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Festive Holiday-Inspired Lettering Anyone Can Make!

Posted by Alyssa (@Lyssas_Letters)
Festive Holiday-Inspired Lettering Anyone Can Make!

Ho ho ho there, fellow art enthusiasts! It’s Alyssa from @Lyssas_Letters here to show you an easy way to create holiday-themed brush lettering using some of my favorite Arteza art supplies!

List of Supplies

Step 1: Planning our merry masterpiece!

I begin almost every piece of artwork by creating one or more thumbnail sketches in my sketchbook. Because I intend to add my lettering to a circular holiday wreath that I have already painted, I design my thumbnails (which are miniature rough drafts) inside of circles to ensure that the letters and flourishes will fit nicely.

You can create a piece of artwork using any word or phrase that resonates with you! “Deck the Halls,” “Merry and bright,” “Let it snow,” “Sleigh bells ring,” and “Joy to the world” are some fun examples!
Ultimately, I have chosen to write “spread joy” on my final piece of art.

Step 2: Transfer the design onto the watercolor paper

After I lightly pencil in the letters inside of my holiday wreath, I gently go over the pencil markings with my eraser so that they are just visible.

Step 3: Trace the letters with your base color

Using the large brush tip of the light gray Arteza TwiMarker, hand letter your word or phrase, remembering to make those downstrokes thick and the upstrokes thin!

You can always clean up your pencil markings a second time after you’ve lettered with the gray ink.

Step 4: Add color

Starting with the top of the first downstroke of the very first letter, I apply a small amount of light magenta ink to the paper with one of the colorful brush pens. A little bit of ink goes a long way on this paper! I do my best to keep the ink on the gray area that I’ve already lettered. However, there’s no need to worry too much about “staying inside the lines.” The light gray letters act as a guide on top of which we will add the colors, but you can always thicken the strokes by painting slightly outside of the gray area.

Next, I take my water brush, which is slightly moist, and “drag” the magenta ink to other areas of the letter. The more water you use, the more of a “watercolor effect” you will get.

Then, I add some turtle green to the bottom of the “s.” Green and pink, which are complementary colors on the color wheel, can create a brownish color when they blend together, so I made sure to use a pink and green that are both closer to the blue end of the spectrum. Now, when they blend, the colors are more likely to remain vibrant.

After cleaning off the tip of the water brush in my bowl of water, I use the water brush to pull up the green color toward the pink. Keep in mind that painting with the ink of water-based brush pens, like Arteza Real Brush Pens and Arteza TwiMarkers, is essentially the same as painting with watercolor paints. The colors mix with the water in a similar manner; the more water you add, the lighter the resulting color. The more pigment you add, the darker the color.

Can you see how the magenta “bleeds” into the green area, creating a beautiful watercolor effect?

I am quite particular about my color blends; I place each color exactly where I want it to be in the letter. For example, with this “p” I have painted the top of the downstroke with seaweed green and the tip of the bottom of the downstroke with the turtle green.

Adding more water with the water brush creates a slight ombre effect since the color gets lighter where there is more water. I love this look!

Continue using this technique to add each subsequent color to your letters, one by one.

Here, I use parakeet green, which is more saturated than the other shades I’ve used, as well as crocodile green to add some warmth to the letters.

Notice how the dark turtle green immediately bleeds into the lighter area once I connect the two colors with water.

Feel free to put your colors in whatever areas you want them to be on the letters. You can paint several colors in one letter if you’d like! Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Keep in mind that the more water you use, the less predictable the movement of the colors will be. If you do not want certain colors to bleed into one another too much, you can always lightly dab your towel over a small area, which will pick up some of the moisture.

If you want to darken a certain area or add another color, feel free to color with the brush pens in an area that is already wet. When you touch the tip of the brush pen to the still wet area of the paper, some of the ink may spread throughout the water, depending on how wet the paper is.

Don’t forget to dot your “I’s” and cross your “T’s”!

Allow the paper to dry fully, and then you’re ready for the final step:

Step 5: Rejoice at the sight of your artwork!

I hope the letters you’ve created light up your spirit and bring you joy and peace! If you’d like, you can add finishing touches, such as outlines, shadows, or white highlights. This step isn’t necessary; just do what feels right for you!

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For many people, the holiday season brings up feelings of joy. For others, joy is not one of the predominant emotions during this time of the year. Whatever your experience of the winter holidays may be, know that your thoughts and emotions are worthy of acceptance and love. I find that when I allow my heart to soften into the truth of my present experience, however pleasurable or painful that may be, I create space for true joy to emerge. Opening to whatever is arising within my being gives me permission to feel fully, and eventually the painful emotions that have been locked inside can pass. The joy that arises from embracing my whole self flows effortlessly to those who are open to receiving it. I wish for you a holiday season filled with awareness and compassion so that you, too, may know joy and may spread this precious gift to others ?. . . . Blending tutorial coming soon (hopefully tomorrow)! I’ll post it in my stories when it’s up! . . Made with @artezaofficial supplies, which were generously provided to me by their company ?. . #brushlettering #moderncalligraphy #calligraphyart #letteringart #lettersthatblend #brushpenart #letteringartist #modernlettering #handlettering #handletteringart #lettering #colorfullettering #artistsoninstagram #brushletteringart #brushcalligraphy #whenindoubtwreathitout #holidaywreath #holidaylettering #spreadjoy #arteza #artezabrushpens #floralwreath #watercolorpainting #watercolorlettering

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