Today I’m sharing a Beginner Watercolor Lettering Tutorial for tips and tricks for hand lettering with watercolors. Instead of going too in depth, I’m giving a quick overview of where to start, what to use and some basic tips for getting started.
Watch the video or follow my tips below to find out how to start hand lettering with watercolors✍️
Types of Watercolors
I’m focusing on the watercolors that I love using for hand lettering. I have a pretty big collection of watercolors at this point but will share my favorites:
The first sets come in a pan. I feel that these are especially great for beginners as they are easy to find and can be inexpensive, depending on which ones you choose.
Watercolors for hand lettering is less about the watercolor product you use and more about how well you get to know how to use your set of watercolors. I personally use the Prima Watercolors Pan and the Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Pan and have been able to create some beautiful watercolor lettering pieces!
My favorite are, again, the Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor tubes. I originally started with a more inexpensive set from Walmart which worked well except for them having a chemical smell – so I decided to invest in this set.
They are highly pigmented so you easily get a vibrant color. If you are looking to get the same coloring and vibrancy each time you hand letter, these are a great option.
Concentrated Liquid Watercolors
These are great for creating vibrant and bold watercoloring. They are personally not my favorite because they are already in liquid form and I actually like adding water and watching my colors blend together as in the other watercolor products.
These do color smoothly so I guess it just depends on your preference! I use the Dr. PH Martin Radiant Liquid Watercolors and they come in an array of bright colors.
Brushes for Watercolor Hand Lettering
When purchasing a round brush they can vary from super inexpensive to incredibly pricey. I’d recommend starting somewhere in the middle as a beginner. A quality brush that tapers at the end is important – the Winsor & Newton Round Brushes in size 0 and 1 are great.
My personal preference with watercolor lettering, however, is to use the Pental Aquash Waterbrush. I’ve tried so many types of water brushes and made it my mission to try every water brush I can find – and so far none of them compare to this one!
There is a bit of a learning curve with using these brushes as if you squeeze too hard the water tends to leak, but honestly, there is a learning curve with watercolor lettering anyways.
Let’s Talk Paper
Obviously, a watercolor paper is your best option for watercolor lettering. In my opinion, you can also use a regular thick paper for practicing as well. Hand Lettering is so different from creating a big watercolor artwork – we don’t add tons of water and have to continuously practice. It would become too expensive to use watercolor paper each time.
The Process of Watercolor Lettering
Instead of loading your brush with water and dunking it in the watercolors like you did when you were a kid, I’d recommend rather activating each color with a little water first with a dropper or a different brush.
Then let it sit for a few moments before applying your actual brush.
I also use two sets of water (a clean and dirty glass) so that I don’t end up mixing colors. I love using my smaller round brushes for block style lettering and my water brush for script hand lettering.
Remember to go slow with your watercolor lettering. My videos are sped up and I get that it can be frustrating to see how “quickly” I hand letter but know I’m speeding it up to make my videos shorter😉
My last tip is to get to know your products. If something isn’t working for you don’t assume that you need more expensive watercolors or brushes, give your supplies some time.
I hope these tips were helpful for you! ❤️ If you’d like to learn more about hand lettering and get some extra practice in, be sure to check out my hand lettering worksheets for beginners: http://etsy.com/shop/howtohandletter