M2B Studio - Calligraphy by Missy Briggs

Learn to letter

The best pencil ever

Tools, Learn to letterMissy Briggs
Tips up! When Steinbeck wrote, he drew one pencil from a container that held several dozen, tips up. He used that one pencil to write three lines, then retired it tip down in a different holder. 

Tips up! When Steinbeck wrote, he drew one pencil from a container that held several dozen, tips up. He used that one pencil to write three lines, then retired it tip down in a different holder. 

Let's talk about pencils.

My suggested supply list is some basics that will predictably get the job done. I mention the Staedler Lead Holder in my suggested supply list. I love it. It precisely holds my graphite. And it's been doing so for years. That pencil has been everywhere with me. 

My favorite pencil that will not be with me for years is...The Palomino Blackwing 602. It's going to be sharpened down to nothing, and I'll buy another. It's hard enough to hold a point, and light enough to erase sketches easily. It has a little phrase written on the side, "HALF THE PRESSURE, TWICE THE SPEED." It's sort of a blah gray. Not as sassy and fresh looking as the white Palomino Blackwing Pearl, but it writes more smoothly. 

I recently met the 602's new, limited edition cousin, the Palomino Blackwing VOLUME 24. The Blackwing Volumes collection churns out a new pencil every quarter. This one is inspired by the incredible John Steinbeck and was designed as close to his own specifications as his son could possibly muster.  If one were to describe a pencil as sexy--well, this would be it. The black piano finish, blacked-out stamped markings, black eraser and glossy black ferrule make it so sleek. It's the best looking thing on my desk. I'm buying another box. 

Recap:

BRUNCH PENCIL: PALOMINO BLACKWING PEARL
HOT DATE PENCIL: PALOMINO BLACKWING VOLUME 24 - Tribute to John Steinbeck
MARRIAGE MATERIAL PENCIL: PALOMINO BLACKWING 602
BEST FRIEND FOREVER PENCIL: Staedler Mars Lead Holder

(I am compensated by affiliate links below.) 

Getting started as a lefty: Become a righty

Lefty lettering, Learn to letterMissy Briggs

Your first attempt at brush lettering should make you feel successful. Here's my advice. Start your journey by working as though you're a righty. This will help you understand the basic marks you will be making and better understand why you can't make them when you're writing forwards. 

Practice making some simple marks on your paper from right to left. 

I'm using a Tombow Fudenosuke Soft brush marker on a Rhodia Dot Pad

I'm using a Tombow Fudenosuke Soft brush marker on a Rhodia Dot Pad

Righties drag that pen behind their hand and the hairline upstrokes are simpler to accomplish. Similarly, the beautifully thick shaded downstroke feels like you're laying a solid foundation with easy pressure on the broad edge of the brush tip. When you combine the two pen strokes, you feel the exact way a righty feels. The pen naturally makes this mark without much tweaking or effort. 

Don't be upset. I know. It's a tough pill to swallow. Right-handed people naturally make these marks that I struggle to produce. WE STRUGGLE. We're in this together! Don't quit on me. 

 

Here's a video of me trying it out. Righty-style.