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Chalk Lettering

Lesson 4 of 5

Your Tools: Chalk, Markers and Beyond


Chalk Lettering

Lesson 4 of 5

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 you got a lot of options when it comes to a chalkboard surface obviously got regular check on dh the first thing that I like to do before I move on to my final piece is 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? Will it flake off? Will it you know, come off with water means these are all good things to know before you get started, so when I work on my test piece, I like tio write the name of the material that I'm using, so when I go back, if I have tested at 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 chalk, and then sometimes I want to see like, what happens when I changed pressure? Um and it's also nice to sort of get a sense of the thickness. So when you're working with tax ...

something great that you can do is you khun 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 it super long line from one end to the other what might start off as a flat surface is really 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 wells ethical and and really there aren't ok so that was regular shock I I also use compress charcoal from time to time which is a little bit more solid it's 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 d'oh sort of great for lettering with fins and fix but overall I think it's going to 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 they're not great for show huge pieces I would recommend it for smaller areas on definitely when you want something more permanent and you better be ready because once it goes on it's staying on 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 and 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 cem some testing I just got some black chalk chalkboard spray paint on dh some simple just kip boards on dh spray painted them about four times and I think it was quite enough a very smooth surface so if you can you want to find something that more approximates the final surface you're going to be working on but in a pinch these air great you could just get them at the local art store you don't need to get once that air pre jess owed I would maybe recommend doing I did four coats but I feel like these could use a little bit more 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 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 first super small coffee if you need to do some really small type let's say 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 make sure you have a pencil sharpener too because the points will break and you'll wear them down pretty quickly. Next thing that I really really love to work with is sharply poster paid markers the's give you a beautiful beautiful beautiful crispy crispy white um they flow so nice um and these will last certainly they'll come off with water and windex if you really need to get it off on the longer it stays on, the harder it is to get off but overall they could be they could be really fun onda geun they come in all sorts of different weights and thicknesses you khun 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 on the last thing that I picked up is a bistro chock marker um he's also these air specifically meant to be used on chalkboards and it gets you a really, really nice crispy white um which is you know, a very different look from just doing chock um so think about what you want your final what you want your final piece to be like what sort of effect you want um the markers they're going to give you a lot more contrast it's going to show up from a lot further away the shock 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 did you wash off gives you a lot more opportunity tio play and have fun and be loose and mess up and try again e are you concerned to see the range that you can get from a single marker? Um now that I'm done playing around with this piece I'm going to 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 ok, 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 mean he's a combination of a number of these different options while I'm working on this piece um, I'm going to start off with create and I think I'm going to start off first with shock and see where I need to fill it in and what I want to make a little bit more opaque in 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 son plenty of drawing before while sitting down, but to do it while standing up, uh, you use your arm differently, not just your wrist and 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 tio erase this board, I'm going to go ahead and use the china markers when I d'oh little drop shades on here give me a nice a similar line to chock fills equate is contrast t 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 not many corners or anything like that, then I think the word every I want actually trying to you with sharpie markers rather than the chalk, you don't 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 ok, and I think you used the same muse the same material for the outlines on these guys as I did on that just to keep it consistent, and I think I'm gonna use the bistro marker for me outline of day, and maybe I'll use something different for the phil markers are going to be great for working on smaller pieces. Chalk is really wonderful for larger walls and filling much bigger spaces, but for smaller stuff, especially something this size, which is only nine by twelve it's really nice to be able to use some of the markers to and for the shading on this last one, I'm going to go with the pencils, I can get some super thin mine's really late. Watch out when you start going back up to the top because you can often get your hand running through the shock, 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 going to choose to use not going to use any of the markers. For the most part, I will most likely just be using the shock because we're going to be going a lot bigger than these small board okay, 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 could design it on the computer, you khun sketch it by hand used the computer 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 tio, I'd say at least six feet wide for a projector or if you want to do free hand, 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 free hand without the use of the projector or transfer paper andre talked a little bit about the different types of materials that you can use. And hopefully you've got enough that you can play around with now and start getting ready. Tio. Move forward with your image 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.


  1. Introduction - How to Develop Image
  2. Creating a Sketch and Adjusting in PS

    Annica shares her “getting started” process and how she transfers her sketches into Adobe Photoshop.

  3. Three Methods of Image Transfer
  4. Your Tools: Chalk, Markers and Beyond
  5. Chalk Lettering Mural in Action


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!