If there is any one complaint I have heard most often in the art world, especially the mixed media and art trading world, is that there is no perfect white pen. The second-most complained complaint is all about handwriting. Artists seem to universally hate their handwriting, which seems totally counter-intuitive – handwriting is, in its essence, a series of lines, and artists are all about lines. The fact still remains that handwriting is the artist’s Achilles heel.
So! Enter this awesome book! The Art of Whimsical Lettering by Joanne Sharpe.
As you can probably tell just by looking at the cover, Ms. Sharpe has some awesome lettering going on. Here, allow me to take you on a tour, I promise it isn’t one of those dreaded “three-hour tours.” I need a movie star and millionaire before that happens.
She starts with a section on supplies, covering pencils, pens, markers, ink, watercolors, paper, everything you can imagine.
She then offers a section on making an inspiration journal, a place to just practice writing. She talks about the difference between her personal handwriting and writing that is intentionally artistic and how it is important to slow down and be intentional in the letter forms.
She talks about the basics, such as sketching in pencil beforehand and changing line widths:
There is a huge section on making custom alphabets with lots of awesome examples!
The book finishes with ideas for using your newfound skills in your art:
There is, of course, much more information packed into this 135-page book than what I’m showing here, but you get the basic idea: GO OUT AND BUY IT (if you hate your handwriting. If you are a master calligrapher, just go on with your bad self and come over and give me lessons).
As usual, I received no financial compensation for this post, I just dig the book.