Hi! Nico Ng here, and I’m back with another tutorial for you. One of my most memorable moments as a kid was setting up the Christmas tree with my family. I’ve always been fascinated by the different shapes of Christmas ornaments, and that’s the inspiration for today’s holiday lettering tutorial.
Today, I’m going to show you how to create another stunning creative holiday lettering project where we’ll use the Composition Ruler to easily and perfectly draw a pointed ornament shape. Then, we’ll fill it with fun holiday illustrations, and top the motif off with stylish lettering in the center. Note that I decided to make two versions of this tutorial: a written version, which you’ll find by scrolling down, and a video version. If you learn best by watching videos, I invite you to watch the YouTube tutorial directly below this paragraph! To find the written version, keep reading.
No matter how you choose to learn, this tutorial will reward you with gorgeous holiday-themed lettering artwork. Let’s dive in!
1. Gather Your Supplies
Here is a list of the materials that you’ll need in order to create this project:
Center your Composition Ruler onto your cardstock, and mark the top and bottom center dots.
Draw a line to connect the dots, and you have your center guideline.
3. Draw an Ornament Shape
There are several ways to draw a pointed ornament shape. You can draw them narrow, normal, or wide. They all look different, but they are composed of the same base shapes. A rectangle on top for the ornament cap, a circle for the body, and a point at the bottom. After drawing the base shapes, simply curve the rectangle and the bottom point towards the circular body.
To draw a narrow pointed ornament, draw a small circle and place the bottom point further below.
To draw a normal pointed ornament, draw a medium-sized circle and place the bottom point a bit closer to the circle, slightly smaller than the circle’s diameter.
And to draw a wide pointed ornament, draw a large circle and place the bottom point close to the circle.
Simply position your Composition Ruler to your center guideline, and draw a circle slightly above the center.
Use the rectangle template to draw same-sized rectangles on both sides of the top part.
Now, use the circular template to smoothly connect the rectangle to the circle. Position your pencil on the corner of the rectangle with the circular template, rotate the Composition Ruler until you touch the circle, then draw the curved line. Repeat the same process for the other side.
Then, use the arc template to draw the pointed bottom by positioning your pencil on the bottom point with the arc template. Rotate the Composition Ruler until you touch the circle, then draw the curved line. Repeat this for the other side. You can use the circular template for wide pointed ornaments.
You now have a perfectly symmetrical ornament shape to work with.
4. Add Lettering to the Center
Loosely write the word “Joy” on the center of your ornament. Write it wider than you normally would so that when we add weights later, your word won’t look unnaturally compressed.
Next, use the Grid Ruler (optional) to draw weight guides to help you draw the thicknesses more consistently by drawing a pair of parallel diagonal lines on every thick part of the letter. Draw a diagonal line on the left side of the thick element, then use the Edge Guide on the Grid Ruler to draw the other diagonal line. Repeat this until you have drawn all the necessary guides.
Next use the word guide and weight guide to draw your script word in the middle.
5. Draw Outlines
Now, use your gold marker (or gold watercolor) to trace over the outline of your lettering. Do not fill in the letters yet; we will do that after we have erased all the pencil guides to avoid fading or smudging the ink.
Then, use your white marker (or white ink) to draw little illustrations inside the ornament shape. Just draw the outlines; don’t shade them in yet. Here are some holiday-themed illustrations you can draw:
I recommend starting with the largest objects first, then finishing off with smaller objects to fill in the empty spaces. Be sure to draw your illustrations such that they touch the edges of your ornament shape. That way, the shape of the ornament will look clean and defined in your final artwork.
6. Fill In the Outlines
Wait for the ink to fully dry, then erase your pencil guidelines. After erasing the guides, use your gold marker (or gold watercolor) to fill in the letters. Then, use the white marker to fill in the white illustrations.
7. Add Embellishements
Now, use your white marker (or white ink) to draw inline design on your letters.
Use your gold marker (or gold watercolor) to draw a little ornament cap on top. Then, draw a vertical line for the string.
You can also add gold rays and white dots randomly around the ornament. If you’re like me and you want things to look tidy, use the Composition Ruler to draw a light circular guide to confine your rays and dots.
And there you have it: dazzling holiday lettering art that is equally at home framed on a mantle or as part of a snail mail holiday package.
If you would like practice drawing ornaments using the Composition Ruler, here are some worksheets you can print and trace over. That way, you’ll know what size of circle you need to draw and how far the bottom point should be.
That’s it for another lettering tutorial! I always love seeing your versions of this tutorial, so please share your beautiful projects with me by tagging me on Instagram or sending a photo of your work to @nicong.co. For additional lettering resources, I invite you to check out my website!
If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message on Instagram or email me at [email protected]. I’m always happy to help. See you in the next tutorial!
Let’s keep learning, growing, and inspiring together! 🌟