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!