Okay friends, are you ready for this?? The most important lettering tool you can have is…
That's right - a good eraser.
Now before you get all upset that this hand lettering tip is just about an eraser, hear me out and don't worry - I'm including links to lots of my favorite supplies. This is good stuff!
Here is a little secret: all of that "amazing" lettering you see me do with a fancy brush pen in videos on Instagram? Well, a majority of the time before filming those with a pen, I whip out my trusty pencil and eraser and sketch and re-sketch many many times before getting it right. I mean look at this rough draft…
Most of the best lettering artists you've seen sketch with pencil a TON before coming up with their final designs too, I'm promise you.
Save your ink!!! I mean it. It's so fun (and tempting!) to write with those beautiful (and pricey) pens right out of the gate, but I'm telling you that you'll be so happy to save paper and ink by sketching first.
But then how do you create your final piece you might ask?? Let me tell you...
- you can either use tracing paper and place it over your sketch to trace if you are going to digitize it anyway. (*This is what I mostly do!)
- you can refer to your sketch as a guide and copy it onto another piece of paper
- you can sketch lightly and then go over it with pen and erase the pencil marks.
And now for a little low down on erasers...
Pictured here is a regular paper mate white pearl eraser. What's great about this and the pentel white eraser is that they don't leave any pink smudging on your paper like pink erasers do & are soft and gentle on your paper too. They're the best!
The type of paper you sketch on does matter. You can totally use regular printer paper, but it does tend not to last as well through lots of erasing. I absolutely LOVE our Lettering Dot Paper. It is so smooth and so sturdy, I feel like I can sketch and erase a hundred times without the paper coming apart.
As far as pencils go, I am not a pencil snob. I actually prefer to buy boxes of pre-sharpened yoobi pencils (am I lazy or what?!). I know there are fancy pants pencils and I have used lots of different ones, but the 2B is a great one for me when I'm sketching.
Another eraser will actually erase ink! The Tombow Sand Eraser really will erase pen! It is not meant for erasing a whole letter or word. This is for minor things. You get a smudge of ink on an envelope and don't want to re-write the whole thing - you can gently use the sand eraser and it will sand off a tiny bit of that envelope to "erase" the smudge. This can truly be a lifesaver!
And there you have it... I could have said that the most important lettering tool is a pencil and it sort of is but unless you have a good eraser, the pencil can't quite do its job, right? Right. So remember, sketch, sketch sketch! It will change the way you compose your lettering and you will find your final drafts are so much better.
You can find more about my favorite lettering tools here, but the pencil and eraser really are the most important, I promise!!
Do you have something you're struggling with in your lettering that you'd love to learn more about in a future newsletter or class? Message me on Instagram or leave a comment there and we can talk about it - I love connecting with you and sharing some lettering love!
Xo ❤️ Lisa