Watercolor Lettering

ARHuelsenbeck
3 min readMay 6, 2023

If you read last Friday’s Creative Juice, you may have noticed the tutorial for watercolor lettering. I was really excited about it, and I wanted to try it, but decided I needed the brush Smitha was using. I ordered it, and Monday I clicked the link, and I kept getting an error message, “This page isn’t working.”

I tried deleting my cookies from the website, but that didn’t help. I was disappointed, frustrated, and tired. Watercolor Alphabet was what I wanted my post on Tuesday to be about. Unfortunately, I was really cranky and couldn’t think of another idea. So I posted nothing on Tuesday.

But Tuesday afternoon I found Smitha’s video tutorial on YouTube.

Here’s my first try, on a half-sheet of paper:

I decided to move on to a full sheet:

Yes, that Princeton Artist, synthetic squirrel watercolor script liner size 6 brush is really good for lettering, though I don’t have Smitha’s control for tapering the width of the line.

While I was working on it, I thought it would be great for writing scripture (you might eventually see some on my Sunday From the Creator’s Heart feature) and quotes (ditto for Monday Morning Wisdom). However, I’m not very good at freehand spacing. I’m sure you’ve seen that classic poster that says “Think ahead,” and the last three letters are squeezed in. That happens to me all the time when I’m lettering. I have to write it out in pencil first, so that I can erase and try again multiple times, before I go back and apply the paint. Of course, I need to go back and erase the stray lines afterward (but whatever pencil lines are painted over remain in perpetuity). And of course, I forgot I was dealing with wet paint and started erasing before the paint dried completely and really smeared the orange.

And of course, I could have started it all over and photographed a perfect example for you. But I’m impatient. Also, when you see how bad it looks, you’ll learn from my mistake better than you would if I’d just confessed it and shown you a better finished product.

I am convinced I can get better at watercolor lettering.

Now it’s your turn. Try painting an alphabet with whatever supplies you have at home. [You don’t have to buy a special brush if you have one that you think will work. (I’m not an affiliate, so you won’t be supporting me if you buy from the link, which I’ve only provided for your information.)] When you’ve finished, take a photo and post it on your own blog or social media, and post a link to it in the comments here below so we can admire your efforts.

Originally published at http://arhtisticlicense.com on May 6, 2023.

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ARHuelsenbeck

Former elementary general music teacher. Wife, mother of 5, grandma of 3. Blogging about the arts and the creative process at https://ARHtisticLicense.com.