Lettering Lesson

Adding words to a sketch is a good practice to understand so Jean Mackay provided us with a few tips for hand-lettering during the Nature Sketching workshop in Italy. I am not much for adding phrases into my work but some simple steps for making lettering look polished were welcome. We spent about 20 minutes on these few techniques that I can & will remember and use!

This is my practice page follow along to Jean’s instruction
  1. Use guidelines, especially if you are new to lettering. Make the lines with pencil & use a straight edge. Plot the height and volume.
  2. Create letter vertical lines that are parallel. Keep the letter horizontal connectors at relatively the same level. Be Consistent!
  3. Add some ‘Stroke Weight Variation’, this is ‘Key’ to an interesting lettering style…and so worth the effort. [look around for a lettering type you like and copy the strokes]
  4. Practice & Repeat. Perfection is Not required.
  5. Let the ‘Letters Carry The Mood’ of the message – stiff letters, flourishes, calligraphy each has a mood/message.
  6. Let your own personal style show.

When placing a quote into a sketch use tracing paper to position the words in the composition… you will know exactly how the final will fit and look.

Here are a few examples of recent lettering in my sketchbooks – taking time to create pencil lines, planning the size using tracing paper, inking or painting the final letters and erasing the pencil lines.

Remember this one!

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