For most of my life, I had an irrational fear/aversion towards watercolors, painting, and art in general. Going to art class was pure torture for me. My mind would always go blank when it was time to draw, sculpt, paint, or whatever project that involved creating something tangible.
Words, on the other hand, were my comfort zone. I aced spelling tests, wrote short stories for fun, kept a diary, got in trouble with my mom for reading "too much", and had several pen pals whom I'd send endless pages of nonsense.
If you had told me three years ago, that I'd pick up watercolor brush calligraphy at the age of 36, without having picked up a paint brush in over two decades, I would have looked at you funny. But these mesmerizing lettering videos just kept popping up on Instagram and I just had to try it for myself.
I was living in Taiwan at that time, and had spent the stifling, hot summer lettering away in the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment. After three months of daily practice, I was still struggling with the brush pen and decided it was time for something new. I got my hands on a couple of generic waterbrushes and a cheap watercolor pan. Turns out, lettering with a paint brush came more naturally to me than a brush pen (what!?) - the soft bristles were much more flexible and I found it easier to achieve the thick and thick strokes. The watercolors glided over the paper so effortlessly - I didn't understand why I had wasted so much time trying those markers everyone else was fawning over!
I eventually got the hang of brush pens, obviously - but, I carved my own path to get here.
So, if you're just starting out with brush calligraphy, I want to encourage you to try new things. Things that might make you uncomfortable. Don't quit just because you can't get that one thing to work. Experiment, play, create something - even if it sucks.
If you're local to Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley area, join me for a watercolor brush lettering workshop!
Below, are some recommendations if you're interested in the tools that I used for this video. But, you don't need expensive supplies - remember, I started with a $5 watercolor pan (you can get a similar one from Michael's) and a generic waterbrush.
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