The Art of Watercolor Lettering – Kelly Klapstein

“A Beginner’s Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Modern Calligraphy and Lettered Art”

Being more creative is one of my constant goals, but it can be intimidating for a beginner to get started. Calligraphy, for example, has a huge appeal to me, to the point where I’ve bought pens and inks and started practicing – and always been too disappointed to go on. And don’t get me started on watercolour – looks gorgeous, but not the easiest!

Combining the two forms intrigued me – surely it would just make for ‘difficult squared’?

This book starts off, as with most art books, with a list of equipment and some discussion about the various options – of brushes, papers, paints, and sundries. There’s a brief explanation of colour mixing theory, and then some simple warm up exercises to get you used to holding the brush and working with the paint.

As you can see, this is all very non-threatening, and perfect for total beginners as well as those who need a bit of a confidence boost!

The third chapter introduces the lettering, talking about the basic and some more complex styles. This is the ‘calligraphy’ part, if you like. Then we move on to the ‘watercolour’ part (yes, the whole book is that, but most intensely here!) and – oooh! The techniques (rainbows!) and hints (wet on wet effects) and use of colour is just making me want to go grab a paintbrush and start right now! I mean, look at this:

galaxy lettering example


The author also briefly covers other things like watercolour pencils and water-based brush markers, before suggesting how to use what you’ve learned to make ‘dreamy designs’.

Overall, I really like this book. It combines two art forms I hadn’t really thought to try together, and is presented in clear, easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that will get just about anyone started and on their way to a fun, pretty hobby with all sorts of uses.

NetGalley eARC: 146 pages / 7 chapters
First published: 2019
Series: none
Read November 2019

My rating: 9/10

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