Watercolor Lettering

by Chia Yulo September 19, 2014

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to score a slot in Alessandra Lanot's Life After Breakfast Watercolor Lettering Class. I had taken a few of her other workshops before but I have to say I as most excited about this one. I have long been fascinated with watercolor as a medium but have had many failed attempts as it is quite difficult. Since I love doodling and lettering, I figured this class would be a happy medium.
We started by introducing ourselves (Hi, I'm Chia and I take way too many craft classes!) and checking out our kits. Each one included two different sizes of watercolor pads, four different brushes, palette mixing sheets, a pencil, eraser and my absolute favorite-- three bottles of watercolor ink. Yes, ink! This is a liquid concentrated version of watercolor that's ready to use, no water needed. They are gorgeous and come in all colors of the rainbow but for this class,  we were provided with the primary colors and Alessa gave us a review on color theory. The kicker? We were told to try not to use our pencils to trace anything. Challenge, accepted! 
We were taught watercolor techniques and did drills to familiarize ourselves with our materials. There was also a lecture of the history of lettering and the importance of spacing. 
I liked playing with the wet-on-wet technique.
The first activity was to make our own original lettering style with a random theme. I got Cars at first and immediately panicked! Luckily, my male seat mate was willing to trade so I ended up with Leaves instead. Yay! Here's what I came up with.
Not bad for a first attempt, eh? Imagine how that would have gone down with cars!! I think we all did well.
Our last activity was to do original watercolor lettering of our favorite quote or song lyric using all the techniques and theories we learned in class. Spacing was especially tricky for me. 
This is a closeup of the work of the master. No pencil and no tracing. Imagine the patience and control involved in painting that. She did it so quickly and made it look so easy. Alessa really is so talented.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. We got to take home all our materials so I've been tinkering with them a few minutes a day. I have discovered that it can be quite calming. I especially love discovering the new colors I can come up with with the three bottles but have also been quietly contemplating ordering other colors and calling it a day.
What do you do to keep your creative juices flowing? Check out or hobbies and crafts books here. We're sure you'll be inspired in no time.
To join any of Alessa's workshops check out her blog, Life After Breakfast and sign up there. Bring a friend. I guarantee it will be an afternoon well-spent. 
Your Purveyor-at-Large,

Chia Yulo
Chia Yulo


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