Tuesday, March 03, 2015

drawing words with Megan Wells

Hello everyone! It's me, Megan, I'm excited to be back with my third post about lettering. 
In my first post I shared that hand lettering is really the art of drawing letters. So, as we start to combine letters to form words, don't forget to keep in mind that you are drawing, not writing. And drawing takes practice! 

A few weeks ago I introduced an exercise to show you the endless possibilities with lettering: 1 letter, 100 ways.

Today we are going to tackle a similar exercise, but with a combination of letters!

100 seemed like a bit much now that we are on to words, so, I loosened up the boundaries. Maybe you draw a word 25 ways, maybe 50...but the goal is to explore many different ways that you can combine the letters to form a word. 

I chose the word "harmony" for this example because it has a wide variety of letters in it, giving the combinations of these letters tons of possibilities! Here are just a few of my variations (with some tips below)

Play with interesting ways to connect letters
In #1, I connected the first and last letters; the cross bar of the "H" with the descender of the "y". But in #2, I connected the first and last letters with letters in the middle. 

Break the rules
For #2, I wanted to great a balance between the "H" and the "y", so I reversed the loop in the "y". It's not the correct way, but you can read it right? Don't be afraid to break the rules when drawing letters!

Vary your guidelines
Try out different paths for your words. Draw some straight, while others on a slant or arch. 

Use different drawing supplies
Sometimes I use pencil a pencil and eraser, other times a pen. Each tool draws a little different, so mix it up as you experiment!

Change speeds
Draw really slow and methodical on some, and speed it up and get messy on others. 

Get out of your comfort zone
My comfort zone is script lettering. It really stretches me to write serif and sans serif lettering, so this is where I really need the practice!

Don't be confined to white paper

This is my favorite tip of all! Often times plain white paper can feel intimidating or too rigid. One of my favorite ways to loosen up while experimenting with lettering is by getting a little messy. Try covering your pages with washes of color (I use cheap, watered down acrylics) and letting them dry. Then practice lettering on top!

I often use paint left over from other projects (I don't like to waste) and cover pages in my sketchbook. Then they are primed and ready when I need some lettering practice!

Working on painted pages is a great time to try out different combinations of materials.

I may draw with pen and shade with pencil. Or draw in white ink, and add a drop shadow with a gel pen. Just be sure your paint is 100% dry before using your pens - especially the pricier ones!

Oftentimes, by loosening up and not being afraid to layer and "mess up", new ways of drawing words are discovered.

So what word will you draw first? Use hashtag #redefinecreativelettering on instagram to show off your practice. I love seeing what you are up to!

xoxo - Megan 
Instagram: @makewells
website: makewells.com


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