Correcting Lettering Mistakes

Because my journaling involves so much lettering and writing, inevitably I will make a spelling error or some lettering mistake. In this lesson I show how I fix those mistakes. Sense of humor required 🙂

hope cover flap open web


  • Journal Pages of watercolor paper to doodle and write on
  • Permanent drawing/writing pens, preferably in a few various widths, such as Fabercastell Pitt Pens (fineliner set which includes sizes XS, S, F, M) or Copic Fine Nib Inking Pens set which includes sizes 0.3, 0.1, 0.05, 0.03. Microns may work too, but tend to smear when writing over layers of acrylic medium or paint, so they aren’t my first choice.
  • White permanent pen for fixing mistakes, such as Painters Pen, fine tip, paint marker by Elmer’s, OR ACRYLIC water based paint marker/Extra fine by Montana Markers, OR BIC Wite-Out Correction Pen. See note below photo of white pens for more info.
  • If you don’t have white pen/s, regular white gesso may be used, applied with a small paintbrush.

white pens for correction photo

You only need one pen, but I thought I would show these three as good options. The Elmer’s Painters Pen, #1, is the one I’ve used the most. I purchased #2 recently as a new product from our local Blick store and have been quite happy with it. I prefer one of these two because they also write words fairly well if I go at a slower pace, which seems to be the case with all the white pens I’ve tried. When I am correcting a mistake, it required 2-4 coats of the pen to cover the black ink, which is a bit of a downside. #3 is the most opaque white, so it makes it good for corrections with less layers, but I have found it harder to control so I do not choose it to write with. As far as writing with white pen, the Gelly Roll by Sakura was my first and still my favorite. It is not permanent though, so it requires spraying over the white writing/doodling with a fixative before  putting any wet media over it.

If you don’t have white pens, you may try putting a few thin white gesso, put on with a small round paintbrush. I’ve used that with success. It is not shiny like the titanium white and covers well with about 3 coats of paint. The hard part is waiting for the coats to dry 🙂

Fixing spelling & other letter mistakes is what this next video is about:

The password for the video is: do-letter

Here is the fixed version – Yay!
The definition of HOPE

hope definition quote

Below is another example of correcting a spelling mistake. I used gesso in the example instead of a paint pen because there was a background shaded with paint and a specific small section which isolated the mistake. Here is the mistake, not putting the “n” into “goodness”

right foot mistake detail

Here below is a photo of it after one coat of gesso. I gave it a total of three coats, allowing it to dry in between coats:

feet, step 1 correction

For the text, I had used a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pen, Sanguine, size “S”. It was waterproof when I wrote directly on the paper, but on top of the gesso it smeared when I painted the light wash of Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold on top. So what I did was add more water with my brush and blot off the inky water. It came off pretty easily leaving a ghost image of the new letters. Then I painted the quinacridone gold wash. Allowed it to dry, and went over the ghost letters with the pen. It’s not perfect, but goodness is complete.

feet corrected wordSo it’s a bit funky since I had a small horizontal space to add a letter, but I feel better about it. This is where mixing up upper and lower case letters can come in handy 🙂

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