There have been a lot of questions lately on what tools I use for lettering and I did a post a couple months ago on my Instagram that displayed everything, but I didn't go into detail about it.
For today's post, I'll go into as much detail as I can about each of the tools I use. I just want to emphasize upfront that these tools are what I use, and they don't make you better just because you use them. It takes hours upon hours upon hours of practice with the tools you have to become better.
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The first thing is paper choice. Depending on what medium you're working with, will drive what paper you'll want to use. Because I am working with ink, I use tracing paper because it has a smooth surface and holds ink. I found using drawing paper has a little tooth, so the edges might not be as smooth. I will say that tracing paper does smear ink, so be careful when you are inking. I found this tracing paper at the local craft store, it goes for about $7 so that's relatively cheap.
Next are the ruler that I use for drawing guides. For more my horizontal lines, I use this clear plastic T square. It's good for making parallel horizontal lines and it's easier than guessing with a regular ruler. Also, it's good for vertical guides. The other two metal rulers are for setting up diagonal guides for script letter.
- Side note, it's a good habit when starting off with script lettering to draw diagonal guides because you can get a better flow of letters.
I would also like to mention that metal rulers with cork backings are nice because it helps not to smear ink.
The 2mm Staedtler lead holder has become my favorite drawing tool to date. I love how you have change out the lead and how fine the point of the lead can get. I use two lead holders, one with a 4H lead and the other with a B lead, it makes it easier to go back in and block in with a darker pencil. On the right is a Papermate Tuff Stuff Eraser Stick. Its great for erasing around edges and has get precision. I found that the erasers from Staedtler tend to smear the pencil lead, and not really erase.
With the lead holder, you'll need this lead pencil sharpener. They say that you can use the top of the lead holder as a sharpener, but I don't think it does that great of a job.
Both the lead holder and the eraser cost about $15 all together. The lead comes separately. I found all of these at the local craft store as well, but you can find them online as well.
Micron pens by Sakura, which are found at almost any craft store these days, are great for inking your work and getting it ready for scanning. The sizes from left to right that I use, are 01, 03, 08, 1 and 2 size pens.
This is all personal preference when it comes to ink, but for me I use an 03 micron, the middle, for outlining my letters, and then I use the 1 or 2 for blocking in areas of ink. You need to use whatever size pen you feel comfortable with, just because I use a 03, doesn't mean you HAVE to use one as well. The reason I like these pens so much is because they don't need any significant amount of pressure to use, you can have them barely touching the surface and get nice ink coverage. Also, because these are easily accessible, if you need one right away, you can go out to the craft store and pick them up, you don't have to wait for them to be shipped to your house. Also you can buy the one that you need without having to buy a pack.
Make sure to use a variety of the pens to find out what works for you and stick with it. Don't give up if your lines are not as clean as you want them to be, it takes practices to really smooth out your edges. Also watch out if you are using tracing paper, because these pens tend to smear a bit if you are not being careful.
Lastly are the Copic Sketch markers. I haven't been using these for too long, so I don't have much to say, but these are a great tool if you are getting into brush lettering. I will have a follow up on brush pens when I get around to buying and using them, but for now I'll just say they are great for beginners because you can get a feel for how a brush pen works without having to buy a bunch of different pens online. Copics also can provide a variety of weights depending on the amount of pressure that you use.
You don't need a massive collection of tools to start lettering. You just need the essentials and a lot of time for practice. If you have any other questions, feel free to message me and I'll try to answer it to the best of my ability.
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Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 01/13/2019