Monday, June 29, 2015

lettering with makewells: the art of the ampersand

Hi guys! It's Megan and I am back today to talk all about the ampersand.
I have a love/hate relationship with the ampersand. 
I love it: it's flexible. A super character. You can draw it in virtually infinite ways and people still seem to understand its meaning. I pretty much consider it the 27th letter of the alphabet. it can stand alone or join other characters together. 
I love the ampersand. Yet I avoid it. Because for some reason, this character has been tricky for me to draw. Until now, because I'm here guest posting on Alisa's blog today with the intention of mastering this tricky little fella'. 
To start off, I broke the ampersand character down into 3 basic categories:

I then approached drawing practice, the same way I did the lettering practices. 1 Letter, 100 ways. I mixed in practicing all three styles above. (since my style of lettering is more calligraphic, I am not as drawn to the contemporary style, so you won't see much of this in my examples). 

Remember to keep in mind that even the slightest variation can totally change the feel of each character.
I mentioned before using tracing paper for practice. If you struggle drawing the ampersand (or any letter/character), print out a few different fonts from the computer, and using tracing paper, let them guide you as you draw the basic shapes. 

I played around with flourishes and embellishments, line weight, and any variation I could think of. Below are some favorites from my practice session:

I had so much fun practicing drawing ampersands, that I decided to take it up a notch and create a larger illustration based on this simple, yet complex, shape. 
After very lightly penciling in a line drawing of a traditional ampersand, I created a floral illustration.

I made sure to use a black pen that didn't bleed (such as a micron, sharpie pen, or copic marker). 
Next, I used my favorite watercolors, Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Watercolors, to fill in my doodles. 

And just for fun, if you enjoy Alisa's coloring pages, I created a fun page of my own for you to download and enjoy! Download HERE

Have fun lettering and creating! 

You can check out all of my lettering posts HERE and don't forget to share your progress using #redefinecreativelettering. 

Xo, Megan
@Makewells (instagram)


Suman Pandit said...

love how each font has its own character :)

livethegoldenrule said...

I love them all, but the last one is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L... !!!!! Thank you for the lesson. :D

Stephanie said...

I LOVE type dingbats and punctuation. What a great post and thanks for the dowload

Kristi Wodek said...

Thanks for sharing. The coloring page is so beautiful and inspiring! Will be checking out your other blog posts!

Deni(se) said...

This was a fun topic. I liked reading about how you approached getting the ampersand to be totally yours. Thanks too for the coloring page!

Melissa Hebbe said...

I am loving these posts!

Unknown said...

You make drawing so much fun! Thank you...SWAK(sealed with a kiss)

Unknown said...

you looked big artist and your draw so great
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