End of my vacation, start with the lettering.
Tam-tam-tam-taaaaaaam (put in dooms-day tune). It is, as the title of this post already suggests, the end of my vacation. A vacation when I would do so much hand lettering and round up my Adobe Illustrator course but then came my Cameo and the children. The Silhoutte Cameo got all my left over attention which I should have spent on the other stuff.
We did a bunch of fun stuff family wise. We went to the zoo and to a huge swimming pool and had lots of cozy afternoons, listening to the rain falling while watching a movie and eating popcorn. All in all, a very almost not stressful vacation.
It was also the first vacation we spent at home! Usually we go to my fathers place in Sweden. I must say, I did not mind at all staying at home! Now I had some time to sort out our attic.
Kids and vacation
As you all know, I have three children. One who’s turning 16 this month, one who’s 7 years young and one who’s 3 years small. The two older ones are both girls and the little monster is a boy. Having them all at home at once since school is out has been partly a delight and a few times a nightmare. I think I have gained at least three more wrinkles on my forehead from all the frowning and at least ten gray hairs from all the worrying and trying to keep my cool.
Having them all at home at the same time I thought it would be lovely and peaceful and they could play and do stuff together. They do not see each other very often so this could be their chance! I thought…. Well, this mom thought very wrong. Due to them being so much apart, it appears they do not any longer know how to be together and they keep on fighting ALL the time! Most of the time then. It is making me want to go back to my work!
So among all this commotion and frequent fun family time, I actually got down to do SOME hand lettering stuff! I came across this quote on Instagram and I had to chuckle out loud because my son is totally in this phase at the moment. When he grows quiet, he is up to no good! I think all the parents come across this at one time or another, don’t we? When our children grow quiet, it usually means some mischief is being done!
When I catch him in the act, he starts crying before I even have time to open my mouth and starts explaining himself. That is so cute! I still need to explain to him what he has done wrong and we always end up with a sorry from his part and a warm cuddle from my part.
I thought I would use this post to talk a bit about how I build up my pieces that I draw.
Find a quote or piece that I want to draw
First and foremost, I take a look on my Pinterest and search for quotes. If I do not find anything inspirational there, I will go and take a look at my Instagram to see what all my creative friends have come up with. I start to feel fairly confident of the pieces that I make myself now, that I only need to look for a quote and not feel the need to copy anybody’s work.
At the early stages of my learning process, I did copy other artists work. I often looked at what other people had done and copied their work to see how they had built up their work. However, I never put a copied work on the internet. I can not imagine how annoying it must be for an artist to find his or hers hard work copied by somebody else back on the internet.
Make a rough sketch
This quote that I found was at first made by @oneartsymama. I follow her work on Instagram and also recently bought one of her books!
Back to business. First I make a rough sketch of how I want the poster to look like. I usually use my Moleskine sketchbook to do this. Love this sketch book! The quality of the paper is sublime!
From a rough sketch to the real deal
So now I have drawn out how I would like the poster to look like. I take my 3 euro scrapbook where I make all my final drawings in. I love the smoothness and the thickness of this paper. It is so easy to draw onwith both pencils and markers.
First I start out by making the help lines. In this post I explained to you what the different help lines are for and why it is a good thing to use them! In this picture you can see how and why!
You can see how I have drawn all the lines so very lightly. I do this so I can easily erase them when I have put all the letters in its place!
You can also tell how I split the paper down the middle vertically. This is so I can get the right letter spacing. Why this is so important, you can read all about that here.
Do you also notice how for every row of letters, I have made an ascendant line and a descendant line. I do this so I know my whole word will have the same height, making my poster look more neat and clean.
To make sure that all the waistlines are at the same level, I draw another line somewhere in the middle of the ascendant line and the descendant line. I do this to make sure all the middle lines, like the lines of the A, F and the E get on the same level. Actually all the letters with a horizontal middle line needs to follow the waistline. This makes your poster look more clean and leveled.
Start sketching in the letters
Now I can start sketching in all my letters. Notice how I already made a banner from the start? I wanted the banner to be about halfway, as a point which melts together with the rest but at the same time stands out.
I make a rough sketch of it, changing the letters as I go to get them the way I have them in my head. A good advice is to immediately erase the old lines so you don’t get confused when you want to go and ink your poster.
When I am happy with the layout of the poster, it is time to start ink up! I preferable use the Sakura Pigma Micron pens. The reason for this is because the lines barely faint when I erase the pencil lines.
Time to ink up!
So now the exciting time has come. The time when I wish I was home alone so my toddler doesn’t pull my arm when I am inking my poster. (I do not know if you sense my sarcasm here, but it happens A LOT! To the stage that I was thinking of only inking at night when he is asleep.)
I start with inking the letters that I have made. For lines that go horizontally, I usually just turn my sketchbook 90 degrees one way or another. That way you don’t have to draw with your arm stuck in some weird angle, making it possible that you will mess up your beautiful and hard work!
Wait with erasing the pencil lines til you are sure your ink is all dried up. It would be such a shame if you would get ink smears all over your hard work!
Spicy up the letters some with some shading, bubbles, dots, lines and you name it! If you like to, you can also add some flourishing and other drawings you want on your poster.
So now I have taken you through the start to finish of how I make my lettered pieces. I hope you have picked up a few new tricks or maybe this is all old stuff for you. Either way, I hope it was enjoyable to follow me on my hand lettering journey.