March 19 - April 2, 2017

By Anne - April 03, 2017

I didn't get to blog last weekend because I was at a convention in Chicago, so I have two weeks worth of things to show you! So. Much. Stuff.

For that reason, I'm not even going to try to put them in chronological order (I've long since forgotten what order they go into anyway), and will just group them by category, in smaller pictures that you can click to enlarge. 

Are you ready? Here we go!

I left a couple of my submissions out of that last group, so I can talk a little more about them, but as you can see from the photos above, I've been trying some different techniques, and playing with watercolors to make backgrounds.

I'm pretty proud of myself, I successfully completed two challenges for March, and while I had a few late entries, I didn't miss a single day. That's pretty good for me.

For the #marchintolettering challenge, there was a prompt that I really liked, so I took some extra time to plan a layout and make something that was frame-able to put up at the salon. I took pictures at every step, to show you my process, and also because I was afraid I would mess it up at the next stage, and wanted to have something to upload for the challenge if I did.

The first thing I do is make a sketch for my layout on graph paper. I make it to scale, with each box representing a half inch. I also wanted to add flourishes to the word 'Creativity,' so I sketched that word separately, so I had a plan before I started.

Next I transferred the sketch onto my paper. I marked the centers of the page, and put down guidelines before sketching in my words. Then I did my first pass with a Uniball white gel Signo pen

The problem with sketching your layout first, then erasing the pencil marks, is that most pens don't stand up to the eraser. Above you can see where the eraser has degraded the pen marks, so I always plan to ink my design at least twice when I'm lettering this way. 

If I'm using micron pens, I will start with a smaller size pen than I want for my finished work, and will do the final lettering with a larger size. This also helps to make my lines neater on the final work.

Here you can see the difference after a second inking. The white is brighter, and the lines are bolder.

Because I was designing on black cardstock, and I don't have a good white brush marker, I had to do faux calligraphy to get the look I wanted. In the photo above, I've thickened all of my downstrokes to make 'Creativity' pop.

Above is my final submission, with a flower doodle to add a little extra something. Originally I was planning on putting a flower under 'Let Your' as well, but when I sketched it in I thought it looked too busy, so I left it out.

When my husband saw the finished piece, he asked me how I got everything so straight. So as I was working on the next day's submission, I took a picture to illustrate my process.

Here you can see my thumbnail layout on grid paper in the background, as well as my layout sketch on my cardstock. 

I uploaded the photo to Instragram and commented "Thank God for good erasers." Since then I've had to change the lead in my pencil, and I'd like to add that pencil lead is very important too. I don't know what lead my pencil came with, and ever since I changed it I'm struggling to erase my lines completely. I'll let you know when I land on the proper hardness, because I'm still looking for it.

So that wraps up March's challenges. 

For April I joined #geeksandnerdswholetter:

Join us. Seriously, we don't have enough people. I've taken to threatening to break my artsy friends thumbs as a method of recruitment. I'm now the Neegan of hand lettering, ruling through fear.

Last but not least, I've started working on my doodling a little more seriously. I found a great series on YouTube called "Doodle with Me" that I just love. Her videos are done in real time, so you can play them and doodle along. Also, she doesn't talk you through it (which can get annoying), you just watch her, and do what she does.

I've started a doodling notebook, and I'm filling it with doodles from her videos. So you'll be seeing more of them soon.

So that's it, I'm all caught up now!
See you next week!

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