Saturday, July 27, 2013

"Heart Walls I" (draft 5)

(draft 5)

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." (Proverbs 3:3...NIV) Not quite there yet, but the lettering is coming along. The process really slows down when it's time to add lettering.

Nothing has changed about the background today, but the informal versals can take a while. And rather than trying to speed up and try to get it all done this morning, I thought it might be instructive to let my lettering friends see a bit more of my process.

I generally begin laying in these types of versals by laying tracing paper over the piece so that I can see the shapes in the background. I then begin to write the letters with pencil first so I can erase and change things as I go along. The beauty of these letters is the fact that there are no descenders or ascenders to deal with and they can be expanded and compressed to fit into any shape.

After feeling satisfied with the spacing and slant, I then transfer the letters to the actual piece by scribbling on a plain sheet of tracing paper with a graphite pencil. I then slip that underneath the tracing paper with the lettering and go over it again with a pencil, checking to make sure it is transferring.

After this step, I go over all of the letters with a pointed pen loaded with the color gouache of the final lettering and simply fill them in with no pressure on the pen. And that is what you see on the part of the quote I still need to finish. I then erase the initial graphite.

And this next step is the most important. I check the slant and spacing one more time. In this case, I did remove several words and rewrite them in white gouache right on the original. Because the surface has been prepared for lettering, I can simply take a brush dipped in water and remove anything I like. After all of the adjustments were made, I began to build up the versals with a pointed pen and Bleedproof White gouache.

I may also need to go back and beef up all of the letters one more time. The best way to do that is to spray the entire surface (2x) with spray acrylic coating and then prepare the surface for lettering again. This keeps the pen from digging into the previous layer of gouache which can be very frustrating. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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