Great 3-D Effects



60 min

What you need:

Pitt Artist Pen in black or any of the 48 colors. Different nips sizes and forms allow special effects and unique results. Enjoy!
Three-dimensional lettering techniques give letters on a two-dimensional surface the illusion of depth, as well as width and height. This is a great skill to master that can give your art extra personality and magnitude. It adds a delightful visual "pop" on both paper and computer screens. Modern 3-D lettering can be rendered digitally; however, it is gratifying and useful to perfect by hand.

Exercises for Beginners

With a little practice, you will be amazed by all the different ways you can incorporate 3-D lettering into your work. This versatile technique can be done in any font style. Here are a few different ways to create 3-D lettering with serif, script, and sans serif letters.

Exercises for Advanced

Here's an easy step-by-step tutorial to help get you started with your own 3-D lettering. Give it a try!

Step 1

Start by sketching the letters. We chose a script font for a modern twist on a traditional style of type.

Step 2

Draw a bubble around your letters, and fill it in with a medium shade—you can use any art tool, from colored pencil or marker to paint or inks.

Step 3

Imagine in which direction the sun would be shining on your letters. Follow the lines around the letters on the side that is opposite from your imagined sun. Fill this area in with a dark shade.

Step 4

Add white lines around the dark curves of the shading to create even more depth.

Step 5

After completing the shading, you can add extra flourishes if you like—or in this case, some extra "jazz!"

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Matching Themes and Letters
Just imagine sea salt in the air and sand between your toes...
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Excerpt from "The Joy of Lettering," published by Walter Foster Publishing, a division of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. All rights reserved. Walter Foster is a registered trademark. Artwork © Gabri Joy Kirkendall and Jaclyn Escalera. Visit