A Day In Our Lives #6

Hey guys!

I’m writing this post just as I get back from Thanksgiving break. I have a lot of things to be thankful for! This is a drawing of what a typical Thanksgiving layout would look like at my house. It is still missing a few items! I was fortunate enough to be able to see most of my family over this break. I was even able to see my long-distance best friend for a few hours. Thanksgiving is a really important time for us college kids to connect with our families that we may have not seen in a while. I hope everyone had a restful break. We are getting ready for finals!! Only a few more weeks left in the semester. Luckily, Christmas break is right around the corner!

See you next week !

LOG-016: (Two) Eye(s) in the Sky


SPECIES NO. [ 009 ]



[ These streamlined, omnivorous creatures seem to spend most of their time gliding and soaring at high altitudes in the atmosphere of Khepri-1b. Their body structure is rather unusual; they have three pairs of translucent, thin wings; two large, simple compound eyes — one dorsal and one ventral; a dorsal, ventral, and tail fin for flight stabilization and steering; a small beak-like mouth at the anterior. Most of its body is covered in fibrous hair- or feather-like material, which lightens in coloration from top to bottom. They are clumsy when grounded, only able to maneuver by pushing with its second pair of wings and its short, stiff tail. ]

Letters by Lydia: Monami Plus Pen 3000

We’re finally bringing back the pen reviews this week, so get excited!

This week we’re taking a look at the Monami Plus Pen 3000:


Before we get into my opinions, let’s introduce these guys.  The Monami Plus Pen 3000 (I know, a bit of a ridiculous name) is a fine tip pen.  It’s also a felt tip, although I would argue it’s closer to a plastic nib (for felt tips, think Papermate flairs–these are a lot sturdier and skinnier).  Even though they have a fine tip, they have enough give to them to act as a pseudo-brushpen if you want them to.  I use these more often to color in small things or write, though.  You can see some different ways to use these in the picture I included.  One thing to note about the ink, though, is that it can be a bit splattery.  It’s not juicy enough where it will leak or splatter enough to stain things, though, it’s just worth noting because sometimes it can be hard to get clean lines.

The pen body isn’t my favorite–these guys are really tall and thin, and feel kind of cheaply made, which makes sense because they’re known for being super affordable.  They’re also known for coming in a huge color selection, including a lot of pastels, fluorescents, and muted colors.  The set of twelve I have is mainly just classic bright colors, but I’m obsessed with the case it comes in–it’s super satisfying to unclasp it for some reason, and it’s super convenient to keep in my bag.

As for purchasing information, I got this set for around $6 on stationery pal (great website for affordable stationery stuff).  If you want some for yourself, the site is currently having a sale that puts this set at $2.60, which is insane, so definitely check that out!

Overall, this set isn’t anything that stands out a lot to me, but they’re still nice pens, and the super cheap price and color range sets them apart enough that I’m definitely glad I added them to my collection.  I would highly recommend these to any beginners or people who don’t want to spend a ton of money on pens, as well.

As always, thanks for reading and have a lovely week!


A Day In Our Lives #4

Hey guys!
The weather here in Ann Arbor is insane. I have lived in Michigan my entire life and every year I forget how fast the weather can change. One day it’s scorching hot and the next it is snowing! This week I wanted to talk about the weather we are all currently enduring. If anyone is wondering what I draw these images on I use my iPad with procreate. (Unfortunately a paid program but if anyone wants a  recommendation for some free programs I have some!) I went to a football game for the first time in college and of course, it snowed! I thought I could handle it with four layers, but I get cold so fast.  I was freezing. What I wouldn’t give to move somewhere warm. I hope everyone is getting excited about the upcoming Thanksgiving break. I plan to post over Christmas and Thanksgiving breaks. See you next week!

– Marissa 

Letters by Lydia: Upstrokes and Downstrokes

Welcome to another week y’all! Today I thought I’d give you all a little intro on brush lettering 101.

To start, what exactly is brush lettering? Just what it sounds like.  It’s handlettering, but specifically with brush pens.  If you’re new here, a brush pen is basically a marker with a brush tip, which handletterers use when they want to get line variation in their letters.  I would say brush lettering is probably the most common type of lettering, but it definitely has a bit of a learning curve.

The key to it is in learning the different kinds of strokes, or lines.  The basics all come down to upstrokes and downstrokes.  Upstrokes are thin lines that use just the very tip of the brush pen, and they start from the bottom and go in an upwards direction (as the name implies).  Downstrokes, again, what a shocker, start at the top and go in a downward motion.  These are thicker lines because they involve using more pressure on the pen.  I demonstrated this with the pictures below, using my favorite brush pens, Karin brushmarker pros.

 Once you get these basic strokes down, you can start experimenting with more complicated strokes.  I’m not sure who originally came up with this set of strokes to practice, but I know I’ve seen @thehappyevercrafter and @ensigninsights use these on Instagram (highly recommend their accounts, especially for beginners!).  In any case, these are essentially the core kinds of strokes or lines you’ll need to be comfortable making, because they appear in a lot of letters.

They can definitely be a little awkward at first, but once you get the hang of them, lettering with brush pens will be soooo much easier!  In the picture I included here, I drew the strokes in the top line and added in a circle so you know where to start, and then arrows so you know which direction you’re drawing in.  In the second line, I drew the same strokes again just so you can see them a little more clearly.  As you can see, all the upstrokes are thin and all the downstrokes are thicker lines.

So how do these actually show up in lettering?  Let’s look at some letters so you can see 🙂

 Here’s your basic lower-case, cursive “a”.  To make this, you actually have to use two strokes (shown in the picture), meaning you pick up your pen once in between.  For the first stroke, the oval-ish shape, you start where I put the little 1 in a circle.  From there, you start with an upstroke, then transition into a downstroke, and finish off with another upstroke that connects to the first.  Then, you pick up your pen, and begin stroke two!  This one is a lot easier–start at the same height as the top of your oval, and just go straight down, then kind of flick your pen back up for that final upstroke.  I’m not going to guide you through every letter because we’d be here forever, but I did include a little sheet I drew of all the letters and some guiding arrows for each of the strokes involved.  I also color-coded them, so the stroke you start with is in red, followed by a yellow stroke, and on a few letters there’s a third stroke which is in blue.  Of course, there are tons of styles for writing the alphabet, and every lettering artist does it a bit different, but this is how I tend to do it!

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about brush lettering, and please let me know if you try this and found it helpful, or have any questions! See y’all next week 🙂

A Day In Our Lives #3

Hey Guys!


This week I wanted to bring back the squirrels since you all liked them so much the first week! I personally don’t like football very much but I know a lot of people do! It is exciting that we’ve won last weekend. I saw a photo of a squirrel eating a candy bar on the Diag on Snapchat and I thought it was pretty funny. I love the cute little culture we have around the squirrels on campus.  I really like drawing with this like cute shading style I have been doing for these posts. If you have anything that you see or experience on campus or around Ann Arbor comment below or get ahold of me! I’d love to include your ideas in my posts.

See you next Sunday!