Sunday hand lettering painting process

Sunday hand lettering painting process


I was inspired to try this overlapping colors technique by artwork from Josie Lewis. Her whole Instagram feed is full of paintings where she layers colors over each other to create interesting gradients. It’s so mesmerizing!

Here’s a link to her amazing post that inspired my lettering!

Since I was just sitting around at my house that day, I was able to set up my phone on a tripod and film the process. Here’s the video of me painting this piece!

Please excuse the poor quality… Lighting is not great in my office.


I wanted to see how overlaying different colors of gouache would work with the Winsor & Newton gouache that I love to use. I knew I wanted to use big blocky sans-serif lettering, so I went straight to work sketching them in.

On pieces where I’m not sure of my color palette before I begin, I like to paint a bunch of swatches to see how things come out. After some exploration, I found that I loved how the colors look straight out of the tube. They’re all fairly vibrant, so the overlapping colors look really nice together.

For the painting process, I started with alternating letters so the colors wouldn’t bleed together. I filled in the “S”, “N” and “A” and let them dry for a few minutes. After I knew they were dry and not cool to the touch, I painted the other three letters. (Pro tip – you know your watercolors are really dry when the paper doesn’t feel cool when you run your fingers over it.)

I wanted to paint this quickly, so I kept the gouache fairly thin. Using less water and more paint, would have made the letters more opaque. If I would have been a tiny bit more patient, I think I might have gotten better color differentiation where they overlapped. I’m still really happy with the way the colors came together!!

I’m excited to continue experimenting and sharing processes like this. Now I’ve got my iPhone tripod and Vimeo account all set up and ready to go, so I’m ready to share!

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