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Hand Lettering for Relaxation: An Inspirational Workbook for Creating Beautiful Lettered Art

Hand Lettering for Relaxation: An Inspirational Workbook for Creating Beautiful Lettered Art

by Amy Latta
Hand Lettering for Relaxation: An Inspirational Workbook for Creating Beautiful Lettered Art

Hand Lettering for Relaxation: An Inspirational Workbook for Creating Beautiful Lettered Art

by Amy Latta


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A Fun & Inspiring Introduction to the Art of Hand Lettering

Hand Lettering for Relaxation is the perfect way to cultivate calmness and joy while creating beautiful works of art. While hand lettering can look intimidating, artist and blogger Amy Latta has a friendly and down-to-earth approach that will give you the confidence to draw impressive designs with ease. Learn how to create a lovely brush-lettered look with easy, no-fail faux calligraphy. Then add pretty embellishments such as vines, roses, banners, ribbons, swirls and feathers that take your designs to the next level. You’ll also get a beginner’s guide to real brush lettering, plus fun print fonts and ways to highlight, shadow or emboss your words. With 46 unique workshops, each with a featured motivational design, you will gain enough proficiency to proudly share your lettered art on social media, make personalized gifts and even decorate your home.

In this interactive workbook, doodling on the high-quality art paper is highly encouraged! Use it to letter the featured design with the new technique you learned, create your own design or simply enjoy some meditative practice. No matter how you use it, this book is sure to help you relax, enjoy your creative journey and make your life more beautiful wherever you are.

Keep the relaxation flowing with these other books in Amy Latta's bestselling hand lettering workbook series:
- Hand Lettering for Laughter
- Hand Lettering for Faith
- Express Yourself: A Hand Lettering Workbook for Kids

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624143854
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 07/11/2017
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 116,712
Product dimensions: 9.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Amy Latta is an artist, hand lettering designer and the founder of the blog One Artsy Mama, where she shares honest inspiration for everyday life. Her original hand-lettered designs have been featured nationally in Starbucks and GAP stores. You can also find her designs on apparel and home décor in her online shop Coffee and Tee Designs. She was recently chosen as The Craftys’ “Best Craft Blogger.” Amy lives in Hampstead, Maryland.

Read an Excerpt



Hand lettering encompasses a huge variety of styles and techniques, many of which we're going to look at together in the coming workshops! The most common style associated with it, though, is brush calligraphy. The actual technique of brush lettering takes a good bit of time and practice to master, and I promise we'll do just that a little later on in our time together. For now, though, to get started quickly, we're going to learn some very simple faux calligraphy. This will give you the look of brush lettering in just a few basic steps. Honestly, anyone can do it, and you'll be creating beautiful lettered art in no time.


If your life is anything like mine, you spend so much of your time and energy taking care of the people around you that at the end of the day, there's very little left. Some of you have children at home who demand all of your time and attention. Some of you are caring for aging parents or sick relatives. All of us have responsibilities managing our homes, doing laundry, preparing meals and looking out for the interests of whomever is in our care. In the end, the many hats we wear can leave us feeling just plain worn out. The truth is, we need to make sure that in the midst of taking care of everyone else, we intentionally carve out time to care for ourselves too. If we keep on giving without ever recharging, we'll quickly find ourselves with nothing left to give. I know lots of women who feel guilty about taking time just for themselves, but the reality is that when we do, it makes us better wives, moms, daughters, sisters and friends. There are tons of different ways to take some "me time." The key is to intentionally plan it into our schedule. If we keep waiting for a free moment, it will never come. Instead, plan a certain time of day or a certain hour each week when you get uninterrupted time to do whatever energizes you. One great way to do this is by setting aside a specific time each week to reflect and allow yourself to be creative while following along with the prompts in this book. As we walk through a variety of hand-lettering techniques, don't focus on being perfect — enjoy the journey and let it be a relaxing experience that's just for you.

Let's dive into our first workshop!


Our first prompt is a simple one; we're going to letter the phrase "It's Me Time!" to remind ourselves that this hobby is our time to relax and recharge.

Let's begin by learning how to use faux calligraphy to write the word "time," then you can use those same skills to write the other words in the phrase. Ready?


Write the word "time" in cursive, leaving a little bit of extra space in between your letters.

Any type of marker will work for this, or even a pen or pencil if that's all you have on hand.

You can use as much or as little of a slant as you want, but I've noticed that most of the hand lettering I particularly like tends to be pretty much vertical. You can play around with it as you practice, but for starters, try making your letters straight up and down. Typically, I write my cursive letters continuously, without picking up my pen during a word to keep things looking smooth. While you don't want to rush through your lettering, keep your hand relaxed and moving at your normal writing speed, because moving too slowly can cause your lines to appear shaky.


Find the downstrokes and draw a second line next to them.

What's a downstroke? It's any place where your marker is moving in a downward direction when you naturally write the word. As you get more comfortable with the technique, you'll learn where these strokes are for each letter of the alphabet. Below, I've illustrated for you where those spots are in the word "time."


Fill in the double line areas with your marker to create the illusion of thicker lines.

In the process, you can make any little corrections you need to if some of your lines were shaky or not quite what you wanted.

That's all there is to it! Now it's your turn. Practice the word "time" in the space below. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. The key to learning lettering, like any other skill, is repetition, so just keep on trying over and over again. Let yourself be focused and calm as you practice; remember that this is a journey, not a race!

Are you ready to create your lettered phrase? Use the space on the next page to try all three words, "it's me time." You can arrange them in any way you like. A good practice when creating a design is to first use a pencil and a straightedge to sketch horizontal guidelines for yourself. These will help keep your writing straight. Once you have your line, you can pencil in where you want your words to go, to make sure you like the spacing and layout. Then, trace over the words with your marker to create the finished design. The last step is to go back and erase your pencil lines once the ink has dried.



Certainly one of the most important components of lettering involves writing letters themselves, but there's more to it than just the alphabet. Embellishments are a key element of creating hand lettered art. Things like flourishes, frames, arrows and vines help transform a piece of text into a piece of art. In this workshop, we'll be looking at one of the most basic embellishments and learning to combine it with our faux calligraphy to take your lettering to the next level.


All of us are familiar with the saying, "Practice makes perfect." Honestly? It's not true! None of us are perfect, no matter how hard we try. We can practice forever and still not reach that goal. But that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile to keep practicing and learning. No matter what we're doing, what we need to remember is that practice does make something: progress. Every time we do something another time, we get better at it, whether it's hand lettering, cooking or playing a musical instrument. The more you try, the better you'll become. Instead of getting frustrated that you're not able to create the letters or embellishments perfectly, focus on the process and your progress. Is what you did today a little bit better than yesterday? Give yourself permission to celebrate that! Do the same thing each day and over time, you'll look back and be amazed at how far you've come!

Ready for the next step?


As a reminder not to set unreachable goals, we're going to letter this phrase, "Practice makes progress," then add a simple, lovely vine embellishment to make it even more beautiful.

First, we're going to write the phrase using the faux calligraphy technique we worked on in the last workshop (here). Remember, just start by writing in cursive and leaving a little extra space between letters. Then add your double line on the downstrokes and fill it in to create the brush lettering look!

Next, we'll add the embellishment. The laurel, or leafy vine, is one of the most popular ways to add a decorative touch to your lettering, and it's really easy to do. All you need to do is combine a few basic shapes, and you'll be embellishing your work in no time.


Draw a curving line. It can be as long, short, straight or curved as you like.


Draw a teardrop shape on one end of the line.


Draw a series of heart shapes going down the line.

You can make all the hearts a similar size, as shown above, or gradually draw them bigger as you get to the base of the line for a different effect.

Once you have the hang of creating laurels, there are so many variations you can do on this embellishment, including coloring in the leaves, making the leaves more pointed, alternating the leaves or adding berries or flowers. You can also play around with different shapes, making your vines straight, curling in multiple directions and even turning the laurels into a wreath! Simply sketch a few circles, then add your leaves.

Now it's your turn. Use the space below to practice your own laurels, then create your lettered design on the next page.



Whenever you letter a phrase, there will be certain words you want to emphasize. One fun way to draw attention to a word is by putting it inside a sketched banner. This not only makes the word seem to pop off the page, it also adds a festive touch to your art. It's perfect for birthday cards and other celebratory messages, as well as just about any other phrase you're illustrating. Although banners may look intimidating, they're actually a piece of cake to draw once you break them into basic steps and shapes.


As the rope slowly extended and my feet left the boat, everything in me wanted to scream, "No!" We were in Myrtle Beach on vacation, and somehow my husband had convinced me to parasail. I'm not a daredevil by nature, and I also never learned to swim, so the idea of flying hundreds of feet above the ocean supported only by a rope, harness and parachute terrified me. But you know what? When I finally opened my eyes, it was exhilarating and incredibly peaceful so far above everyone and everything. As I relaxed and let myself experience what was happening, I realized how much I would have missed if I'd kept my feet on the boat. Although we don't all have the opportunity to parasail on a daily basis, we do make choices every day about whether we're going to stay where we're comfortable or push ourselves to do something that might not come naturally. Are we going to play it safe and possibly miss something amazing, or are we going to step out of our comfort zones and see what happens? What challenges await you today? What might you experience if you just say yes?

Maybe setting aside time to letter and be creative is a challenge for you, and if so, now is the perfect time to step out and see what you can do. Let your self-doubt go and just enjoy the opportunity to create! So, what do you say, are you ready to tackle our next tutorial? Let's go!


This week, we'll be lettering the phrase, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone," using those awesome faux calligraphy skills we learned in workshop one (here). Remember, the more you practice a technique, the more natural it becomes, so let yourself relax as you go through the motions of forming the letters. The words, "life begins," are the part of this phrase we really want to emphasize, so we're going to place them inside a decorative banner. Here's how to create it!


Draw a curving line. Allow as much space as you want for your word(s), then draw a second line below it with a curve that mirrors the first one.

This will be the center part of your banner. It can be as long or as short as you want it to be. The bottom line should be just slightly shorter than the one above it.


Connect the top and bottom of your banner with short vertical lines.

I like to make mine just slightly curved outward.


Draw a line about halfway up each side of your banner to create the top of the "tails."


Finish off your tails. To do this, draw a sideways "v" shape, then connect it to the bottom line of your banner.

Don't worry about getting the sides perfectly even or symmetrical. Remember, the point is that these are drawn by hand, not by a machine, so a little bit of irregularity is part of the charm. This is all about relaxing and doodling for fun, not perfection.


Make a small curving line connecting the bottom corner of your banner to the place where the tail connects to it.

This creates the appearance that the banner is folded.


Add details, like coloring in the fold spaces and drawing accent lines on the top and tails.

This part is totally optional. Have fun playing around with different accents and see what you like best!

Practice forming a few banners in the space below. Then, when you're ready, hop on over to the next page and combine your banner with the lettered phrase to create this workshop's piece of art! A good first step is to sketch everything in pencil first, then go back over it with your marker. It's a good idea to letter the "life begins" phrase first, then draw the banner around it to make sure the words fit inside. Otherwise, you may find yourself running out of space with a few letters left to go. Finally, center the remaining words below the banner to complete the design. Once you're satisfied with how everything looks, it's time to trace your final copy with your brush marker or pen and erase the pencil lines for a great finished look.



One of the most useful embellishments to learn in your hand lettering journey is the ampersand. This symbol not only represents the word "and," but can also be a decorative design element. Depending on what you want the focus of your piece to be, the ampersand can be a central element or a small, inconspicuous one. No matter how you choose to use it, though, it always adds a touch of style.


All of us have dreams. I'm not talking about the kind we have in our deepest sleep, but the kind that transcend what we're actually doing and help us imagine what could be. What is it that you would do if you knew you couldn't fail? Where would you go if money were not an obstacle? One of the things that successful people seem to have in common is that they persevere past whatever stands in their way in order to pursue their dreams. It's rarely easy. Just read the biography of someone you consider a success and you'll likely find many stories when he or she ran out of money or met with failure. What you'll also find, though, is resilience and an unwillingness to let those things be the end of a dream. Chasing your dreams requires persistence, especially when things seem impossible. What would it take for you to go from dreaming to doing?

Speaking of doing, it's time to get some hands-on practice working with ampersands. Let's get started.


This workshop's phrase features an ampersand right in the center: "Dream it & Do it!" Since it's both our newest skill and significant to the saying, we're going to make it the focal point of the design.

There are many ways to draw this symbol, and you can embellish it as much or as little as you like to create totally different effects. Here are the basic steps you'll want to follow, but feel free to exercise a little creative freedom, too.


Draw a shape that resembles a backwards "3" or a cursive capital "E."

I like to add a little loop in the center, but it's totally up to you.


Add a loop with a curving line to the bottom.

Ideally, steps 1 and 2 will become one fluid motion, but for now as you're practicing, it's totally fine to work one step at a time.


Add a loop to the top.

Again, this is totally optional, I just like to add it as an extra embellishment. You can also leave the top plain, reposition the loop or use a small straight line instead.


Excerpted from "Hand Lettering for Relaxation"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Amy Latta.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Note for Readers,
Easiest-Ever Faux Calligraphy,
Renew & Recharge,
Next-Level Laurels, Wreaths & Vines,
Practice Makes Progress,
Basic Banners,
Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone,
All About Ampersands,
Dream It & Do It,
Whimsical Print Alphabet,
New Days and Second Chances,
Simple Swirls,
Comparison Is the Thief of Joy,
Aiming for Arrows,
Don't Look Back, You're Not Going That Way,
Playing with Serifs,
Saying No,
Creating Colorful Flowers,
You Are Enough,
Pretty Pennants and Advanced Banners,
Find the Good in Every Day,
Big & Bold 3D Font,
Inspiration Is Everywhere,
The Art of Blending Colors,
Mixing Fonts Like a Pro,
Do What You Love, Love What You Do,
Funky Frames and Cute Corners,
Better Together,
Fun with Flourishes,
Today Is a Gift,
Playful Dot-Style Alphabet,
Fear Less,
Simple Shaped Designs,
Simple Pleasures,
Basic Brush Strokes,
Mistakes Mean You're Trying,
Brush Lettering: Learning Curves,
Celebrate the Small Things,
Brush Lettering: Rounded Letters,
Learn Something New Every Day,
Brush Lettering: Looping Letters,
Risks and Regrets,
Brush Lettering: Leftover Letters,
People-Pleasing & Pizza,
Creating Dimension with Shadows and Highlights,
Never Stop Shining,
Positively Awesome Negative Space Designs,
Changing Your Perspective,
Basic Principles of Design,
Finding Your Style,
Pretty Brush-Style Print,
Playing Dress-Up,
World's Easiest Watercolor Background Technique,
Use What You've Got,
Make Your Mark with Masking,
Creating Confetti,
Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti,
Graceful Ribbons & Bows,
Tying Up Loose Ends,
Elongated Alphabet,
About "Adulting",
Mastering Monograms,
Making Your Mark,
Borders All Around,
Integrity — When No One Is Watching,
The Trick to Overlapping and Layering,
Laundry and Other Unending Things,
Art Deco Alphabet,
Early Birds & Donuts,
Embellished Drop Caps,
History Repeats Itself,
On the Envelope: Lettering Addresses,
Put It in Writing,
Playful Pattern Fill,
Filling Your Days,
Fanciful Feathers,
Find Your Tribe,
Learning About Ligatures,
Leave It Better Than You Found It,
Leaping into Leaves,
Life's Seasons,
Talking About Trees,
Creating Beauty,
Emboss All the Things,
But First, Coffee,
Relaxing with Zen Doodling,
Kindness Is Free,
Slanted-Line Shadowing,
Imagination and Wings,
Brushing Up,
Control Issues,
Digitizing Your Lettering,
This Digital World,
About the Author,

Customer Reviews

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