How to add calligraphy quotes to photographs with brush lettering

Add calligraphy quotes to photographs with brush lettering in Jess Foster's quick project

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Ah, the brilliant versatility of brush lettering! There are so many ways you can use it. Why not try adding calligraphy quote to your photos to make them even more memorable and personal? That’s just what we will explore here – adding calligraphy quote around shapes forms in photographs as a beautiful brush lettering project.

This project is extracted from Modern Calligraphy & Lettering magazine, where Jessamin Foster shows how to add calligraphy quotes using brush lettering that follow an outline within a photograph of a beautiful mountain scene. This is a great activity for when you only have a short window for some calligraphy – every photo is different and offers an opportunity for practice and to improve your technique. Jessamin  uses tracing paper and a lightbox to help get perfect results. So brush up on your brush letting and make your own special calligraphy quotes photo-memories!

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You Will Need

  • Photographs
  • Tracing paper
  • Calligraphy pen
  • Pencil
  • Pencil eraser

Step 1

Using tracing paper, draw around the edges of the photograph to create a template. Choose a clear area of the photo (such as the sky) for your calligraphy quote to stand out, as well as a landmark (such as the mountain) to place your brush lettering words around. Draw around the landmark to provide a guide to place your brush lettering words on. Draw a parallel line about 5mm above the landmark line. This parallel line will be the baseline for your words, so make sure you leave enough room below in case any descenders merge into the landmark and become lost.

calligraphy quotes step 1

Step 2

Add your calligraphy quote in pencil onto the baseline of the tracing-paper template. Carefully follow the line, dropping any longer strokes below the baseline, but still above the landmark line. You can refine your brush lettering before deciding on a final design and inking it in.

Brush lettering step2

Step 3

Place your tracing-paper draft on a lightbox and put your photo over the top, making sure you match up the landmark lines. Use a small brush lettering pen to go over your calligraphy quote, adding in the thick and thin strokes.

calligraphy quote step 3
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For more calligraphy ideas, see Modern Calligraphy & Lettering magazine – available in-store from 24 February 2021 or click to order your copy direct.

Digital editions are also available in the Mollie Makes app in Google & Apple Newsstand (under Special Editions) and to download from Zinio.

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If you already have your copt of Modern Calligraphy & Lettering magazine, click to find the modern calligraphy templates you’ll need to complete the projects inside