“Summer” Brush Lettering Tutorial

For this lesson we’re going to be creating a brush-lettered script overlaid on a photo, adding in shadows in Photoshop.

It’s winter down here in Australia so this piece really speaks to me right now 😆

If you haven’t done anything with brush lettering before head on over to the Lettering Studio free email course, it will take you through the basics of brush lettering from the very beginning.

If you’re already feeling comfortable with drawing letters with a brush pen, let’s crack on!

The first thing we’ll be doing is sketching out the general layout of our piece, planning how we want each letter to look and how we want them to fit together as a whole.

The ‘mood’ I want for this piece is breezy, light, and surf-focussed, so I want that flowy movement echoed in how the letters are formed. I’m also going to be bringing in some paint splatters to look like sea-spray and further enhance this surf-feel.

I’ll be using the Tombow Dual Brush Pen for this to take advantage of its flexible brush for that sweet, sweet flow.

But before we get to the brush pen, it’s sketching time.

Here’s what my initial sketches look like, you can see me exploring with how I want the S and R to interact with the full word, as well as playing around with spacing and kerning.

Use this stage to get completely comfortable with each letter’s shape, its relationship with adjacent letters, and how you want your overall word to look. It’s great to be completely confident with your planning before moving over to the brush pen!

Alright, let’s bring in that Tombow. If you’re anything like me it’ll take a fair few goes before you end up with a version you’re happy with, so don’t worry about repeated attempts!

Aim to work from the sketches you’ve already created – after all, you’ve spent all that time getting the composition right!

Once you’ve got a version you’re happy with, snap a photo of it with your phone, making sure you have a nice, even light without any shadows.

Bring that photo into Photoshop on whatever way is easiest for you and let’s get editing!

Firstly, let’s remove the background. If this isn’t something you know how to do yet the free component of the Lettering Studio course has you covered, as does the tutorial package available at the end of this post. I’ll be taking you through how to make the following shadows there as well.

Once the background is removed I’ll add a colour overlay to the leftover lettering layer, colouring all our letters a flat white.

For the background, I’m going to be using a photo I took myself of Manly Beach, however, if you don’t have one handy I recommend Unsplash for excellent royalty-free photography.

I’m going to bring this background in now and reorder my layers so that my lettering sits on top.

Using the pen tool, the brush tool, and clipping masks, create shadows in the areas in your piece where brush strokes overlap. Feel free to be quite liberal with this – multiple shadows are going to enhance the flowy feeling that this was drawn quickly, with sweeping brush strokes.

We’re almost there! For the last step I’m going to use a free Photoshop brush set to paint on some paint splatters.

And there we are! I’d love to see what you create with this lesson, so be sure to leave it in the comments below for feedback and tips!

See you in the next lesson 👋 😄

‘Summer’ Brush Lettering – Tutorial Package

Everything you need to learn how to create this lettering piece

Inside you’ll find:

  • Full 22min video lesson, teaching you from start to finish, in 1080p HD
  • Full layered Photoshop PSD document
  • Photograph of the original lettering so you can follow along with the video lesson


I want this!