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Learning Is A Must

This lettering thing is just way too addictive. Everything about it is just really fun.


More and more I find myself picking up one of my now many sketchbooks. I have more sketchbooks now than I had when I was in art school for painting. How weird is that? I find these days that drawing is just more immediate and I like that. I don’t have anymore excuses since all it really requires is a pencil and a piece of paper. Who knows where it could go from there? Case in point…

I had no idea what to draw recently. I wanted to do another scripture, but I just didn’t know how to really draw it effectively. I liked my last two pieces. They’re my first and it was an accomplishment just to get them digitized at all. Now that I have accomplished that, I’d like to take the drawing and the concept behind making them a little further. But where to start? It was bogging me down. So, I just decided to draw whatever…

I doodled in my sketchbook during professional development seminars…I started a possible illustration for a local organization…I played with some parallel pens (I will keep playing with parallel pens!!)…I even sketch noted some of my notes from church (still working on that…). ¬†And when I wasn’t doing any of that, I just drew in my sketchbook whatever came to mind…


I suppose this would be considered freehand lettering. Honestly, I don’t feel I know enough about letterforms to be doing that. But, you have to start somewhere sometimes. What I do know is that buzz words surrounding lettering tend to be consistency, balance, and thicks and thins and where to place them. Can’t say that I have all that down with lettering, but I’m working on it. This series of drawings shows me going through all that. In this first one, it was just play. But I noticed it felt ultra-wonky and I wanted to figure that out before just leaving it.

I copied it so that I could see more of the flaws. Not sure how copying is supposed to do that, but I know when I take a photo of it and post it, then I see all the flaws I didn’t while I was working on it! After I looked it over, I came up with this one below.


I really didn’t like the jagged looking bar over the J, so I smoothed that out. I also tried to thicken up some of the areas I thought should have been thick and thinned some of the areas that should’ve been thinned. I felt that it immediately made the drawing look better. I kept doing that until I felt like I got it close enough to what I would want. I’m sure I could’ve gotten even closer to something more polished. But, at this stage, sometimes it’s just best to stop and move on with what you’ve picked up.

But before that…you can have a little fun!

Illustrator is just so much fun. I digitized and vectored the drawing and when I was finished, I used some textures (and “Screen”) to make some of these¬†more colorful iterations.


At some point, I thought it might be nice to totally get rid of that bar over the J. Kinda stuck as to which one I like more now.



Honestly, I think they are on the more citrusy side. But, I’m so glad it’s summer, I don’t mind.

Then, I worked with the gradient tool and a recipe for a background I found on the web. That made it really pop! My son liked the look so much he asked me for a t-shirt with this on it (and he doesn’t even like drawing!). You can find the directions for making this background on this wonderful blog.


There you go. Time to go draw something else.

Drawing any conclusions?

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