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I am a Learner, currently of Brush Lettering

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Gail here — time to sum up my first batch of work for my #lastdaysof2017 project! It actually began September 1st, making Day 1/100 be my 23rd day of practice… never mind — this even confuses me.

Here are all my practice pages since September 1st! 

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I am kind of sorry (for you!) that I chose another learning venture, brush marker lettering, for this 100 day project, since I had done that with the one we started last spring. I was learning to draw then (and still am) but I promise that this fall’s will become prettier much sooner than blind contour drawings of guinea pigs! Scroll our instagram or our Facebook page Photos to see odd cats and wonky elephants, too. LOL

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Day 1/100 for this project, 23rd day of my journey. (above)

The truth is that I love to learn how to do new things. I am passionate about them until I reach a certain level of competency that even I do not know ahead of time, and then I am off to something else. I am also a learner in other ways; always looking up the details about how something works — materials, methods, choices, and the topic could be absolutely anything that made me wonder. My particular brush lettering journey that began on September 1st even included daily homework!

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If you’ve ever been captivated by watching a video of calligraphy, cake decorating, hair styling, watercolor painting, whatever it may have been for you, you know how addicting it can be to watch another, and then another.

I found Kelly Klapstein of kellycreates.ca this way, probably on YouTube but then soon on Facebook. When she offered a class for absolute beginners, free, Sept 1-25 using Facebook Live videos, I signed up! Her baseline style is clean and basic. She is a born teacher. All the things that make a great learning experience for me.

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I continue to play along with the daily prompts at Kelly Creates Art & Calligraphy on Facebook, but you’ll see that work as my 100 day project postings. 

I do a bit of extra writing on my practice sheets, it seems … 

Reminders of goals …

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Notes and marks of the good and bad — developing my critical eye … 

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And celebrations — I stopped after writing the word of the day “yellow” just once because the best version OBVIOUSLY came first! 

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I had some fun when the overturn drills looked like row upon row of cartoonish headstones… 

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When single-color practice sheets suddenly looked far too boring, I started selecting a daily color scheme … 

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… and keeping track of the color numbers of my Tombow Dual Brush Markers. 

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Turns out I already owned the preferred basic large brush marker in many colors — those Tombow dual brush markers are great for adult coloring and for fake watercoloring. The brush end makes superb brush lettering when you are good enough, but they are probably the toughest marker to learn with. Oh well! I’ll be amazing right off the bat when I use others, right?

And I certainly do not need to own more markers.


Continuing on the frugal vein, I began by using tracing paper laid over free lined printouts from Kelly’s site. The tracing paper pad was 11″ x 14″ so I was tearing sheets into 11″ x 7″ halves. The pad has been around a while, so there are ripples in the pages from humidity. That makes those thin light lines look wobbly and skippy though, and is pretty frustrating.

I am also using notebook paper salvaged from spiral notebooks of my children’s school years and will continue to do so until I run out  — the perfect “use it up” situation in my mind. 

Can I actually be past the days of loading up a shopping cart with all the cool stuff I will ever need right NOW!?

Speaking of shopping. While shopping for supplies for a 3-day collage workshop (*swoon* you’ll see that soon OMG) I found nice flat tracing paper that’s 9″ x 12″ on sale and I stocked up! YAY! Flat paper is pretty amazing LOL

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During those three out-of-town workshop days, I kept up with my nightly practice, choosing the my own words (above) and staying up late. And using my new flat tracing paper! That Sunday evening when I returned home however — I was done. So tired that I didn’t even want to sit up to do this meditative-like practice. There will never be a Day 10/100, but it was worth it! 

So that’s my brush lettering journey — from the first-ever days of pencil practice: 

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… to my latest: Day 16/100 of Gail’s brush lettering practice during the last 100 days of 2017 (38 days since the pencil work just above.)

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Hope you have a happy colorful fall!


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