Showing posts with label Hand Lettering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hand Lettering. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ermagerd! Special Gift for a Special Friend

A few years ago, fate introduced me to someone who has become a great friend. A change in work assignments brought us together though in our company, "together" is virtual since she is on one side of the country and I'm on the other.  

Our paths had never crossed before and we quickly discovered we had many things in common. Our passionate love of our kids, our "wicked smaht" sense of humor, our shared love of the same TV series and movies and more. I don't remember exactly how the expression "ERMAGERD" (for OMG) became part of our daily discussions but it was probably from something that had happened on "Game of Thrones" or "Bates Motel". 

We'd always have the same take on something and that morphed into us saying we were like Forrest and Jenny from "Forrest Gump" ...."peas and carrots" which became "peas in a pod". She became Erma and I became Gerd and that's been our thing!  I wanted to commemorate our relationship which is what this gift represents. Still with me? 

I knew I wanted to letter something, and I knew I wanted to frame it so I started with these supplies: 
  • Unpainted Frame
  • Acrylic Paints 
  • Lettering Pens
  • Embellishments for frame
  • Heavy Paper ( I used watercolor paper)
  • Lightbox
  • Fun Font

I painted the frame black , then crackled it using my tried and true white glue crackle technique with metallic gold as the top coat.  Once dry I added the rolled paper flowers I picked up on one of my Michaels trips. 

For the lettering and pea pods, I chose a fun font, found a piece of clipart I liked, created the sentiment on my computer, printed off and then using my lightbox, layered watercolor paper on top. Traced with a pencil, then outlined with a high quality non-bleed pen ( I bought a pack of pens by Recollections @ Michaels, comparable to Micron Pens). 

Some might ask why I didn't just use the computer generated print but I wanted this to have a hand lettered feel (and the watercolor paper wouldn't fit my printer anyway). Since I wanted it to coordinate w/ the frame, I used a metallic gold gel pen to accent the peas in the pod. 

We also share a love of black and white clothing. Since I love making jewelry and had recently picked up some new supplies to play with, I made her a pair of earrings, and made a complementary pair for me! I wear big earrings, so I made hers a little less bold but using the same beads. 

I  can't have pierced ears so mine are clips and hers are pierced. I'd picked up a package of  connector links ( the silver ovals) and layered different sizes together for each pair, and then strung the beads on headpins as shown, connecting them to the links with jump rings. 

I've waited to post this until I knew she received ( and liked!) her gift which she did and does. As I told her, the BEST feeling in the world for us makers is the excitement we feel when someone loves something we made for them. My gift in return ( not that one was expected) was her excitement over receiving this. Best feeling in the world! 

Love ya Erma!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Lettering Practice: Monday Motivation from Hermione Granger

Happy Monday all. (Trying to have a better attitude about Mondays!)

I lettered this quote from "Harry Potter" specifically from one of my favorite characters, Hermione Granger. 

I was Hermione as a child. My nose always in a book and in love with libraries and and bookstores, and my parents sent me to the dictionary and encyclopedia when I had questions. 

I've been practicing "bounce" lettering which basically brings the lower parts of the letter down lower so when you start the next letter it looks higher and "bounces" ( this is completely MY very simple explanation!). 

Here are some explanations of bounce lettering from more expert sources. 

From Dawn Nicole Designs: How to Do Bounce Lettering
From One Artsy Mama: Basic Bounce Lettering
From Pinterest: Bounce Lettering

Another of  my favorite HP characters, Mad Eye Moody, sums it up when it comes to lettering: "Constant Vigilance" which translates for me to Practice Practice Practice.

Happy Monday ( working on that). 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lettering Practice: Coffee Humor

I've noticed I have something in common with all of the hand lettering artists whose work I love. We share a love of coffee. 

My preferred drink is iced mochas. Doesn't matter what time of year it is, it's an iced mocha for me. 

So, I attempted to sketch one out ( can you tell my home away from home by the green straw? )  and then scanned in and added a marbled paper background. 

But then I couldn't decide if I wanted to leave it alone or add something more so I played around and added a watercolor "splat" .  Graphics are from The Hungry JPEG. 

Mocha time! 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lettering Practice: Work Humor

What happens when stress relief meets skill building combined with a naturally snarky personality? You letter snarky things to relax yourself at night after you've had crazy work days. 

I found this quote online and it perfectly sums up how I felt the other night after a few weeks of "fun" at work. 

For this one I did a combination of Faux-lligraphy and printing, and then scanned into my computer, edited, and added a digital background.

So now I think I need to print this, frame it and hang it above my desk! ( I work from home so it's me and the dog who'll see it).

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lettering Journey and PicMonkey Trick

Oh hi! Is it Wednesday? It's been one of those kind of weeks where I've lost track of the days. 

One of the reasons I took up Lettering as a hobby is because I have "those kinds of weeks" a lot ( my day job). While for many people Adult Coloring is therapeutic. It's not for me, but Lettering is. 

Image result for adult coloring not therapeutic
NOT TRUE FOR ME! Anyone Else? 

As I practice more, and (hopefully) get better, I want to do things with my lettering. I now know I prefer scanning my pieces in vs photographing them and importing them that way. I find I get better clarity, fewer shadows, better color etc. 

I scanned in the piece I used in this post ( a quote from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream")  and cropped it in PicMonkey. You remember I showed you last week how you can use overlays to use PNG files. No worries I linked that for you so you don't have to look for it! 

Today I'm going to show you something I figured out quite by accident. After I scanned in my image I was looking around in PM  and decided to play with textures. I figured out that I can use PNG or JPG images to change the background behind my image. This may be a big "Duh" to some of you but it was a total "Ahhh-ha" to me.  

At least for now, I don't need to shell out for PhotoShop.  But Carol, why would you have to shell out for PhotoShop? Because it lets you do really cool stuff like make layers so you can make white backgrounds transparent so you can do more cool stuff like put your lettered stuff onto other backgrounds! In other words, I could hopefully maybe fingers crossed use my Lettering pieces as their own overlays on pretty background images that I download constantly and then use them to make pretty things! 

This little trick I figured out works similarly and it doesn't take much to make me sooooo happy! 

Here's the image I started with : 
I'm also discovering I like mixed type lettering the best

  • Scan or download image ( I don't know how this works w/ color images so let me know if you try) into PicMonkey. 
  • Crop / Size 
  • Click on the Textures Menu (7th option down on the left, looks like a screen)

  • Click on "Your Own" and then "Your Own" again ( don't ask me why they do this twice) 

  • Choose the image you want as your background and then click on Apply. 
  • This is the image I used for the background: 

From Creative Market Watercolor Pastel Flowers
And done!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lettering Practice : Faux-lligraphy

(Reminder I have a little giveaway going on here)

I've mentioned that I'm on a journey to learn hand lettering and I also mentioned in my 2017 New Year's post "The Stop Doing List" that I would normally not post things unless they were "perfect". This is a combination of those things. 

Sharing a piece I worked on last night inspired by a commerical for the upcoming "Beauty and The Beast" movie. 

I'm not 100% happy with it but the one thing every lettering artist I admire says repeatedly is "practice practice practice" so I'm practicing. 

The style I used here is considered "faux-lligraphy" or cheater calligraphy so if you want to try a calligraphic style, this is an easy way to do it. 

Dawn Nicole Designs has a great video tutorial here, and Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama has a beginner's tutorial here

Since I'm still figuring out how to digitize my projects (eg scan vs photograph) this is going to be the most basic basic how to! 

Lettering vs handwriting is really more about drawing letters so that's why I used the word draw vs write. 

Step 1:
Draw your letter(s). I still sketch out my words in pencil first to get spacing and size right but for this illustration I just went right with the pen!  

Step 2: 
Outline. You want to focus on the downstrokes, so wherever you bring your pen/pencil down, that's where you want to create a parallel line that makes an outline. Make sense? 

Step 3: 
Color ( or I guess fill would be a good term too) . Color in your outline ( doesn't have to be black...the letters look great with different colors too). 

One thing leads to another so while I've been on this lettering journey I started expanding my drawing and doodling skills. It never stops in the creative world right? 

I'm a visual learner so You Tube has been invaluable. This is the video I watched ( several times!) to do the rose. 

Supplies used: 
  • Strathmore Multi Media Sketchbook
  • Farber Castell drawing pen, slim and medium
  • Tombow dual-tip markers 

Here's another piece I did last week: 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hand Lettered Cards

When I became intrigued by hand lettering, one of the things I hoped I'd be able to do was to incorporate it into my card making. So when I had a couple of cards to make this weekend, that's just what I did. 

I started by doodling the wreath for each card, then added the initial. It just so happened that both recipients have the same initial. 

I chose some coordinating papers , trimmed the focal piece, matted then stamped the sentiments for each with Staz On ink onto white cardstock scraps. Matted those w/ coordinating paper scraps. As I continue to practics and get better at lettering, I'll do the sentiments too but for now, stamps lol. 

To add some dimension, I dotted the berries on the doodled branches with clear dimensional drops ( Nuvo clear). 

Supplies Used: 
  • Decorative Scrapbook Papers: Crate Paper pack ( Michaels)
  • Lettering Paper: Strathmore Watercolor 
  • Staz On Black Ink
  • Sentiment Stamps : Michaels (Impulse buy a while ago)
  • Drawing Pen: Faber Castell (my personal fave)
  • Coloring Pens: Tombow Dual Tip (my personal fave)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hand Lettering Practice and Coffee Printables

This week's link party continues here

I smile when I read the "About Me" of so many bloggers and see some variation of the statement " I run on coffee". I know there are many bloggers who don't drink it too so no judgement!

But for those of us who do, my unscientific research concludes that it's not just a beverage we consume, it's a life force! I'm no exception. Mochas for me!  Hence my hand lettering practice quote above and some printables I made. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 Favorite Hand Lettering Resources

Yesterday was National Handwriting Day. I've always been obsessed with handwriting, calligraphy, and now hand lettering which I would describe as a combination of handwriting, drawing, and doodling. My Mom has beautiful handwriting and my Dad did too. 

I went to Catholic school as a child and the rumors about Nuns and handwriting (at least up through my era) are 100% true. Add to that a Dad who went to Catholic school before me and who was equally adamant about penmanship including practice sessions with him. I mean it was a thing. Without sounding too old, it does make me sad that cursive and penmanship are pretty much not taught anymore. 

I've tried self taught calligraphy with OK results. Still want to take an in person clasee. 

When I started seeing "Hand Lettering" all over the place I knew I'd found my people ! This combination of drawing, doodling, etc. drew me like a moth to a flame and I am learning and practicing every day. 

I thought I'd share some of the resources I've found helpful in case anyone else has been bitten by this bug. A huge thank you to all the people who share their talent and tutorials , mostly for FREE! 

In no particular order: 

One Artsy Mama: Amy Latta ( who loves lattes) doesn't probably know it,  but she's the first person who made me feel like I could learn this. She had a series on her blog that was so easy to follow and got me to dip my toes in the water ( er um ink in the well?). Easy to follow tutorials on lettering , accents, banners, etc. 

Checking out her series led me to other amazing places like: 

Dawn Nicole Designs:  Amazing tutorials, free practice sheets, extras if you sign up for her newsletter,. Her You Tube channel, FB page , Instagram....all of her places offer something to learn from. INSPIRING! 

Kristina Werner: Droolworthy ! I especially love her creation of backgrounds she uses for her lettering.

The Postman's Knock: Lindsey Bugbee. Stunning calligraphy and Lindsey provides worksheets and tutorials like this one she shared today: 

Llamas Love Lettering: Cindy Guentert Baldo. Wonderful, easy to follow You Tube tutorials. Cindy is irreverent and funny. She's unfiltered and uncensored so you've been warned! 

Zensipirations: Joanne Fink: I adore her dangle lettering which she makes look completely effortless. Joanne works with Sakura America and is featured on their website as well as her own.  

This is by NO means an exhaustive list ( and none of these folks know I'm doing this so there's nothing in it for me).  There are tons of resources online. These are the ones I continue to go back to again and again so thought I'd share. 

If you've been at all interested in learning about Hand Lettering but have been intimidated, STOP IT! 

Sure it will take practice and you will erase some things and tear up some practice sheets . It's a journey and like every journey begins with the first step! 


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