I had to take a totally different approach to completing this piece of typographic art – pencil drawing the design and letter outlines on paper before inking and scanning into the computer.
Once scanned in, I could clean the image up, fill the shapes with black. I learned how I could use some of the tools in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to do this. However, in black and white the artwork looked just so flat and dull.
So, I added a chalkboard background in a lovely sea blue (ammonites were denizens of the oceans after all!), and added a colour gradient to the typography.
It then looked a bit better. But I thought I’d try adding highlights and some shadows. And that just did the trick and I was finally happy with what I’d produced. It was good enough for another step on my typographic art apprenticeship.
That doesn’t mean there are things I wouldn’t do differently the next time I try something like this. My hand lettering needs a lot of work on, as does my attention to the letter weights too. I’ve just realised that I meant to draw tiny ammonites in the dark blocks between words as spacers. Also, I could’ve spent a lot of time tidying up the lettering digitally.
I also learned that working on paper gives me a much better overall view of the design and how things sit together. For some reason I struggle with this when working digitally. It may be that digitally I can zoom in and out and often work unaware of what is around the design. With paper, that overall perspective is ever present.
Digital art is something I love to work with, but I’m realising that I do need to work on paper too, even if it’s a sketch or drawing that can then be enhanced, edited and completed digitally.