The Beginner’s Guide to Brush Lettering: Part II

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Now that you’ve got a better grasp on the how to use your brush pen and the basic strokes of brush lettering in The Beginner’s Guide to Brush Lettering: Part I, let’s dive into how to form letters and words and experimenting with different fonts.  (Stick around for the end of the post for a tracing worksheet to help practice writing words!)

The Beginner's Guide to Brush Lettering: Part 2 -- Letter Formation and Fonts -- Plsu FREE Brush Lettering Worksheets -- Destination Decoration

Psst – If you want to try a different form of hand lettering, make sure to check out my modern calligraphy tutorials.

Practice Forming Letters and Words

(Just a note: I use the Tombow Dual Brush Pens in this tutorial, but the same properties also apply to other brush pens.)

When you’re ready to start forming letters, I recommend starting with a basic, non-slanted font.  You can grab uppercase and lowercase worksheets for a basic font that I created in the worksheet at the bottom of the post.   Practice a basic until you’re comfortable and then venture out for other fonts.

How to Do Brush Lettering

Practice is key here.


Practice Connecting Letters

Brush Lettering for Beginners -- Forming and Connecting Letters and Making New Fonts -- Free Printable Worksheet Included

This is probably one of the trickiest things to do in brush lettering.  Don’t be afraid to pick up your marker or go back and fill in or touch up some lines.  The key to connecting your letters is in the “tail” that connects them (there may be a technical term, but I’m using my Kindergarten Teacher language).  Make the tails long enough that other letters can connect.  Make your lines thin, flowing upward to connect to the next letter. I often lift up my marker completely after I have made the tail and start the next letter in isolation, making sure it intersects with the tail.

The video below illustrates visually how to form and connect letters:


Practice Variations of Your Font and Try New Ones

To learn about new ways to experiment with fonts and add interest to your lettering, check out the video below:

As you saw in the video, you can also change the feel of a font by small alterations.  Check out this pin to find some ideas how you can change a font by altering things like size, height, slant, and spacing.

I already had a few fonts that I like and am comfortable with from calligraphy, but if you don’t, seek inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram.  Find fonts that you like and try to mimic the letters.  Start with isolated letters, then transition to words.  Go through the alphabet, write unconnected words, or try writing a full page of one letter in different styles.

How to Create Brush Lettering Using Tombow Brush Pens

If you’d like practice with forming letters, grab the free brush lettering worksheets below.

Brush Lettering Uppercase Letters Worksheet by Destination Decoration

Brush Lettering Lowercase Worksheet by Destination Decoration

Here’s how they look after a little practice:

The Beginner's Guide to Brush Lettering (Plus FREE Letter Tracing Worksheet for Practice)


If you’d like to add some flair to your brush lettering, learn how to blend colors with brush pens with a brush lettering bonus video.  Want to practice forming and connecting words and experiment with fonts?  Grab the brush lettering tracing worksheet below.  Snag them both by entering your email below.

How to Blend Colors with Brush Pens - Destination DecorationPractice Writing Words in Brush Lettering with Free Worksheets from Destination Decoration


Get your brush lettering blending video and word tracing worksheets!

How to blend colors with brush pens   destination decoration

Enter your email to nab your free blending video and tracing worksheets.

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For more fun brush lettering effects, give watercolor backgrounds and striped brush lettering a try!

12 Responses to “The Beginner’s Guide to Brush Lettering: Part II

  • This is so neat and helpful! I would love to be able to do my own lettering and not have to worry with a cutting machine! Great tutorial!
    Celeste recently posted…Decorating Tips to Make Any Room Look FancyMy Profile

    • Oh, I’m so glad it’s helpful! I’m still experimenting myself, but I figured I would share what I learned so far. Good luck!

  • This is something I have always wanted to do. Thanks for the great tips!

  • I’ve just bought a set of pentel aquash brush pens….haven’t done any lettering since I was a teenager (a while ago!) so ready to go for it! 🙂

    • I have a set of those, too. I love them, but I haven’t used them in a while (it’s so much less mess to work with the markers). I’ll have to get them out again soon. Good luck!

  • Sahara
    2 years ago

    What if i don’t have brush pens, can i use paint brush and watercolor?

    • Yes, you definitely could! It might take a little more work to master (unless you’ve done a lot of watercolor in the past) because the bristles are more finicky than a brush pen, but the principles are the same.

  • heidi
    1 year ago

    awesome blog on letter brushing! I started doing modern calligraphy with a nib holder and ink, but struggled! and i saw the beautiful letter brushing on instagram and thought i’d give it a try. Does printing it on regular printer paper work or does it need to be a heavier lb? As well, i have calligraphy paper does it work with letter brushing?!

    • Thank you! Regular printer paper will work, but it tends to be harsh on the tips of brush pens. (Though I have to admit I use printer paper quite a bit and if that’s all you have, it certainly will work.) Heavier lb paper will be better if you want to layer or blend colors, as it won’t pill up, but it is also a little harsh on the markers.

      So you don’t break the bank with expensive papers, I would recommend using a combination of printer paper and smoother papers. There is a specific kind of paper called “smooth paper” that is kinder to marker tips. In addition, Canson marker paper or a Rhodia paper pad will work nicely.

      I’m not sure what kind of calligraphy paper you have, but the key for brush lettering is to find smooth paper that will extend the life of your pens. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  • Hi! Thank you very much for the tips! I’ve jus began doing the brush lettering and your videos are helping me a lot! Sorry for my english tough… A big thank you from France

    • You’re welcome! I’m really glad it helped you and glad to have connected with someone from across the ocean. 🙂