You want beautiful rainbow blends but don’t want to ruin your brush pens? In this tutorial, I’ll show you rainbow lettering with Tombow Dual Brush pens using faux calligraphy. You may or may not know that lettering with brush pens on watercolor paper will fray your brush pens really quickly. However, blending on watercolor paper creates the best blends. Especially with rainbow blends when you are blending so many colors.
Rainbow Lettering with Tombow Dual Brush Pens
I’ve laid out the process step by step here so you can see exactly how easy it is to get beautiful rainbow lettering blends with Tombow Dual Brush pens. And it’s a bonus if you already love faux calligraphy.
If you want to watch the lettering video to see a demo of this in action, see this video tutorial:
1- Use the right paper
To make sure your paper will be able to blend well, use watercolor paper or mix media paper if the blends are not as intense. The reason that watercolor paper is the best paper to blend with is because it allows for more water and ink to sit on the paper without bleeding everywhere. But the problem is still the fact that you can’t use brush pens on watercolor paper without them fraying. Let me help you with that.
2- Use the right brush pens
We all love the colors of Tombow Dual brush pens especially for rainbow lettering, but we don’t want to fray our pens. I’m going to show you how to do rainbow lettering with faux calligraphy. What’s the trick? We’re using the fine point side!
3- Faux Calligraphy sketch
Because we’re not using the brush tip, we will be using faux calligraphy to be able to get those downstrokes. You can see my post- Faux Calligraphy Basics Tutorial where I broke that down. I always start lettering with a pencil so I can erase if I need to. You want to make sure your downstrokes have a lot of space for your rainbow blends. And you’ll leave open the downstrokes.
4- Choose your colors for rainbow lettering
I’m choosing rainbow colors of course to get rainbow lettering. But you will see I’ve also done this in an ombre blend and in galaxy lettering. You just want to make sure you’re not placing two complementary colors together. These are colors opposite each other on the color wheel like red and green, orange and blue, or purple and yellow. If you mix these colors, it will turn brown.
5. Lay down your rainbow lettering colors
I like to outline my letters with a light color, like pink first because it makes a smoother line to follow when you’re blending. Just know that this outline color could blend into the inside colors slightly. So you wouldn’t want a black outline to start because it will blend into your rainbow colors. When I did my galaxy, I did do a dark purple because I was ok with my other colors all having a dark purple mixed with them.
I work with one letter at a time because I’ve found that it blends easier if the ink hasn’t completely dried. I lay down all of my colors evenly throughout the downstroke. I’m not worried about completely coloring in the whole thing, it’s ok if it’s just scribbling.
6. Use the water brush to blend
Next, you’ll come in with a water brush or wet paintbrush. You want to blend two colors at a time, for example, the pink and orange. I will pull the ink of the orange up into the pink and vice versa. Before it dries, I want to work the orange into the yellow. But first I need to clean off my brush so that I don’t get any pink in the yellow. Sometimes if there isn’t that much ink on your brush, you don’t have to clean it off. It’s just something you have to watch for.
You will work the orange and yellow together, avoiding touching the other colors. And then you will continue to work your way down the colors doing two adjacent colors at a time. The most important thing is that you don’t want it to dry and then re-wet it. You want to make sure it’s still wet as you continue down your downstroke. If your color dries and you get a portion of it wet again, it will leave a really hard line. This is not what you want in a nice rainbow lettering blend. I talk more about that in my blog post about Rainbow Watercolor Backgrounds for Hand Lettering.
That’s it! Once you’ve finished the whole word and it’s all dry, you can go back over the outlining with a different color. I did black in this one because I wanted it to be more cohesive with the whole quote.
Rainbow Lettering Examples
I also did a few other examples of this type of blending with a galaxy and a simple ombre. You can choose any colors. What is your favorite color blend?
If you enjoyed this faux calligraphy tutorial, you may enjoy my new Skillshare class. It’s coming soon about how to use faux calligraphy to create your own unique lettering style. You can see all of my Skillshare classes and sign up for two months free with my special link.