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Chalk Lettering

Lesson 4 of 5

Your Tools: Chalk, Markers and Beyond

Annica Lydenberg

Chalk Lettering

Annica Lydenberg

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Lesson Info

4. Your Tools: Chalk, Markers and Beyond

Lesson Info

Your Tools: Chalk, Markers and Beyond

So the next thing that we're going to talk about is going to be the different materials that you can use. Um, you got a lot of options when it comes to a chalkboard surface. Um, obviously got regular check. Um, and the first thing that I like to do before I move on to my final pieces, I like to do a bunch of tests stuff. So first I want to see how does the material work on the surface? What's going to be the best solution? How permanent is something? Um, will it flake off? Will it, you know, come off with water? Because these are all good things to know before you get started. Um, so when I work on my test piece, I like Teoh, right? The name of the material that I'm using. So when I go back, if I have tested out six different markers, I need to remember which marker did what. So first thing that'll dio is just right in here. We have regular truck, and then sometimes I want to see you like what happens when I changed pressure. Um, and it's also nice to sort of get a sense of the thickne...

ss. So when you're working with chalk, something great that you can do is you can rub it off on some rough sandpaper. In order to get a finer point, you'll notice that your line quality will change if you're doing a super long line from one end to the other. What might start off as a flat surface is really for fat and wide by the end. So you might want to be conscious of stopping, going on to some sandpaper and then going back to the wall. Um, so we can get a thin line was, well, the decline And really there are there. Um, OK, so that was regular shock. Um, I also use compressed charcoal from time to time, which is a little bit more solid. It's harder, and it might not be great on this particular one, so it comes off pretty light. Um, but I do like that it is. It's not round it's rectangular, which has its own sort of bonuses. So if I wanted to dio sort of great for lettering with the thins and fix, but overall, I think it's gonna be too late for this. Um, the's Sharpie peel off. China markers are really fantastic, but they're completely permanent. So you don't want to use this there. It's a waxy substance, and you cannot wipe it off. So this is great if you want to get the illusion of chalk without actually using shock. But, uh, they're not great for huge pieces. I would recommend it for smaller areas on. Definitely when you want something more permanent and better be ready because once it goes on, it's staying up. So here we have. You have China markers? Um, they make a really nice white. You can get the same sort of radiance that you get with chalk going from dark to light. You start off dark and go later, but you can get a really nice solid white. They also have a little bit of a bluish sort of hue to them. It will make for like, a cooler looking piece. Um, he's a really fantastic but again on Lee, only if you're feeling fully committed to your piece. So in order to do some some testing, I just got some black talk chalkboard spray paint, um, and some simple just chip boards, um, and spray painted them about four times. I don't think it was quite enough. Ah, it's a very smooth surface. So if you can, you want to find something that more approximate the final surface you're going to be working on. But in a pinch, these air. Great. Um, you can just get them at the local art store. You don't need to get ones that are pre Jess owed. I would maybe recommend doing. I did four coats, but I feel like these could use a little bit more. Um, or maybe it would have been better just to roll it on and actually get the can of paint and roll it on that. That definitely gives you a little bit more texture to the to the surface. Um, next time to talk about just some regular charcoal white pencils. Thes things are great Pencil sharpener, Um, and these you can get really, really nice thin lines. So these ones are going to be fantastic for either blocking in pieces at the beginning because they make such thin lines or they're great for super small copy. If you need to do some really small type, let's that you've done a huge quote and you want to make sure that it's attributed to someone. But you just want to put it really small at the bottom. These guys are great. Um, make sure you have a pencil sharpener to because the points will break and you'll wear them down pretty quickly. Um, next thing that I really, really love to work with. A Sharpie poster paid markers. Um, these give you a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, crispy, crispy white. Um, they flow so nice. Um, and these will last. Certainly, uh, they'll come off with water and Windex. Ah, if you really need to get it off, the longer it stays on, the harder it is to get off. But overall, um, they could be They could be really fun. Um, and again, they come in all sorts of different weights and thicknesses. You can get huge fat tips, ones you can get super small ones. This one is the extra fine point. I like the extra fine points a lot. Um, and the last thing that I picked up is a bistro chalk marker. Um, thes Also, these air specifically meant to be used on chalkboards. Um, and it gets you really, really nice. Crispy white, Um, which is, you know, a very different look from just doing shock. Um, so think about what you want. Your final. What You want your final peace to be, like, what sort of effect you want? Um, the markers. They're going to give you a lot more contrast. It's gonna show up from a lot further away. The choc might feel a little bit more whimsical. So think about your final piece. Think about where it's going to be and who you want to see it, and also how permanent you want it to be. Um, I love doing. I love doing pieces that, uh, are just late and sketchy. And eventually you wash off, gives you a lot more opportunity. Teoh, play and have fun and be Loosen mess up and try again. You can start to see, though, range that you can get from a single marker. Um, now that I'm done playing around with this piece, I'm gonna keep this out for reference. It's really helpful when I get going to be able to look at this from time to time and be like, Oh, okay, well, this line is looking like it might work well for an outline down here, or, you know, I really want to make sure that I get this guy in there because I like the way that it does the shading. Or, you know, the thickness of this is more appropriate than the thickness of this one. Whatever it is, it's nice to keep your sample piece handy when you get going. So I think I'm gonna use a combination of a number of these different options while I'm working on this piece. Um, and I'm going to start off with create. And I think I'm gonna start off first with chalk and see where I need to fill it in and what I want to make a little bit more opaque. And one thing that you will notice is it feels quite different if you're working on a wall versus if you're working on a flat surface. Um, so I would encourage you at some point to explore both. You've probably It's on plenty of drawing before while sitting down. But to do it while standing up Ah, you use your arm differently, not just your wrist. You're moving around on the peace and, um, particularly if you're ready to start working large. It's, uh it's a lot of fun. So because I'm not worried about being able to erase this board, I'm gonna go ahead and use the China markers. When I do little drop shades on here, give me a nice a similar line, Teoh the Chalk Hills Be quite is contrast E as if I had switched to something like the Sharpie marker and then I can go in with the pencils. If I want to take enough any corners or anything like that, then I think the word every I wanna actually trying to do with Sharpie markers rather than the chalk. I want this to be a little bit more bold since it is a smaller word. But I don't want it to feel less important. I want to make sure that it really pops okay. And I think they used the same use the same material for the outlines on these guys says I did on that just to keep it consistent when I think I'm gonna use the bistro marker for the outline of dead. And maybe I'll use something different for the Phil. Markers are gonna be great for working on smaller pieces. Shock is really wonderful for larger walls and filling much bigger spaces. But for smaller stuff, especially something this size which is only nine by 12. It's really nice to be able to use some of the markers, too. When for the shading on this last one, I'm gonna go with the pencils. I can get some super thin lines. I really light. Gotta watch out when you start going back up to the top because you can often get your hand running through the choc. So sometimes it's good to work top to bottom. All right, So I'm done with my little sample. Um, you'll see a lot of differences between working on the mural on the wall at a much larger scale versus the smaller scale in terms of the materials that I'm gonna choose to use, not to use any of the markers. For the most part, I will most likely just be using the chalk because we're gonna be going a lot bigger than these small board. OK, guys. So just to recap what we've done so far today, So we talked about different methods that you can use to create your initial image. Either you can design it on the computer. You can sketch it by hand. Use the computer. Um, or you could just start with a straight sketch once you have your image ready. Now you know different methods to use to transfer that image to your final surface. Whether you're using transfer paper, either small or taped together to make a large sheet or if you're using a projector again, small or you can use that up. Teoh, I'd say at least six feet wide for a projector. Or if you want to do freehand, I will show you a little bit more in the next segment about working with a grid in order to create your small image Large just freehand without the youth of the projector or transfer paper. Um, and we talked a little bit about the different types of materials that you can use on. Hopefully you've got enough that you can play around with now and start getting ready toe. Move forward with your image. Um, if you need any recap for resource is or materials, please just check the bonus materials for this class and you can find a nice, complete list of all of the different tools and materials that I've covered so far.

Class Description

A typographic mural uses words to produce a stunning and highly communicative piece of art. In Chalk Lettering, Annica Lydenberg will take you through the process of completing a large scale installation as she makes a chalk mural on-site at CreativeLive's San Francisco headquarters.

Besides being artistically gratifying, chalk lettering is an in-demand service that can bolster your client work. In Chalk Lettering you’ll learn the many ways to turn a small sketch or something you designed on the computer into a piece on a wall. Annica will discuss methods you can use to create temporary or long-lasting chalk murals and demonstrate freehand sketching and grid mapping. 

You’ll learn:

  • How to prepare your surface
  • Multiple options for transferring an image to a wall
  • Techniques for stylizing letter forms
  • The pros and cons of chalk, conte crayons and paint markers

Annica will help you develop a system for choosing type styles that work well together while enhancing the message of of your mural. She’ll also discuss the benefits of chalk and how practicing facilitates fine-tuning and makes murals less daunting.

Bending words into art, typographic murals are visual powerhouses. Watch one come to life and learn the techniques and process that go into making one in Chalk Lettering.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Annica Lydenberg - Chalk Lettering Supply List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Manish Gupta

Annica obviously has great talent, her method needs patience, truck loads of it. Of course, if you don't have patience, you should not purchase this course. This is a great course for someone starting off in chalk lettering. I would personally love to have a segment on the actual techniques used in photoshop to fine tune the chalk lettering done on paper/pencil. I especially loved the technique of doing it with paper pencil and just inverting it in photoshop. Overall, a great class. However, I felt, portions of the video could have been time lapsed ( like the wall mural segment) to save the students some time. Looking forward to seeing more from her.

Letter Shoppe

What a great class! This was the best online education I was able to find on Chalk Lettering by far. Annica's approach is fresh and she does a wonderful job of showcasing her process in a easy and fun way. Highly recommended!