Tombow Techniques: Autumn Inspired Lettering

Yay! It's FALL! I couldn't be happier....even if it's still in the 80's four days a week, I've fully committed to Autumn from the way I dress (already broke out the distressed black denim and ankle booties) to the way I LETTER!

I mean, you only get to do Fall-Inspired Lettering once a year...you might as well do it up big. 

In this post, I have 2 variations of lettering techniques that you can use to (pumpkin) spice up your lettering to give it that seasonal feel. 

Let's jump in!

1. Spooky Branch Lettering

Such a great title, right?! 

This technique features the Fudenosuke Twin Tip Brush Pen. This pen has two brush pen tips on either side, one in black, and one in gray! See how perfectly it works for this technique, and just imagine how many other cool effects you could create with the two shades paired together. 

Tree branches happen to be one of my favorite things to doodle. I love the organic shape of them, and how you really can't go wrong. No two tree branches look exactly alike, and they are NEVER 'perfect.' If you're not experienced with tree branches, I suggest your first step of this process to be practicing some tree branches. 

Eek! It's so hard to capture pencil marks in a photo, but here are my practice sketches of tree branches. I start with a long straight line down the center. This line can go vertically or horizontally, depending on which direction your branch is going. It can also curve! There are seriously NO RULES! Next, start drawing a few lines 'branching' out from either side of your original line. Lastly, add lines to THOSE lines. So on and so forth. 

Now, we're ready to outline our branches with the black tip of the Fudenosuke Twin Tip.

Tree branches always have lots of bumps and uneven spots. Change up the amount of pressure you apply on both your downstrokes AND upstrokes to create this uneven look. it really adds to the spooky, realistic feel of these branches.

Next, let's flip our pen to the other side and add shadowing to our branches with the gray side of the Twin Tip.

I always add my shadows to the left side...I don't know why! Feel free to experiment with how you place your shadows. Also, EXTRA POINTS if it's not perfect! Seriously, imperfection just adds to this technique. That's why I love it so much!

Now that we've practiced our branches, let's apply them to some letters. 

I chose to practice with this A. If you follow my 'flow' chart (LOL), you'll see that I have my plain, brush-lettered A first. Next, I add a few curved, uneven lines branching out from the lines in my A. The way I decide where these will go is to follow the natural line of my A, exactly the way I drew it. Lastly, add some extra lines to your branches. The look is complete. Well, almost!

Don't forget to add your shadows with the gray side of the Twin Tip! In my Instagram photo above, you can see that I added some EXTRA branches just using the gray side. This gives it a little extra dimension and interest. I didn't do it here, but it looks amazing! The choice is in your hands! 

Just to show you how it looks with another word, here is 'spooky' using this spooky effect! I love it! What do you think?

2. Blending, Two Ways!

You'll probably already be familiar with these blending techniques because they are widely used amongst us letterers, beginner or advanced. But, I wanted to show them to you again, using fall colors. Because, well, Fall colors just make everything better!

For the first variation on blending, you'll need a blending palette. I'm using this one, but a plastic baggie or another plastic surface works great as well. In this first blending tutorial, I'll only be using the red and yellow shades. In the next one, I'll use all four!

Also, I'm kicking myself, wondering WHY I didn't write down the shades I'm using. These colors are at home...I'm writing this from Panera! I'll update when I get a chance :) 

I began by scribbling my red shade onto the blending palette. 

P.S. Do you know how hard it was for me to get this pic of my hand? LOL real hard.

P.S. Do you know how hard it was for me to get this pic of my hand? LOL real hard.

Then, I take the yellow brush tip to the red ink, and swirl it around, making sure the tip of the yellow marker is somewhat 'stained' with the red color. (Don't worry---it doesn't really stain)

After you've blended those inks, start writing! The red ink mixed with the yellow ink creates a beautiful orange that will fade back to yellow, once the red ink fades. I probably should have gotten a little more red on my marker to make my fade last longer, but oh well!

Ok, so that's great, but it doesn't have a lot of excitement to it, does it? And it certainly doesn't look anything like the lettering in my Instagram photo from above. 

Let's jump into the second variation of blending. 

Directly on top of the blended lettering I just did, I took my orange brush pen, and shaded 3/4 of the way down my letters, as seen above. Then, I took the red marker, and shaded over that, about 1/2 way down my letters, also seen above. Looks a bit like candy corn, right? 

Next, to blend those colors together, I go back over everything with my yellow marker until the colors have all mixed together to create a beautiful fall ombre. 

To add even more interest to this, I took my brown dual brush pen, and made little dots at the top of each letter, then blended them out with the yellow.

I'm sure you'll do a much better job of blending than I did! :-D I think the brown detail really makes it look like Autumn leaves, which I just luuuurrrvvveee.

BONUS POINTS if you add in some shadows with your brush pen! it looks sort of comic-booky! I like it!

Now, put your new tree-branch drawing to the test and apply it as a cool wreath around your quote, like I did for Instagram! That really pulls it all together, and you will majorly impress all your friends. They'll never imagine it's actually pretty simple!

Ok, guys, that's all I've got for this week! I'll be back next with something new! I'm taking suggestions, so if there's something you would like to see me do a tutorial on, just hit me up or leave a comment below!