Here’s a free downloadable brush lettering alphabet guide for y’all! As much as I’d like to learn how to write words and full sentences when I was starting out writing calligraphy, I learned (albeit the hard way) that memorizing your letter forms and building muscle memory is the most important thing.
Learning your ABCs should come first before writing words and sentences.
So here’s a free alphabet guide for you to download and refer to when practicing pointed pen calligraphy or brush lettering.
So how does this alphabet actually guide you in your quest for exemplary calligraphy skills? You can print this and tape it on your wall, and refer to it every time you practice. You can also load this on your device (prop up your iPad!) so you can view it while you write. This is my personal freehand style that I tend to use most of the time, either with a brush or a dip pen, and lately using an Apple Pencil. Following this style as a beginner will help you with your forms. As you become more familiar with the strokes, you will then explore different styles—maybe a different way of writing letters, or as simple as changing the slant.
So here’s the brush lettering alphabet guide I promised! As with everything on the house, it’s free for personal use and should not be redistributed nor sold. You may link back to this post if you’d like to share. And don’t forget… practice makes pretty! So flex those muscles and get writing!
It’s time for a celebration! Around this time each year, I host a giveaway that’s slightly bigger than those I usually have. To kick off 2019, I’m giving away a nice bundle of goodies for brush lettering lovers! It doesn’t matter how far along in your lettering journey you are. If you love brush lettering, don’t mind having additional tools to help you hone your craft, or know someone who would love a bunch of free brush lettering tools, then you should join this giveaway!
So what am I celebrating, exactly? Well, there’s my birthday, my wedding anniversary, and the anniversary of this baby of mine, the Happy Hands Project. When I started HHP I just wanted to share my calligraphy and lettering stories, and I can’t believe it’s still here! I’m still blogging and sharing my calligraphy and lettering passion with the world. I’ve met so many friends who share the same love for this craft and I’ve learned so much from all of you.
Here’s to another year of learning and becoming a better artist! Being a creative means learning is life-long and we’re all here to enjoy the ride.
This year’s going to be a blast (happy dance!) as I’m looking forward to accomplishing many things on my to-do list. I’ll share my big plans later on, but for now, here’s the Happy Hands Project birthday giveaway!
I teamed up with author and wordsmith @thepenlesswriter for this giveaway! We are giving away a copy of her recently published book, Beneath. It is a collection of some of the best motivational quotes she has written and featured on @thepenlesswriter Instagram page. If you’re looking for quotes and words to practice calligraphy or lettering with, this book is perfect.
On top of that, I’ll be giving away some of my favourite brush pens, and some watercolour tools to get you started in brush lettering using an actual paint brush. So what’s in the bag, you ask? One lucky winner will win the following items:
12-pan watercolour palette
plastic mixing palette
Zig gold metallic brush pen
Tombow dual brush pen
Pentel Fude Touch Brush pen
Pentel Artist Brush pen
A5 size notebook with the winner’s name in embossed lettering
A5 size lettering print by Happy Hands Project (not pictured)
The giveaway starts today, February 14th, and closes on Thursday, February 28th at 12 midnight Singapore time (GMT +8). The lucky winner will be chosen randomly and will be contacted via email within 72 hours of the giveaway closing. If I don’t receive an email reply from the winner within seven (7) days of the original email, I will be randomly selecting another winner.
Open internationally! This giveaway is open to everyone 18 years old and above. The prizes will be shipped via Singapore Post, so as long as I can ship to your location, you can join! Shipping of items to the winner is free of charge however, any customs fees (should it apply) will be paid for by the recipient. Good luck!
Halloween is coming! Here’s a free download for you, my lovely readers—5 wicked Photoshop brushes for Halloween, plus 2 bonus ones to make your artwork more interesting. These are hand-lettered words converted into high quality Photoshop brushes.
You can use these brushes as overlays for your digital photos. You can use these on your blog post and Instagram photos, Halloween party invites, Halloween greeting cards, or as gift tags to go along with some hostess gifts. Calligraphy and lettering makes everything look more personal, so how about adding these hand-lettered brushes onto your design?
Installing the Photoshop brushes in your computer is easy-peasy. On a Mac, I just double click the .abr file or drag it into Photoshop, and it’s installed. More detailed instructions can be found on this post on Creative Market.
Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with! As with everything that’s on the house, this Photoshop brush set is free for personal use and may not be distributed or sold. If you’d wish to share these goodies (thank you!), just link back to this blog post.
I have a free download for all you hustlers out there. I haven’t done a desktop wallpaper freebie in a while, and I think it’s high time to give one away! It’s time to give our desktops a makeover and at the same time have a reminder in plain sight to slay the day. Oh, and eat and love too, of course.
Have you thought about taking online classes to learn lettering, calligraphy or any other creative skill? I’ve rounded up 4 of my favourite online creative classes that I’m sure will kickstart your journey on lettering or calligraphy!
I’m excited to let you guys know that Happy Hands Project has partnered with Skillshare to bring you 2 MONTHS OF FREE PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP! With a premium membership, you can stream more than 18,000 online classes on subjects like design, business, and tech. What I like most about Skillshare is that students are learning alongside more than 3 MILLION members who are as passionate as we are. Members can share their work, give each other feedback and share insights and learnings through group discussions. And I’m telling ya, it could be a pretty great experience.
Use the gift code HAPPYHANDS2 when you register to get 2 months of free premium membership.
I have taken some classes on Skillshare when I was starting out with modern calligraphy. Each class has a project to be completed at the end of the course which makes it exciting. You’d want to learn as much to be able to get that project done the right way.
After learning the basics of modern calligraphy, it’s time to make something digital out of them! Digitized calligraphy can be used in print and online in the form of logotypes, advertising, title treatments, printed stationery, and beyond. In this course Molly will walk you through four steps—sketching, flourishing, inking and finally, digitising.
The distinct Mary Kate style will be taught by her in this beginners’ class. In this 2-hour class, Mary Kate reveals the first steps of hand lettering and shares how to concept, design, and letter phrases for any use—a poster, magazine, t-shirt, or anything else you might imagine. There are very useful downloadable resources, too, which will help you in conceptualizing your very first lettering piece.
I’ve been following Martina’s lettering work for a few years now. This class is all about different lettering techniques and styles and is perfect for beginners or advanced students of lettering that want to expand their stylistic palette when drawing letters.
If you’re interested in any or all of these classes, it’s definitely worth it to check out Skillshare. Skillshare’s giving away a free trial to my lovely readers. Just sign up using my link, or use the code HAPPYHANDS2 and you’ll get 2 months of unlimited online classes for free. No commitments and you could cancel anytime.
A few weeks ago I made the ultimate calligraphy checklist available for download. Now it’s time to practice, so whip out your beginners’ tools because it’s time to start writing! Here’s another calligra-freebie—guidelines you can download for free and print so you can practice on your letter forms.
True story: I was teaching a workshop where the participant did not care about the guidelines on her practice sheets. I told her that for starters, making the base of the letters touch the baseline would make her writing legible and the sizes consistent. She replied nonchalantly, “I’m trying to bounce my lettering”. I insisted that she MUST follow the guidelines provided (nicely, of course). Let’s start by following the basic rules, people.
These free guidelines come in 2 sizes—A4 and letter. The x’s on the sides mark the x-height of the letter (which is the size of the lower case x) and the slants are based on Copperplate‘s 55° angle. It’s a challenge to keep your slants consistent, hence the slant guides. The best way to use these guidelines is to print them on your practice paper, or print one sheet and place tracing paper over it. Use paper clips to secure the sheets in place.
Is learning calligraphy one of your goals for 2018? No time to waste then, my friends. Download these guide sheets for free.
Send me the calligraphy guidelines, please!
Oh, and if you’re looking for a modern calligraphy exemplar, you can download one here.
Calligraphy and brush lettering fonts are everywhere these days. No complaints here, but because of the sheer volume of fonts, it’s been really difficult to find a high quality free font. Yep, there are lots of high quality fonts out there — those with good kerning, clean shapes and nice letter forms. But free? That one’s rare.
It’s a fluid, pointed pen style script that dances up and down the base line. It looks like it has been scribbled nonchalantly, without a care in the world. The letters are delicately crafted, I could almost hear the nib very lightly touching the paper on the upstrokes.
Paduka Script is free for personal use and is available for download here.
Oh, and look! I made a shimmery printable. Add some sparkle on your wall today. Have an amazing day, everyone!
So. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and let’s face it — not everyone is in the mood for cheesy love cards. I wanted to paint something using my black Higgins Eternal ink, but I was painting with my 5-year old (and she was happily blending reds and greens to make cherries) so I thought pink would be nice.
Here’s my interpretation of the unromantic Valentine card. A prickly cactus in a blend of pink and purple, giving free hugs to those who dare. I threw in a tiny heart just for kicks. Perfect for those you have utterly no romantic feelings for, but you love ’em anyway. Hope you love this free printable as much as I did!
Woot woot! Time for a year-end giveaway! 2016 is coming to a close, and I have to say that this year is indeed a very special one. I have so much to be thankful for, despite the ups and downs that almost made me feel like I was riding a year-long roller coaster. So who wants to win for herself (or himself!) a custom-made wooden oblique holder set?
This year our little family had another addition. The Happy Hour Workshops continued to be extremely in-demand, and I have grown so much just by teaching the craft I loved most. I had my first online workshop (or more appropriately, speaking engagement) over at Modern Thrive. I continued having classes at my favourite studio, The Untitled Space, and said goodbye to it last November. I’ve had lots of amazing memories in that place, but now I am on the lookout for new workshop venues. That in itself, is another adventure. I adore the wedding invitation suites that I designed this year — thanks to brides who were never short of creative ideas!
So guys, to give thanks to everyone of you who stuck around Happy Hands Project and continued following this humble blog of mine, I’m giving away a set of the Happy Hands Project oblique holder set, crafted in collaboration with woodworker Mr Keiichi Sato in Japan.
Join in! The set consists of an oblique holder for right-handed writers, an ink jar holder with 2 ink bottles included, and a pen rest. I will ship the set to anywhere in the world via Singpost registered mail. One winner will be randomly chosen on 1 January 2017 and will be announced thereafter. The giveaway opens 14 December 2016, and closes on 31 December 2016.
I was messing around with my guidelines and tracing paper, thinking of writing in another freehand style of modern calligraphy. Since I’ve become comfortable with my own style, it’s become difficult for me to try to come up with an entirely different way of writing the alphabet.
After a few tries, I came up with an entrance stroke that was pretty simple but all new to me. I wrote the uppercase letters in a similar style, but did not use my usual slant. Instead, I wrote this in a slightly upright manner, and that is how I came up with The Eloise Exemplar.
So why did I explore this other style? Well, I’m not planning on using this type of freehand in any of my calligraphy pieces, but it was a good exercise. I am very comfortable with my own calligraphy handwriting so coming up with a different way of writing letters (and eventually an entire alphabet!) was a challenge. But I’m telling ya, it was super fun.
So how about if I share this exemplar to my lovely readers? Yes? Modern calligraphy beginners, this will serve as a good alphabet guide that you can print out and copy. Having an alphabet guide in front of you while practicing will help you familiarise yourselves with the letter forms. This will also show you which stroke should be an upstroke (thin) and which should be a downstroke (thick). Once you are comfortable with writing each letter, then you can explore different styles and eventually come up with your own. How cool is that?
So get your dotted pad, ink, holder and Nikko G nib ready and print this exemplar on an A4 sized card stock. Happy writing! And remember — practice makes pretty!