Hand Lettering Tutorial Inside a Star

lettering Jul 30, 2020

Are you ready to be a serious ROCKSTAR with your lettering? Get ready to show off those lettering skills by putting those words inside the shape of a star! Fitting words and quotes into geometric shapes can be fun for you and impressive to your community. In today’s tutorial, I (Alyssa from @Lyssas_Letters) will walk you step-by-step through the process of designing hand lettering artwork that leaves people feeling starstruck! Let's get to it!




Mixed Media Paper

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen

Tombow Dual Brush Pen (N95)

Fine Tip Marker / Sketching Pencil

White Gel Marker / Pen



Step 1​: Draw Several Thumbnail Sized 5 Point Stars For Practice



Begin by sketching a small 5-pointed star with a fine-tip marker or sketching pencil. My preference is to use ink because I don’t mind making mistakes during this phase of designing but to each their own! The ink encourages you to take risks, knowing that you can’t erase it! 



Step 2: Choose a Quote



Choose any quote that resonates with you, preferably something short so it'll fit into the star, but it's all up to you! Start by writing it outside of the star so you can use it as a reference.

After writing your quote, I find it helpful to underline the “keywords” that will be emphasized in the composition. For my quote, the words “light” and “shine” feel most important to me, and when I design my thumbnail sketches, those two words will stand out. You can do this by writing the letters larger, using thicker line weight, or using a font that differs from that of the other words.



Step 3: Begin Writing Your Quote Inside of the Star 



In this first thumbnail, begin writing your quote. Start with your keywords, then fill in your buffer words around it. Don’t be afraid to write your words out of order when you’re designing thumbnails and rough drafts! 



When filling your star with the buffer words, vary the orientation of the words and the letter sizes. Notice how I use a small flourish on the “r” in the word “your” to fill up space.



In the second thumbnail, try to vary the fonts: now I have written “light” in script and “shine” in capitalized print letters. Feel free to play around with your thumbnails! They don’t have to be pretty OR perfect. Try new things because you might discover something you love!



Step 4: Choose a Thumbnail Design to Use for Your Final Piece



After experimenting with different letter positions and sizes, flourishes, and fonts in six different thumbnails, I select one that I want to use for my final piece. 



Step 5: Draw a Rough Draft of a Large Star & Include Your Favorite Design From Your Practice Thumbnails



Through these rough draft steps, don't be afraid to try something new! These steps are built for you to experiment before creating your final draft. Do a swirly letter, or make a word REALLY bold. Anything you can think of, make it happen! 



Step 6: Trace Over Letters with Black Tombow Brush Pen



To see how it will look with brush lettering, I trace over the letters with a black Tombow fudenosuke brush pen. Notice how I gave more than double the line weight to the letters in the word “light” to add contrast.

When you're satisfied with the direction that your rough draft is going, feel free to move onto your final masterpiece! At this point, you should feel pretty confident about your creations.



Step 7: Create Your Final Masterpiece



Now it's time to add color, embellishments (i.e. shadows and highlights), and whatever other illustrations you’d like! I always recommend using mixed media paper so you can more easily blend with water.

You have the option to draw your final star with a protractor, a ruler, or even freehand it! It's all up to you! Next, use a light gray Tombow dual brush pen (N95) to mark where you want your letters to be placed. If you want your letters to be all the same color, then you can skip this step and simply write your letters using the color pen of your choice.



Using colorful brush pens, glitter pens, and a water brush, blend your colors on top of the gray letters. This is where you can get really creative and make it your own! The background is all personal choice. 



Personally, after outlining the star shape with a micron fine liner, I chose to paint a gradient watercolor wash in the background to create the illusion of a night sky.



And you’re done! Woohoo! I celebrate your courage and creativity for completing this project. You’re a star! Hopefully, you found this tutorial to be a little challenging for lettering, but most importantly, fun. If you post your creations, be sure to tag me on Instagram




Hey community! My name is Alyssa (known on Social Media as Lyssa’s Letters) and I began brush lettering in August 2018. My goal from the very beginning is to use my artwork and videos to share a message of self-empowerment! I love encouraging and inspiring others to create from their hearts, it can be such a healing experience. I currently teach two classes on skillshare and I'm in the process of designing even MORE classes! Check out my Youtube channel and my Instagram for more content!