27 Apr 2020Mont Marte

Whether you want to create a décor piece or you’re on the hunt for a new creative activity, hand lettering might be just what you’re looking for! Below are some of our top tips to make your project as smooth as possible.

1. Warm up exercises

You know how you warm up to play sport? Well, you can do the same for hand lettering. We’d recommend practicing a few letters or words before you get started on the final piece. This will help loosen up your hands so that you’re ready to create smooth lettering.

2. Pick a medium

Top right corner of blank page on table with watercolour paints and pens above the page and more pens and brushes to the right of the page.

When it comes to choosing a medium for your hand lettering projects, the choice is yours. Some popular options include brush tip markers, felt tip pens and watercolour paints. If you need some guidance, have a look around at what people are using for different styles and go from there!

3. Choose the right paper

Since there’s sometimes a lot of erasing involved in hand lettering, we suggest using a good quality, durable paper like thick watercolour paper (300gsm or above). This will also come in handy if you’re using watercolours because they can cause regular paper to warp.

4. Keep a test sheet beside you

Hand using pen on test sheet covered in watercolour and pen scribble with disc of watercolour paints sitting on top.

When you’re working on your final artwork, the last thing you want is to accidentally apply the wrong colour or too much paint! A handy trick is to keep a spare sheet of paper next to you so that you can test colours and remove excess paint.

5. Use a ruler

There can be a little bit of measuring involved in hand lettering, so make sure you have a ruler ready to go. This will help you to space out letters evenly and create straight guide lines.

6. Draw in guide lines

Sketching in some light guide lines is a great way to keep your words straight and plan out your composition. You can then gently erase them when you’re done.

7. Lightly sketch in letters first

Hand using lead pencil on white page with aqua paint to sketch letters.

Once your guide lines are in, you might like to sketch in the letters. But you can also go free-hand if you’re comfortable with that!

8. Clean up your work

Once your hand lettering artwork has dried, it’s time to clean up any stray pencil marks. Use a soft vinyl eraser to gently remove any marks from the guide lines or letters that you may have sketched in earlier. If you want to refine any edges and add thin tips or tails to your letters, a fine tip marker will often do the trick.

9. Display your artwork

Three frames on wall, each displaying a painted page with inspirational words.

It’s time to put your work on show! You can pick up plenty of different types of affordable frames from retail stores, or head to your local framer if you’d like a custom piece.

10. Keep practicing

Last but not least, keep practicing. With hand lettering, you’ll notice that you get better and better the more you do it. See for yourself - keep your very first hand lettering artworks and compare them to what you create further down the track!


Want more tips and tricks? Check out our beginners hand lettering video lesson where we take you through 3 different styles. We’d love to see your artworks, so feel free to tag @montmarteart on Facebook or Instagram.