Watch the full video tutorial below or follow the steps underneath the video. We’d love to see your work if you try it! Tag us on Instagram @LoveleighLoops
1. Start with a brush pen Write your shapes with a brush pen, including up curves, down curves, ovals, and loops. You can find our favorite brush pens here.
Note: In brush calligraphy, the “upstrokes” are thinner than the “downstrokes”, but you can also make all the strokes the same weight to look even more like a ribbon.
2. Define the edges Using a mono weight pen, outline the edges of the ribbon on the down strokes (the thicker strokes). Use a real ribbon if you need help visualizing where to add definition.
3. Outlines Finish outlining the thin strokes after the thick strokes are defined.
4. Shadows Using the same color and building on itself, or choosing a slightly darker shade, add shadows next to the folds and overlaps wherever the ribbon is “behind” itself (typically on the thin strokes).
5. More shadows! Darken the areas right next to the folds and overlaps with a darker color, or by adding one more layer of the same color.
6. Highlight This step is optional, but you can use a white gel pen to add a small vertical line on parts of the down strokes to create a more 3D look.
7. Put it together Once you understand the basic shapes, put them together to form letters. First, outline the shape that you want to be “on top”. To create the ‘a’ on the right below, outline the second shape before outlining the oval.
8. Make words Write the entire word with a brush pen, then go in with the mono weight pen to outline the ribbon edges.
9. Shadows and highlights Once the word is outlined, add the 3D detailing.
10. Experiment After you have the basics down, have fun with it! You can use a thinner pen to outline the ribbon, or skip the outline altogether and just add shadows. Feel free to add patterns and textures to the ribbon as well.
Ta-da! Congrats on creating your Ribbon Lettering piece. We would love to see your project! Share it with us in our free Facebook Community. Search “Loveleigh Loops Calligraphy Community” on Facebook or click here to join.