Chalk board letteringThis week I practiced hand lettering and typography. It’s a big topic, so here is Part 1. 🙂

This is Week 10 of my 6-month kawaii drawings challenge.

A picture is worth a thousand words. But better yet is a picture + words!

Drawings and doodles can benefit greatly from a few whimsical letters and words. They can communicate the message of the artwork, or they can become beautiful images in themselves.

Below are examples of gorgeous lettering designs, along with a book that will teach you how to create lettering designs yourself.

12 Gorgeous Examples of Hand Lettering

Lettering has always been a difficult area of design for me. Even scary! Whenever I go to sign a card, I just end up using same handwriting style I use in every day life. But for kawaii illustrations we need to use words and letters that are really expressive and that add to the picture.

Since I didn’t know where to start, I went to the one place an artist goes for inspiration 😉 – Pinterest. Here is what I found!

Click any image below to zoom  

Many of the images I saved on Pinterest looked like they were done by the same artist and in the same style. A trend was emerging, so I decided to look deeper into it.

That’s how I  discovered hand lettering on chalk board. And that’s how I discovered Valerie McKeehan.

Best Hand Lettering Book

The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering by Valerie McKeehanI eventually stumbled upon a pin that looked like a book cover. It was! So my next step was to go to Amazon and purchase it :). What better way to learn lettering than from Valerie herself!

Here it is: The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering by Valerie McKeehan (this is an affiliate like, which means if you buy using my link, I will get a small commission at no cost to you).

So far I am very happy with a book. Valerie starts out by going through the basics of lettering and typography. She then shows examples of lettering effects (3D, texturing, shading), followed by a few typefaces to practice.

The section I found most helpful is where Valerie demonstrates places to add flourishes and decorations. For example, the tails of letters F and T are an ideal place to add a few swirls.

There is not much text in the book, which can be good or bad depending on the type of learner you are. I prefer to see pictures, so it works for me. The book covers a pretty basic set of skills for hand lettering. It’s not exactly your in-depth guide. But again, what I am aiming to learn right now is introduction to lettering. This book came at an ideal time, and I am very happy with my drawing results.

Here are a few examples of drawings I made from the book:

Stay Wild at Heart Sketch

First sketch from Valerie McKeehan’s book on chalk lettering

Hand Lettering of a word "Pretty"

Hand Lettering of a word “Pretty”

Lettering Shadow Effects

Practicing shadow effects, drawn from Valerie McKeehan’s book on chalk lettering

Friends Forever Hand Lettering

Friends Forever Hand Lettering

Next week I will continue to practice lettering by exploring lettering styles and fonts. I also plan to create at least one “original” lettering design to practice what I’ve learned. Check it next Monday, Jan 30th!

Materials Used This Week

Full disclosure: I personally own and use all of these. If you buy anything using my links, Amazon will pay me a small commission (no cost to you - thank you!). But if you normally shop somewhere else, it's totally ok too.

Drawing References

Drawing Time Diary

Monday, Jan 16: no drawing
Tuesday, Jan 17: one session, 20 mins
Wednesday, Jan 18: two sessions, 1 hr, 20 mins
Thursday, Jan 19: one session, 1.5 hr
Friday, Jan 20: one session, 1 hr 20 mins
Saturday, Jan 21: no drawing
Sunday, Jan 22: no drawing

Total drawing time: 4 hr 30 mins

Read all about my 6-month masterplan and track my drawing progress week by week.