Sunday, December 15, 2013

HOW I PAINT MY LETTERING

Ok!  I had a request for a tutorial on how I paint my lettering in my collages.  This is something that I learned by watching Teesha Moore in a Mermaid Circus video and that I adopted for my own colleges because it is very easy for me to do...and I think that it really gives my collage work a polished look.

Here goes:  I mainly use Molotow paint pens but you can use any acrylic or poster paint pen with an extra fine or fine tip.  I have a collection of the Molotow (1mm, in black and white and all other colors 2mm), Painters (Elmer's) and Sharpie (poster and acrylic paint pens.  Not oil!) that I use for this purpose.  I find that the acrylic paint pens will write over almost anything, even waxy Prismacolor pencil backgrounds.   Note: The white Signo Uni-ball pen also works great but it is not waterproof so I opted to use the acrylic paint markers instead.  Also...a nice feature of the Molotow markers is that they are refillable.

The first thing that I do is to layout the words using a General's white charcoal pencil.  I play with the size and position of the words to ensure that they all fit within the allocated space.  Just rough it out…you don't have to be too neat or precise at this stage.  The important thing is that the words are positioned where you want them.



Next, I draw the letters.  If you have taken any of Joanne Sharpe's lettering classes, you will recall where she said to use your own lettering and fatten it up…add curlicue ends, serifs, etc.   Make it your own!  This is what I do…I make a block letter in upper or lower case and then fatten up the letter on the curves and some straight lines (this is just my personal preference).  You might want to experiment to see what works for you.  I form each letter, fatten it up and add the serif before I go on to the next letter.  I watched Teesha do it this way and it made perfect sense to me.  If I made the whole word before I fattened it up and added the serif, I was then trying to condensed the letters to keep them from running into each other.

Once all the lettering is done with the base color...go back and erase the charcoal lines with a kneaded eraser.

Add the shading:  Shading can be done using a paint pen, alcohol marker, or colored pencil.  I like the clean look of a paint pen so that is what I usually use. Again, this is just my personal preference.  Use what you like.

When choosing a color to shade with, I often experiment until I find the look that ties the lettering to the rest of the collage.   Sometimes it is a paint marker that is in the same color family but darker than the background or sometimes a contrasting color works best.   Even a medium color letter, blue for example, looks great with a white shadow or outline.  There are no mistakes here…experiment and try to find what looks best.  If you don't like it,  just paint over it with another color.

Where to make the shading:  I always like to shade the left and bottom of the letters because I always make the light source in my collages come from the upper right corner.  Pay attention to where the light source is coming from and shade the opposite side of the letter.  Your collage may have a light source coming from the bottom and left side of the page and therefore, the shading will be on the right and top side of the letter.

1. Draw letter with charcoal pencil  2. Draw block letter  3. Fatten letter  4. Add serif.  5. Shade letter.




There you go…that's how I paint my lettering.

Now…go have fun!

Until next time!

Hugs,
Ginny

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the lettering help. I need to work on this - I usually type and past because my lettering looks awful.. Guess I'm going to start practicing - fatten 'em up, shading - all good tips. I love how your lettering moves through your pieces.

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    1. Thank you Deb! It does take practice but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty easy. You can do the same technique with script lettering. Experiment!

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  2. Thank you so much for this tutorial!! You made is so easy to follow and apply. I can't wait to do some practicing. Love your work!!

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    1. Thank you Debra! With practice it will become second nature and look fantastic!

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  3. i just came across your blog and love it! i´m a big fan of teesha moore, too and love this lettering style. thanks for the tutorial! going to follow your blog...

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    1. Glad that you joined the fun Johanna! I hope to get back to working in my "Teesha Journal" after the distraction of the holidays is over. I might even try my hand at a You-tube video.

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  4. Is there a reason you choose not to use the Sharpie oil paint pens? I've used them for a couple lettering projects and am wondering if there's something better out there and why. Thanks! Great post!

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    1. Katie, I am afraid to use the oil because they are not archival and I am afraid that they will change color or bleed over time because of the oil base. I know that acrylic paint (although, the paint pens do not say that they are archival) will last and not change over time unless exposed to sunlight. I just went with the safer bet. The oil pens are great on non-porous items…I just don't use them on paper goods or fabric. Hope this helps.

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