Thursday 29 June 2017

Learning to write

Hi, it's Sue here today sharing with you my first dabbbling at journal writing. I have long admired the wonderful journal pages with the all the various types of fabulous handwriting. I bought Joanne Sharpe's The Art of Whimisical Lettering months ago and have never, until now, sat down and read it and played around with the lettering examples in the book. So these are my first attempts, but lots more practice is required !

I gathered together some pens and I also bought a cheap set of brush pens to add to my little collection.

I grabbed a note book and started to work through Joanne's book. The above are trying out a brush pen and then an old paintbrush dipped in Bombay ink.

I also purchased a cheap set of calligraphy pens, working through the alphabet to get a feel for how to write with them.

As I worked through the different examples of creating different fonts and diffent styles of writing I was really pleased with the effects. The bottom example above is the end of a paintbrush dipped in Bombay ink.

Even when it starts off looking really quite scruffy when you add colour and block out areas and add some doodling it takes on a completely different look.

The brush pens are water based so colouring around the lettering, which is written in a waterproof pen, then using a waterbrush gives a great watercolour effect.

This style is called Wonky Printing, I quite like it but I need more practice !

The calligraphy pens are really quite effective and I will need to put in more time to perfect a style with them.

The above style is called It's a Wrap and it's all about drawing a vine like leaf around your lettering. I was a little dubious when I started but it really is quite effective !

The above page is roughly copied from Joanne's book, sometimes to copy something gets the brain thinking how you can use this style. The text is written with the black brush pen so I had to be really careful when colouring around it with the blue brush pen and then using a waterbrush.

Dabbling done, now it's time to create a page, or in this case a bag ! The above is a brown paper bag, the kind that some shops give you when you've purchased some goodies. I gave it a coat of Glue 'n' Seal first of all to protect it from the paint. I then splodged some Snowflake Fresco paint over it, this blocks out the background and then you get the true colours of the paints that come next. The numbers stencil is by Donna Downey and I've used Snowflake Fresco paint again.

I've used the 'Bumping' technique and stencilled the numbers again, I think this colour was Bougainvillea Fresco paint.

The leafy stencil is another one from Donna Downey and I've used Eggplant Fresco paint.

I carried on building up layers of stencilling and also stamping. Then it was time to be brave and add the text ! One of the things I learnt from this exercise is to pay attention to the placement and space for the text. If I was to do this again I would probably change how the words are placed on the page (bag). 

I added some doodling with a white pen and also white dots by dipping a paintbrush end into Snowflake Fresco paint. The flowers are drawn with a Micron pen, which is waterproof, then I've used the brush pens to colour them.

I am quite taken with the end result and my next brown paper bag is already prepped and ready for my next page ! 

I hope you've enjoyed learning to write all over again, and if you're quick you can still join in with the current challenge Words with Meaning


  1. How fun is this!!! Love all your lettering samples and then what you have done to transform the bag is simply fabulous.

  2. I agree with Cec ! lovely seeing your experiments leading up to your fabulous paper bag ! Great work Sue xx

  3. This is fun. I enjoy lettering too. I started in january and I think I did much progress since then. Practise makes perfect with lettering.

  4. I am a lettering lover so I really enjoyed this. So much fun and many variations. Thanks Sue!

  5. Well done on tackling the challenge head on Sue x love the pages you created absolutely fabulous !!! Thank you for sharing xx
    Hugs Annie x

  6. A fantastic post Sue, really want to explore this...inspirational!! Ruth x

  7. So interesting to see your lettering journey - a great discipline to keep practising, and a fabulous page spread to finish off the post.
    Alison x