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Brush Lettering Tips for Beginners With FREE Uppercase Alphabet Printable

by Design Team 12 Oct 2021 1 comment

Hi friends! Missy Briggs here from and @missybriggs on Instagram. I just love sharing brush lettering tips and tricks. In fact, I’ve got a previous blog post here with five tips for lettering in your journal.

pens and sheet

Those tips are helpful but I’d love to share tips that are specific to the brand new Calliograph pens from Archer & Olive. These dual-sided spongy tipped brush pens were first introduced in the Fall 2021 Subscription box in a dreamy cool palette of blue, gray and peach. The small brush tip side is perfect for lettering or drawing on a smaller scale. The larger brush tip side is ideal for larger lettering or watercolor painting. 

Materials Needed:

Don’t forget to use code MISSY10 when you shop Archer & Olive for 10% off your purchase!


Start Lettering with Calliograph Brush Pens

Practice making thin and thick strokes with your pen. Try getting started by making lines in your A5 Archer & Olive Notebook using varying amounts of pressure. It’s a great way to get a feel for how the brush pen works. The Calliograph Pens are so unique because they are double sided and allow you to make both large and small marks.

pressure drills

Lowercase brush pen practice sheet

Grab some tracing paper! The Calliograph pens in the Fall Subscription Box came with a brush lettering guide to get you started. You can also download an A5 guide from my site here. Once you have your guides downloaded and in front of you, take time to trace the examples before trying them completely on your own. Tracing is not cheating. Over time you’ll naturally form your own lettering style and I promise it will not look like mine. That’s completely okay!

lowercase template


Uppercase Brush Pen Practice Sheet

Aim for progress over perfection. The video below will demonstrate the uppercase alphabet from A to Z. Follow my lead for the order of each stroke to form a letter. But aim for a little progress every day. There is no way you’re gonna perfect this in a week. Date your lettering practice sheets and look back over time to see progress.

Bonus: Here’s a link to download this uppercase brush lettering practice sheet!

free brush lettering download


Calliograph Brush Pen Dual Tip Shadowing

 When drawing letters or lines with the larger brush pen tip, try flipping the pen around and dropping a shadow with the smaller tip end. This is a simple way to add dimension and a little personality to your lettering. 

creating shadows


Protect the tip of the brush pen

Use the side, not the tip - When drawing with the larger brush pen, use a light touch to draw lines and then the side of the brush to color it  in.  Take care not to use the very tip of the brush tip—ever. You kind of use the side to do all the work and protect that tip from being crushed up against the paper. The spongy felt tip end of the pen can withstand a good amount of pressure and bounce back to the original shape, but you still don’t want to make a habit of smushing the tip.

how to hold the pen

Caption: The arrow in the image above shows exactly which part of the brush you should use to make contact with the paper. Avoid the tip and use the side!

Create a Watercolor Wash

To make a watercolor wash, grab a piece of acrylic, glass, or laminated surface. Using the side of the larger brush pen, lay down some ink by scribbling across the nonporous surface. Now take a paintbrush loaded with a little water and paint with it! Once it’s dry you can write over your watercolor wash with the brush pen to create watercolor headings in your journal.

watercolour effect

Even more brush pen practice

This blog post from fellow design team member Kate has a downloadable with faux calligraphy lettering. But you can use it for brush calligraphy too.

You can also get to a downloadable A5 sized brush lettering practice page through my blog post here

Thanks for following along. I cannot wait to see what you create! Tag me on Instagram with your creations @missybriggs

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1 comment

21 Oct 2021 Andrea

Thanks for the tips. You gave me a couple new things to try! I’m loving these calliographs so much!

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