Thursday, September 22, 2016

Adventures In Lettering

So if you're any sort of person who goes on the internet, you know that hand lettering is a HUGE thing right now.  It's all over Pinterest, Etsy and Instagram with these gorgeous bouncy and perfectly handwritten quotes.  It's all over mugs and t-shirts and pillows.  You just can't get away from it.

Hand lettering is something I've always loved playing around with but I've never been great at it.  When I was in high school and college I liked to do big, graphiti-type lettering with blended pastels and markers.  I love to switch up my handwriting in little ways, too.  Sometimes I fall in love with using a capital "R" all the time in my writing.  Sometimes I like making a fancier lowercase "a".  I like to play around the with tails on my lowercase "g" and "y". 

Lately I've been trying to get down that perfect cursive, though.  And honestly, I don't even know that it's the writing that is the tough part.  It's more the composition of lettering that is hard to get down.  If you should add in any accents or if you should do a flourish.  What words should stand out?  What type of font should you use?  So that's what I've been trying to master.

One thing that I love about Instagram are monthly challenges that people put out.  I used to try to do a lot of the photography ones, but photography is so heavily based around good lighting and I really only use natural light right now since I don't have good artificial light.  Lettering challenges are perfect because you can really do them anywhere with any tools!  I happened upon a Harry Potter themed one that I've been on-and-off working through so I wanted to share some of those!  The challenge is hosted by @CalligraphyNerd and @Amandakammarada.

At the moment, I've been working with a couple different Sakura products.  My Pigma Micron's are my absolute favorite tool.  I got a variety pack that comes with six different size markers.  I do the "fake calligraphy" style a lot, so these are perfect for really accenting the down strokes.  I also have been using the Koi Coloring Brush Pens.  I treated myself last year to the full set of them and I love them.  You can use them as watercolors as well as normal brush pens so I love experimenting with them!  They have a very soft brush tip, which for me is taking some getting used to, but they are so gorgeous!  I also picked up an alcohol marker kit by American Crafts from TJ Maxx that I have been toying with. 

I jumped in on Day 4, where the challenge was "School Animal".  I was super proud of myself on this one as it was the first time I really tried to blend colors, and then I realized I left out the "t" in "intelligent".  Womp.

Next one was Hogwarts Express.  I happened to be watching Deathly Hallows Part 1 while working on this one so I couldn't help but be inspired by Neville.

Hogwarts was the next theme.

Next one was Sorting Hat.  I was actually pretty proud of this one, composition aside.  I've gotten really into watching the lettering and illustrating videos on the YouTube channel The 11th Apartment, hosted by Shayda Campbell.  She said something in one of her videos that struck me, and it was something along the lines of you may not think you're able to draw, but you're definitely able to illustrate.  And I loved that because illustrating really is so different than drawing because illustration is a style.  So I was inspired to illustrate Harry getting sorted.

Next up was Slytherin!!!

A photo posted by Katie ✨🦄 (@overthemoony) on

And then my second favorite house, Hufflepuff!

A photo posted by Katie ✨🦄 (@overthemoony) on
This one was for our favorite professor.  Mine is, without question or conflict, Remus Lupin.  With Snape in a close second.

And the last one I've had a chance to do was for the theme Herbology, which of course had to be a Mandrake.

And that's what I've done for the month!  It has been a busy month, but I guess because I'm not at a place where this comes super easily for me, this is a little more time consuming and I haven't had the time to sit down and work on making these as much as I would like to.  Plus most of my free time has been dedicated to knitting.  I've put myself on a very strict knitting schedule so I can be sure to have all of my projects done before Christmas!
One of my absolute favorite parts about this, though, is that for the challenge you use a hashtag so the hosts can see your work and you can see other people's work.  They usually feature about nine different pieces per theme so seeing other people's work for the day really makes me push myself to try to do better than the day before.  I'm inspired to try different styles that I would have never thought of as well.  Judging by the other pieces I see on a daily basis, I have a long way to go with my lettering, but we're getting there!

Are you a letterer or are you trying to be?  Let me know what your tools of choice are and what you do to try to make yourself better!  Also let me know what your favorite things to letter are!

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