A Gazillion Ways to Letter: Find Your Lettering Style | Esther Nariyoshi | Skillshare

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A Gazillion Ways to Letter: Find Your Lettering Style

teacher avatar Esther Nariyoshi, Published Illustrator based in the US

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Trailer


    • 2.

      About the Class


    • 3.

      Basic I


    • 4.

      Basic II


    • 5.



    • 6.

      3 Dimensional I


    • 7.

      3 Dimensional II


    • 8.

      3 Dimensional III


    • 9.



    • 10.



    • 11.

      White Space


    • 12.



    • 13.

      Non Digital Media


    • 14.

      Director's Cut


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About This Class

This class is designed to give you an opportunity to explore over 30 lettering techniques in a fun and accessible way. Esther guides you step by step through her process to developing unique and stylized letters. By the end of the class you'll be able to create these styles, as well as infuse them into your own existing work. This class is great for seasoned artists who want to diversify their style and also absolute beginners who wants to get into lettering. 
Throughout this class, we'll cover the following techniques:

  • Forming Basic Letters
  • Creating Dimension
  • Decorative Letters
  • Using White Space in Lettering
  • Combining Multiple Styles, and much more!


Connect with Esther:  Shop Esther's Handcrafted Procreate Brushes | Portfolio | Instagram 

Follow Esther on Skillshare for her new upcoming classes on Illustration.

Meet Your Teacher

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Esther Nariyoshi

Published Illustrator based in the US

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Level: All Levels

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1. Class Trailer: Hi there, this is Esther Nariyoshi. I am a Surface Pattern Designer, Illustrator and a Lettering Artist. This class is for people who like to draw letters. You can be professional artist or a super beginner. In this class, I'm going to take you through gazillion ways of dressing up a letter. Your lettering styles can be wild and scripty or serious and chunky. The principles are the same. Did I mention that you may pick up a thing or two about using iPad? Do you have to have one? No, because you can use the principles that you learn here and apply them to whatever media you love. Whether it's watercolors, sharpie pens, Crayola markers or just simply a pencil. All right, I'll see you in class. 2. About the Class: Before we get into any specifics about lettering, I think it would be helpful for us to talk about the basic ideas and concepts of typography. In general, there are four broad categories of type. The first category is called Serif. If you look at the highlighted area, it's basically letters wearing hats and boots. This is a very non-technical way of explaining it, but these little visual details will help you to recognize the letter and read faster when they're printed very small. For example, if you grab a book or a magazine, it's very likely that the smallest fonts are printed in Serif. The second category is Sans Serif. Basically it's without the hats and boots. It's the bare bones letters. It's very common to be used in logo or bigger print. It gives you a modern clean look. The third category is called the Script. It basically looks like someone's handwriting. It can look a really wild or whimsical, some are more legible than others. But in general, if something looks like someone written it by hand, by a pen, that's probably a script. The last category is called Decorative. Basically, it's letters or fonts that came with very strong character. In this case, it looks like a block type letter has been rotated in different ways. It's very common to see it in signage. Sometimes these fonts can be confused with the lettering. The difference between type or type face and lettering is that a typeface comes in a whole set of alphabet and you can type it up and it will appear the same way. On the other hand, hand lettering is a specific illustration and creative expression of a specific letter or a word or phrases you created specifically for that creative brief or for that assignment or project. There are a couple of ways of getting started with hand lettering. One of them being building on an existing typeface or font. For example, this is what I did a couple of years ago, where I used one font and then start illustrating on top of that font. Although the illustration is very different on the I and Z, but do you feel look closer, the backbone is the same. They have the same foundational block to start with. This next example that I'm showing you is a project that I did it on a couple of months ago. This each one of the letter has a different R direction and they have a different typeface that I'm going for a look and feel that I'm going for. The thing that unite them together is not the type or the form of the type, but it's really the color palace that put them together. You probably come with a creative preference of your own some like really whimsical and wilds and airy and other may be like Sirius and brushy and chunky. In this class, I'm not really looking to give you a compositional or stylistic advise in terms of how the forms of the letter may look. But we are going to dig very deep into how to bring texture and extra character to your letters. But here's the catch. I want to limit the new number of colors that you can't use to three. The reason behind that is I want you to think how you can just use shapes, illustrations, and patterns to add visual impact, instead of piling up a bunch of new colors, which can be a easier choice at times. But once you understand how you can visually add impact to with limited resource, it's a lot easier for you to create a new work once you do have all those colors at your disposal. I'm going to start out on this letter t and builds all the techniques on top of that. There are a few ways that it can be very helpful for you to think through. You can either print out the letter t , which I won't make it available under class material, or you can draw a different letter, or you can pull out a old work of yours, and just to see which technique may improve your overall look and feel of the artwork. All my techniques are going to be demonstrated on an iPad, but by no means you have to have an iPad to get started with lettering. You can just grab your favorite media, whether it's paper and pencil or watercolor or whatever, and follow along. I am going to start the class with some very basic simple techniques and progressively I'll add more complexity to the techniques. Hopefully by the end of the class, you will be very inspired and are eager to take your lettering game to the next level. Without further ado, let's get started. 3. Basic I: If you're following along using iPad, I am using the app called a Procreate. It's very easy to use and also very versatile as well. It is a rasta-based program, which means that you have to think about the canvas size, before you get started. I would recommend you to create a canvas size that's larger than your intended size. It's always easy to just size it down, but once a canvas is created, it's hard to size it up because the pixelation will happen. Before I get started, I'd like to show you my workspace a little bit. I like to have my colors somewhat ready to go, so that later in the process, my mind is not too distracted by the color decisions. If you want to create your own, you can hit the plus sign and just start adding colors. Anytime you're done with the color palette, you can just swipe left to delete a palette. I would like to talk about my layer set up a little bit, so I have this t on the layer, it's called a base, and I will build upon that on different layers. The reason why I do that is because, later on if I want to change the color of the texture or make a small trick, I don't have to redraw the whole thing. But imagine if every things are on one layer, even if you change just the texture portion of it, you do have to redraw. By having multiple layers increase your flexibility of the design. For the majority of the class, I am going to use the grash brush for the lettering. The reason why I really like it is because it's very solid in the middle, it can cover a large area, but also on the edge, it's somewhat jagget, it gives you this hand-drawn texture, it's the best of both worlds. Let's get started with some really basic skeleton trace. Basically, you're writing out the word in the middle. If you don't lift up your pen and keep it on the screen like that, Procreate will think that you need help drawing straight lines, which is great. It also does the same thing for both curves as well, it gives you a guessed estimation of how the curve might look like. If you don't like the projection, you can just undo it, you will go back to your original trace. By the way, I'm using a match screen protector and it dulls to reaction a little bit, but it does give you a paper like texture, so there is the trade off. I'll be using different colors for each techniques so we can tear them apart, and I also put a little ticker on the screen so that you know, when you come back to, and revisit each technique, it's easier to find. The next technique we're going to go over is basically like building a wall within the edge of the letter. It gives it a good highlight without being too visually different from the letter. I like to work in small sections of the lines. If I mess up the last little bit of it, I don't have to redraw a very long line, I can just undo and redraw that small portion of it. Once you're done with the letter, you can play with blending mode, and opacity, and whatnot. Sometimes these little buttons gave you inspirations in new ways. That's another advantage of having separate layers so that you can play with it and see which one looks the best, instead of making a color decision much earlier on. In this next example, I'm going to show you how to decorate your letters with dots instead of lines. But before you get started, this is a good time to look at your letter and analyze the structure a little bit. For example, t, has a natural intersection between the two strokes. I think that's a good visual starting point, so I'm just going to draw a dot right in the middle and draw my way around it. While your pens are traveling along the line, it's good to pay attention to the distance and the size of the dots. When you look at the dots, there is a sense of visual rhythm and a visual expectation. For example, if something falls off of the line, the trajectory, that's the first thing that you're going to see when you look at the letter. To fix that, you can just lasso this dot and move it up. That being said, there are occasions where you want to call viewers attention to a certain area, for example, I'm still going use dots here, but this time I'm going to start out really strong in the middle and gradually taper my sides a little bit. In this case, I'm leading viewer's eye to the intersection of the two strokes. This is a design decision, instead of design mistake, so this is just something that you want to be aware of when you do your own lettering. 4. Basic II: Let's go back to our basic dots example and see if we can bring more character to it. Right now we know we have this base layer and on top of that we have the dots I'll just rename it as Dot and on top of that dot layer, I'm going to create a clipping mask. Basically, a clipping mask gives you this illusion of painting inside whatever that is below. Let me just zoom in a little bit to show you what's going on here. Right now I'm going to paint outside of the dots and it doesn't show. However, if I'm painting directly on top of the dots, it'll will show where my pen travels. By the way, do remember to lift her pen because otherwise, procreate is going to think that you need help with drawing the line or the curve. I believe there's somewhere that you can change the reaction time, but I'm just going to stick with what I have right here. If you're working on the bigger illustration piece, this may be a good time to take a look around and see your color palette and see what color hasn't been used a whole lot and bring that color in to do the highlight. It gives you some this imaginary light source and adds a dimension to just simple dots. So just going over the layer structure one more time. Right now we have three layers. On the very top is the clipping mask, which has the bright orange. Under that is the dots. Beneath that at the very bottom is the bright yellow, which is the base of the letter. So if you want to go with the 3D route a little bit further, we can explore another method. Now let's look at the pink dots. Imagine these are not dots, these are cylinders and we can give it a 3D shadow. So we want to elevate the dots a higher off of the surface. So the first thing we want to do is to create a new layer that is under the dots but above the base. So this is going to be our drop shadow layer. You want to choose a color that is in contrast of either the blue and the pink. I'm going to go with the orange again. So right now I'm drawing a drop shadow behind the pink. You can loop it around and it just color it as one shape. But in this case, it didn't work because it's not an enclosed shape. Since it's so small, I'll just color it in. You can do that for the rest of the dots. So that's a fun way of adding 3D perspective to your lettering. As a professional artist, sometimes you may find yourself working under someone else's creative vision. You can think of it as a creative constraint, but really this is a creative opportunity because it gives you this space to absorb all the information consolidate it and translate it into your lettering. It's really fun when it's done right. In this case, I'm just going to pretend they're diamonds in my creative brief. I chose them because it's very simple to start with. Later in this class, I'm going to show you a more expressive way of interpreting a word. I'm drawing at an awkward angle over here, but thankfully the diamond is symmetrical, so I'm going to just draw a spine first and draw the sides separately. You wouldn't be able to tell once everything is colored. But using this technique will make your drawing a lot easier. There are ways where you can use tools to diversify your style a little bit. So one of them being using a third party texture brush, just to give your lettering an overall texture. Still we're going to have a clipping mask and we're going to draw the texture on top of that. Instead of using a gouache brush, this time, we're going to pick crosshatch, maybe 45-degree. I want to test my brush a little bit over here. So anytime you want to test a brush, just click and test. You can also use whatever iPad procreate app has. There is a big library of it. It's really simple just draw. You want to keep your pen down this time. Because if you lift your pen, the program is going to think that you are adding another stroke on top of the original one, which wasn't the case. So I'm just going to redo and paint over the entire structure of the T. This is a quick way to add subtle texture without introducing too much extra visual elements to it. If that makes sense. You can play with the blending mode and opacity a little bit depending on how much you want the texture to be visible. This is just a quick way of adding a little grit to your lettering. There is another variation of the same technique. I'm just going to give it a different color and this time I will use clipping mask as well, but lighter color to give the texture. Imagine there's this light source shining through from the lower left-hand corner and is giving this letter T a highlight. This time, I do want to keep my pen down so that I can come back and fix some of the edges. Can fix the spine to make sure it's reasonably smooth. This particular brush is part of a bundle that has a bunch of cross hatch marks in it of various degrees. You can also use a different texture. I'm going to just demonstrate real quick using half tone. Just come to the brush panel and click whatever texture. You can test that over the area there. This particular one that I'm showing right now is a lot more intense. It does create a bigger contrast. So just be aware of what you are creative concept is and if this texture is helpful for your final execution. Now that we have played with a bunch of geometric shapes, we can also bring them together and mix and match. I'm just going to randomly start out with a diamond and gradually use dots and lines to trace along the structure of the letter. Just to challenge you a little bit further, that you can also use a style that is not necessarily structured. For example, here I'm just going to go crazy and use a bunch of not zigzag, but really curves and connect them together to show the structure of the T. One thing that is really nice about digital design is that you can always undo if you don't really like something. If you are not so sure, you can also hide earlier and bring it up later to see if you like it any better. I'm just playing with the opacity here and blending mode maybe. Just try out different things and see what works best for you. 5. Ombre: In this lesson, we are going to learn a couple of ways to do Ombre effect digitally. Ombre basically means that to transition from one color gradually to another. You've probably have seen it in watercolor. It's easy to do like a big wash on paper and gradually start from one color and gradually add another color until it fully transition to the second color. Remember that at the beginning of the class, we challenge ourselves to use no more than three colors to create textures. In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to do that. Let's start out by selecting really bright contrasting colors. We want the top portion to be yellow. I want to draw a big circle and color it and right now I want to change it to clipping mask, so we only see through the letter structure. You will see this clear definition between the two colors and that's not really ombre effect. What I'm going to do is to use my stipulation brushes to visually blend the two. It's basically using a bunch of dots to assimilate the blending effect and I have a brush that already does that. I'm going to do like a really basic paint along the edges to dilute the rusty color a little bit and in gradually add more strokes until the definition is gone. From a distance, it really looks like a gradual transition, but if you zoom in, it's really just two colors. Instead of using a bunch of shades in between the two yellows, you're actually just using two colors and that will make your work more budget conscious. Another way to translate ombre is to use geometric shapes. I'm going to use a bunch of lines and manipulate the width of the lines and the distance between the lines to visually convey a gradation to a different color. I'm going to start out from the middle and gradually draw my lines down the road. I'm going to keep the lines relatively parallel so that they seem to visually belong to one group instead of a bunch of individual line. I will increase the density of the lines as I travel to the bottom, which I will eventually transition that into a solid color. Right now, I'm using a very thin pen that actually may not color because it's hard to connect. So I'm going to increase the brush size so that it's easier to see if I actually closed a shape or not. Then I'm going to add the clip mask. See that there is this gradation that feels like a sunrise. You don't necessarily have to use sunny color and say if you want to change to like a blue, and you can do that because they're separate layers. So far, we have explored quite a few ways of adding textures on top of the letter you have drawn. In our next section, we're going to learn how to add additional perspective to your letters. 6. 3 Dimensional I: So far we have covered quite a few techniques of how to add texture on top of your letter. On this section of the class, we're going to talk about how to create another dimension. How to add depth to your letter. If we go to the layer structure and look at the layer, instead of creating a texture layer on top, this time we're going to add a new layer beneath, under that base layer. Because that's going to be our drops shadow. It's good to keep in mind where your light comes from. In this case, our light comes from upper right-hand corner. When I draw this, I want to loop it back because I can just drag and drop to color this section. You can also just hand color everything. It just saves a little more time when you loop it back. Now we have a basic 3D letter. We have the base on top and the drop shadow underneath. Now I want to add a new layer in between the two and start adding textures that way. Let me just give it a different color just for the fun of it. Maybe this darker green for the drop shadow. In this next section, I want the drop shadow to half more depth to it. Right now, obviously you can see this is a drop shadow, but it looks flat. I'm going to pick a highlight color to bring more texture to the drop shadow portion of it. I still want to create a clipping mask, so that my hand doesn't have to be too careful when I'm painting on top of that. On a pic, cross hatch this time still, as my go-to texture, just like how we applied the overall texture. This time we do it just for the drop shadow portion. This particular brush is 45 degree, which happens to be consistent with the drop shadow angle. That's something you want to think about when you choose texture brush. You want the texture brush to bring enhancement instead of deviate from the main structure. If you don't like to work with a third-party brush, you are welcome to draw the lines yourself. It's a little bit harder to keep everything consistent, but the little variation adds texture, and character to your lettering. There is this trade off for you to consider. If you happens to be deciding between watercolor and gouache, I would really recommend gouache, because the pigments are a lot more opaque, which means that if you make a mistake, in the layers beneath, you can cover it up with another layer if you paint on top. The sequence might be a little bit different. For example, I might paint the drop shadow and the lines first and then add the base structure, which is the lighter green, the last. If you were thinking about going into art and design as a profession, it may be helpful to think about the constraints from the client perspective. It can really you make you competitive as an artist. For example, one of the constraints may be the number of colors. In some circumstances like screen printing, reducing the number of colors can really reduce budget of the whole project, which can be very helpful. In this next example, I'm going to show you how you can add texture to your letters without adding any color. Now think about the idea of using the background color as your brush color. I'm still going to have one layer in between the base and the drop shadow. But right now, I'm going to sample the background color, which is pure white as my brush color. Right now I'm going to create clipping mask and draw on that layer. Visually, it may look like I am erasing from the yellow, because my paint color is the same as the background color. Technically, you can create the same effect using erasing. But remember, erasing is a destructive way of painting. For example, if you want to come back and change the art direction of the drop shadow, you have to recreate the drop shadow, because parts of it have been erased already. But if you do create a clipping mask, you can just change the color or the style of the clipping mask. Even if I am adding extra texture on this letter, I am not adding new colors, which can be very helpful for the client. I am working one small section at a time here, which sometimes means that I have to come back and fix the connection point, which is fine with me. It's a lot easier to do that than to draw a longer line. A quick tip, for those who are working on an iPad, if you hold on to the eraser icon for a few seconds, it will change the shape of the eraser to your current brush, which can be very helpful when you want your lines to be consistent. Don't forget the corner right here. If you're not sure about the direction of the line, just think about the layered cake, and icing and a chocolate in between and you will have an idea. 7. 3 Dimensional II: Now, let's continue on with our 3D journey and see how else we can bring life to this basic 3D letter. I am going to make a layer and make it a clipping mask. I picked a very contrasty yellow to create the sensation of highlight. You'll want to pay attention to the angle that you draw so that it's consistent, convey the seam light source basically. You can vary the size of your brush a little bit. I don't think there's any rules how far apart they needs to be. Depends on the density of the visual elements around it so it's totally your judgment call. Don't forget the corner over here. There is that, a very painterly look. So far we're working around the idea that our letter is a block. Think of a letter plus block. What if our letter is 2-dimension that sits on the paper, but a light comes in and gives it a shadow to the wall next to it. It sounds really complicated, but in reality it's really easy to make it happen. Let me just show you. Instead of creating an actual layer, we want to duplicate the original one and maybe color the one beneath with a different color. This one is going to be our shadow. Let me just hide the top layer so you can see what's beneath. Right now we're going to manipulate the angle of the base. Make sure those shadow is selected and click Distort. Just start dragging the nodes on top. What we do here is to give this t a different perspective. If you're following along in Illustrator, I believe the effect is called shear. Just go around and play with the different handles and nodes to see which one you want. It's also important to pay attention to the environment. If you are working on a bigger illustration piece, maybe you already have a light source so you want to make this shadow consistent with the other light source that you have. Also this type of texture, this type of Shadow works best when it's really subtle in the background. You don't want it to be too bright that the entire letter or phrase is not legible. Another way to add 3D perspective is to think about the anatomy of the letter. For example, t has two strokes. Just think about it when you write it. There's this crossbar and then this little tail. Imagine this crossbar is like an overpass that casts shadow under. I'm going to show you how to do that. First, we want to start with a layer and a clipping mask, and then click darker blue so that we know it's the shadow. When we're drawing, make sure that we don't break the integrity of the crossbar. We're casting a shadow on this little tail underneath. You can do the same thing for the top portion. Maybe I'm going to change the blend mode to multiply so the color looks more natural. We have the crossbar here and the little tail underneath. To help you understand how it works, I will give you another example. This time I'm going to pick calligraphic brush to simulate calligraphy. I'm going to write out the word test on the screen. Nothing fancy, just super simple. Once we look at the letter, there are few areas I want you to pay special attention to. I'm going to just highlight them for you. Basically it's wherever two strokes meet. These areas are opportunities for you to use the techniques we just learned to cast a shadow. Now we have the layer done. Let me just show you a quick before and after. You see the depth, the difference that the little shadow makes. Pretty fun? Now let's bring back our basic t and see what else we can do to add 3D dimension to our letter. Right now I want you to imagine we have a desert that is going right splitting the t at half. Let's go back to our cross hatch and the 45-degree angle one. You can test it out to see you like the texture. I'm okay with that. I have a clipping mask made already. I'm just going to start out at the spine and slowly cover the left half of the t. You see this line will be the definition of the desert. You can also think of it as a mountain. Now another layer, we're going to create, the opposing side of the desert or a mountain. This time we're going to use 45-degree left brush. You will see in a minute. You can also make the same effect by just hand-drawn all these lines. It is a little harder to control, but it's possible. Just for the sake of time, I used a pre-made brush. You see as you draw, don't worry too much about the intersection between the two colors because you can easily adjust, cleaning it up by erasing. As you erase between the line, you will see that the intersection creates this visual edge that look like a mountain or desert, which adds another dimension to your ladder without adding too much color. So far we only added two color on top of the original one. The density of the textures are different in my example, but you can also choose the same, just it's visually consistent, but it's a stylistic choice. 8. 3 Dimensional III: So in previous sections, we have learned a bunch of techniques on how to do 2D textures and some basic 3D textures. In this section alone, we're going to cover just one technique. It has many steps, but it's highly achievable. I'm just going to give you a sneak peek of how the final result may look like. Looking at the contour of this letter, it may appear to be super overwhelming at first, but the secret is, we have covered all the steps already. We have learned all the knowledge and all the techniques already in previous sections. I'm just going to show you how to do it one step at a time. Like usual, we'll start out with a basic 3D structure. I want to point out that the top layer is a clipping mask, and we're going to create an outline on that layer. Let's use a color that is really bright, that is very distinct from both the base layer and the drop shadow layer and we're just going to draw around the edge. Just a quick review, right here we have this orange outline and under that we have this cream base and beneath that is the drop shadow. Right now we want to create a layer that is in between the outline and the base. Pick a color that is darker version of whatever your outline is. Imagine this orange outline is a wall that blocks parts of the light. Imagine a light source coming from the upper left-hand corner, just like how we drew shadows before and we're going to draw shadows around the edge. If you're not sure about shadows up here, you can draw an imaginary light source on your Canvas or your paper to help you understand how the light behaves. Right now, the only layer we're looking at is the orange color because that's giving you the shadow. Just a quick review of the before and after. You see the difference here. If you're really, really fancy, you can add more texture onto this dark orange shadow. In my case, I'm going to choose some just random horizontal lines crosshatch to apply it as a texture. It seems to have a lot of things going on here, but if you look closely, we only added three additional colors on top of the original base cream color. We have the blue drop shadow, we have the yellow outline, we have the rusty color as a drop shadow of the yellow outline. If you're really, really fancy, we can add another layer for definition. This time, like we did before, we're going to sample the background color as our paint color. So you're sneaking in another color without adding overall the number of colors that you use. That's a lot of information we just went through. I'm going to give you step by step review. If you open the layer here, I'm going to turn off all the extra textures. We're looking at the basic base layer and the drop shadow. The next thing we did was to create an outline and this is a clipping mask on top of the base layer. Beneath that, we have this drop shadow. Imagine if the yellow outline is the wall, the rusty drop shadow is the shadow of the wall. Does it make sense? Last but not least, we created a white outline that is in between the yellow and the rusty color. We sampled from the background color so we didn't add the number of colors to our design. I think that's all. 9. Decorative: Some of you are working in the bigger illustration piece, which means that your Canvas doesn't have one letter along. It has maybe a word or a bunch of phrases or a long quote. If that's the case. When tons of lettering elements work together, there maybe some awkward space that needs to be filled. I'm talking about the space that attract your eye when it shouldn't. So if that's the case, and, there is an easy way of filling that space, which is using flourishes. I'm just going to start out with some basic outlines to use as a trellis for the flourishes to grow upon. Another way of adding decoration or decorative elements to your lettering is to think about the purpose of your piece. Maybe you're working under a creative brief where there's a lot of concepts and ideas. You can make them on the list and to think through how you can visually represent them. Or if you're say writing a birthday cards, you can add maybe candles and cakes or elements of these things onto your lettering. In this case, I'm just going to add a random flower because I'm not really having a creative brief. But this is a good time to think through what you can bring in to really make your lettering speak for you. You can let your flower just sits there. But since it's on a separate layer, you can also change the position, and to see which one creates more visual balance. I like this angle better because it's just looks more stable than the vertical version. I also want to try out the clipping mask just to see how it looks, kind of creates this C 3 fact. You can still change the position even though you made the clipping mask. You can change the scale. Yeah, it just very flexible when you have things on multiple layers. 10. Interpretive: In this section, I'm going to challenge a different part of your brain a little bit. I want you to translate the meaning of a word visually onto your lettering. Basically, the visuals that you're drawing are going to reflect the meaning of the word. The purpose of doing that is to train you to create letters that are pretty, but not for pretty sake. The five words I want you to think about are net, triangle, decorate, water, wood cut. Each one of these words has T in them, but they all mean different things. I want you to think about these different things and for example, what water means to you. How does that affect texture? How about triangle? How can you bring that onto the letter T? Then you have all the creative freedom in the world, the only constraint is that you have to say the meaning in your lettering piece. I'm going to show you my interpretation in a bit. But as for now, just pull out a piece of paper and start sketching. Our first word is net. When I think about it, I envision this fishing net, that has those structure with vertical lines and horizontal lines. I think, I'm going to go with that. I'm going to speed up the video, so you don't have to see me draw forever. But if you have any questions along the way, feel free to post them in the discussion area of art class. Our next word is triangle. I hope by now you have a general idea of how you want to pursue this word on your lettering. I'm just going to show you my process real quick. I'm just going to start out by drawing a bunch of triangles on a separate layer. Our next word is decorate. I'm just going to go with low hanging [inaudible] which is ribbon. I do want you to pay attention to the spatial relationship as I'm handling it. I think, that's helpful when you think through how you want each layer to appear in what space. Our next word is water. When I think about water, I think about liquid and movement. Since I'm working on an iPad and iPad is really my primary media that I work nowadays, I'm going to show you how to create this liquidity effect on procreate app. I'm going to start out with very contrasty color and just start drawing strokes. Actually in this case, I don't want to use Gouache because of the jagged edge later when I liquefy it, it will become really messy, so I'm going to pick a brush that has a cleaner edge. This time, I don't worry too much about drawing outside of the bounds of the T. If you're familiar with how liquefy function in PhotoShop behave, this is basically the same thing. There's really no rules just draw whatever that your hands feel like at the moment and then come to the adjustment panel and hit liquefy. There are a bunch of sliders and buttons that you can play with, just for the sake of time, I will just go with twist right. As you hold onto your pen and travel around the strokes, you will see the darker strokes has been liquefied and that gives you this kind of movement marbling effect. You can create the same effect on the actual paper using marbling. There are tons of tutorials and classes on that. For the sake of time, I'm just going to do a quick digital marbling, so that's my interpretation on water. Because we use the cleaner pen that has a crisp edge at the beginning, so you can see even when things are distorted and liquefied, they still have a cleaner edge, which is really nice. Your interpretation of the same word can be vastly different. That's great. That's the wonder of creativity because each person is different. It's a wonderful thing to have a creative personal voice. Our last word is wood cut. When I think about wood cut, I think about how you use knives as pens to create image, so that's what I'm gonna do. In this program I'm going to use erasers as pens, but be careful not to cover the whole area, just carefully create lines that behaves like knives. 11. White Space: In this lesson, we're going to talk about negative space or white space. In our 3D lesson before, we talked about how we make the 3D layered cake. Basically, we sample the background color, and use that as a pen. I just want to offer a couple more example to show you how you can improve your work using this technique. This first one, I'm going to show you is just to draw a bunch of leaves on top using the background color. Add this foliage texture without adding another color. I started out with a very smooth line that doesn't really jive with the overall hand-drawn look, so I changed to this squash pen like we used to before. Since the leaf is on a separate layer, I can reposition it and rotate it, and even duplicated it if I want. If you do choose to duplicate a certain elements, be sure to rotate or reflect. Just make sure that people can tell right away that two elements are exactly the same size or the same appearance. That's going to be a lot of distracting. Right now, we have the word, Look, written in front of us. It's quite descriptor color that goes around. We can use negative space to create, we talked about before on create a shadow. But right now, we can use eraser to create on that negative space. So I'm going to highlight that area, we cover it before. Each one of these area, where the, just zoom into show you. Each one of these area is opportunity for you to create some dimension. Give you the illusion of how the letter works. I'm going to turn this layer off, and create a layer that is right above Look, and sample the background color. It's going to work. I'm going to do clipping mask. It's going to work as eraser, but we're not being destructive. So I'm going to decrease the size. It still, as you can see, it don't brush over here. So we're brushing it with the background color. That's one point. We enter actually turn off the cut-off line. You'll see before and after. On top of that, you can really create another dimension of that using a darker blue that will help you to really honing those intersection. So you want to have another clipping mask on top of the basic Look layer. You can start painting the shadow on top of that. If you're not sure where to cast the shadows, you can think about the vertical stroke as the overpass like a bridge and the horizontal stroke, if it's like a road underneath. There is that. 12. Combinations : So we have talked about almost gazillion ways of dressing up your letter. In this particular lesson, I want to show you that you can actually combine any of these techniques together to create one look. For example, this one, obviously I have the dots on top and then middle and below I have this umbra effect to use this darker color to add visual weight to it which is another more fun way to blend those two colors together. The next one, let me just show you maybe layer by layer. I have a, quite a few here but the techniques are simple. At the beginning, I just did a really light color as like a clipping mask and I added another one on top and it did a very light umbra and on top of that, I did actually had the white swirly thing first and then I duplicated color that like in darker yellow, so it looks like there's the shadow on there and then I fill the space with more dots. This is almost entirely experimental, later I discovered, even without the umbra, the texture looks pretty complicated and very sufficient, so I think this is a good way to go. The next effect, it's pretty simple, I chose like a color family. These are different shades of green. So as you see, I did the dots first and then created clipping mask on top and then just colored it halfway, it looks like there is a light source coming from the left and I did a simple swirl just to give it more emotion to the letter. The next one looks like a circuit. It's like electric circuit, so I started out actually with darker orange, as you will see here and made a clipping mask on top and then just colored it with half tone texture, this darker cream color and I used the background color to make the dots and lines to illustrate the structure of the T. It doesn't have to be super complicated, sometimes simple visual elements gives you the maximum visual impact. This last one I want to show you is also pretty simple. On the top portion, I have the outline, this internal highlight, like a eyeliner sort of thing and the bottom I have this almost like the opposite of the line and then I did a tiny umbra and then for the horizontal lines I just used the eraser to reveal the layer behind it which is the base layer of the T. I hope by now you're inspired to start your own lettering project. I'm so thankful that you took my class. Until next time. Happy lettering. 13. Non Digital Media: So in this lesson, I'd like to challenge your notion of creating art. Sometimes you see this beautiful curated Instagram feed and you feel like, I have to have all these fancy supplies to create art and that's totally not true. I made these bunch of watercolor squares and then I just went around and used common household item to make and you use the principles of this class to create art. I want you to join me and to see the possibilities. So let's start with this one. This guy is made entirely by pencil, as you can see, it creates some 3D texture without any other, so you just create an outline and then the job shadows and I use line to create another job shadow. So that's one. This guy is created just with green sharpie, nothing fancy. This one is created with two markers and when I create this ombre fact, I just used dots to blend them in and you can use that for your lettering. Next one is also created just with marker, two colors and this one for the shuttle and this one for the basic structure and then I use some pencil hatch marks to create some sense of shuttle. This next one is also used by marker, is three different colors. There's actual white and then light pink, and then low dark pink. I did use a little colorless blender in between to wash them off. It depends on what kind of paint you use, you can also use water to achieve that effect. Nothing fancy and it gives you ombre effect. The next one I want to introduce is colored pencil. You can either use a regular one and this one is watercolor pencil. You can use water to mobilize and activate certain area to help the blending effect but also just a regular watercolor pencil will work great. This one is watercolor effect. I used a brush with pure water to draw the structure and then give it a light wash with the purple and then added a little darker purple and eventually green at the bottom. This next one is a warmer interpretation of that. Used a light egg shell color and then added green and the blue, and eventually. 14. Director's Cut: What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher. A teacher. What are you going to teach? Mama. You going to teach mama? Mmhhh Who is this guy here? Daddy. Can you tell me what's your favorite color? Pink and purple. How do you say that in Portuguese? I don't know. How do you say pink in Chinese? [inaudible]