In today’s Brush Lettering Lesson, I’m talking about the upstroke & the downstroke. You can see a demonstration of these strokes on my youtube channel video.
Thin Up, Thick Down
Remember in my last lesson, I discussed using very light pressure (exerting the least amount of force on your paper using your pen) when creating lines that go up. Alternately, we use heavy pressure to create thick lines that go down. Don’t be afraid of your pen. You need to really get used to the pen you will be using, understanding the angles of your paper and your pen, and knowing when to use very light pressure and very heavy pressure.
This stroke takes practice, so SLOW DOWN. You don’t need to whip through your practice sessions. Doing so will cause frustration in the future. Practice this stroke daily until it feels comfortable (10-15 minutes a day is great!). The upstroke will be used on many letters, so take your time. Shakiness at first is to be expected.
Start off with light to medium pressure at the top (cap-height). Curve slightly as shown above using heavy pressure. When you get toward the bottom (baseline), lift off your pen to create a lighter stroke. You can also use a straight up and down stroke to practice downstrokes. This stroke is more difficult to do, but will be used with the letters. So at first, feel free to just make a straight line but press down to create the stroke. See the video above for an example.
This combines the upstroke & downstroke to create a combination stroke. Create your upstroke by starting at the baseline and use light pressure toward the cap-height. Transition your stroke by lifting up your pen and then pressing down toward the baseline.
Practice these strokes daily for several weeks or until they become easier. Next time I’ll talk about a few other strokes you can practice. Remember, all these strokes are necessary in order to learn our letters, so don’t skimp on the practice. Take it slow and work at really getting down these strokes. Here’s a reference sheet you can download to have on hand. If you missed the other posts, be sure to read these before moving ahead. Be sure to also subscribe using the button below for free stuff!