Well another journey has come to an end. Each drawing is like going on an adventure or taking a stroll in a familiar park. In this piece I got to use a bit of my imagination as well as tackle some new subjects like clouds and whales. First times are always a bit scary but it’s also an opportunity to learn. I’m more interested in marine animals now, so don’t be surprised if you see more of these beautiful creatures in my work. 😊
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in living and drawing that it slips my mind to let you lovely people see how things are progressing as I head towards the finish of the final piece. So here’s a brief update on the progress of my current commission. I’m really liking how the whale is turning out. This is my first time doing whales and I can’t help but think about the paintings I used to see of marine wildlife by Robert Wyland in the late 80s. If you’ve never seen his work and you like marine wildlife, you should check him out, his work is gorgeous. 😊
About a week and half ago I got a DM on Instagram from a fellow artist whose work I also admire. She was inquiring about commissions and wondering if I was open for requests. The summer months can get rather slow for me so I was definitely open. She informed me that she wanted to have something done for her mother as a belated birthday gift. So I asked what did her mother like and her response “Whales and flowers. Particularly hibiscus flowers and humpback whales.” Now, as I sit here typing this post, I can’t help but chuckle because at the time that I was having this discussion with her, I had one of those Dwayne Johnson raised eye brow looks on my face. I was not expecting such an unlikely combination of subject matter. She then asked me did I think I could come up with something. Oddly enough I had been wanting to do more work that would require a bit more imagination and here it was. “Yes, I think I can come up with something.” I replied. And so it was settled. We went over my commission formalities after which, I got to work and so far, what you see here is my base drawing for my current drawing, “Humpbacks and Hibiscus”. This a bit of a break from the more straight forward nature pieces that I’m used to and I have to say, I’m rather excited about it. 😁
It’s never too late to learn something new, especially when it comes to the creative arts. So over the weekend I got around to diving into something I’ve been wanting to learn more about for a while now; hand lettering. I can’t say that it’s something that’s completely new to me. When I started making my own greeting cards I touched on it a bit when it came to creating texts for my cards. This sparked an interest in learning more about lettering that I kept filed away in the back of my mind for two years now. So this past Friday I headed to my local library to look for a couple of books to help me learn about the basics. Unfortunately they really didn’t have much to work with. Most of the books that were suppose to be on the shelf ended up either missing or misfiled. In the end I only walked out with two books, one on The Illuminated Alphabet, the other on Hand and Chalk Lettering. Two books is better than no books.
One of the things that has always puzzled me about hand lettering is what’s the difference between hand lettering, calligraphy and typography? For the most part, I’ve always thought of them as being one in the same with the only difference being whether you did it by hand or on a computer. But actually there are some major differences.
In brief, lettering is the art of drawing letters that is much like an illustration just done with letters where hand lettering is a subset of lettering done specifically by hand.
Calligraphy is the art of writing letters and focuses on penmanship through the use of specific writing tools. Calligraphy is used for much longer written pieces of text. Lastly,
typography focuses on the style, appearance and artistic arrangement of type for printed material.
So in a nutshell, the way I keep all of this straight in my head is lettering is drawing letters, calligraphy is writing letters and typography is arranging letters. It’s simplistic and others may beg to differ, it’s just my own way of keeping it straight in my head.
Anyhoo, I’m working to expand my drawing skills to hand lettering because I’m often inspired by inspirational quotes, song lyrics or spiritual verses that conjure up visual images in my mind that I would like to create yet I want to add some source text to give the drawing context. Also hand lettering can be really cool when coupled with some imagination. Below are some wonderful examples of illustrative hand lettering.
With the upcoming holiday I can say with 80% certainty that I doubt I’ll get much work done. Hopefully I can squeeze in 30 minutes here or an hour there but I’m already tied up with plans and preparations. So I figured I’ll do a brief update on my current drawing.
So far I got the background all stippled and now I’m ready to start inking the various details. I’ve started off with working on the halo of light around the dove’s head, the design of which was inspired by an afternoon of looking at paintings of mystics and saints. Next I’ll probably delve into inking the flowers leaving the dove for last. My next update probably won’t be until the 7th, so until then, happy holidays and please handle fireworks responsibly. 😇