How to Draw “Mindful” in Bell Bottom Lettering Style

Today’s inspiration is a piece from my 100 Days of Doodle Inspiration. I have been obsessed with trying to turn traditional modern calligraphy upside down and use thin downstroke with a thick upstroke. It hasn’t quite worked out, but this interesting “bell bottom” style has emerged. 

Let’s explore breaking some calligraphy rules to create a funky, bell bottom calligraphic style. Grab your supplies and go for it!

Supplies Needed

  • White cardstock, folded in half
  • Canson Watercolor paper, cut to 8.5 x 5.5
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Sharpie marker (or other waterproof black marker or pen)
  • Black glaze pen (optional)
  • Tombow Dual Brush markers
  • Paintbrush 
  • Water



Step 1

Using your pencil on the half-page cardstock, draw the word “mindful” from edge to edge. 

I warm up on other paper so that I can get my hand loose and used to drawing so large! I drew a bit darker here so that you could see my letters. 

Notice that they are not perfect letters. The lines are a bit shaky. What you are looking for is the big shapes and curves of them. 

Step 2

Look at the bottom curves of the letters as they connect to the next letter. That is where we will exaggerate the curve and add weight to form the “bell bottom.”

On the ascenders (the top parts) of the “d”, “f”, and “l”, add a bit of thickness in the loop. This will balance the weight that is in the bottom connectors. 

Step 3

Using your Sharpie (or other waterproof black marker or pen), outline the letters. During this stage, make any adjustments to the curves. 

Then, fill in the letters.

Step 4

Using your Tombow markers, draw a yellow line across the top and a purple line across the bottom. Then take an orange markers and outline the top of the letters and a fuchsia marker and outline the letters below. 


Step 5

Next, dip your paintbrush in water and “paint” the marker. There will be some movement in the color. Play with mixing the colors that are next to each other. 

This is our practice creation on cardstock which doesn’t let the color from the Tombow markers move very well. 

Step 6

Now we are going to do this again on watercolor paper. 

Repeat steps 1-5 on your watercolor paper. Add more water as you paint to get the colors to pool together. In the picture, the top and the bottom pieces are on watercolor paper and the one in the middle is the cardstock. 

I used the same markers on all of these. The only thing that I changed was the paper. 

The Tombow marker watercolor technique works best on Strathmore or Canson brand paper. I have not had success with it on Arches, Fabriano, or Master’s Touch. 



Step 7: The Final Project

I added a thin black border around mine to finish it off. If you like to doodle, add more embellishments or a quote to this. 

I love the funky-ness of the lettering with the wonky watercolor effect. 

The colors I chose worked together because violet and red are next to each other and orange and yellow are next to each other. Try it again with different colors that are next to each other on the color wheel: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.