Mastering Lettering Composition: The Art of Balance | Vinitha Mammen | Skillshare

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Mastering Lettering Composition: The Art of Balance

teacher avatar Vinitha Mammen, Illustrator | Lettering Artist

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.



    • 2.

      Class Overview


    • 3.

      Kickoff Exercise


    • 4.

      Balance in Lettering


    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.



    • 9.



    • 10.



    • 11.

      Balancing Recap


    • 12.

      My Lettering Process


    • 13.



    • 14.



    • 15.

      Skeleton Sketch


    • 16.

      Refined Sketch: Lettering


    • 17.

      Refined Sketch: Illustration


    • 18.



    • 19.

      Working with Color


    • 20.

      Lettering Process Recap


    • 21.

      Your Class Project


    • 22.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Are you tired of your lettering compositions lacking that wow factor? Do you struggle to create designs that are both visually stunning and perfectly balanced? If you're nodding along, then Mastering Lettering Composition: The Art of Balance is the class you've been waiting for!

In this immersive class, you'll discover the secrets to creating compositions that captivate the eye and command attention. Say goodbye to bland designs and hello to compositions that truly stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

Together, we delve deep into the world of lettering composition, demystifying the process of crafting clever lettering compositions by exploring six key elements that contribute to balanced designs: words, containers, flourishes, illustration, fillers, and color.

Whether you're an intermediate artist looking to refine your skills or an advanced artist seeking to push the boundaries of your creativity, this class has something for everyone.

Get ready to take your lettering game to new heights. Join me as we learn the art of balance in lettering compositions!

In this class you will:

  • Learn the significance of balance in lettering compositions.
  • Explore techniques for achieving visual symmetry through words, containers, flourishes, illustration, fillers, and color.
  • See real-life examples and practical demonstrations to apply these principles effectively.
  • Watch my entire lettering process from concept to final piece. 
  • Have the opportunity to submit your projects for feedback and engage with fellow students in a supportive learning environment. 
  • Get a printable checklist of my favorite things to consider when creating lettering compositions.

Plus lots of incredibly useful pro tips along the way!

This class is for you if:

  • You struggle to create well-balanced lettering compositions
  • You love lettering but don’t know what’s missing from your lettering designs.
  • You need a good breakdown of the lettering design process. 
  • Creating lettering compositions intimidates you and you don’t know where to start.
  • You’re scared to attempt lettering anything beyond 2-3 words at a time. 
  • You want to take your lettering game to a new level of awesome. 

This class is tailored to artists at an Intermediate Skill Level. 

This is the perfect class for Intermediate artists to refine their understanding of lettering composition, but Advanced level artists can also jump in to gain advanced techniques to elevate their compositions further. 

This is not a class that covers the basics of lettering. Hence, some experience with lettering (even as a hobby) and a basic understanding of lettering fundamentals will be helpful. 

What you will need:

  • Your favorite medium for lettering 
  • An open mind and a willingness to experiment and learn.

The demonstrations in this class are done on the ipad in the Procreate app. However, the concepts in this class are applicable to all lettering art, irrespective of medium. You are welcome to use any medium of creation that you are comfortable with including digital programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fresco or Affinity Designer and traditional mediums like watercolor, acrylic, gouache, colored pencils, markers or even just a pencil and paper! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Vinitha Mammen

Illustrator | Lettering Artist

Top Teacher
Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Have you ever spent hours on a lettering piece only to realize it feels off? Do your compositions often feel cluttered or unpolished? Are you constantly looking for ways to make your layouts look balanced and professional? Well, look no further. I've good news. I'm Venetta Merman, an independent lettering artist, Illustrator, and top teacher here on Skillshare. And I come bearing the solution to your problems. Welcome to my class, Mastering Lettering Composition. In this immersive class, we'll dive deep into the art of balance in lettering compositions. As someone who creates lettering for a living, I've had my fair share of frustrating moments with compositions that just did't work. Guess what? It gets a lot easier when you break it down to the essentials. I've developed a framework that really works for me, and I'm excited to share it with you. In this class, I spill with six key elements that I personally use to create lettering layouts that are well balanced and pleasing to the eye. Together, we'll explore techniques for achieving visual symmetry and balance, and you'll see real life examples and practical demonstrations. You'll even get to watch my entire lettering process from concept to final piece and see these techniques in action. You'll also get a printable checklist of my favorite balancing tips and lots of incredibly useful pro tips along the way. This class is perfect for intermediate lettering artists looking to refine their skills, and advanced artists wanting to push their creativity even further. I'll be demonstrating my process on my iPad using the Ptate app, but you can use any medium you love, whether it's digital or traditional. So are you ready to create lettering compositions that truly stand out? Join me in this class, and let's pay some magic together. H 2. Class Overview: Welcome to the class. I'm thrilled you're here and ready to dive into the world of lettering compositions with me. Before we jump in, let me give you a quick overview of what to expect in this class. Trust me, it's going to be a revelational journey. This class is divided into two main sections. First, I'll introduce you to my custom framework for creating balanced lettering compositions. And then I'll give you a demo of my entire lettering process. In the first section, we'll explore my tried and tested framework, which includes six key elements for creating balanced lettering layouts. I'll share lots of examples from my own body of work and we'll break them down together to see how I use these elements. By the end, you'll be ready to apply these techniques to your own lettering projects. The second section is where I take you behind the scenes. You'll get to watch me create a brand new lettering piece from start to finish. It'll be like you're right here with me in my studio. You'll see all the decisions I make to achieve balance in my compositions and understand how small details can make a big difference. This part is a bit longer because I want to show you as much of my process as I can without boring you, but I promise it's packed with valuable insights. While brainstorming this class, I reached out to my community of students, AAU, to find out what your biggest tugles with composition are. There were a lot of overlaps in the responses about coming up with layout ideas, creating variety, spacing, dealing with the latter, and so on. I've tried to help you get better at tackling all of these struggles through this class, but the most recurring frustration I heard from you was not knowing how to handle longer codes. So I want to just say that I hear you, and I've indeed picked a long te for my demo for this class, instead of going for an easier, shorter quote. It would definitely cut down on the class duration and my production time if I picked a shorter code, but I really wanted this class to deliver solutions to your very real problems. So here we are. Now, let's talk about your class project. You'll create your own lettering piece using your favorite medium, and you'll use the framework we cover in class to guide your design. I'll be demonstrating on my iPad using procreate. And while this isn't a full fledged procreate lettering class, you'll pick up plenty of procreate tips along the way. But don't worry, the concepts I teach in this class are universal, so you can use any medium you prefer, whether it's digital or analog. I've also included a handy printable checklist that covers all the main points from my balancing framework. You can download it from the resource section. Before we dive into the first section of the framework, I have a kick off exercise for you. I'll tell you all about it in the next lesson. Let's get started. 3. Kickoff Exercise: Before we dive into the main content, I have a little kick off exercise for you. This will give you a sense of where you currently are with your ledging composition skills. Here's what I'd like you to do. Pick a coat that resonates with you and create a composition sketch for it. This doesn't need to be colored, but feel free to add color if you like. The idea is to use this catch as a baseline, so you can compare it with your final project after completing the class. This exercise will help you appreciate later on in the class how conscious decisions can impact your lettering compositions in both small and big ways. If you're short on time, you can even use an existing lettering piece you've created recently and use that quote for the final project as well. As a heads up, the cote I'll be lettering in my demo for this class is a fun one by Audrey Hepburn. T plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. Well, I think it's best for you to create with a different code to get the most out of this class. You're also welcome to use the same code as me for both this kickoff exercise and the final project. If you feel comfortable, share your kickoff sketch with us in the project gallery. It's a great way to track your progress and get feedback. Otherwise, you're welcome to keep it for self evaluation. So grab your favorite code and get sketching. In the next lesson, I'll talk about the role of balance in lettering and introduce you to my custom framework for creating balance lettering composition. 4. Balance in Lettering: So, balance, just like pretty much everything in life, balance was key with lettering composition too. In fact, balance is one of the key concepts in any design field, and lettering is just no different. Balance is important in a lettering composition so that it looks visually pleasing and comfortably directs the viewer's eye across the piece. There are several approaches to creating balance, but in this class, I will be focusing on using visual symmetry. Now, when I say symmetry, it does not mean that everything in your compositions needs to be mirror images of each other. But there are ways in which we can create an illusion of symmetry, even when everything is not symmetric. Our aim is not true symmetry, but a visual symmetry that looks balanced and pleasing to the eye. So let me tell you about the six things that I consider to create balanced lettering compositions that are visually symmetric. Here we go. Words. Containers flourishes illustration, fillers and color. I'll talk to you more about each of these very soon and show you lots of examples from my own body of work. But in most of these examples, you'll notice it's not just one of these that I'm using. I use a combination of these to make my lettering compositions balanced and sometimes even all six. So you'll see me use the same lettering piece as an example for more than one of these because that's just the reality of how it works. In the next lesson, we're going to jump in and start with the first point in my framework words y. 5. Words: So since lettering is first and foremost about words, let's jump right in and see what you can do with your words to achieve balance. When it comes to words, they're mostly not symmetric by themselves. Unless you're dealing with a Palin room, which is not all that common, mostly, you have to work with words that are asymmetric because they have different letters in them, they come in different lengths and can be all over the place, right? But what we can do is play around with their sizes, angles, and styles to create something visually balanced. For example, in this piece, notice what I've done with the words. Sometimes I wet my plants. All the words are of different lengths, but when put together like this, it works. By varying their sizes, I've got them to all sit within the same length. Sometimes I wet and plants. I've used the variation in their sizing to help me to get them to look balanced. I've also made the decision to combine and wet into a single line. Because if I left on its own, I'd have to either make that really huge or find some other way to fill up the space around it. One of the reasons why we vary the sizes of words and lettering is for hierarchy. But that's not the only reason. It's also a great way to achieve balance. Also, I've tucked in the word M right between wet and plants. I'm able to do this because I've chosen a script style for plants versus the cap style that I'm using for the rest of the words. And so I have this neat little space between the tall L and t to fit in the word mine. So not only does it highlight plants, which is the main theme of this piece, but it helps me get the words to fit snugly with each other. I've done something very similar here. I've varied the sizes of my words to get them to all be a similar length. Another example here. And in this case, I've not gotten all the lengths match exactly, but I've used size and style variations to get everything to fit in with each other. Similarly here, I've gotten dog to fit within the S and L of spoil, and I've shrunk the word to fit inside the little gap between spoil and dog. Here's another example where I've used size, style, and angles of my words to create a symmetric look. Similarly here, I'm wearing the angles, sizes, and styles of my words to create a nice balanced composition. When I get codes like these, where the words repeat like changes if nothing changes. I love doing these because I get to really bring out the symmetry aspect with these. If you notice, I haven't used the same style for when the same word repeats. I've alternated it to keep things interesting. The nothing on the left side is similar to changes on the right side and vice versa. By doing this, I'm able to create that visual balance. Whereas in this piece, I've done the opposite. This is also a te where the same words repeat. But in this case, I've kept both my ones in the same style and my days in the same style. Because with this quote, that's how I get it to look symmetric. If I did the top one and the bottom day in the same style, then the left side of my piece would look a lot heavier than the right side. So it all in the end depends on the te itself. We have to do what we can to make the te that we have at hand work visually. Using style to balance your words can come in handy even when you're working with a single word. Like, in this case, since my upper case C is tall, I decided to end it with a big curvy like this instead of going with a smaller case. So the whole thing looks more balanced this way. So as you can see, there's a lot you can do with the word themselves. In the next lesson, we'll take a look at containers. 6. Containers: The next idea I have for you is containers. This is also closely related to words because these are essentially shapes to contain your words or frame your words around. For example, I have two sets of banners here, the orange ones to create some horizontal symmetry and the yellow ones for vertical symmetry. The words themselves, in this case, IM and system are not the same length, so it's not easy to get them to look balanced. Similarly, four and M. So introducing these banner shapes to contain these words helps me achieve a beautiful visual balance. Similarly here, two and dim are words of different lengths. But putting them inside the circles of her glasses gets them to look more balanced. Again, here, I've used this pink banner to contain my smaller words, all and that. Firstly, they're of two different lengths, and secondly, they get lost in the composition. So the banner solves both problems in one go. This is a piece commissioned by Skillshare, and here again, I've used shapes to contain the words can and change, and they help get the message across, but also brings more balance to the overall composition. Here, the cat's tail serves as a container for the word persistent and helps to establish that whole wavy shape of the word. Again, with this one, that bulb shape is the focal point and all of the lettering is drawn to fit into that circular shape, which automatically balances it out. With this one, I have this whole rotational symmetry thing going on, and putting that twisted banner right in the middle helps to anchor everything in in a very balanced way and accentuate that twist in the whole piece. In this case, I've used a little circle to contain my there instead of just leaving the word there by itself. It really helps to anchor the whole piece right at the center of the bigger circular floral illustrations. I normally do this with smaller words, not so much with the bigger ones. It really helps to keep these small words from getting lost while also keeping everything look more visually pleasing. Here again, I've snuck my ampsand within this drippy semicircle in the middle. It helps me emphasize that circular thing I've going on with the entire piece. And here, the circle in the middle that contains my I really helps to anchor the whole thing in. Another thing I'd like to do is just split my entire composition into large blocks of space. So I've put my words in boxes here, and these really help to get your lettering pieces look fun and balanced. If you look at this without the boxes, it's really just all over the place and makes no sense. The boxes just help bring everything together. In this piece too, I've used a grid of boxes to contain each letter, and I believe that really ties everything in. You can also draw containers that don't contain the words. They're more of a shape to draw the words around. Like in this case, I love doing these arch compositions where the illustration takes center stage and the shape just contains the illustration and directs how the words are placed. Here's another one like that. And yet another one. And here, I've also put the word four in this bursting shape, which helps it to not get lost, and also is a nod to the whole fighting energy that I want this piece to convey. So that's containers for you. Lots of ways you can use them to elevate a lettering compositions and create a sense of balance. Next, let's look at flourishes. 7. Flourishes: Another really fun way to get your lettering to look balanced is using flourishes. In case you're new to the term flourish, it refers to these decorative strokes or swashes that extend from your letters. They not only make your letters look more decorative and fancy, but also helps to balance your composition. Like here, the flourishes really enhance the ribbon lettering and help to balance out the top and bottom and the left and right. And in this case, the flourishing really helps to mold our letters to fit into the circular shape, which in effect gives us a very balanced layout. Here we have not just the symmetry of the words in our favor, but see how the flourishes on the Ds and the ys impact the composition. In this case, that standalone swash on the top is there for the sole purpose of balancing out the fancy one under the p, and because of that, I was able to tile this up into a fun pattern like this. So if you want to turn your words into patterns, getting the lettering to be balanced helps so much. Here are some more examples where flourishes really play a strong part in balancing the composition. So flourishes are fantastic elements to balance out the positive and negative spaces in your lettering compositions and to really take the impacts of your lettering to a whole new level. Because they fancy in the next lesson we'll jump into our next. 8. Illustration: Now, let's look at what we can do outside of the words themselves, sting with Illustration. I love adding illustrative elements to my lettering pieces. Sometimes my illustrations are a reflection of the words in some way, and at other times, they're not. But every single time, they are amazing additions to get my compositions to look balanced. Take this one, for example. There are no words at all in the bottom half of this, but I've managed to still make it look like a circle and look balanced overall with the help of the wildflower illustration. Here's another one. Here's what this piece would look like without any illustration. See how much visual interest, context, and balance the illustration brings in. Another one, with illustration and without. So much more fun and polished with illustration, right? This one, without the floral illustrations, would look like this. While it looks okay, there is so much unbalanced empty space just staring at me, whereas with the illustration, now it looks so much more pleasing to the eye. In many of these, you'll notice that I'm heavily relying on symmetry, but it's not perfectly symmetric either. I like to use symmetry but with a twist. All the flowers here are drawn with the symmetry tools in procreate, except this one in the bottom. Since the word color is at an angle here, there was more space to fill up on the right side than on the left. In these situations, I like to turn off symmetry and add something in there that is a little bit heavier on the right than on the left. Balancing is about looking for these things, looking at what needs to be done on a case to case basis. Here's another one with symmetrically placed flowers. And here's another one, where symmetry with a touch of asymmetry makes everything look well put together. Oh look at this one. It's not an example of using symmetry, but it is of using illustrations to fill up asymmetric spaces in a way that feels organic to the piece. There was so much empty space because of the descender on the G, and the clouds, besides illustrating the breast and relaxation concept of the words, also fill the awkward space up wonderfully. Here again, the cat illustration fills up the asymmetric spaces very effectively and helps us achieve an overall visual balance. This is not a fully finished piece, but I think it's a good example to show you here. The illustrations of these plant women are a fun visual representation of the sense of the words. But also, look at this without them. So boring and so unbalanced, the illustrations actually give shape and life to the piece. Some of my pieces are even more illustration heavy like this one. The illustration of this woman embracing herself, takes center stage and brings some visual context to the words. Also, I positioned her head to create the right amount of space on either side for my uneven words, all and that. And I've drawn her hair in a way that evenly fiilter up the space under the banner. So it's not just an illustrative representation of the quote, but also a wonderful tool to create visual balance. Here again, if you look at the words themselves, they are not very symmetric. The bottom half of the te is much heavier than the top half. But having the woman right in the center helps to anchor everything into a composition that works well. In this piece, I'm using the y glass and floral illustrations to once again break up the coat, as well as create a relevant visual focal point. In this case, I'm using the umbrella to do a very similar thing to break the coat into two parts diagonally. And the shape of the umbrella helps me to balance out the unevenness in the two parts of the text. And of course, Hagrid's pink umbrella is so iconic, it instantly brings in all the warm fuzzy feels, doesn't it? You already saw how the boxes help this one, but without the illustrations, it still looks all over the place and drives my eyes crazy. So much better now. I have so many more examples of pieces where I use Illustration to support my lettering layouts, but you get the idea. This is probably my most used technique that really helps bring style and personality to my pieces while also keeping them visually balanced. Let's move on to pillars in the next list. 9. Fillers: A Our next point is very closely related fillers. They're essentially illustrations, but I wanted to talk about them separately because they serve a slightly different purpose. What I'm referring to as fillers are small, simple, illustrative elements that help fill up empty spaces like little dots, lines, sparkles, teardrop shapes, et cetera. Besides filling space, these are also fantastic in bringing energy and whimsy to your pieces. You may have already noticed this, but I use these filler elements in pretty much every piece I create. Let me show you some. See how much better this piece is with all the dots and the curvy lines. In this piece we saw earlier, it's not just the flourishes. The tear drop shapes are very important in establishing that circular shape and keeping everything look balanced. Similarly here, the dots and curvy strokes really bring energy and life to the piece and balance out the negative spaces. Likewise, with this one. And here, see how much whimsy the dots and sparkles add and so much visual balance. Because now there's something in front of the cloud, so it makes it less obvious that there's this big area without any lettering at the bottom. And look at this one. Such a dramatic difference that some tiny little filler elements can make. Similarly with this one. See how weird it looks without the fillers. There's a bunch of empty space around the handle of the umbrella that you really can't do much about because that's the shape of a closed umbrella, right? And by introducing these fun fillers in there as well as some spread out all over, we're taking focus away from those bald spots, while also bringing magic to this piece. Now, this is an example where I've used fillers very minimally, but intentionally. The two sparkles that separate the words, and there are these swirls that have incorporated into the lettering. See how it looks without these. Definitely more balanced with the fillers, and they also help to establish that arc shape. Too much empty space can take away from the shape you're trying to create with your letters and fillers are a great way to fix that. These are just a few examples, but like I said, pretty much every piece I create has some kind of filler element in it. So I love them. They're tiny but really powerful additions to lettering compositions in my opinion. That's it. Try not to go overboard with these and crowd your piece with fillers. They're great, but they're not the focus of your piece. So remember to use them very intentionally. In the next lesson, we tackle the sixth and final technique in the balancing framework of color. 10. Color: All right. So moving on to our last point, color. As you know, by now, color is a big part of my work. I love using bold and bright colors and everything I create. This is not a lesson on color theory, but on how you can use color to create balance in your lettering pieces. So when I make color choices, I like to think of the overall visual balance. I don't want one color to be heavily focused on one side and not be reflected on the other. I try to have a more or less symmetric approach when I pick my colors. This is a great example to start with. It's not just the styles of the words but also the colors that are symmetric here. And also, the big chunk of blue in the center is balanced by little sprinkles of it on the outside. Similarly here, keeping the top bottom and center areas predominantly white and introducing other colors in between works for this piece. Here again, we have some symmetry in the colors in a radial fashion. We have red in the center, then orange, and then blue on the outside. In this case, it's not as straightforward, but you can still see that the color layout is very balanced. There's the mustard right at the center on top, which is also reflected at the bottom with the hands. The flowers are symmetrically placed, so their colors automatically become symmetric, and then the lettering in white, right in the middle. In this piece, we have a diagonal color symmetry going on, which works great for visual balance. In this one, I've used the yellow on the largest parts of the flowers to balance out the yellow on top or the other way around. I'm not sure which one I decided on first, but I'm always thinking about how to make sure my colors are laid out evenly across the piece. Here are some more examples. And I want you to just observe and analyze how the colors are placed symmetrically. So that's another thing for you to think about. With color being such a big part of my work, literally every piece from my portfolio is an example here. But I trust that you get the basic idea. Think about visual balance when you're making color choices. In the next lesson, we'll look at some more examples and see how these techniques work in combination with each other to really bring to life well balanced pleasure pieces. 11. Balancing Recap: Like I said before, these six points that form my balancing framework work best in combination with each other rather than just by themselves. Most of the examples I showed you had more than one of these considerations involved, but let me show you some more to illustrate my point. This piece. This is with just the words alone. You can already see the lettering styles, flourishes and containers working together here. And then the illustrative elements come in and make it better. The filler elements come in and take it up another notch. Okay. And with the colors also being thoughtfully laid out, I've gotten this not so balanced long coat to look balanced. Here, just simple script lettering, but now the flourish is elevated. Illustration adds a fun touch and fills up spaces, and the fillers just bring life and even more balance. Here. Just some carefully considered words initially. Add in all the plants around them. Notice how I've picked the shades of green here. You'll see the darks and the lights are placed symmetrically. And these pops of orange with the watering containers, just take the color layout to another level. And finally, of course, the fillers. So you see how each of these just add layers of elevation to your work. You don't have to use all six for every single lettering composition you create, but it's helpful to think about them all and decide on a case to case basis as to what works for what you're trying to create. Let me recap the six elements in my balancing framework for you once again. It's words, containers, flourishes, Illustration, fillers, and color. As promised in order to help you here, I've put all of these pointers in a handy printable checklist for you so that you can train yourself to make these considerations as you do your lettering hereafter. So you can download it and print it out to put up in your workspace as a quick reminder till you get to the point where this comes more naturally to you. And another thing I want you to do as you're looking at lettering pieces by other artists. I want you to analyze them like we just analyzed some of my pieces. Don't just scroll by and wonder why they can create such quality lettering pieces and you seemingly cannot. Instead, look at them and really observe Okay? Are they using these elements I talked about? If yes, how are they using them? How are they creating balance? Are they using something else? Try to imagine the pieces without certain elements and think of what they would look like. That will help you identify the role of those elements in creating balance. So observe and analyze and put those discoveries to use the next time you sit down to create something. That's how you train yourself to get better. That's how I did it, and I continue to do that. I'm confident that this process will help you make progress with your own lettering compositions. In the next lesson, I'll walk you through my own lettering process from start to finish as I gear up to the Monstrate the creation of an entirely new lettering piece. 12. My Lettering Process: C. Okay. So now you have it, my entire tried and tested framework that I use subconsciously and consciously when I create lettering compositions. Now I'm going to take you behind the scenes and show you my entire lettering process. I cannot wait to share this with you because you'll get to see all the important decisions I take to create a beautiful balanced lettering piece. I'll be demonstrating on camera from start to finish right from the concept stage to the final color piece. For this demonstration, I've picked a by Audrey Hepburn that goes to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. This is not a piece I've worked on before, so it's truly from scratch. So what's important to understand is that balancing in lettering compositions happens throughout the process for me, not just at the initial sketching phase, which is why I decided to show you the whole process. That said, our focus is on how I achieve balance in my compositions. So I might speed through some parts that aren't directly relevant to this in order to keep this class concise and relevant to the topic. But worry not, you'll still get a clear picture of how everything comes together. Here are the stages of my lettering process that I'll take you through in detail in the next few lessons. Firstly, thumbnails. This is where it all begins. I create small quick sketches to explore different layout ideas and composition options. It's all about experimenting and finding a direction that feels right. My next step is guides. Once I have a thumbnail I like, I set up guides to ensure that my composition stays balanced and aligned. This step is crucial for maintaining structure in your work. Next is the skeleton sketch. With the guides in place, I move on to creating a skeleton sketch. This is a rough outline of the lettering helping me see how everything will fit together. From here, we go on to the refined sketch. Here I refine my skeleton sketch, adding details and making adjustments to improve the overall balance and flow of the piece. I first flesh out my lettering from the skeleton that it was and then put down the illustrative elements. Next, I move on to inking. Once I'm happy with the refined sketch, I draw the final lettering in black using the final brushes, if I'm working digitally or my final medium of choice, if I'm working analog. My last and favorite step is illustrating in color. Finally, I add color to bring the piece to life. I'll show you how I choose to lay down colors and apply them to enhance the visual balance within the composition. Remember, this is just my process as it stands right now. It's not the only right way to do things, and it can evolve even for me as I go. So take what resonates with you and feel free to adapt it to your own style and workflow. Okay. So let's jump into the first stage and start reading some sumils together. 13. Thumbnails: D. The first step I do when I'm creating any lettering piece is thumbnails. T humb nail sketches are basically tiny, very rough drafts of your sketch. And these work wonderfully to just get ideas quickly out of my head and onto the canvas in front of me without fixating on the details, and they help me look at the overall picture instead. And sometimes you need to get ideas out of your head to make space for better ideas. So thumbnails are very helpful that way. And I draw a couple of these to arrive at a direction. I want to proceed it. Let me show you how I go about my thumbnail sketching process. I'm going to open up procreate. And because this is a longer coat, and I want to do it in a vertical orientation. I'm going to go with a four to five ratio. Unless I'm working for a project that requires a specific size. The standard portrait orientation canvas that I go for these days is a 4,000 by 5,000 pixel canvas. Here it is. It's an RGB color profile, 4,000 by 5,000 pixels, and this usually gives me sufficient number of layers to work with. So that's what I'm going to go with today. Now, I typically do all of my sketching using a light blue color, which is this one usually, but to make it more clearly visible to you, I'm going to pick this light gray color instead. And in terms of my sketching brush, I'm using this six B pencil brush, which you can find in this sketching section. It's a default brush that comes with procreate, so you should be having it too if you're working on procreate. So before sketching anything, the first thing I do is, I write down the entire code, just the entire copy for my lettering piece, which in this case is to plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow. And this code is by Audre Hep burn. So we're just writing it down. We don't care about the style or anything else at this point. There's two reasons why I do this. One, it's very easy to make a spelling mistake or miss out words in between when we are focused on the design. The last thing we want is for us to have created this elaborate lettering piece and later realize we've made a spelling error, right? And the second reason is that this helps me make some initial decisions. It helps me arrive at hierarchy within the words, which then informs the compositions that I want to try out. So once I write it down, then I just look at the quote, and then I say it out loud, just to try and figure out how the quote flows, what words need to be emphasized, and so on. I find this helps me arrive at a visual hierarchy when I know how it's supposed to sound. To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. So when I look at this, even though it's about plants and gardens and all of that, the word believe feels like the word that needs to be emphasized or stressed on the most. Because when we say this out loud, to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow, belief feels like what it's really about. You know, it could be different for you. There's no one right way to do this. The way I see it, this makes the most sense to me, so that's what I'm going with. So I'm just putting a bounding box around believe to mark that this is the word that I want to highlight the most. Similarly, the next level of hierarchy I feel should be garden. So I'm going to just underline it. And then plant and tomorrow would probably be the next level. And then the rest of them are just little filler words. They're important for the code to make sense, of course, but they're not what it's about. And therefore, they don't need to be given any special treatment. And the author's name is going to go in very small at the bot. So that's going to be the last level of hierarchy. Now we're ready to start with our thumbnail sketches. I like to use some bounding boxes for my thumbnail sketches. I want to keep these similar to the proportions of my canvas. So on a new layer, I'll just roughly go along the edges of my canvas like this, very free hand, and then press and hold to get a nice clean rectangle. Okay. Then we'll just reduce the size of this box because we're going to create thumbnail versions, right? I want to put four of these boxes on this page. So somewhere around this size should work. Then I'll just make copies of this so that we finally have four such boxes in a single lay. Four is not a rule. It's just the general number that I go with for most of my pieces. Sometimes I'm not happy with any of the four that I make and after try some more, and at other times, I may have my ah ha moment before I do all four. So four is just a good place to start, but basically, just go with the floor. Okay. Open up a new lay. One thing I like to do when I know I want to include some illustrative elements in my composition is to just write down some ideas of things that I can illustrate that are relevant to my code. This is not something I do every single time because my illustrations are not always directly related to the code or very conceptual. Sometimes it's just pretty stuff to make the composition look better. But in this case, the code gives me a lot of scope to create illustrations in a more meaningful way, so I like to do this step. So let's see. The obvious ones are of course plants. Flowers. And then this is about planting a garden. So essentially, gardening. So I think some illustrations related to gardening is an activity could be a fun idea versus just plants and flowers. Things like a shovel or a rake, a watering can, then maybe a gardening hat, maybe some gloves. What else seed packets, soil, of course, pots. Maybe even some birds or butterflies or lady bugs. Yeah. This looks like a good mix of ideas. We don't have to use all of these. We're just getting ideas out on paper. Cool. Now I'll just turn off that layer for the time being. These ideas are there if we need them, but we can get to thumb nailing now. I usually tend to start off with the words that I want to emphasize the most, which in this case is believe. We'll just start by putting that down very loosely. I'm thinking maybe at an angle like that. Then I'll write the word down in a very basic cs. Nothing fancy, just very, very loosely. This can probably come down a little bit to make more space on top. Next in our hierarchy is garden. I'll just maybe use this space between the B and the L for the G and write the rest of the word like that. We'll put the A here maybe is two can fet in here. Now we have two plant and in tomorrow. Maybe an arch like this and two plant in block letters, and we can reflect the same arch here for our tomorrow. And we can put the in over here, just like that. Besides the basic angles and shapes, the only lettering style decisions we're making are between block letters and a cursive style at this point. Even that is not set in stone, we're just getting ideas down. So that is one idea, and I think that already looks pretty nice. But let's explore some more. Each one I do on a new layer. Now for a second one, maybe instead of believe being cursive and on an angle, we could just put it straight and in block letters and see what happens. Maybe make the B and the E in the end bigger. Then maybe garden can still be at an angle in a script style. This here is pretty much my usual handwriting. I'm not trying to draw the letters just basically writing them. We can put and two over here. Let's see how it looks if this top line is just a straight block. We can tuck in the in like this in here. Again, a straight block down here for tomorrow. And we need to put down the author's name too, which we can probably just have like this. I missed this part with our first thumbnail, I'm just going to go to that layer and put down that too. That's definitely not centered, so I'm just picking it up and moving it to the center. You don't really need to centralize stuff at this point, but I'm probably going to obsess over it otherwise. All right, new led. Let's try another one here. One thing I like to try out often is to split the canvas into multiple blocks, each carrying a word in a different style or different illustrative elements. So let's get that a go. Starting with a big block here for believe. Then more rectangles for the rest of the words. Then we can put the words down in each of these blocks, varying the styles a little bit as we go. And honestly, I'm not liking it already because all the big words are to the right and all the small words are to the left. And therefore, it's not looking very balanced. There's not much you can do about that because that's how the quote is. We can potentially move the two over here to balance it out a bit. But again, that's not helping it too. I'm not feeling this. So I'll just turn this layer off. I don't think there's any point in keeping it visible here. But it's there, if you want to, revisit it. Now in these cases, where can we add illustrations, basically around the words and maybe in these little spaces. But I want to try and explore some options where I can assign a dedicated space for illustrations within the composition. It's already a long cote. Now, taking out some of the real estate for illustration may or may not work, but there's only one way to find out. One of the things we can do is maybe have a little semicircle here like that. We can leave this space for some kind of illustration, and we can put the word garden right here in block letters. To plant A can go along this arc shape to plant a garden. And then maybe is to like this. Our belief can go here nice and big cursive. Apart from size, you can also use style to create hierarchy. Like in this case, where everything else is in block letters and belief is cursive, that automatically brings in some attention to belief, even if it's not very massive in size. Maybe we can mirror this arc here at the bottom four tomorrow. And we can put in here and Audry app here. That's another option. I like it. We can do some garden illustration here and could be a fun design. Let's try another one. Maybe we can put down a triangular frame here at the bottom for illustrations. Maybe just off the top of my head, a person could be here like sitting down here and maybe watering a plant or doing some gardening, basically. And some kind of a plant on this side. Something like this. This is a very, very rough idea, of course. Then we can go off of this and maybe have tomorrow here, maybe in a script style this time. I'm working backwards in this case because we started off with a triangul at the bottom, we can put down the rest of the words above this. It tight. We can move things around to make some more space. Still a bit tight, though. We still need to put down the author's name. Actually, we can move the entire thing down and rewrite this bit. Give it some more breathing room. And we can put Audrey Hepburn here. Yeah, that looks much better. So that's another option to have. I'm not very sure about this though. It feels like the illustration is taking up a bit too much space and the letters might be a tad too crammed in there. But I don't want to rule it out just yet, so I'll keep it in here. I feel like I want to keep exploring some more. Now, out of my option so far, I like these two better than these two. I'm just taking a moment to evaluate what we have so far before moving on to trying out more stuff. Okay? So out of these four, I think this one looks a little boring to me. So this is the one I'm least excited about at this point. I'm going to still keep it around, but I'm just turning off this layer to make some space to try my next one. So far, I'm liking the ones with some dedicated space for illustration. So I'm going to keep thinking along those lines. In both these cases, the frames we have for illustrations are quite big. I'm wondering if I can still have that illustration frame happening, but at a smaller scale. I'm thinking maybe a nice little circle in the central area of the composition maybe. Just a small but focused space to draw something fun and garden related could be nice, I think. And maybe some banners coming out from the circle. We're thinking containers, to contain the to contain the words themselves. Is and two can go on these. Then we can have our biggest words on either side of this. Garden can go up here maybe, like that. And believe could be at an angle here. Tomorrow can just be like this in a straight block. I can be tucked in here. Up here, similar to our tomorrow, we can keep it simple and straight. Of course, Audrey Hepburn can go at the very bottom like this. I'm just going to move this over to the center a bit more. We could draw some garden themed illustration here. We can do some planty illustrations all around the fees. Just leaves and plants, you know, whatever. I'm just loosely drawing some random leafy shapes to just indicate that I intend to put some plant illustrations all over the edges. I like this. I like both these, so I think it's between these two for me. Here again, we can add plants in the outer spaces as well. But I feel like the lettering can just breathe a little bit more here. Because, you know, this large chunk of space is not taken away from illustrations. So I like this one more. It just instantly kind of clicked for me honestly, so I think I'll go with this. This is the moment you're trying to reach. As you put these ideas down, you'll tend to feel it in your gut that yes, this could work. If you've tried several options that you like, but you're not feeling that clear inclination to one specific thumbnail, then maybe take some time to look at your thumbnails, see which one speaks to you the most. Ask yourself which one you're most excited to explore. It really needs to come from you. You need to feel excited about an idea that you want to explore further. So far, I think I made six thumbnails, and we ruled out two in between. You can keep going till you feel something speaking to you, okay? You don't have to force yourself to pick if you're not feeling any of them yet. You can try some more and then reevaluate it. For me, I'm very excited about exploring this one. So it looks like I found the one. Now, we still need to figure out what we're going to put in here. You can also keep it open and figure it out later. But remember, we have some illustration ideas written down, right? We could take a look at those and see what we can use here. Just turning that layer on. At the edges, we'll of course do some plants, maybe even some butterflies or other bugs. But in the middle, what do we do? I'll put this bit on a separate layer so we can explore a few options. He again, a person gardening. I keep going back to that for some reason. But this time at a much smaller scale. Turning this off and on a new lay. Maybe we don't need the person. Maybe just a watering can around here, and a little plant. It could be like this is how it begins, and then all around, we have a nice lush flourishing garden. I like the idea. I'm wondering, keeping with that same idea, but maybe just taking a step further back. Maybe drawing some soil. This looks more like a cloud though. We'll make it flatter like that, and a tiny little plant or a seedling over here. We can have our watering can here, and we need something on this side to balance it out, we can draw the sun, just like that. Yeah, I like that. This is the planting a garden part while believing in tomorrow. And this is a nice glimpse of what it looks like in that eventual tomorrow. I like that. Yes. Okay, very excited to drive this at this point. So since this is the illustration version that I liked, I'm just going to merge it with the rest of our thumbnail so that it's all in one lay. And what I typically do once I've decided which thumb nail to proceed with is make a copy of that thumbnail, drag it all the way to the top. Turn off all the other layers. Now we have this copy of our thumb nel. I'm just going to make that nice and big. So it fills up our canvas. So this year is the end of our thumb eling stage. We've explored several options at a small scale and have arrived at a clear direction to proceed in that we're really excited about. Our next step is to create some guides for our composition before proceeding with a more refined skeletal sketch. So I'll see you in the next lesson where we look at guides. 14. Guides: Okay. So we created a bunch of thumbnail sketches for our coat and identify the one that we want to proceed with. But as you saw, these thumbnails are very rough, loose initial ideas of the overall composition. A thumbnail sketch gives us a general direction to proceed in, but nothing is centered or symmetric or carefully spaced out, right? So we have some refining to do before we can get it to a nice and polished place. And guides are a very effective and helpful tool in my process of refining any lettering composition. So before I start sketching out the letters more neatly, I like to create some clean guides for my letters and any containers that I might be using. Let's take a look at how I go about this. So we have our blown up thumbnail sketch here. I've renamed this layer as thumbnail. I'll reduce the opacity of this lay and open up a new layer. I usually tend to draw my guides using a light pink color, so I'll pick that. And I'm using the same six p pencil brush. I think I'll start with this wide screen shape here for garden. For this shape, I find it best to use the symmetry tools with appropriate. So Canvas tab, drawing guide, edit drawing guide. Symmetry. And this shape is not just symmetric on the left and right, but it's also symmetric on the top and bottom. So I'm going with the quadrant symmetry option. Now you can move the center up to where we want to draw our shape, but there's no way to confine this point to the center line of the canvas as of now. I think it's best not to mess with the center point right now. I'm just going back to how it was originally. This is the new layer we created earlier. I'm going to turn on drawing assist so that the symmetry setting applies to this layer as we work on it. And I'll just put down the shape like this. I think it needs to curve some more, so I'll draw it again. That's too much. Maybe something like that. Make adjustments as you need to. I'm just cleaning up these extra lines here so that the guide looks nice and clear. I think that looks good. You can drag it up to position and see if it looks okay there. I think it looks okay, but maybe it could be a tab bit taller. Yeah, I think I'd like that. So I'm just undoing the move to bring it back to the center and just redrawing that to make it a tiny bit taller. Cleaning it up again. Because we have our quadrant symmetry going on, we just need to draw one quadrant, and the rest of it is just figured out for us. It makes things so easier. Cool. Now we move it up to position again. That looks good to me. So you don't have to stick to things exactly as they are in the thumbnail. You can make adjustments. That's the whole point of all these multiple stages in the design process. All right. Next, we'll do this circle. So we'll open up a new layer, and we will not turn on drawing assist on this layer. We're just going to free hand a circle like this, press and hold, and you'll get a clean ellipse. Then tap with one finger anywhere on the screen, and you get a circle. Then we can move it up adjust the position to where we want it to be. The side also looks good to me. Yes, that looks good. We have the circle in place. Now we'll open a new layer four, these banners. I'm thinking instead of doing it like this, it may be nice to flip one of the sides around so that both sides are not facing the same way. One side will be flipped over, which I think could be interesting. Let's give it a shot and see how it looks. Gerry. I'll start with one side first. Just like that. Clearing it up as we go. Yeah, that could work. And then we'll duplicate this layer, select it and do flip horizontal flip vertical. Okay. Then we carry it over to the other side, and we to move it around to find out where it fits with the circle. This could take some messing around. Let me move this one up a little bit. Move this one down somewhere around there. Here's a tip. You can select both layers together like this. They're both selected, I can see that the center of the selection is at the center line of the canvas. I know that it is pretty much centralized. I'll just remove these extra bits here. And I like to turn off the th layer every now and then just to see how things are looking without the rough sketch getting in our way. And it looks good so far, let's keep going. I'm just merging these two into a single layer, and then open a new layer to make our guides for believe. We'll do an angle line like this, press and hold to get it nice and straight, adjust the end point till the angle looks right to you and release. That looks like a good baseline for belief. Now we need to draw some more lines on top. The x height and the cap height. Instead of drawing a new line and trying to get that to be perfectly parallel to this, we can just duplicate this line, and we can carry it up to where we want it to be. And we do this once more for our cap height. Looks good. Then we will merge these three lines, and that's our guide for believe. A new layer for tomorrow, and we'll draw a simple line like that, press and hold, and then tap to align it perfectly to the horizontal. It might be a good idea to centralize it. Then we duplicate that and move it up to about here and merge the two layers. We can duplicate this whole thing once more and just move it up for the top line. Looks good. Then of course, we have in. Maybe we can duplicate this again for this. But I don't think the in needs to be as big as tomorrow. I'm just going to scale it down like that and position it somewhere around there. I'm going to just remove some of this to cut it down shot and reposition it. Feels okay there, I think. Finally, Audrey Hepburn needs another block for herself. I'll just draw another one, just like that at the very bottom. All right. Now I'm going to select all of our guide layers, and I'll centralize the whole thing to even out our negative space at the top and bottom. That's it. We have our guides ready. I'm just going to turn off the drawing guide and the thumb lay. Just to take another good look at everything. And I think we're good to go. As a last step, with all the guide layers selected, I'll group these together and call this group guides. So if you want to turn all of them off at some point, you can easily do that. And it just helps to keep things more organized. Cool. So that's how I go about laying down some guides for my composition. In the next lesson, we will look at our next step, which is to create a skeleton sketch. O 15. Skeleton Sketch: Now that we have some guides in place, we can move on to our next step, which is to create a skeletal sketch. So what I mean by skeleton sketch is, we're going to take the very rough and loose idea that we have from our thumbnail sketch and clean it up by drawing out our letters more carefully, spacing them out evenly, making sure our shapes are all looking nice and clean, all of that. But we're not going to flesh them out into their actual lettering styles just yet. It's just a skeleton or an outline to build off of. Okay? So let's get started with that, and you'll see exactly what I mean. So I'd like to start by reducing the opacity on all my guide layers to roughly about 50%. But it doesn't have to hit an exact 50. Then we'll open a new layer. Go back to our gray color for sketching, six B pencil brush again, and we'll turn on a drawing guide. Since we used symmetry earlier, that's what comes up again. But we'll go to edit drawing guide and switch to this two D grade. I'm turning this guide on to help me align all my letters to the vertical. So done. Now we can start with the words. Again, I'd like to tackle our bigger words like garden and belief first. I'm just reducing the opacity of my thumbnail down a bit more to keep it less distracting. Now, typically, when you try to space out your words, it can take some trial and error if you start from the beginning. What I like to do instead is to start from the center of the word and move outward, which I find involves less trial and error in spacing the word evenly within the shape you want it to fill up. So Garden has one, two, three, four, five, six letters, which means we'll have three on one side and three on the other side of the center line. This here is our center line. I'm going to start with the d here. I'm using our grid here to make sure that my letters are vertical. And then the E. We're going to follow the curves of our guide. Now the n here, When we did our thumbnail, we don't really care about the spacing or aligning everything to the verticle. But now when we're doing our skeleton sketch, we care about these things. That's the difference. If we jump right in and try to care about all of this in one go, you can't really get the ideas flowing from your head out onto the paper. Each of our steps has a purpose that is serving. Let's do the r. Once we have this side of our word down, we move on to this side, again, from the center outwards. Especially with these kind of shapes. We're not just having to move the letters when we realize the spacing is off because they follow the curve of the guide, right? So we need to adjust multiple aspects of each letter if we want to reposition them. This method of starting from the center just helps me avoid all of that extra trial in error and keeps things more efficient. We can still make changes, if we want this to come down like this. I think I might actually do that. But for now, we're keeping it simple and just getting the basic letters down. Moving on to the A. I think I want to nudge this over to the left a tad. Then we put down our G. When we see these very pretty and polished lettering pieces, we don't realize that a lot of the behind the scenes, a lot of the actual process is not that. We often just see the final piece, and maybe a nice and refined sketch, but there's usually a lot of these not so pretty stages involved in getting there. So that's one of the benefits of getting to see the behind the scene stuff, the actual process from start to finish. It helps you get more insight into the process and also takes away some of the pressure of having to figure everything out in one go. You're not just drawing something, you're designing. And design is a night weight of process that has multiple stages and takes time. So that's a skeleton for garden. Now, on a new layer, we do believe. Maybe I'll do this at an angle instead of vertical. Everything else here is so straight. To make that believe pop, I want to give it a bit of a slant. I'm going to edit drawing guide and just rotate this grid a little bit. Somewhere around there looks okay to me. I use that as my vertical angle. Now, when it's cursive, I just start with the first letter. That just works out better. I'm fleshing out my B here. As you can see, I'm not staying very close to my thumbnail sketch. I'm often deviating from it quite a bit, and that's okay. I think I want to try a different shape for the B. A smaller swirl up here. Okay? I'm not super sure about it, but I'm going to keep going and see how it comes together. So I'll lay down the smaller case letters, starting with the E. I'm using these lines as a guide to align these letters, okay? If you've already drawn a letter, you can just select around it and duplicate it and place it like this, instead of drawing a new one. Just little ways to save yourself some time, and it's also a great way to ensure that your letters look more uniform. You can do that if you're working digitally like I am. Again, we have a e, so we can just duplicate this again. There you go. A nice work smart, not hard tip for you. All the parts we duplicate end up in separate layers, so we'll just merge those into a single lay. I'm going to just turn off our drawing guide just to see how it looks. I think this is sticking out a little bit too much. I'm just going to select that and cut it out and redraw it. Yeah, that looks better. But I'm not very sure. Let me just duplicate this. Keep it as it is, and just try a different kind of B on the duplicated layer because I'm not convinced that this is the one. So maybe let's try some different flourishes for our B. Okay. I'm going to turn off the previous lay to see if this is working. Also turning off the drawing guide. I think this curve needs some adjustment here. Okay, so that's an option, but I want to try. So I'll create a new copy, cut out the B, and try out another shape. A So now, we have these three options. Which one do we like the best? Not this. I think it's between these two. I think I'm going with this one. Cool. So now I want to just bring this out like this over the E and some kind of flourish over the. Or maybe a new that, you know, mi the swirl on the B, or maybe something like this more parallel with the banner. I like that. Let me try another one. I think I like the very first idea I had. Let me try that again. As you can see, it's all trial and error. It might just click the first time or you might need to go through several itrations. Again, we have two options for the L, and I think this is the one I want to go with. New layer, and we'll do all the rest of the text. It's all caps, just like how we did garden, it's all pretty straightforward. I'm going to go back here and reset my drawing guide. Just go to this green point here and it reset. It goes back to the original straight grid. F. Let's do tomorrow next. Again, from the center outwards. We have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight letters. So four and four. Normally, we also need to factor in the width of our letters. Some letters like I, if we're not drawing the cross bars of the I, are thinner than other letters. And some letters like M and W are thicker or wider than others. We factor that in also when we do this split and make adjustments accordingly. But in this case here, we have a wide letter on this side and a wide letter on this side. So we sorted. We don't need to make any extra adjustments. We can just do four letters to the left of the center line and four letters to the right. So we'll start from the center and do our letters on the right side first. This R needs to move a tag to the right to even out the spacing. So that side is done. Now again, from the center outwards. We already have an here, so I'm just going to duplicate that and continue with the other letters. So that's our tomorrow. I'm just looking at how the B is interacting with the tomorrow. And I might need to make some adjustments there. I'm going to go back to the belief layer and select the B and just move it up and maybe make it a bit smaller. I normally like some interactions like this between the words, but I was not liking how it was interacting. So this feels. I think the rest of this needs to move a bit closer. Now that the B is smaller. All right, that's that and we can move on to the top line next. Again, one, two, we're going to consider the space as another character. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Five on one side and five on the other side. One, two, three, 45. So the center line should be between, I mean between L and A. So let's go for it. Thank you. Okay. So this side is sorted, one, two, three, 45. Now we'll do these from the center again. We have a two here at the bottom, so I'm going to pick that up and make a copy for the top. And that's done. Now we have our in very straightforward. Now, for is and two, I'm going to go back to our guides group, open a new lay, switch back to my pink color, and I'm going to create some guides for the actual words to go in in the banners. I missed to do this earlier with the rest of the guides. I'm just following the curve of the banner itself. Then I will duplicate that. Flip horizontal and vertical, and move it across to this site. C. Then we merge these two layers, produce the opacity. And then we go back, open a new layer, back to the gray color and then draw the words in the new guides we just created. Okay. So that's our word stand. Now we have these shapes. So these guide shapes are not going to be in our final piece, right? But the circle and the banners are going to be there. So we'll just draw those as well. I'm just tracing this over the circle we do and adjusting the position. And again, tracing the banner. On this side, I think I'll do a bit of a soft wave like that to give it some movement, and then close this off like that. And then we'll duplicate this, and move it over to the other side, flip horizontal and vertical, and then adjust the position. Cool. So that's done. Oh, we need to also do Audrey headburn. On a new layer, we'll put down Audrey headburn. 123-45-6789 101-112-1314. So 123 4567, including the space, goes on this side, so we'll start with headburn to the right of the center line. So space here, and then Audrey, but from the center backwards. Centralizing it, adding these little bits on either side. Turning off the guides and the thumbnail sketch and taking a good look at everything. We have some space here, don't we? We need to figure out what to do with it. Maybe we can do something with our plant illustrations. So we'll figure that out later. But for now, that's it. This is our skeleton sketch done. So now we have an even clearer idea of what our letters are going to look like. Our next step is to refine this sketch further. We'll flesh out the shapes of our letters and really work on the lettering styles. So I'll see you in the next lesson without refined sketch. 16. Refined Sketch: Lettering: All right, so we have our skeleton sketch ready, which means we have an idea of how everything is going to fit with each other. And now we're going to use this skeleton sketch to create a more refined sketch, starting with our lettering. So far, our letters are just skeletons, right? We need to flesh them out into their actual shapes. So that's what we're going to start with in this lesson. First off, I'm going to select all of these layers that make up my skeleton sketch and group them. And I'll call the group skeleton Sketch. Then I'll make a copy of that entire group. Turn off visibility on one of them and flatten the other one. So now we have our entire skeleton sketch in one layer. At the same time, if we need the layers for some reason, they're all in here. Okay, now I'm going to turn on the guides again, because as we flesh out our letters, our guides will be useful for us. And then in a new lay, I'm going to start by fleshing out garden. Firstly, I know I want to extend this descender on the r and bring it down under the D. I'm looking at what stylistic changes I need to make to the outline itself. I like to look at possibilities of getting the letters to interact with each other to make it more interesting, just like the R and D. You don't have to force it, but you can always try and then take it from there. Maybe something like this could be an interesting way to get the G and the A to interact. Yeah, that could work. Let's try something with our E and n. Bringing out the E in a swirl over the n. I'm thinking of options for this space over here. Maybe we can do a long flourish on the n. I don't know. Can we extend the r up a bit, maybe? Maybe something on the E. I'm just experimenting with different ideas here. Actually, don't mind this one. Let's see where this takes us. We have some new literatures on our outline. I'll just trace over the rest of our outline for garden from the skeleton sketch. I want to make these curves on the G a bit flatter. Yeah, that looks better. That looks more balanced because the n comes all the way to this side. With the G, we had all of this empty space in the corners. This way, we get a little bit more balance in our letters. I'll reduce the opacity of this, open a new layer. And I'm going to pick a different color. Let's say this blue, because I just want to create some easy guides to keep the thickness of all my letters uniform. Because I want to keep the weight of the letters constant throughout. So I'm going to head to the brush menu and go to the painting section and pick a flat brush like this one, is a good option. And then we'll adjust a size to see to match the thickness that I want my letters to be. I think maybe something like that could work. Let's see. I'm just going to follow the outline. This is just a guy. This is not our final letters. This is just an easy way around to keep the width of the letters uniform as opposed to constantly trying to manually match the thickness throughout the world. I feel like this might be a bit thin. But let's see. These more angled letters like A limit how thick we can go. I think the thickness is fine, any thicker and the A might end up looking too closed. So we'll carry on with this brush size. Basically, just go over all the letters like this using this flat brush. It's important that you pick a brush that is not pressure sensitive. That's the whole point. We want to make sure that the thickness stays the same, no matter what pressure we apply on the stylus as we draw. That's what helps us keep the weight of the letters even throughout. It does not have to be perfect. It's just a guide. We'll do the n first before doing this swirl of the E. See now we have the thickness of the n. Earlier, we didn't know. But now we know how thick the diagonal stroke of the n is going to be. We know that we need to move this a little bit to this side to give it some breathing room. Let's finish off the E. It can take some back and forth to get curves like this to look right. Yeah, I think that looks good. I'll reduce the opacity of this layer, go back to the gray and go back to the sketching brush. And now we will flesh it out. We'll use this as a guide to draw the actual shape of our letters. Basically just tracing over the edges of the blue layer. You see these inconsistencies in the guide. We'll just smooth them as we go. Again, this is also just a sketch, not our final lettering. So you don't need to be too precious about it. We're just making it more refined than the previous step, right? You can skip this and go straight to the final one, which I do sometimes, depending on how much time I have. Sometimes time constraints are very real for real world client projects. So if there is a time crunch, I may not do all of these steps. So at this point, I might just jump straight to drawing the final lettering. Now here, I don't want to end it like this. I'll extend this curve a bit more. And bring it to a point like this. Even this edge, actually. I want to just extend it out like this into a small set of like detail. Same with the A. I'll do this too, both of the lower edges. So we'll just keep going like that and go through all of our letters, just refining the outlines and making adjustments on the edges and finishing points as we go. Now, this part, I'm going to do in a bit. I'm going to open up a new layer to do the n because it's overlapping with the E. Okay. And then back to the layer where the rest of the letters are, and we'll do the swirl on the E. T I want to adjust this curve some more. I'll just erase this bit. Now, we're able to do this because these two are in two different layers. Otherwise, I would be erasing the n also. This is why if something is overlapping, it's a good idea to put them on separate layers. To keep things more editable. For me, it's one of the biggest benefits of working digitally. Now, again, if you have time, it's a good idea to fill all this in. So that you can actually see what's going on. And then decide if you need to make any more tweaks to get things to look well put together. So I've gone ahead and fill this in fully. Now, just look at everything, see if anything needs to be adjusted, like this curve can be smoother. Yeah. I don't see anything else that means fixing. This actually looks good to me. So let's move on to believe. Again, a new lay. I'm going to turn my drawing guide back on and adjust the angle to match our skeleton sketch. Okay. What I'm thinking is to maybe keep the top and the bottom of the letters thicker and the middle parts thinner. Let's see how that goes. I'm just adding what to these curves. This is what I mean by fleshing out the letters. It's like four calligraphy. But I'm not using the rules of calligraphy in this case, of course, I'm thickening the top and bottom parts and keeping the middle sections thin. That's the only difference. I think I'll fill this in to really see the shapes clearly. Okay. I think this needs to be thicker. Same at the bottom. Basically, I think it needs more contrast between the thick and the thin sections. Yeah, better. Filling it in helped me see that and fix it. Now I'll move on to doing exactly that to the rest of the word. Here, we're using this flourish to balance out this little one here on the B. So that's an example of how we're using flourishes to create balance in the composition. H Finally, the dot and the eye. I'll just take a closer look at everything and see if anything needs fixing. Let's smooth in this connection here. Maybe even extend this a little bit more. Round out this connection here. I think I want the bottoms of these letters a bit. I want to round off these negative spaces in the e. As I'm looking at this, compared to the rest, the B is quite thick, which is fine because it's uppercase, but I think the rest of the letters can be a little bit thicker to complement the B well. So I'll thicken everything a bit more, mostly the thicker sections and the bottle. And the L can also be a bit thicker. Yeah, I think I like that. It looks much more cohesive now, so that looks good. I'll just select around this and nudge it a little bit to the left, just a small tiny bit because the gap here looked a little bit too big. All right. So now we can move on to the rest of the words. Let's switch our drawing guide back to the straight grid. So just tap and reset. Open a new layer and we'll start thickening the letters. Nothing fancy. I'm just keeping it very basic with these. If you want, you can do what we did earlier with the blue flat brush to get even weight throughout. But I'm skiing that step because these are smaller letters and very basic styles. I'll just eyeball it. I'm just slightly widening the ends of these, and I'm filling them in as I go. As you can see, it's straightforward. So I'll speed this up, and I'll let you watch me bud these out. So that's the top line done, and we do the same thing with her tomorrow. Actually, we have a T and O up here. So I'm going to pick up a copy of that and bring it down here, and then continue with the rest. So that's that much less work. And it makes a good scale reference for me to keep the words looking uniform at the top and bottom. So win win. Oh. And finally, I'm going to make a copy of our M, take it over to the end and flip it and we have our W. So we have tomorrow. Now, in same exact process. But I'm keeping it super basic. I'm not doing the little serf details on the ns. This n is looking a little bit dense, so I'm going to spread it out a little more and take away some of the thickness from the sits. Yeah, that should work. Now I'm going to duplicate that and take it here, scale it down, so we can reuse the i and have a reference for the proportions. Then I'll flesh out the S. And for the T, I'll make a copy of the eye so that we can build it from there. And then the o. Cool. Now we just have Audrey Hepburn. And honestly, now I feel it's a bit big. I don't think it needs to be this big. I would like to scale it down. So I'm just duplicating that layer and taking it up. And I'll scale to around there. Turning off the skeleton sketch. Y, I think this scale is actually enough. And I'm not thickening this at all, so I'm gonna leave it like this and take it from there. So there we go. We have a nice, refined sketch for all our lettering. Next, we need to sketch out all our illustrative elements within the circle and along the borders. So that's what we'll do in the next less. 17. Refined Sketch: Illustration: We've refined all the lettering in our sketch. Next, we move on to refining all the illustrative elements. Let's start with the circle and the banner. On a new layer, I'll just trace over the circle. And I think I want to make it a little bit smaller to tweak how it interacts with the lettering. Yeah, that looks okay. I think. New layer. I'll turn on the banners in the skeleton sketch and just trace over that. I'll turn this thumb layer on again because we put down a loose illustration of what goes inside the circle. We can use that to now draw a more refined sketch. I'll start with our little sedling. I'm just drawing some very simple leaves and then the soil. As this extra bit here. And then the watering can. We'll need it angled more like this to be able to actually water the plant, right? Yeah. We'll redraw the mouth. And then the spout. And a handle. I'm going to redraw this leaf so that we can have some more room be the plant and the watering can. Yeah. Then we can draw some drops of water. Then of course, our sun goes here. I'm going to draw a full circle and then erase off the parts outside of our frame. I'm not drawing the rays now. I'll do that later when we add colors. Yeah. That looks done, and I'm merging the different layers I used for this part. Then on a new lay, we'll draw all the surrounding plants. We don't need the guides anymore. Or the thumbnail. We can see everything more clearly this way. Actually, you could just label like this also and just find some way to fill up this gap here and call it done. But I think I want to include that vision of what tomorrow will look like with that garden all grown out and nice and lush. I'm going to stick to that concept and fill up the edges, create a frame with plants around my ledging. First, I think I'll start off with some of the bigger leaves. Here, I'm thinking, a cool way to fill up this gap would be to draw a nice big leaf here. An overall leaf shape like that, and then some notches along the edges because I'm going for this big tropical banana leaf vibe. I'll erase these extra bits to see how that looks. Good so far. I'll do another one like that over here. All right. We can we put some more of these on the other side? We want everything to be more or less directed inward. Maybe I'll draw one here diagonally opposite to the first set we drew. Now, maybe a different kind of big leave. Something more squiggly. And maybe another one up here. I'm just trying stuff out. I'm not sure about any of these just yet. We could do some flowers next very loosely. I'm just trying to distribute them across all the sides. Similar kind of elements usually means similar colors too. This is a good way to again, balance the composition. Now, we'll give our flowers as, very simple basic leaf shapes. Then I add some of these little pieces with smaller leaves in some of the empty spaces. As you can see, I'm not being precious about these at all. I'm growing very loosely. Maybe some tiny flowers, too, with some small leaves. Maybe another one of these over here. Not sure if that's the best place to have it. Yeah, that's better. That looks fine, I think. I also want to draw some bugs and butterflies and stuff like that. This space here looks like a good place to draw a bug. Maybe a cute little lady bug. Maybe a dragon fly here on this side. I'll move it up a little bit. I think I might just remove this. Reposition Mr. Dragon fly. I'll just redraw these wings, make them a bit bigger and less perfect. I think he will fit in nicely here next to the B. Then I'll try a smaller version of this squigly leaf here. Maybe something more like this. C. Yeah, that does the job. Maybe we can put a butterfly here. Not loving it. Maybe it would be better here. And another one up here, maybe. What about if instead of this, we could do something else, something smaller, like a little. Yeah, I think that actually works. Anything else we need, we can always add later, but I think this is a good place to stop sketching right now. It's looking pretty balanced. Our main areas of concern were this giant space over here and this one here. And both those are sorted now. Right? In the next lesson, we'll start inking our final letter. So I'll see you there. 18. Inking: Now that we have a nice, refined sketch ready, we can go ahead and start phasing of final piece. I like to do all the lettering first, and I start by using just black or a dark gray so that everything is nice and bold, and I can catch any inconsistencies in the shapes or negative spaces easily. Later on, of course, I will switch out the colors to whatever I want them to be, but I almost always start off with just black. So this process of going over all of my lettering using the final brush in black color is what I'm referring to as inking. Since this step is basically just tracing over the sketch that we already created, I'm going to speed up most of it. But as you watch me draw, I will also be sharing some of my best tips and some advice from my experience working in the freelance lettering industry. So if you want to soak up all of that good stuff, I'd recommend that you stay on and watch the whole lesson. So, shall we? Basically, we're going to be tracing over everything. Using the final brush that we want to use for our finished piece versus the sketching brush that we've been using so far. Like I said, I typically start by doing all the lettering in black, and then later on, we'll throw in color because you can change the color at any point, as long as you're working digitally that is. I like to see everything in black or a dark gray first, and then change the colors as required. Okay, so I'll find the garden sketch and reduce the opacity of this slay. I'm just going to group all of this and call it the sketch group. Point. Going to pick a dark gray, and I'll pick there's brush called dry ink that is found under the inking section. Again, a default procreate brush. We'll reduce the opacity of this n as well because it was on a different layer. Remember, we have a new layer opened here, so we can start now. If you want, you can turn on the guides also. Yeah, they can be helpful, so I'll have them on. Yeah, basically, we're just going to trace over our lettering. Start by outlining around the edges of the sketch. If we see any irregularities in the sketch as we go, we'll just smooth them over and carry on. H. I'm sure you've already noticed this throughout my process. I keep moving my canvas around as I draw, pinching and zooming, and rotating, right? And if I'm working analog, I keep moving my sheet of paper or sketchbook or whatever around all the time. Basically, to get a good angle. This is my number one tip to get nice smooth curves to find that angle that works best for you and keep moving your canvas around to draw at that angle. So I always move my canvas subconsciously at this point, really, to get that anger that I'm most comfortable drawing in because that's how I get my cleanest strokes. So find out what yours is. It may not be the same for everybody. So find out what yours is and keep moving. Because our n is overlapping with the E, I'm going to do that separately. Before that, I'm going to go ahead and fill this in. If you're not using a texture brush like this, if you're using something more flat like the model line brush, for instance, you can just drag and drop color. Even in this case, I can do that, but I want to have these textures. That's why I'm filling it in manually. It's up to you and the final effect that you want. Personally, I also really enjoy this process of manually filling in color. I find it very meditative, but I do both really depending on what I want to achieve. Now I'm going to turn down the opacity of this snare that we just did a little bit so that we can see the end clearly while we draw it. All right. Now I'm turning the opacity of the rest of the word, back up, and garden is done. Actually, I'll turn down the opacity of all the sketch layers so that we can see better as to which ones are done and which ones we need to still do. Now, we know that garden is done using the final brush, and everything else is yet to be done. Again, ne lay, and we'll do the exact same thing to believe, and basically the rest of the words. Even at this point, if you feel something needs to change, you can. Every step of the process is yours. All others care about is the final result really. You can of course, choose to show the sketches, but in the end, those are all part of the process, and you should give yourself the freedom to deviate from the sketches if you need to. Of course, if a client has approved a sketch and you're thinking of a huge deviation, then you'll have to discuss it with them. But I'm saying in general, just don't overthink it. If you feel like something is off in the sketch that you didn't catch while creating the sketch, you can always go ahead and modify it. You don't have to feel like you're tied to every detail in the sketch. Your sketches are there to help you, not to restrict you or chain you down. T is, in the end, it's hand lettering. It's not going to be perfect. And that's the beauty of it, right? Everything is done by hand. So it's going to be beautiful. It's going to be nothing like what a computer can generate, but it's also not going to be perfect, and that's okay. If you wanted something perfect and boring, you could just go with a font, right? Again, I'm just tracing over all of these lines, doing just the outlines first, and I'm going to fill it in later. But if you feel like filling them in as you go, you can do that as well. It really doesn't make a difference when you fill the outlines in. Sometimes when I have more time to dedicate to a piece, my sketches can be nice and clean like this. But when I'm short of time, my sketches tend to be more lose and the edges are more rough. In those cases, there will be a more visible refinement happening when we do this. You might wonder what the point of all these multiple levels of refining is. But really, that's what goes into achieving a nice, clean, finished piece. By going through the process. But then of course, you need to adapt the process based on the situation and the time that you have at hand. Especially if you're doing lettering professionally, there will always be client work that is rushed. Whether you charge a rush fee or not, you still have to finish it on time, right? It's just part of our reality. We can always establish boundaries and try our best to not put all this undue pressure on ourselves to do rush jobs. The truth is that good illustration, good creative work takes time, but not everybody gets it. A lot of creative projects get approved very last minute. So we need to adopt long story short. So I'm showing you the full process, and then you adapt on a case to case basis, depending on your situation and the timeline and everything. Sometimes a project may have a decent timeline, but then you have multiple such projects that come in together. That's another reality of the freelance world. Some ones are slow and others are crazy with all the projects coming in at the same time. So you have to be willing to adapt to your process on a case to case basis. If you can't afford to go flo on with a particular piece, that's okay. You can always skip steps or combine them to get the result you need to deliver within the time you have at hand. Oh. I And that's done. We have our letters inked in black using our final brush. The next step is the final one and my favorite one, which is adding color. So I'll see you in the next lesson with a fun. 19. Working with Color: We've inked all of our lettering using the final brushes. For me, now is a good time to start introducing colors to the piece. This lesson is where I will replace all the blacks in the lettering with their respective colors, and also draw all of our illustrative elements in color using the final brushes and textures. I have a color palette in mind, so I'll start working with that. And then as long as I'm working digitally, everything is table, so I will tweak as I go, depending on how things are looking. Of course, if you're working analog, that may not be possible. So you'll need to adapt the process to work for the medium you're using. The point of this lesson is to primarily give you some insight into my thought process as I lay down colors in order to achieve visual balance in my lettering composition. So I'd suggest you focus on that versus the exact process, if you're working in a different medium. Okay? It's also not a lesson in color theory. So let's jump in and bring our lettering piece to life with some color. This here is a color palette that I have in mind for this piece. These colors show up in my work quite frequently, and I think together they will work well for this garden themed piece. Like I said, I'm going to start laying down the colors using this color palette, and then we can still look at it and tweak it at any point. You can even completely change the color palette if you want at any later stage. So see this as a starting point as of now. This deep green is what I have in mind for the background. I'm going to drop that into a new layer below the sketch group. So that I can still see the sketch. I realize it's not very visible on camera, so I'm just going to change the color of my sketch layers to this light blue. And then reduce the opacity so that you can see them better against this deep green background. Let me start with a circle. On a new. I'll pick this light yellow color from my palette, and I'm going to continue using the dry ink brush and then draw a circle. You can either drop color into it or fill it in. I want the textures, so I'm filling it in manually. You can even long press on the layer to make just this layer visible so you can fill color without anything else getting in the way. And then press and hold again to bring back the rest of the layers. I'll position the circle correctly and move it below the sketch layers so that we can still see what's going on. We'll draw the stuff inside it in a bit. Let's do the banners. I want the banners to be underneath this. I'll pick this light orange, and just draw it. And then fill the shape end. Same thing on the other side. Now for the back section of the ribbon, on a new layer below that, using a darker orange, I'll draw this bed. If we talk about color balance, so far all our colors are balanced. We have a light yellow in the center, a light orange on either side of that, and some darker orange symmetrically placed behind that. So far so good. This is something we will constantly think about as we're adding color. How about we lay down some colors for our letters before moving on? The letters are all black right now. Lettering is the main focus of this piece. It's a lettering piece with some illustration. I want my letters to pop the mot. And have the highest contrast. So I'm thinking of making all the letters white, at least for now and then we'll take it from there. So I'm going to Alpha lock and fill lay for each of these layers with lettering in it. That's it with the co at. I think Audrey Hepburn can maybe be a different color. Let's go with this pink for the time being. Yes, that already looks so much better. Okay, now, we can go ahead and do the rest of the illustrative elements, all the leaves, the flowers, the rest of the garden stuff. I'll come back to these details later. I want all my leaves to be green, different shades of green. I'll pick this medium green first. New lay just above the background they, and I'll draw this leaf. I'm using the same dry ink brush. Again, outlines first. H. Same thing with this one. I'm not trying to stay super close to this sketch. I'm just using this sketch as a general guide, and I'll fill them in. How you go about all of this is of course up to your own personal style. Everybody's style and processes evolve over time. Mine definitely has evolved over the years, and I'll bet it will continue to. This is how I would do this right now. Similarly, I'll do this one also on the same lay. Okay. Next, I'll pick this slightly darker shade and do these squiggly leaves. I like using a lot of bright and fun colors in my work as part of my style, which is why I make these color choices. But you can use this concept of balancing the colors to any kind of color palette, irrespective of your style and the kind of mood you like your pieces to embody. Even if my specific color choices don't speak to you, I'm hoping you can still learn from watching how I use color. Now we don't have any more of the same leaf, nothing on this side. But we have this one. I think this will create some balance. So I'll make this set of leaves here, also the same column. I'm still going to do it on a different layer because it's a different type of leaf. And if I feel like switching it up later on, I can do it more easily. Okay. Now on another lay. We'll do these leaves. I'll use this bright green, draw the stems, and then the leaves. Remember that piece I showed you as an example earlier that said, sometimes I wet my plants. I did different kinds of house plants around the letter, and the shades of green were placed intentionally to create that visual balance. So that's what we're trying to achieve here as well. We're not trying to create that kind of mirror symmetry situation with the exact same colors reflected on either side of the piece, but we're trying to create an overall balance. We don't want any light or dark values to be more heavily placed on one side that will throw off the visual symmetry. So that's what we're trying to avoid by spreading out similar colors across all the sides. We have some of this light green here, some here, some here, and some here. So that's more or less balanced, I think. But maybe something around here would make it even better. So I'm deviating from my sketch and rowing another leaf here. Yeah, I think that's actually helping with the balance. Now we have one type of leaves left, these teeny ones. Since they're overlapping over some of the bigger elements, and because they are small, I think something bright is what we want for them. I think I'm going to step out of this color palette and look for something else like this one. Then draw these leaves. I'm keeping these very loose and wispy. I think we can put one more release over here. So yeah, I think that looks good for now. And we can move on to the flowers. New layer above the leaves. I want them all to be in the yellow and orange families. Take these yellows and oranges in the middle and spread them around the edges a little bit. So I'll use the different orange and yellow shades in my color palette to draw all my flowers. I'm doing each type of flower in a different layer, and each color within a specific type of flow also gets its own lay. That's how I keep it table for later if you want to change colors. Now, these tiny little flowers in a bright yellow. The smaller the element, the brighter the color or higher the contrast is sort of how I go about it. Doesn't apply every single time, of co, but in general. Large areas of high bright colors might be off visually. So I feel it's more pleasing to the eye this way. We have two big flowers here and here. Maybe one more around here will be a nice balance. So there we go. I've given it a nice little leaf to. Similarly these orange flowers. We have these two here. We could use some on this side also. So here's one on this side. I also have the centers of these flowers to do. I'll add some more of these tiny yellow flowers. And that looks good to me. Next, I'll row my dragon fly. I'll make the body pink, I think. I wanted to do some pink accents in the piece, so I think it might work well here. And again, pink for my Lady Bug. I know they are realistically supposed to be red, but I don't want to introduce red to this color palette now. It's already kind of busy, so I think pink works just fine. Again, instead of black for the spots, I'm just going with my deep green. Next, for my butterfly, I'm doing the opposite of the dragon fly with pink wings and a yellow body. And then finally, our B also gets a yellow body and pink wings. And then, of course, some cute stripes. Now we'll do the illustrations inside the circle. I'm using clipping masks to do this. I'll do my soil in the dark orange. I don't like how this ends in the same line as this banner, so I've just adjusted that a little bit. Having clipping mass turned on is so helpful in doing these kind of details. If you don't know what they are or how to make the most of them, you should check out my class on procreate floral Illustration, where I do a detailed lesson on the magic of clipping mass. I'm sure you'll find that helpful. Next, I'll do our little seedling, our hope of tomorrow's to come. And then the water can can probably be pink. All right. Another sun. For the sun, I don't want to do white because it's very close to this. Maybe I'll go with a light yellow like this. Turning off the sketch lay to see how it looks. And I don't think it's light, not enough contrast. I'll try going a bit lighter. Or should I go. Or even darker. No. You know what? I'm wondering if the sun is even required. Maybe we can just have some rays. Let me try doing that. We could have a sun that's outside of our circular frame and just do the ras. I'll use white and draw some rays like that. Then I'll fill in every other space between the lines. And we'll try and play with the blending modes to see what works best. I think I like overlay, maybe if we lower the opacity. Yeah, I think that works. I'd like to have another level of brightness for some of the rays. I'll do another layer like this. Set that to overlay also and reduce the opacity again. Maybe add some more lines on that layer. I'll play with the opacities again to find that sweet spot. I think that should do. Now, I want to do some little sparkles in here. This will help fill up that space a bit more since we don't have the sun now, and also represent new life and magic and all the much needed whimsy. Yeah, I like that. Maybe I'll make these smaller ones pink. I think that works. So now we broadly have all the colors laid down for our piece. What's left are basically details. By doing this color blocking thoughtfully and intentionally, we put down a good foundation for our color balance. The details themselves don't contribute as much to the balance aspect. Don't get me wrong. The details are important to bring the piece to life, but they're also time consuming and very subjective to your own style, right? I don't want to drag this on talking about stuff that's not relevant to the class topic. So I'll skip ahead and take you to the relevant stuff. Okay? Let me quickly walk you through what I've done so far. So I've added this border around the circle to make it stand out against the banner a bit more. I've done some shading on the banners. I've added a simple three D effect to our big words, garden and belief. I've introduced these fun inline strokes to all of my letters to just give them more life and dynamics. I've also added shading and some color variations to some of the leaves to give them some more depth and dimension, and I've added some fun highlights to our flying friends. Now, for a final touch of balance in the composition, we'll add some you guess it, fillers. I'll start with this pink color. I have my trusted spot stamp brush. And I'll sprinkle in some dots in some of the bt spots in my composition. If you've taken my other procreate classes, then you've definitely come across this brush. If you've done my class called O the dot, then you know how to make your own spots damp brushes. They super fun and perfect additions to bring everything together. This filler step is a very important part of balancing for me. It's that final touch to mask any visual imbalance, and the fun aspect of it is a great additional bonus to have. That's why you'll see these or at least some of fillers across most of my pieces. Cool. Now we'll add some sparkles also, just like we did here. Let's go with white again and throw in some magical sparkles. Again, looking for spots where we could use some nice contrast with the white. I'm thinking on a different layer, I'll add some white dots also. And then I'll pick up this green. And just like we did these curly strokes inside the letters, I'd like to do some outside also. This again, helps to balance out some of these negative spaces and adds a lot of flu and energy to the lettering. They really emphasize the curves in my lettering a little bit more, which I like. I don't use them on every piece. It depends on the style and vibe I'm going for. But in this one, I think they'll work really well. I think we might be done. Sometimes it's difficult to know when to stop with these kind of details. Like I said, they don't look too good if you go overboard with them. That's the only not so fun part about these fillers. So just try and follow some restraint, til you can trust your instincts. But that's it here, we are done. In the next lesson, we'll just quickly analyze this piece that we just created and summarize all the ways in which we use the different balancing techniques I talked about while bringing it to life. There there. O. 20. Lettering Process Recap: All right. So we have a brand new lettering piece done, and honestly, I'm really happy with how it turned out. I hope you enjoyed watching the different stages that it went through before evolving into this final polished, colorful piece. Shall we take a look at how long it took in reality? We can find this information here under Canvas tab, go to Canvas information, and hit statistics. And wow, it says 8 hours and 2 minutes is the track time. So according to Ptate, I've worked on this canvas for 8 hours. So there's some reality check for you. Of course, there's the added time of explaining stuff to you as I created compared to the time I would have taken if I was just creating and not teaching, right? But it's still not very far from the usual ballpark amount of time it takes me to create a more illustration heavy, complex lettering piece like this one. Of course, this varies from artist to artist depending on their own design speed and workflow. But this just gives you some perspective on how long this piece took me from start to finish. Let's quickly recap the different stages that this piece went through. We started by exploring some thumbnail sketches to quickly get ideas out on paper. We tried out different layout ideas, some that were more illustration heavy and some not so much. Out of the six thumbnails we drew, we identified the one we wanted to proceed with based mostly on how excited we were to work on it. Then we laid down some guides to clean up the shapes, even out the spacing between words, and just bring in some structure to the piece. With the guides in place, we went on to creating a skeleton sketch, which is basically a rough outline of the lettering. We use the guides to direct our angles and spacing and got everything to fit nicely with each other. Then we refined the skeleton sketch, giving our lettering some shape and character and also laying down a rough plan for our illustrative elements. Once we had the refined sketch, we inked out all the lettering in black using the final brushes, and then moved on to adding color and drawing all the illustrative elements. We finished with some shading, adding details and little fillers to polish everything up. And here we are with our final piece. Okay. So now as promised, let's take a look at how I used the techniques from my balancing framework in this particular piece. This is one of those pieces where I've in fact used all six of the techniques. We've used words in different ways, different sizes, different styles, different angles to create balance. We've used flourishes. We've used containers. We've used illustrative elements, color, and fillers, right? So all six of them. Again, you don't need to use all six of them in every single piece that you create. This just happened to work out very well for this particular piece. I hope you got a sense of how composition and balance within the composition is something that you think about throughout the process, not just in that initial thumbnailing or sketching phase. Granted, that most of the structure is established at those stages, but there are little decisions that really impact balance that you take throughout the process. Color is a major factor in contributing to visual balance, which in my process, at least happens right at the end. So, yeah, balance is something I think about throughout the process, which is why when I brainstormed this class, I decided that I had to show you the whole process to give you a real sense of how I approach balancing my ledging compositions. So I hope you picked up some useful insights on that a long way. In the next lesson, we'll talk about, your class project. 21. Your Class Project: Now that you've seen how I create a lettering piece from scratch, it's your turn to foot, what you've learned into practice. This is where you get a shine and create your own Line lettering piece using the framework I taught you and the insights you've picked up from watching me work. Here's what you'll be doing. First, pick a coat. Use the same coat you for the kickoff exercise. If you want, you can also use the coat I picked for the demo, but I recommend choosing your own to make the most out of this class. Then create your piece. Take your quote from concept to final piece in your own style. Use any medium you like, digital or analog. It's best to stick to a medium you're familiar with instead of trying something new, so you can focus on applying the composition techniques we've covered. Quick note here, if you choose to recreate the piece that I've demonstrated in this class, or even if your piece is heavily influenced by the design details in my piece, please do not include it in your portfolio, sell it, or try to pass it off as your own work in any way. Thirdly, share your work. Once you're done, share your final image, plus any work in progress images in our project gallery for this class. This will not only help you track your progress, but also inspire and connect with your classmates. Also ask for feedback. If you want constructive feedback from me or your fellow students, please mention this in your project description. This way, you'll ensure you get the feedback you're looking for without any unsolicited advice. Okay? And finally, engage with your classmates. Don't forget to check out the projects by your classmates and show them some love. It's a great way to learn from each other and build a supportive community. Remember, this is your opportunity to experiment, have fun, and apply everything you've learned. I truly cannot wait to see what you create, the excitement and behavior. 22. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. You've made it through the entire class. It's been quite a journey, hasn't it? I'm so proud of you for sticking with it and putting in the effort. I hope you feel more confident now in creating balanced lettering compositions. Remember to print out the checklist type provided. Keep it handy so you can make these considerations as you create your very own lettering pieces until they become a natural part of your process. And like I said, when you look at inspiration from now on, remember to observe, analyze, take notes, and implement what you learn. This process will continuously improve your skills and creativity. If you have any questions or need any further clarification on anything, please use the discussion section of this class to reach out to me. I'm here to help. If you enjoy this class, I would really really appreciate it if you could leave a review. Your feedback means a lot to me and helps other creatives like you discover this class. Don't forget to follow me here on Skillshare to be notified right away when I publish a new class. In the meantime, I have an entire portfolio of classes that you can check out, ranging from lettering and procreate illustration to watercolor techniques. I also share new work, as well as behind the scenes, process videos, and tutorials on my Instagram. So if you want to be in on what I'm up to, that would be the place. Thank you so much for sticking with me and for doing the work. It's been an absolute pleasure. Until next time, bye bye and happy creating.