M2B Studio - Calligraphy by Missy Briggs

The Brush Test

Lefty letteringMissy Briggs
I'm not sure I passed the brush test! It's just an exercise to get you thinking. 

I'm not sure I passed the brush test! It's just an exercise to get you thinking. 

You can begin using the longer-tipped brush markers anytime. I recommend that the lefties hold off on them until they get a good grasp of using a marker to produce thin and thick strokes... so they feel successful. Shredding the tips of a brand new pack of expensive brush markers is no way to start your journey. 

If you have begun brush lettering with a marker I've suggested in my LEFTY TOOLS supply list, you may be well on your way with creating beautiful lettering samples. Gloriously thin hairline upstrokes and heavy, powerful downstrokes. When you are ready to venture forward with new tools, You've got to expect to retrain that lefty brain. Once you’re ready to begin a new learning curve, try out this brush test.  

1. Grab a #1, or #2 round brush. I'm using a watercolor brush in the photo above.
2. Pick out your favorite color watercolor pan or ink. I'm using FW Pearlescent Acrylic Inks here. My fave for painting. 
3. Try out some lettering using the brush on cover stock. Some quick ABCs will do.

Did you find that you were successful with the alphabet? Or did you see that making those thin upstrokes required some adjustment of your hand position?

This is a great equalizer. The brush will not allow you to make that thin upstroke unless you employ some method of adjustment. This means you have to either:

1. Use the tip of the brush and keep your hand more on top of your work or floating midair above the brush. My official name for this move is the “lefty floater.”
2. Use the momentum coming off of a downstroke and make that hairline just as you lift the brush. 
3. Hook your hand over your work and pull the stroke. This is the righty move. This is exactly how a righty accomplishes this stroke. 

Have some fun trying this out and examine exactly how you are manipulating the brush to make a successful stroke. This insight will be invaluable as you move forward into the longer brush markers.