Do you want to learn hand lettering? Do you see those pretty hand written quotes or hand painted signs and think, “I wish I could do that?” You can, and I have the best book recommendation to get you started.
I’ve always loved the look of calligraphy and hand lettering but didn’t think it was ever going to be a skill I could do. Then I met a lady that proved me wrong! She believes anyone can be more creative if they’re just willing to give it a try.
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In July I went to a conference where I met Amy Latta from One Artsy Mama. After only knowing her for two days, I loved her so much I wanted to pack her into my suitcase and bring her home with me.
I did the next best thing…I bought her amazing book, Hand Lettering for Relaxation, and have spent time with it almost every day since.
This is Amy Latta from One Artsy Mama. She is the most patient, talented, loving person I’ve ever met.
It takes a lot for someone to make me feel creative, but Amy did it almost instantly. She had me trying out calligraphy, water color, and hand lettering.
We hit it off instantly because as Amy put it, we have a similar mission. She helps people feel more creative through hand lettering. I help people who don’t think they’re creative decorate their own homes.
My Favorite Book to Learn Hand Lettering
Now, I cannot get enough of her gorgeous book Hand Lettering for Relaxation.
I’ve tried other hand lettering books, but they were so basic compared to Amy’s. Hers is definitely for beginners, but she teaches so much more. She takes you from scared-to-write-on-the-page to confident hand-letterer.
I always wanted to learn hand lettering but never found the right teacher until I met Amy.
I have to admit the initial idea of hand lettering for relaxation sounded like an oxymoron to me. I was worried my perfectionistic tendency would rear its ugly head. That I wouldn’t find it relaxing, I’d find it overwhelming.
But I was wrong. It is super relaxing. My new favorite evening routine is to do yoga and then work on a chapter or two in Amy’s book.
She takes you through every technique and teaches you how to practice what you’re learning along the way. And I love that there is plenty of space in the book to practice each step, so you don’t need extra paper. Which also makes it a portable hobby. I used the book right away in the airport and on the plane coming home from the conference. I also did a lot of hand lettering sitting poolside this summer while my kids were in swimming class.
What You’ll Learn in Hand Lettering for Relaxation
Throughout the book, you learn not just how to hand letter, but how to create your own quote art. Each of the 46 Chapters ends with a quote art project to apply the skills you learned in the chapter.
One thing that makes Amy’s book so great is that it will take you a while to complete. Other hand lettering books I’ve tried, didn’t have enough projects and I breezed through them in two days without really feeling like I learned very much. Amy designed hers with 46 different projects, so if you do one a week, the book will last you almost an entire year.
So why did I wait so long to tell you about this amazing resource? Well, I wanted to tell you about Amy right away after I met her in July, but the first printing of her books was already sold out everywhere! So I’ve been patiently waiting for them to get her book back in stock. And now it is.
I, of course, bought mine from Amy when I met her. I actually ended up helping her the night before the conference cart in boxes of books to sell during her session. So, I got mine first and asked her to sign it…you know, before she got a hand cramp from signing everyone else’s books. I couldn’t believe my eyes when she whipped out this gorgeous little note in my book in under 2 minutes. I knew she was the right lady to learn from.
Watch Me Hand Letter
In this short FB Live recording, I’ll show you how I hand letter a full quote in the book. Plus, I’ll show you my favorite brush pens.
Supplies You Need to Learn Hand Lettering
It takes fewer supplies than you think to learn hand lettering. Because Amy’s book is designed with lots of white space for practice, like a jumbo workbook, all you really need to start is the book and a brush pen. Here are the exact supplies I use:
Must-have supplies to learn hand lettering:
- Hand Lettering for Relaxation book
- Pentel Sign Pen with Brush Tip – A great first pen to start with. You can use this for the faux calligraphy and brush calligraphy techniques Amy teaches in the book.
More recommended supplies:
- Tombow Dual Tip Brush Markers – When you’re ready for some color, these markers are amazing. These are also the ones Amy recommends for her “World’s Easiest Watercolor Background Technique”, which she teaches in Chapter 27. (Note: The price on Amazon for these pens is about 40% cheaper than in the craft stores unless they’re on sale)
- Refillable Water Brush Pen – This is a must for the faux watercolor technique (like you see in my first watercolor project above) and can also be used as a blending pen for the markers.
- Watercolor tiles – You’re going to have so much fun when you learn hand lettering, you’re going to want to play with watercolors, make little prints as gifts, and even design your own cards….seriously. These little 6×6 watercolor sheets are fun to design on.
- Kneaded Rubber Eraser – Amy teaches you how to layout your designs and sketch them out with pencil first. You’ll want a good eraser to completel remove the pencil lines when you’re done.
Now, I want to show you exactly what the book is like inside, along with some of my hand lettering projects. Yes, I feel confident enough, not only to write in my book but also to show you my progress. You’ll be doing this in no time too!
My Hand Lettering Practice
This is one of my earliest designs from Chapter Three. I loved learning how to draw the banners for a simple way to embellish hand lettered quotes. As you can see, my lettering isn’t perfect but I love how it turned out.
Throughout the book, Amy sprinkles in fun ways to dress up your hand lettered designs. The arrows are my favorite. I doodle them everywhere now.
Another favorite is flowers. I adore this simple, easy to draw design. You don’t even have to be good at drawing circles!
This spread is also a great example of how much open white space Amy left in the book so you can practice right alongside her drawings.
Unlike other hand lettering books I’ve tried, Amy teaches A LOT of different letter forms. She shows you step by step how to create each type. This Big & Bold 3D Font with drop shadows was fun to create.
Clearly, I enjoyed learning how to create an ombré effect while writing. This is my absolute favorite technique in the whole book. I learned it while my boys were at swim class. I spent the whole hour practicing with all the colors.
Funny story: At the conference, the breakfast was bad…almost non-existent. So, on the second day, Amy and I decided to skip out of the hotel and go to Starbucks together. I was dying for a Skinny Vanilla Latte BUT the Starbucks was closed on a Saturday morning. Boohoo! The hotel was in a corporate area, so I guess everything is closed on the weekends. Next time, we’ll find an open Starbucks, Amy!
I’m at the point now, where I feel really confident in my hand lettering skills. So much so that I’ve discovered it’s easier to make a card, then to run to the store and buy one. Now I don’t have to worry about not having the right card for the right occasion. I can just make my own with any quote that fits the occasion.
Next, I want to try hand lettering on canvas to make my own art. I’ll let you know how that turns out. This new skill is going to open a world of fun for me. It’ll be easier to make hand-painted signs, write in gold leaf, and make easy party decorations. And, that chalkboard door in my kitchen is begging for some quote art!
If I can do this (and post it here on the blog for the whole world to see), you can do this. If you want to learn hand lettering the easy way, get a copy of Hand Lettering for Relaxation today. Don’t forget, the supply list above with all the fun supplies you need to get started.