Brush calligraphy, Calligraphy, DIY, Faux calligraphy, Handlettered, Lettering, Painting, Supplies, Tutorials, Watercolor

Easy Watercolor Galaxy Lettering with Faux Brush Calligraphy for Journaling

I’m ALL for using simple painting techniques to build up to really impressive pieces of work. If you can paint a star, you can definitely make this piece.

This project is perfect for journaling or even for some adorable wall art. I had the pleasure of collaborating with Strathmore Art to develop a creative watercoloring workshop.  

Tools I Used:

This workshop was created in collaboration with Strathmore Art. All opinions are my own. I do not endorse products that I would not personally use. Some links are affiliate links which means I would get a small commission if you choose to purchase. This helps me continue to make free tutorials!

Step 1: Practice painting some stars

Let’s begin with some practice before we jump into the final piece. I mentioned earlier that we will be combining simple painting techniques to come up with something really amazing.

Begin by painting some simple stars. Experiment with the colors until you’re happy with the color motif. It is easier to paint smaller stars with a smaller tip paint brush. Here, I’m using a size 2 round.

I chose to use cool colors in the blue and purple family since I want to paint the galaxy lettering in this same color scheme.

Step 2: Practice your faux calligraphy

If you’ve never done faux calligraphy, you’re in luck because I have a little practice sheet for you!

Let’s sum up the process if you’ve never done faux calligraphy before. Start by writing the desired word in cursive. I’ll be writing the word “light”.  Next, thicken the lines that are supposed to be “downstrokes”. (DOWNSTROKE = when you’re writing and your pencil moves DOWN the page vs UP the page). For the areas of the lettering that your pencil moves downward, you want to thicken those lines. This achieves the look of a brush pen calligraphy by using every day tools.

Step 3: Pencil your lettering onto your watercolor paper

Once you have some practice under your belt, let’s get started on the final piece. Use a pencil to lightly outline the letters you will paint over. I also wrote out “BE THE” above the cursive word “light”.

Since you have plenty of practice now with faux calligraphy, go ahead do thicken the downstroke lines of the word “light” as well.

Step 4: Use a kneaded eraser to lighten the tracing lines

Gently roll a kneaded eraser over your pencil markings. This will make the pencil markings less obvious when you paint over them 

Using a kneaded eraser instead of a regular eraser lets you more gently remove dark pencil lines and not remove them completely. A kneaded eraser also has the added bonus of being less messy (no eraser dust!).

Make sure that you can still see your lines. You want them faint enough to be less visible once paint is added but not so faint that you can’t see where you’re supposed to be painting.

Step 5: Paint tiny stars on the thick downstrokes of your faux calligraphy lettering

Start by painting tiny stars in clusters along the thicker parts of your faux calligraphy letters. I chose to only do it for one part of each letter. For example, the letter “g” has two areas that has thicker downstrokes but I chose to paint on only one of the thicker lines.

Paint little clusters of 4-5 stars. I like to switch up the colors so you get a little variety. Like I mentioned previously, I’m using pinks, blues, and purples for the stars to match the galaxy lettering inside the word “light” but feel free to have fun with a number of color combinations!

Let the painted stars dry before moving onto the next step!

Step 6: Paint in your “faux calligraphy” letters 

Once the stars are dry, use the same brush pen to fill in the faux brush calligraphy lettering. Follow the pencil lines as best you can. Here is where a round tip watercolor brush comes in handy. You can see that the tip of the brush is capable of painting extremely thin lines but it can also be flattened to paint thicker lines as well.

Work patiently and slowly here. It is really easy to make a mistake (speaking from experience!). If that happens, it’s still possible to save it by painting your lines a little thicker.

Again, you want to allow the paint to completely dry before moving on to the next step. Smudging happens!

Step 7: Use a gold gel pen to add a “drop shadow” to your lettering

This part is totally optional. The effect is so subtle when far away but adds a nice little touch if you examine it a little closer.

A drop shadow adds a little line (for additional contrast) behind a light source. If you refer to the photo below, imagine the little panda pen holder is a light source like a lamp. Visualize it shining on the word “light”, creating a shadow that falls under the word. Now use your gel pen to draw a line where this shadow would be.

Step 8: Use a white gel pen to add tiny stars

Add a white gel pen to add stars of various sizes. I like to mix up tiny dots (for far away stars) and cross “t” stars (for closer stars). Changing up the sizes of stars will make the whole piece more visually interesting.

Step 9: Use a marker to add in any additional lettering

Since I chose to write the phrase “be the light”, I wanted the focus word to be “light”. I’m using a regular Sakura Micron 05 pen to write the rest of the phrase (“be the”) in a regular sans serif upper case style.

I like using scrap piece of paper to help guide me in writing straight and also to prevent smudging of the painted part.

This is a really fun and easy piece to add to a journal with your favorite short quote or even cute wall art for an office or nursery. Now that you have the techniques to do this style of painting, go wild with different quotes or phrases!

If you want to to learn more about brush lettering calligraphy, check our my Modern Calligraphy book or an instant download from my Etsy shop! I’d love to see what you guys all come up with! Let me know!

Brush calligraphy, Brush Pens, Calligraphy, DIY, Handlettered, Lettering, Painting, Supplies, Tutorials, Watercolor

Bright and Colorful Rainbow Gradient with Leaves for Journaling

Happy 2021! What a crazy and bizarre year 2020 was! It was a year of adapting to new ways to celebrate (hello, pandemic wedding!) and new ways of keeping in touch with family (I’ve never FaceTimed so much).

It’s also the year that we welcomed our baby girl into the world! But I can tell you I’m super excited for life to return to normal so we can show her everything that the world has to offer. I’m hoping that will happen sooner rather than later but until then… NEW YEAR, NEW JOYS. We will continue to look for ways to find the silver lining in our situation.

I wanted to create a fun journaling piece inspired by one of my favorite washi designs. This tape was a handprinted design that I made into a washi tape!

So now that you have an idea of where the inspiration came from, let’s get started on this super simple project! 

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DIY, Gift ideas, Handlettered, Lettering, Painting, Supplies, Tutorials, Watercolor

Painting Watercolor Leaves “HOME” Wall Art

I had the pleasure of collaborating with Strathmore Art in developing a creative watercoloring workshop for those learning to paint at home. Painting inside letters is such a fun and effective way of creating some cute signage or wall art for your home. 

This project is designed to be enjoyable for both beginners and more experienced painters.

Check out my YouTube video for a longer tutorial with additional instructions.

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Brush calligraphy, Brush Pens, Calligraphy, DIY, Drawing, Floral Drawings, Handlettered, Lettering, Tutorials

DIY Embossed Journals

Embossing is so fun and my favorite part is watching the embossing powder melt. What’s more fun than being able to combine embossing with personalize projects in your own drawings and hand lettering? These DIY embossed journals are not only easy to do but really fun to make. The skills you’ll learn from this tutorial can definitely be applied to other projects like embossing gift bags, cards, and personalizing other gifts.

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DIY, Drawing, Floral Drawings, Painting, Supplies, Tutorials, Watercolor

Watercolor sky and floral drawings

I’m so excited to finally have a venue to show you guys the behind the scenes of how I make some of my watercolor pieces. I got a few new items to play with and sometimes inspiration strikes for me when I get new tools to play with.  I love combining ink with watercolor so you get a little bit of monochromatic drawing with a pop of beautiful color. 

Keep reading for a chance to win your own set of Sakura Koi watercolors and Pigma pens!

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Brush calligraphy, Brush Pens, Calligraphy, Drawing, Floral Drawings, Handlettered, Lettering, Painting, Supplies, Watercolor

Whimsical Watercolor Trees and Simple Floral Drawings

I am absolutely loving the combination of watercolors and line drawings lately. Watercolor is a great way to add vibrant colors to a piece of art and line drawing gives paintings some really cool definition. Here is a simple tutorial on how to make a whimsical watercolor piece with some simple floral line drawing.

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Brush calligraphy, Brush Pens, Calligraphy, Handlettered, Lettering, Review, Supplies, Tutorials

Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers and Easy To Do Galaxy Lettering

Water brushes are such a fun tool to use for brush letter calligraphy. The chambers of these brushes are usually filled with water and dipped into ink or watercolors for lettering. These Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers take water brushes up a notch by pre-filling them with an assortment of fun colors. This review will go over how to use these pens as well as demonstrate some of their uses like making some galaxy lettering.

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DIY, Gift ideas, Tutorials

DIY Ribbon and Embroidery Thread Tassels

Tassels are everywhere nowadays. They’re hanging off of everything from designer bags to fashionable earrings. The old, stuffy image of tassels hanging from old furniture pieces is a thing of the past. They’re so cute and adorable and come in a variety of colors of styles now. Plus, they’re relatively easy to make. So without further ado, here’s a tutorial on how to make your very own DIY tassels.

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