How to: Typography for Templates Part Two

Last time we wrote a beautiful word just by transforming our own handwriting but it needed a little more work to make it into a cut-able piece of typography.

I’ve redrawn the text to make it slightly larger than how I was working last time but kept the same style so we can start to make a few adaptations to bring it all together.

wpid-wp-1427123034293.jpegJoin up the writing by simply extending the ends of the letters to meet up with the one after. The e and the two l’s all have easy lines to extend on them and they are the only ones needed to be adapted for the moment.

Next because the H is floating on it’s own we need a way to join it to the rest of the word, a decorative swirl is simple and effective. Using the same techniques as we used to create the letters (thicker on the down strokes) the swirl is created by drawing an expanded figure of 8 type of line.

wpid-wp-1427123350970.jpegWhen creating the swirl make sure it connects the H and e, I have also made the first loop bridge between the second l and the o to add more stability. A teardrop is added to terminate the bottom of the line.

Next, in the name of stability I have extended the flicks on the top of the l’s this provides another bridge so the H isn’t just held on by the swirl at the bottom. Since we can’t do that to just one the second l is joined to the first. (There is no photo of this stage, it was an after thought.)

What we had was perfectly workable for a paper cut, but to even out the designwpid-wp-1427123450494.jpeg there needed to be something around the top of the o, I have drawn in a simple flower, though you could use a star, a heart or any other basic shape.

Next all that is left is to ink the design so you have a final you can use to create a template. I always keep my original drawing as is once it is finished.

We will look at different ways of turning an original drawings into templates another time as this one was fairly quick I used tracing paper to transfer the design “flipped” onto the cutting paper.wpid-wp-1427123861612.jpeg

Since this is the end of the section on how to make your own typography for papercutting templates, here is the final cut, remember we only started with our normal handwriting and transformed it into beautiful typography.

These methods can be applied to everything, next time you are writing a birthday card why not try using these techniques there, or even in your art journal.

It would be great to see what your typography ends up looking like, if you want a different base why not ask your partner/parent/sibling/child/fourth cousin, twice removed to write the starting word and build up from there.

Have fun creating.

A Bit of Doodling

Since the beginning of March I have been doing a lot of doodling, mostly Zentangle art but more recently because of the influence of grown up colouring I have started doing some small drawings to colour with my promarkers and cut out as ACEO’s (Art Card Editions and Originals)

wpid-wp-1427665909994.jpegFirstly I did a small one, this was because I had been asked about my drawing and so I quickly doodled a little potted flower and coloured it to show them. It was after that I thought it was just the right size for an ACEO.

This one only took a few minutes to draw and a couple more to lay in the colour.

Next I thought it would be interesting to try something a little more detailed. Of course detail takes a little longer. I really do enjoy floral themes as there is a whole variety of shapes and they offer a lot of scope for colour.

wpid-wp-1427665808066.jpegOver the course of a couple of evenings I drew this piece, again at ACEO scale (2 1/2” x 3 1/2“) It was a delight to draw and I am really pleased with the result. (If you have been keeping up it was only a few months ago that I felt I couldn’t draw at all for anyone other than my own personal scribbles of designs.)

Using some of the methods I have picked up through Zentangle it has become a lot easier to construct a drawing.

Tomorrow I will be starting to colour, after it has been scanned because I don’t want to loose the line art all together but I also want to work on the original for the card.

To answer the question of why work on such a small scale, simply because I enjoy it more. I find drawing and colouring at a smaller scale more challenging but also easier to work to the space so I see a piece emerge sooner.

Have a creative day and I will see you soon with the final coloured piece.

 

How to: Typography for Templates

If it’s just a sentence or a single word then the typography in my paper cuts is usually done by hand.  I’m not the most artistic person ever when it comes to using a pencil but I have learnt a few tricks along the way that help me achieve what I want.

Typography

Typography can be pretty daunting when you don’t feel your normal handwriting is up to the task.

One quick way to get around the typography issue, if you want to hand draw the rest of the template, is to type out the words you want and print them so you can draw around them. Make sure you select fonts with the correct licence if you plan to sell your cuts or templates.

With people out there selecting the same fonts hand lettering will help you create unique templates, every design is then personal to you.

Transform Your Handwriting

So let’s look at how you can transform your own handwriting to make some great typography without having to buy anything special or spend a long time learning about the specific rules of typography. After all we are creating individual works of art, not perfect graphics.

Let’s start by writing out a word with a pencil. I have added guide lines to my paper as I’m very guilty of writing on a slant without them. You can use pre lined paper for this or you can draw guide lines on plain paper if you want larger line spacing.

Pretty boring normal writing but now we can start to build it up to look more interesting. Lets go back and add some more detail to the letters.

To be honest I picked a pretty boring word to start with but you can add little flicks to the tops of the L’s, extend the crossbar of the H , add a few swirls and bend a few of those straight lines. Already our boring word and shapeless handwriting is looking a little more decorative.

Now we can start to build up the letters by thickening some lines to make a faux calligraphy style.

Use your pencil to make the vertical strokes of the letters thicker and keep the horizontal lines thin, or vice versa. You can taper the thickness so it blends in easily. You may also decide to make all the lines thicker, so long as one set of lines is thicker than the other. Maybe have a play with making the horizontal lines thickest?

Once you are happy with the lines you can go around the outer edges of the letters with a fine liner pen and erase all the pencil marks. It does look pretty nifty like that or you can fill all the gaps in with pen after you have erased the pencil marks.

There are many other options to explore using this method, try making the lines vary in thickness through one stroke, extend lines more or even less. Add serifs or other shapes to terminate the letters. If you normally write with a round hand put some angles in and vice versa.
Once you have the typography for the template you want to create, scan the text (always save the original) and print a copy to start drawing the other details on.
If you want to feel particularly organised rather than doing single words and short sentences create a whole alphabet in upper and lower case. Then you can trace the letters as you need them.

Obviously none of this is joined for cutting so we can’t cut it yet (unless we added some anchors to cut in negative) but next time we will look at ways to decorate your typography to turn it into a cut-able template.

The Tangle Toolkit

If you have been keeping up with me on instagram you will have noticed I have been doing a tangle a day.

I wanted to share with you my personal toolkit, Zentangle ® do a lovely official kit but I already had everything I needed.

Pens

wpid-wp-1426183474208.jpegUni pin

I’ve had these a while as I also use these when drawing templates for paper cuts. When tangling I use the 0.3 for outlining the frame and the 0.1 to draw the tangles.

One thing I did notice though was that while these were great for the slower drawing when lining a drawing they weren’t as good for tangles where I draw a little faster.

wpid-wp-1426183788169.jpeg

Pilot

A new addition while I was picking up some new sketchbooks I bought a black pilot drawing pen (0.2) and two sepia pens (0.2 and 0.5) I have found the pilot pens better for tangling as they seem to flow better for the way I draw.

The sepia pens were for a secondary colour when drawing step outs and to also try some full sepia tangles.

wpid-wp-1426183622492.jpeg Pitt Artist

The brush pen is great for filling large areas, the black pigment isn’t as dense as in the drawing pens and there is less bleed through on lighter weight papers so I prefer it for quick fills to my promarkers.

I had originally bought it for typography but really didn’t get on with it for that.

 

Paper

wpid-wp-1426184113638.jpeg I prefer to have a book, the official tiles are gorgeous and one day I might use them but I would like to be producing a higher level of work first. I first started with a free writer book as I always have a few of them about but the paper in those isn’t up to holding the ink. Both my step out book and my tangle book are 160gsm Daler Rowney graduate sketchbooks. My step outs go in an A5 soft cover stapled book and the tangles are in an A6 hard cover book.

wpid-wp-1426183984495.jpegThere is no bleed through on the paper so while I don’t use both sides of the paper in my tangle book I am able to use both sides in the step out book.

I like the hard bound book as it is easy to throw in my bag and take anywhere.

Pencil

While the idea behind zentangle is that you draw with a pen you still add your strings with a pencil. I am a mechanical pencil lover and use a rotring Tikky 0.5 with a HB lead. I do have a set of sketching pencils for shading though I haven’t tried any of that yet.

Other Things

My pencil case has a few other things in it too, I have a white gel pen that can be used for drawing on parts that have been filled with black. I also have all my other drawing equipment that might make it into tangles one day like the promarkers and my coloured pencils. But all you really need is something to draw on and something to draw with. I have seen beautiful tangle art in all sorts of mediums.

First Experience: Drawing

Ok it’s not my first time drawing, I scribble things down all the time but I have never really drawn beyond quick sketches of ideas which have always been for my eyes only.
Since I had been trying things out and being able to draw something that makes sense to more than just me would be very helpful for bead designs, it would be great for papercutting because I could hand draw templates rather than composing them digitally and I could just sit and draw something for fun.

chibi posesAs I mentioned in my post about promarkers I had fallen in love with Yampuff’s style. If I could draw my own chibi’s that would be great, chibi’s also seemed a gentle entry point for figure drawing as the proportions weren’t as crucial as in more traditional drawing.
Perhaps I was being a little adventurous, I managed basic poses but once it came to adding details I became unstuck, the eyes always looked weird, the hair was strange and despite studying fashion at collage I couldn’t get the clothes right either.

It’s time to shelve that idea for a while.

But I still want to draw

zentangleI needed to simplify things, so I started looking at doodles and zentangle.
It was certainly easier and the construction of tangle patterns was clearly documented and very easy to follow. It was also quick and unlike everything else required very few “things” to be scattered around. Armed with my lovely tikky pencil (rotring 0.7mm mechanical pencil) and a lovely little sketchbook I began my doodling.

(image – doodles)Little mistakes are less noticeable, or much easier to turn into part of the pattern. But the idea is that you don’t erase anything (unless it’s pencil marks after inking)

I didn’t actually think I would have as much fun with the doodles as I did but they were fantastic, and a great confidence boost after the mishap of the chibi’s. Plus after seeing some really amazing work with doodles I noticed how great they would be as paper cuts, maybe even take the patterns and try and add them onto beads.