Friday, June 16, 2017

Weekend At The Studio: Brush Lettering!

A few weeks ago I spontaneously decided I needed a creative getaway. (You know -- all grown ups, like-minded creatives, and just a little "me time!") Within a couple of hours, I bought a plane ticket, booked a hotel and signed up to attend a brush lettering weekend with the amazingly talented Kelly Klapstein! 

I arrived in Charlotte, NC two days later and was just giddy about meeting Kelly. (If you aren't familiar with her work, she is on Instagram with the username KellyCreates. Incredible hand lettering!) I was also excited about seeing "art friends" who share my love of creating. There's something so wonderful about being with people for an entire weekend who truly get your love of art supplies, creating, and the "latest and greatest" in the art world! 

Well, Kelly was indeed a delight! She had traveled from Canada to teach this class. She does have a lovely accent, and a fabulous sense of humor. And boy can she create some BEAUTIFUL hand lettering, and makes it look EASY!


She had beautiful name tags for each of us that she had made, and an incredible tote bag full of lettering supplies waiting for us on the tables in the studio. Yes, all of us participants were like little kids on Christmas morning! 

So many markers, so little time! I will say, very truthfully, that lettering is much harder than it looks. Kelly stressed to us that we had to practice every single day, and work on our muscle memory. At first it seemed a little overwhelming, but when I watched Kelly effortlessly write each of our names on the overhead projector, and each one looked like an amazing work of art, I knew this was something I must learn!

We spent two full days practicing each letter of the alphabet. We learned up strokes, down strokes, ovals, you name it! It was very interesting to learn how each different marker / brush pen felt in your hand. It was also interesting how that changed over the course of the weekend. (The first day I liked only one pen, but by the end of the second day, I had several favorites.)


Not only did we work on lettering with brush markers, but we also learned to do watercolor lettering. I think this type of lettering was my favorite. I love the way you can blend the colors of paint together, and especially the way you can easily achieve a very thin line with a paint brush.

I can't say enough about Kelly and what a wonderful teacher she is! She has instruction, tips, and worksheets on her website ( and she has a book coming out later this year. You really must check her out if you're interested in brush lettering and calligraphy. She's a lettering genius!

Now I have a plan, thanks to Kelly. She said that if we practice 20 minutes a day for two months, we will be amazed at the improvement we make in our lettering. Well, I accept that challenge! Thanks so much for teaching and inspiring me, Kelly!

I returned home three days later feeling refreshed, excited, and inspired. I so enjoyed hanging out with my art friends and just having a creative break from the everyday. I also enjoyed meeting new people who share my love for making pretty things! I highly recommend a spontaneous creative weekend... go plan one today!