brush lettering

Behind the Scenes - Brush Lettering Sketches

I thought that I would share with you some behind the scenes of my Good Friday and Easter Sunday posts a couple weekends ago. Even though the posts were little, without anything written to accompany the photos and lettering, I knew that I wanted to still share something to mark both of those days.

I did a lot of different lettering, with different supplies, to try to make something to go with the sentiments of both Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I used my Sakura Koi Water Brush which I currently have filled with watered down sumi ink. Some similar options for water brushes are this one, these ones, or this Pentel Pocket Brush pen, which already has ink in it, or the Pentel Colour Brush. Both of the Pentel pens have a nice rich black ink in them, but I preferred a watered down black, so I mixed my own ink.

The thinner lettering was done with a simple black Sharpie Fine Point marker. I don't really love the look that this marker created, which made me want to get one of the newer Sharpie Brush Markers so badly. Being left handed, I really struggle with brush markers, but as I play more and more with them, I'm slowly just figuring out what works best with me, and with my writing style. I have to step away from fluid writing, like your typical script writing, and treat the lettering more in little swipes, similar to using a pointed pen dipped in ink.

I like that I'm able to share these little lettered sketches with you, after you were able to see the final product. I love seeing the sketching process of other artists, so I think that I'm going to continue to share more too. I wish that I had other steps of this lettering process, but I'll be honest, and let you know that there really aren't any! There was no pencil sketching and refining first. I just dove right in and started writing. For other projects I'll start with pencil, and have a few layers of refinement before settling on a final design. But for most of my brush lettering, I just write it, scan it, and create a clean white background for it to lay on in Photoshop. Hopefully for the next Behind the Scenes, I'll have more scenes for you to actually see! 

Hope you have a great weekend! I'll be outside enjoying this sunshine (FINALLY!) and the smells of spring. My flowers have peeked their little green heads through the dirt, and I'm looking forward to planting some buddies for them soon.

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A Sibling Collaboration - Surprising my Sister with a Custom Gift

A little while before Christmas, my brother-in-law Nath contacted me to work on a collaborative piece he wanted to make for my sister's gift. I was pumped he asked me to work on something with him, and thought that he had great ideas. Thankfully, Nath is a creative person, excellent photographer, filmmaker and designer, and all around creative person. He's half of my favourite photo team, The Entrance Collective (no bias there!) and makes great videos like THIS one. 

Anyways, his idea was to layer some of my lettering over photos he took on film while vacationing in Hawaii.  He wanted some of the lyrics from the song Coasts by Oceans. The lyrics he chose, "We fell in love right by the ocean, made all our plans down on the sand" fit perfectly with the store of Nath and Ali. They met in Australia, just outside of Sydney, and had many memories made on the beach, right beside the ocean. He also had gathered some inspiration lettering samples that he sent my way. I made a moodboard, and got to work sketching for him!

I used a Pentel Art Brush, as well as Sharpie markers to start laying down ink and playing with the words. I got my Art Brush from JetPens, a great site for finding unique pens! (This is not a sponsored post, just a product I'm happy to support!) Below are the two lettering bits we had settled on, with the second being the final top pick!

Originally Nath had thought about using other lines of the lyrics, but when they got written and layered on a photo, it became too busy. I used this water photo to give us both an idea of what the lettering could look like, since we were still waiting for Nath's Hawaii film to be developed.

Below are some photos that Ali sent me of the final products Nath had printed. I really love how they turned out, and am definitely interested in collaborating with Nath (and Ali) on more projects in the future! Stay tuned for those to come!

Brush Lettering by Daughter Zion Designs X Photo by The Entrance Collective

Brush Lettering by Daughter Zion Designs X Photo by The Entrance Collective

If you are interested in any custom pieces of your own, don't hesitate to contact me! Starting April 25, 2015, I'll be taking on more custom projects! Email me on the CONTACT page, and we can start chatting!

Good Friday

**This image is for personal use only, as a wallpaper for phone or computer. Exclusive rights belong to Reva Madryga of Daughter Zion Designs. This download may not be reproduced, altered, or sold. If you would like to use it in any other way other than intended, please email me at to discuss.**

Open for Change - Customizing Pre-Existing Designs

Recently, I got a little note from a client asking about changing the colours on some of my pre-existing prints that I have listed in my shop. I have had other clients ask about removing a border, or changing the words, but keeping the style and design the same, but this was the first time I had been asked about changing the colours of a specific print. The client loved the design of my Be Still piece, but was wondering if it was possible to make it have the writing in black, and the leaves in yellow. At first I thought to myself, Oh, I'm going to have to repaint this piece exactly like the first one, but with the new colours, thinking about how much time that would have to take, and trying to estimate the pricing for her. But then I had a duh moment, and remembered the beauty of Photoshop. I could keep the costs down for my client, and maintain the exact style of the original piece. Keeping the look of watercolour painting and variation in the leaves was important to me. With a little playing around, I managed to come up with the colours that she loved and was happy with.

This whole process got me thinking though. How many others of you out there have ever thought about asking for a colour change of a print you love? Not even one of my prints, necessarily. I thought it was pretty brave of my client to reach out and ask, as typically that's not something that I would have ever done. I usually look at what a shop has to offer, and think that I'm limited the variations that they list as being available, and believe that's all that I have to choose from. Having the opportunity to ask, especially with the non confrontational ease of email, makes it quick, easy, and harmless. I will have to reconsider doing it more often in the future.

So now you know that all it takes is a little bit of typing, and you can hopefully change a piece to fit you and your style perfectly. Ask away, I won't mind! And if it's possible, I will change a piece to meet your needs!

Practice Makes Perfect - Building an Alphabet For You!

Hope you had a great long weekend! And Valentine's Day too! My Saturday was spent doodling with my brush pen, while Josh watched surfing all day. Our Valentine's got bumped to Sunday, which was nice, and more personal. I woke up to flowers and a sprinkled doughnut, and then treated to new (red!) boots from the boy. He's too sweet. 

In my doodling, for extremely late Valentine's Day downloads (which didn't even happen...sorry!), I started to writing the alphabet over and over again in different styles. I'm thinking that I'm going to create something awesome for you to use in your own work, however you like, in creating a little mini font! Or a few different styles of brush lettering for you to download and use! I'm pretty pumped, but I know that it's going to take me some time, so please be patient. I'll let you know when it's all ready! Above is a little sneak peek at some very rough drafts. These were painted late in the evening, in poor light, so they will definitely get refined and reworked. I'm looking forward to sharing these mini fonts with you when they are all complete!