes.

Experiment with all the styles and mix them up to see which ones you enjoy the most. Participating in a lettering challenge will give you plenty of excuses to try them all out. Check out the monthly Brush Letter Practice Challenge here.



February Brush Letter Practice Challenge

Showcase your brush lettering skills and get to know other who share your love for brush lettering.

How to join the challenge for free:

  1. Download and/or print the prompt graphic for this month.
  2. Post this graphic on Instagram or Twitter to let us know you’re joining along.
  3. Every day, share a picture or video of your brush lettering on Instagram, Twitter or Periscope using the hashtag #brushletterpracticechallenge.
  4. Check out other awesome people using the hashtag and leave them some likes and comments!

Download and Pin the graphic below!

BLP-challenge-2016-02-prompt

Click to tweet: I’m joining @randomoliveblog this month for the #brushletterpracticechallenge. Find out more at http://bit.ly/blpchallenge

How about some extra guidance?

I’ve created a set of traceables to help you practice all of this month’s prompts.

Downloadable, printable, traceable pages to get your brushy letters looking smooth. Also comes with extra lined paper.

BLP-challenge-trace-prev-2016-02

Brush Letter Practice Challenge - bit.ly/blpchallenge

Looking for the original Brush Letter Practice Guide with over 250 printable pages and a structured 45-day practice schedule? Click here.

Brush Lettering Demo of the Basic Backbones of Most Letters

Brush Practice Letter Demos - www.randomolive.com

Today we’re going to look at three basic shapes that form most of the letters of the English alphabet.

These practice pages are from the Brush Letter Practice Guide. Get more details here.

The downturn consists of a thick stroke down followed by a curve and then a thin stroke up. Start with heavy pressure at the start of this stroke and then decrease pressure as you approach the turn. (Think of when you’re driving a car, you start to slow down just a bit before you get to a curve so that you don’t overshoot and miss it.)

The upturn is a thin upstroke followed by a thick downstroke. Pretty much an upside-down U (which I like to call a hump). Start with light pressure at the baseline, work your brush upward and then turn and apply more pressure. (Again with the car analogy, after you ease into a curve and hit a straightaway, you hit more gas.)

Last up for today is the circle. (I’ll tell you that all these curves and no angles is tough for me too – practice is key!) For the circle, we start at the top and ease into heavy pressure for the downstroke, gently ease up as you approach the turn, and then use a light upstroke for the rest of the circle. Keep practicing until your circles look consistent and aren’t totally lumpy.

Interested in grabbing these practice sheets for yourself? Find the complete Brush Letter Practice Guide here.

Click to tweet: Learn to brush those basic shapes with @randomoliveblog



Who’s Olive?



Hi, I'm Olivia, aka Olive. I've been an avid reader of blogs for years and decided that it was finally time to start producing instead of just merely consuming.

I'm one of those people who always insisted that I was boring. Nothing exciting or glamorous. But you know what? I realized that I don't have to be glamorous to share the bright and colorful spots in my every day life.

Where to Find Me





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