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


Barbara said...

loving this series!

Kelly Lynn said...

You are so inspirational! Your work is beautiful!!

astr!d said...

gorgeous lettering!!!

Reva Madryga said...

I've never thought of doing sketching or playing around with potential word layouts in my art journal pages! This is a great idea, and the finished product is so beautiful!

Stacey said...

Love this! Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

What gorgeous lettering! Absolutely LOVE all the styles!

Robbie said...

What great posts!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love this series of posts! I am always looking for ways to add creativity to scrapbook and art journal entries, and I believe handwriting is such an important element in those. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

livethegoldenrule said...

This is so interesting! I've always loved examining anything with handwriting. You have taught me some clever things! Harmony is special to me because I wanted to name both girls Harmony ( 9 years apart ) but couldn't think of a middle name I liked with it. Then, years later I figured out "Harmony Faith." Love the Elton John song Harmony so really wanted to use that name. Plus I grew up at Harmony Baptist Church..Oh well, maybe a granddaughter someday. :D Thank you, Alisa. this has been the worst day of my life...bad news about my husband's health...and you made it a little better

janeine said...

I've been following Alisa for quite a while now. And though I follow other blogs, the way Alisa's work and art connects with me is different. And now that you've begun this series with lettering, I'm so thrilled. Whenever I'm feeling stuck at work... I start lettering. You (Megan) and Alisa are so great for my morale.
Keep it up ladies!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this lettering tutorial! I have never done letters before, but seeing what you are doing just makes me what to try it out :D

Unknown said...

I adore this! I can't wait to try out some of these as well as get into watercolor some more! :)

Stephanie said...


Andria said...

Such gorgeous lettering!

studioGypsy said...

just gorgeous!... and i totally need to try this.. it is my hardest "subject".. :D thankyou!! xoxo

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Linda said...

Thank you so much for these lettering tutorials! I've really enjoyed them. Lettering always seemed out of reach for me, but you have showed it isn't magic, but just practice!

Unknown said...

Beautiful work, I'm really impressed... Plus, my name's Harmony so it made it even better ahah :)

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Anonymous said...

I'm finding your posts inspiring. Thanks very much (lovely photos too.)


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