Happy Sunday friends! This last month has been remarkably busy. Between finishing up some very high maintenance productions at work, several calligraphy commissions in a row, trying to keep up with my new website, and regular life things, I've been pretty overwhelmed— but am remarkably happy with myself in keeping a pace at life and actually finishing things that I start.
I set aside some crafty time for myself this afternoon to practice some composition and lettering. I have some project reveals in the near future, but thought I'd share a casual Sunday project with you all.
I find that if I have the opportunity to do projects for myself, I've been gravitating toward really colorful things. Just a little background– I design almost exclusively for letterpress printing which is a single-color process, this means my productions are typically between 1-3 colors. Technically, you really can't beat the quality of letterpress, but it's definitely refreshing to work on other mediums and techniques. Don't get stuck doing the same thing forever, even if it's what you're best at.
I recently painted a custom watercolor that'll be used in one of my clients invitations (sneak peek below). Since it's already been scanned, I thought I'd use it for a quote.
First I masked off the margins of the final trim. I personally like drawing as little guidelines as I can. The prospect of erasing anything on a finished piece is really nerve wracking to me. These little small washi-tapes are great. I use them for everything. They are MT brand
I had my quote picked out. Maybe it's called a proverb (it's from the Bible)? I'm not sure— but I wanted to use something that wasn't copyrighted. It's incredible how many crafty goods you see for sale on etsy and other places with absolutely copyrighted quotes and imagery. On the same note, it's incredibly difficult for the novice craftsman to A.) Discover if a thing in question is usable B.) Who might own the copyright, and C.) How you can even get access to it's use. For all intents and purposes: better safe than sorry. (And who am I kidding– I'm not paying for a user license. I'll make up my own words.) Anyway- after I'd picked my words, I made a quick map for composition. Once I established guidelines on my map, I transferred them to my watercolor.
[My Dad picked up this Beatles stationery after gutting the Beatles themed club in Vegas. I use it for everything.]
I have a bit of a heavy hand with certain pencils but it's really important to only draw lightly enough to just barely see the lines. Some inks and mediums will lay over pencil just translucent enough to see guidelines and you'll never be able to erase them. Absolute horror. I wrote the words in white conte, which is neat because if you're using a white ink- the conte just kind of melts into the ink.
After all this was established I used a No.1 synthetic brush to paint the letters. If you've been using a dip pen for some time, the pressure concept is the same and actually becomes really intuitive. A brush works remarkably like a nib- the biggest difficulty for me though is that since the bristles are never stiff (like on the upstrokes of a nib) it's difficult to maintain consistency in pressure through out. Definitely something fun to work on though.
This is how it turned out:
I embellished with some leafy things. I'd give this one a 6/10. I had a lot of fun doing something non-objectively and it's always fun to practice letter forms. Over all I wouldn't sell it- but will chalk it up as a learning experience.
Until next Sunday my pretties.