Holiday-Inspired Calligraphy Using Lettering Paintbrushes
‘Tis the season! We’re bringing you some holiday-inspired calligraphy from Ambassador Jeannie Dickson using lettering paintbrushes. The Princeton Lettering Set was curated by Jeannie herself! She chose all of her must-have brushes for calligraphy including: a Heritage Liner 6, Aqua Elite Angle Shader 1/4", Summit Round 8, Velvetouch Angle Shader 3/8", and Velvetouch Round 4. Follow along to paint a gorgeous “Tis the Season to be Jolly” piece.
Select your supplies. I’ll be using Canson Montval, 9x12” 140 lb Cold Press Watercolor paper, System 3 Acrylic Inks (Phthalo Turquoise and Cadmium Red Hue), as well as my curated Lettering Brush Set by Princeton. Optional: a glue pen and reactive foil for detailing.
Sketch your design on a regular piece of paper. I decided to letter the phrase “‘Tis the Season” This is meant to be a sketch, so using only one color and the brushes you intend to use, design your lettering piece.
Using the Summit Size 8 Round Brush, letter the first line with the Phthalo Turquoise System3 Acrylic Ink. If you have a light box/pad, you can tape your sketch under the watercolor paper to use as a guide. Otherwise, you can lightly draw some guidelines with a pencil.
With the 3/8” Angle Shader, letter the word “Season”. There are a couple of ways you can use this angle brush. Use the full belly to paint the wide strokes or turn it pointy side down to paint the thinner strokes. You can practice making these strokes on a scrap piece of paper before working on your final piece.
Use the Velvetouch Size 4 Round Brush to paint the rounded serifs.
Paint the red letters using the methods mentioned in steps 4 and 5.
Using a pencil, lightly draw your ornament design. Use clean water to wet the middle section and charge color around the edges. Notice that the paint will spread and will look more translucent since we are using mostly water.
Allow everything to dry and then paint the top and bottom of the ornament with red ink.
Create a lighter color by thinning down the acrylic ink with water, then using the smaller 1/4” Aqua Elite Angular Brush, paint the drop shadow of each letter.
Draw circles in different sizes. This is to add interest to our background. Color the circles with light red and light turquoise ink.
Using a glue pen (I’m using a Quickie Glue pen), draw details to your letters and background. Let everything dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Cut a piece of reactive foil a little larger than your final lettering piece and lay it on top. Using a soft cloth or felt, rub gently over the whole design.
Gently lift the foil to reveal the gold details (this is my favorite part!!).
Take a moment to evaluate your lettering piece and paint any additional details with your lettering paintbrushes.
That's it! You've created a beautiful holiday-inspired calligraphy piece!
You can find more from Jeannie Dickson on her Instagram page @jeanniedicksondesigns.
We hope you’ve enjoyed painting a fun holiday-inspired calligraphy piece using lettering paintbrushes! We’d love to see yours. You can share it with us by tagging @princetonbrush on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Happy holidays and happy creating!