Negative Space Lettering feat. Tombow Mono Drawing Pencils Pt. 1

Hey guys! Today, I'm going to show you how to create really unique and fun "negative space" lettering! When I received my set of Tombow Mono Drawing Pencils (linked below in the supply list!), I was inspired to create something more "elaborate" than my normal lettering. And that is when I came up with this fun and easy technique! Once you learn this simple technique, you will want to make hand-drawn thank you notes, framed pieces of art, and personalized gifts for friends....I have no doubt that you will love this! 

Let's begin!

After cracking open my brand new set of pencils (that come with eraser and sharpener...two very important tools), I chose the lead 'weight' I wanted for this project that requires a little bit of drawing!

I chose the 5B weight because it's a softer and thicker lead. I figured the softer lead would be easiest to erase and the thicker pencil strokes would be best for this technique. 

But before I can put my pencil to work, I need to break out my dual brush pen. Any color will work for this next step, but I chose black because it's always closest at hand!

On the tracing paper, I used the thick nib of my brush pen to write a fancy, scripty 'B.' I chose the letter 'B' because it represents my last name. You can choose whatever letter(s) you want! I have also done this technique with the word 'YAY' that I turned into a gold foil print. You can check it out here.

My 'B' wasn't thick enough for my taste, so I 'double-lined' it, which is a fancy way of saying 'I went back over it with my brush pen to thicken the lines!' ha

Now, after your ink has dried to the touch (you don't want to smear black ink I have definitely done in the past), flip your tracing paper over.

Now use your pencil to trace the outline of your fancy letter or word. You can't see my pencil marks very well, but they are there! DON'T be shy with how hard you trace. You want your pencil lead to show up for this next step...

And this is the part where choosing a thick, soft lead really comes in handy...

Next, you want to grab your cardstock (or whatever paper you're using!), and flip your tracing sheet back over to the 'right side.' Position your letter or word over the center of the paper (or where you intend your final result to be.

With quite a bit of pressure, use the edge of your bone folder to transfer the lead on the back of the tracing paper onto your paper. If you don't have a bone folder, any plastic or metal object with a dull edge will work for this. Remember, apply quite a bit of pressure!

This is how your transfer should turn out! You can totally skip this step if you can free hand the outline of a fancy letter or word...I couldn't, and that's why this step was a lifesaver for me!

Next, I re-traced my outline with my pencil. Once again, this step can be skipped if your lead transfer comes out more clearly than mine did.

Now, let's start drawing!

I chose to add floral embellishments because that's what comes most naturally to me. However, you could add all kinds of elements with this technique: geometric, swirly, you name it!

Once my drawing was complete, I picked up my Fudenosuke Soft Nib to outline my floral embellishments. For this technique, you ONLY outline your embellishments. No part of the original 'B' outline should be touched or traced over!

I like using the brush pen for this technique, because I can get thin lines, but can slightly vary how thick the lines are, which adds a little character. For a more 'streamlined' look, you could use a Micron Pen. Now let's erase our lines!

Ok, so it looks pretty good, but my 'B' isn't popping enough for me...I'm going to go back in and add some more details around the edges of my B.

That's better! can you spot the differences? LOL

Alright, so that's IT! All together, this technique took me MAYBE 20 minutes. As soon as you decide on what your motif will be, you will fly right through this!!! Especially after your first couple of designs. 

Let me know what you think of this tutorial by leaving me a comment below! This technique is Pt. 1 of 3 awesome 'negative space' techniques I'll be demonstrating using my new Mono Drawing Pencils! I can't wait to show you what else you can do with these quality tools!

And P.S.: National Handwriting Day is coming this MONDAY, January 23rd! Show some love for your handwriting and rock it on Instagram, using the hashtag #handwrittenwithtombow for a chance to be featured on their Insta feed! You can post your pics starting now, until Monday night!