Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lettering on your art journal pages

I have noticed while doing Life Book that several people have been asking about lettering. I thought I would share my tips for lettering that can be adapted to many projects. I have been playing around with fancy lettering since I was in school and used it to decorate my school work. There are lots of ways to achieve the look you want, especially now that computers have so many decorative fonts to help.
The most recent lettering I did was using these mini alphabet stamps. Mine are quite old, about 6 or 7 years and were made by PSX. You may be able to pick some up on Ebay but there are other manufacturers who make similar stamps now. The real tip to using these is successfully is tracing paper. I like to lay a piece of paper on top of my painting and stamp out the words where I think they will fit best. Here is the tracing paper I used for this page.

I used a different font stamp on the draft but when I finished I thought the words were too bold and detracted from all the fine lines in the drawing so I got out my other set of mini alphabet. I stamped two words in brown below the other words so I could see that they were about the same size. You can also see all the other ink colours I tested when the painting was underneath. I also use the tracing paper to work out the spacing of the words. You can see in the draft the length of the lines is not even. When I stamped on the painting I moved the start of each line so it looked more even. I stamped the first line by trying to line up each letter but it was quite uneven when I finished so I ruled pencil lines for the rest of the quote and stamped as close to that as I could. It is still not perfectly even but it looks ok to me. You can use a ruler to line up the stamps if you want it perfectly even but I think it looks more natural when it is a little wonky. Don't try to erase the pencil lines until the stamp ink is dry. I usually wait until the next day to be sure.

I often lay tracing paper on top of a painting to try out lettering or paint colours. It helps me see what works without ruining the picture. I will now show some other lettering styles I have used and give brief explanations. If you want more information don't hesitate to ask. I am happy to share my techniques.

1. This lettering is Basic Grey brand scrapbooking stickers. I think these ones were originally orange. I took all the letters I would need and stuck them to a rubber craft mat. I then painted over them with acrylics (Golden I think). I sprayed them with dye inks and left them to dry. When they were dry I peeled them off the craft sheet and stuck them to the page. If you lay the words out in order on your craft sheet it will help you work out the spacing when you transfer them to your project.

2. This lettering is printed on to scrapbook paper then cut into strips.  The word ART was stamped with paint and large foam stamps, Making Memories brand.

3. More computer lettering printed onto card then cut into strips and glued onto the page. A couple of decorative stitches were added to either end of the strip. If you want to cut the lettering into strips add an extra space between the lines before printing to make it easier to cut into strips.

4.These words were printed onto white card with a little space between them so I could cut them out separately. I coloured them with the same chalks (soft pastels) I had used on the page.

5. This is probably the easiest fancy writing to do. Start by drawing the curvy lines in where you want the writing to go. I then write the quote in capitals, stretching the letters to fill the whole space. I like to keep the upright lines of each letter vertical but the horizontal lines follow the curves. That way the writing looks neat. This is another style you could try on tracing paper on top of the page first if you are nervous about how it will look. You can make as many mistakes as you want on the tracing paper.

6. These letters are stamped and cut out individually. It is a great technique if you don't have too many words to put on a page, or if you need it to fit a certain space.

7. This sample is actually my own handwriting but I have changed some of the letters. I found a computer font I liked and copied the way they did the tails on the Gs and the longer legs on the M, N & H. I also copied their letter A. If your own writing seems too plain to you just change a few of the letters and it looks completely different.

8. This sample was printed on the computer and then I used graphite paper to trace it onto the page. I then went over it with a marker. This is a great technique when you want to fit a lot of words in. If you have a word program you can change the size and style of writing to suit each piece of art. In place of the graphite paper you can rub over the back with a lead pencil then trace the words on that way. Don't use carbon paper because it is oil based and will eventually bleed through your work.

9. This next technique is for those with a little more experience. I have used a computer to print out the words and traced them on. I then went over them with paint, using thick and thin lines. I added decorative dots on random letters  and also randomly added a brown line around some of the letters. It is not a true shadow line but it is similar to that.

10. This last lettering was printed on the computer and then I used a paint brush to copy it onto my work. Printing it out first allows me to copy the size and spacing. This is a little tricky and requires a steady, confident hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment