Type as Image: Draw and Hand-Letter Your Favourite Animal | Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand | Skillshare

Type as Image: Draw and Hand-Letter Your Favourite Animal

Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand, Graphic Design & Photography

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
9 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Introduction & Overview

      0:38
    • 2. Research & Ideas: Choosing Images & Text

      2:41
    • 3. Required Materials

      1:54
    • 4. Tracing an Animal Outline

      2:30
    • 5. Planning & Sketching Your Lettering

      4:02
    • 6. Defining the Letters

      0:59
    • 7. Finalising Your Lettering

      1:55
    • 8. Digitising Your Hand-Lettered Animal

      4:17
    • 9. Taking Your Work Further, Saving & Conclusion

      4:05
122 students are watching this class

About This Class

c9fdea41


Animals are sweet and hand-lettering is awesome — so let’s put them together in this fun, simple and quick class which does not require a lot of resources, drawing or lettering skills!
 

I am Evgeniya Righini-Brand and in this class I am going to share my favourite technique of hand-lettering within animal silhouettes. It’s a really cool approach to making designs that incorporate both typography and illustrations, and can easily be applied to create striking posters, t-shirts, greeting cards, adverts and even logotypes! 


This class covers:

  • choosing the right source images;
  • tracing animal outlines by hand;
  • making your own home-made carbon paper;
  • planning and sketching lettering;
  • defining lettering – feel free to use my lettering guide which shows my approach to creating letterforms for this kind of projects;
  • finalising lettering by hand;
  • digitising lettering using Adobe Capture app, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator Image Trace function. But you can also stick to a pure pen and paper approach, if you wish, and not use any software to complete this class project!

This class is suitable for pretty much any skill level and does not require a lot, if any experience with drawing or lettering!

Required Materials:

  • soft (2B or softer) & hard pencils (HB or harder);
  • marker or thick liner;
  • any kind of light paper 80–100 gsm (photocopier paper);
  • eraser;
  • masking tape;
  • reference image;
  • optional: tracing paper or carbon paper or light-box;
  • optional: ballpoint pen;
  • optional: card or heavy paper;
  • optional: Adobe Capture and/or Adobe Photoshop and/or Adobe Illustrator.


Downloads:

Resources:


I’m really excited to see what you create! Join me in this class to draw and hand-letter your favourite animal!

Transcripts

1. Introduction & Overview: Hey guys, this is Evgeniya from Attitude Creative, and in this class, I am going to share my favorite technique of hand lettering within animal silhouettes. It's a really cool approach to making designs that incorporate both typography and illustrations, and can easily be applied to create striking posters, t-shirts, written cards, letters, and even logotypes. It's a firm, simple and quick process which doesn't require a lot of resources, drawing or legend skills. You can also stick to a pure pen and paper approach if you wish and not use any software to complete this class project. I'm really excited to see what you create, join me in this class to draw and enlighten your favorite animal. 2. Research & Ideas: Choosing Images & Text: Animals are sweet and hand lettering is awesome. So let's put them together. For this class, only the source image of an animal and some texts. But before you start thinking about what animal to use and what to write, do some research and check out my Type as Image research board on Pinterest for inspiration and to get a broader understanding of what you can do with this technique. When choosing a source image of an animal, consider two things. Firstly, from the conceptual point of view, think about what different animals mean to you. What they represent and who you identify these animals with. I call that your favorite animal, but that actually doesn't need to be that. Just make it personal, either for yourself or for someone else you care about. For example, if you want to make a card or an artwork for your friend or loved one who's mad about some specific animal, then do that. It will also make it easier to come up with your writing, When you have decided what animal you want to use, pick a source image, preferably a wildlife photograph. While looking for search results, look for simple shapes so that an animal can be recognized just from looking at its silhouette. Angle is very important here, so pick carefully. Image quality is not important at all. So pretty much any from Pinterest or Google search should define if the shape of the animals is right. We're going to be simply tracing an animal outlined by hand. So you don't really need to have any drawing skills, but if you do and you want to draw something from scratch, go for it. We'll need a print out of the source image, but before you hit print, you need to roughly decide what you are going to write because it will affect the size of the print you'll need. It can be tough coming up with the writing, so here are some ideas what you can include. Motivational quotes, phrase, or even one word could be great, and if you want to include something like that, make sure it works well conceptually with an animal and who you are making this work for. If you cannot think of anything like that, then you can write a name of an animal or a name of a person you want to give it to. It can be as simple as that. If you decide to hand-letter a name of an animal, you can also consider doing it in some other language, like Latin, for example, to make it look more sophisticated. Depend on how long your writing is and how precise you are at drawing, pick an appropriate size to print out your source image. Personally, I prefer working in medium, not too large and not too small size, and my whale is about 15 centimeters in length. If your intended writing has more than 15 letters, I suggest making the source image slightly larger to develop the details better and to make a smoother final outcome. So we'll print out your source image and get ready for the next step. 3. Required Materials: As I have said, drawing skills are not really important in this class. You don't need to have any special software to complete this class project. All you need is a printout of your chosen animal, a pencil or two, a pen and a marker or a fig liner. Any kind of light paper for the developmental stage. Even photocopier of paper is fine. Either tracing paper, carbon paper, or a light box. Dependent on what you want to do with your final design, you might need some card or nice heavy paper, but I'll leave it up to you to decide. If you don't have trace nor carbon paper or a light box, you can quickly make your own homemade carbon paper by covering the back of source print with a pencil. Well, this you'll need a soft pencil to be or soft will do fine. Hold the pencil in a way which is comfortable for you to make wise strokes and cover the back of your print evenly with the rough but close hedging. It helps to turn your paper 90 degrees and a cross hedge it to have reasonably fall and even coverage. But don't get too mad because you just need a copy as a guide to draw upon. This is a really handy technique for tracing or outlining something when you don't have any other materials available. All you need to do with it is to take another sheet of paper you want to transfer the drawing onto. Ties them together using masking tape so that nothing shift around whilst transferring the outline. Then draw the outline on your printed with a ballpoint pen or hard pencil. To apply maximum pressure to transfer the carbon on the back of the print onto another piece of paper. That's about it in terms of materials on it for this class. Of course, if you prefer it not getting your hands dirty and feel comfortable drawing using computer or any cool drawing software available on iPad or any other tablet, you can definitely do that. But in this class, I will demonstrate a hand-drawn technique using materials have just mentioned. 4. Tracing an Animal Outline: After you have peaked and printed out a reference image of an animal, and got all the materials ready, it is time to start tracing the outline. Regardless of what kind of paper you are using to trace an outline, make sure to attach your print to it, so it doesn't shift around when you're drawing. If you are using tracing paper, attach it above your print using masking tape. If you're using carbon paper, put an empty sheet underneath your print and put carbon paper between them. Make sure to put the carbon paper, carbon side out, which is the shiny one. If you have a light box for tracing, place an animal print onto it and put a sheet of light paper or tracing paper above it. If you're comfortable drawing on a vertical surface, and have a window with a bright light coming through it, you can also attach your print and tracing paper or copier paper to it, and trace the outline this way. Whatever method you decide to use, outline your animal so that it is recognizable from just looking at its shape. Check the quality of the outline by lifting the source image to reveal the outline if you're using a carbon paper, or by placing in an empty sheet between tracing paper and the printout. Follow the outline of the animal and keep it simple. If there are any feathers, hair, spikes, or any other small details, try to simplify them without losing the character. While drawing or after you have drawn the outline, you can add graphic features which will make your animal more interesting, visually, more recognizable, and to accommodate certain letter forms of your future lettering composition. I am going to add a more graphic tail here, which will nicely serve as a letter T, but with some modifications could also work as W or Y. If you cannot think of anything like that, or your shape doesn't allow it, then keep the shape as it is on the source image and don't worry about it. After you have finished sketching the outline, refine it and make it solid and heavier to make it easier to use as a source for more purpose in a moment. If you are using tracing paper like me, again, you can place an empty sheet of paper underneath your tracing paper so that you can see your outline clearly and work on it with more precision and without being distracted by the printout. When you're done refining and thickening the outline, move onto planning and scheduling down your lettering composition. 5. Planning & Sketching Your Lettering: Before you jump onto lettering, copy the outline from what you have just drawn. This is the copy which we are going to fill into this type. Keep the original outline for making more copies if you need to later on. When you have traced a new copy of the outline, place an empty sheet of paper under it if you are using tracing paper like me. Now write down what you want to letter inside of the shape somewhere in front of you. Write in block capitals and leave a little bit of space between each letter to make it easier to count the number of letters you need to place inside of the outline and generally analyze and plan potential compositions. Decide on the placement of force depending on the shape of your animal. If it is long and narrow, consider keeping the words in one line. If it is more like a block, you can try to put words or letters on different lines and if it's tall and thin, you can consider stacking the words or letters up vertically. Count the number of letters and divide your shape using a pencil into sections, one for each letter. The lines dividing sections do not necessarily need to be straight. You can incorporate some curves which could emphasize the character and imagined volume or perspective of your animal. For example, my lettering inside of the whale can be thicker in the middle where the top fin is, but thinner and smaller towards the tail and the head, because these part just carry less weight and can also be further away than the middle of the body. Depending on the complexity of what you want to write, you might want to plan it in more detail by writing your words in the approximate composition which you want to create within the shape. When dividing your shape into sections, bear in mind potential variations in the letter width and proportions. Letters M and W are normally wider than the most and can fit into square, and letters I, J and lowercase L are narrower. This is useful to remember, but you can tweak proportions if you need to later on or ignore it altogether if you want to have a mono-spaced approach where all letters occupy the same amount of horizontal space. After you have divided the shape and the sections for each letter, you can start sketching down letter forms. My approach to lettering within the shape is based on heavy letters which occupy solid blocks. I always start off with a number of blocks from which I subtract letter form elements to create legible letters. With this approach, I try to keep as much of the original shape as possible and design my letters using negative space by filling in the parts which won't be there in the final composition. I'm normally using the same approach to create letter forms and you can find my lettering guide in the resources for this class. Feel free to use it. Follow the shape of the animal when drawing internal lines to make the composition more organic and to communicate the character better. If there are certain stylistic features which can be used to communicate the character, like feathers, sharp lines and angles, blobs or spots, smooth curves or anything else which comes from the shape of the animal or its details, try to make use of it to create a more organic look of your lettering composition. But don't feel obliged to do that because not all animals will have very distinct features or letter form like shapes and it also might be easier for you to start with some very simple shapes. Also, you probably have noticed that with my lettering I'm not really sticking to either upper or lowercase letters, but rather mix them inside my composition, considering what is more legible in each particular case within the shape. Don't be afraid to combine cases and stack the letters and words up as long as they're still legible and the overall composition is readable. Now, as we have roughly sketched out letter forms, we can move on to developing the lettering style further. 6. Defining the Letters: At this stage, I like to switch from a mechanical pencil to the soft normal one. Some who like to be because it makes it more efficient to feel in the negative space. So now I'm going to go around my lettering and thicken the gaps and adjust the shapes of the letter forms if and where I need to. At this point, you might also want to integrate some other type elements, such as serifs for example. Or make rounded corners if it works for you. I am pretty happy with the blobby style, so I am going to slightly round all the corners. The gaps between the letters and holes within them shouldn't be too delicate, especially if you want to scale the work down. For example, the length of the whale is about 15 centimeters and the gaps and holes are about 1.5-2 millimeters. So keep these measures in mind when filling in the negative space. Actually, this is not the end of the developmental stage and you'll still be able to adjust the style of the letter forms on the next stage when finalizing the composition. 7. Finalising Your Lettering: Make a copy of your lettering composition by outlining the edge of the letter forms. At this point I switch back to a thin mechanical pencil so that I can be more precise with my outline and add more delicate details if I want to. With this new tracing, you'll be able to see how you let the forms work in a cleaner surroundings and this copy can be used to fine-tune all of the shapes. Keeping sketches as references from each stage also allows you to go back to any stage and develop your work further and make more variants, but keeping the same overall shape if you want to. When you are totally happy with the shape, it's time to create the final composition using a liner or a marker, something dark and solid in any case. Carefully trace the outline of the letter forms try, and not to smudge the ink with your hands. Then evenly fill in the outlines using a marker or a thick liner. After you've done that, your work is ready to be digitized. If you want your final outcome to be handmade or if you don't have any Adobe software, which I am going to cover next, you can transfer your final composition to a nice card of thick paper using carbon paper. Then feel the final design in using the marker or a brush and ink or paint such as watercolor and you're done. This could make an awesome illustration to give as a present or really nice greeting card. Whatever I do, I always prefer to make a digital copy of my work in any case and so in the next video, I'm going to show you a few easy ways of digitizing and vectorizing your lettering to use in print or to develop it further digitally. 8. Digitising Your Hand-Lettered Animal: There are a few ways you can digitize your work and you can pick one depending on what else you want to do with your lettering and how much time you want to spend digitizing your work. Let's have a look at different options you have. By far, the easiest and fastest way to vectorize your artwork like that is by using Adobe Capture app. All you need is an iPhone, iPad or an Android phone or tablet. The app is free and if you have a Creative Cloud subscription, it allows you to save your assets to libraries which can be accessed from other Adobe apps on your phone, tablet or computer. Inside the app, there are a number of different functions. But what we need is the first one which is called Shapes. Click the ''Plus'' button to activate the camera. Click on the ''Image'' to switch between Live preview and Shape preview. Then adjust the threshold setting using this slider until your shape looks right and click the ''Capture'' button. Refine the shape by the selecting and erasing what you don't want to be on your final image. Click ''Next.'' Play around with smooth and settings. Turn it off if you want a more rough and less digital look. Click ''Next.'' Then rename your shape and save it in the library of your choice. Now, you can open this vector shape for the libraries in Illustrator or Photoshop on your computer or for example, in illustrated draw up on your mobile device and use it any way you want. You can also scan your image and use it in Photoshop. Depending on how you want to use your lettering composition, scan it in the desired resolution but in any case do not go below 300 dpi. Firstly, I would like to crop and rotate my scan lettering so that the composition works like it should. Then it is always a good idea to clean up scanned images and to adjust the contrast especially if you want to take it into Illustrator and image tracer. If the image is supposed to be black and white, it could be useful to de-saturate it. You can click ''Command Shift U'' or ''Control Shift U'' in Windows or apply a hue saturation or black and white adjustments. The way you make it black and white is not really critical. If you have some other things on the Canvas except lettering, masking tape for example, make sure to cover it with white. You can just quickly paint over it with the hard brush. It doesn't really matter here how you do it, just clean it up. To even all the background and to make it white and to make the lettering black, I like using levels adjustments. Click ''Command L'' to bring the levels Window up. Firstly, I would select the black point on my graphics and then the white one to make the background solid white. If it is difficult to see where there are any more imperfections left, you can press and hold ''Old'' whilst using the eye dropper to see what is not white and click where necessary. A lettering like that looks friendly with little details and imperfections. Keep it in mind when adjusting levels and try not to lose the character. Now you can use your after image as it is or take it into Illustrator and image trace it. Open your adjusted image in Illustrator, select it and then open the image trace panel. If you cannot find it, go to Window image trace. Still having your image selected, tick preview in the left bottom corner of the panel. Now you can go and adjust the tracing settings in real time. If you want, you can use presets. For this stuff, black and white logo should work pretty well. I'm going to use it and tweak a little bit threshold setting here and pop some corners in the advance section until I like what I see. Also, I will tick ignore white so that I only get my black letters as a tracing result. When you're happy with your tracing preview, click ''Expand'' on the top panel here to continue tracing into usable paths. Now you can colorize your lettering or edit the paths if you want to or do anything else you can think of. If you have Creative Cloud subscription, you can add this graphics to the library and use it in other apps to push it further and to make something cool. 9. Taking Your Work Further, Saving & Conclusion: It already looks pretty awesome, doesn't it? But you can take your digital files further with a few simple steps. In Photoshop, you can change the colors of your work by using gradient map adjustment. Open the adjustments panel. If it's not there, go to Window Adjustments, select Gradient map on the panel, and then go and play around with the colors of the gradient. Click on the gradient to open gradient editor window, and then either a pick a gradient from the presets, or set your own colors by clicking on the color stops and selecting colors on the color picker. Let's run, always looks awesome if it's texturised. If you're working with your raster scan the image, you probably still have some nice texture there. But if you have vectorized your lettering using Adobe capture or illustrater, then you might want to add some texture to it, to make it look less clinical. Bring your vector shape into Photoshop. If you're using Creative Cloud version, you can get it directly from the library, and drag it onto the Canvas. This will add a smart object onto a new layer. So will make sure to click Enter to place it. Now you can pasteurize it any way you want. If you have some course can textures, then you can use layer masks to textualized your lettering. Bring your texture into the same file in Photoshop. Command click or Control click in windows on the thumbnail of the Lateran layer to set a selection, then select your texture layer on the Layers panel and click on the Add Layer Mask button here. How you original literary shape and here you are. You might also want to colorize it differently and do something with the background at this point. If you need more info on working with Layer mask, checkout my class source and mixed botanical illustrations topography to create trendy designs. You can also make something really trendy by putting your lettering over a photograph and experimented with different colors, bend in molds and capacity. If you're working with a smart object and Photoshop, the easiest way to colorize it, is by adding a solid colored layer, placing it above the smart object, and then click in between these two layers with the mouse while holding down the Alt key. This way, color fill will only affect the smart object. Now you can easily edit the color of the lettering by double-clicking on the color fill here, in choosing a color on the Color Picker. As far as the blended models are concerned, my personal favorites are multiplied, screen and overlay. Multiply works well with dark lettering and slightly turn down capacity. Screen makes beautiful area designs with light lettering and slightly turned down at fasted. Overly works nicely with pretty much anything. Check it all out. Save your work in JPEG, PDF or T-format without layers, if you want to print it. If you want to showcase your work in line, make sure it is in RGB color mode, and save it as JPEG, or PNG. You're done. Go and put it out there. Let's hit for this class. I hope you enjoyed it, and learned something new. If you like this class, please leave a review so more people could discover it. I will do very excited to see your hand lettered anyway. Don't hesitate to post your work in the project section for this class, and if you are going to share your work on Instagram, please take attitudes skills, so that I can see it there too. You can have any questions, leave a comment on the community board for this class, and I'II heavily answer and provide feedback. Thank you for enrolling in this class, and I hope to see you in my other classes.