Today’s post is on paper positions & pen grip for learning how to hand letter. Pen grip and paper positioning is something you will learn as you go. This post gives some guidelines, but honestly, you really need to do what feels comfortable for you. I’m a left-handed letterer (I wear my badge in pride) and I read a lot of blogs about how to letter as a left handed writer. The advice was helpful, but some of it didn’t apply to me at all. If you are a lefty, I suggest reading my post on left handed lettering tips first. Then come back and read this for more help.
If you missed my last post, I suggest starting there for some basic supplies & knowing about lines for lettering.
Basic Guidelines for Paper Positions
Left handed & right handed artists will position their paper differently. Generally, a 30-45 degree angle for left handed writers works best, while for a right handed person, a 20-45 degree angle would work better. See what works best for you.
Here’s a graphic that can help you with angling your paper and where to place your paper.
Brush Pens (small or big pens with a brush tip) are made to be pressed down on. The only thing you should worry about is the paper being used. You can easily shred a tip on crappy paper. So use the good stuff, like Canson Marker paper or Rhodia dot pads. But as far as ruining it from writing by pressing too hard, this isn’t likely. They are meant to be pressed on. So keep that in mind when creating your strokes.
Pen Strokes & Pen Position
When creating an upstroke, use light pressure. When doing a downstroke, use medium to heavy pressure. This will make more sense when I get to talking about the basic strokes. Of course an upstroke is when you are creating an upward motion (from the baseline to cap-height) and a downstroke is when you are creating a downward motion (from the cap height toward the baseline).
Just remember this:
THIN UP // THICK DOWN
The one rule I do have is that you never, ever hold your pen straight up and down. It should always be at an angle.
Here’s a reference sheet of this post to print or use for learning. I’ll be back next week to discuss some beginner strokes that we can actually start lettering with! Yah!
Here’s a quick tutorial I did on YouTube. Hope it helps!