This is a beautiful start to a lifelong love letter

This is a beautiful start to a lifelong love letter - student project

Hello Everyone!

I chose a line from Sara Bareilles' song "I Choose You" - It's a song I've been into recently and I really love this line in particular. I'm a calligrapher/water color artist, so it seems natural to bring in my knowledge in those areas into this piece.

I started off with the four thumbnails shown in the above photo. In the first two, I was thinking of the layout of the text. The next two are playing around with two ideas - the words "love letter" written in the shape of a heart and then I had a thought to frame the lettering with watercolor leaves and flowers.

In the end, I decided to go with an 8x10 scripted piece that focused only on beautiful words accented by flourishes. I did a couple of larger scale sketches of this idea:

And then I decided to move to the tracing paper. In the photo below, I put a lot of time into drawing guidelines - baseline, x height, slant - to make sure my letters were somewhat uniform at the start. I think this has really helped the development of the piece:


My plan is to have the longer words in script and the shorter connecting words in a sans serif font. I think an 8x10 page full of script, swirls, and flourishes would be a bit overwhelming.


In this draft, I'm purely focusing on refining the scripted letters. I started to hate the uppercase B in the first line and changed that up here. I spent a lot of time on the word "Beautiful" which you'll see in Draft 3. In Draft 2 I changed up the layout of the words "love letter" - initially I had them on the same line, but here I have them stacked.

In conjunction with this draft I also started playing around with some of the letterforms. Something about the "S" in the second line didn't sit well with me, so I developed something else:

I use the "f" "e" and "a" quite a bit throughout the rest of the composition per Ade's recommendation in one of his lessons. The "S" you see at the bottom of the above photo is the style I chose to move forward with.

Draft 3

And this is where I'm at for Draft 3! I think "Beautiful Start" is in a good place right now and more work needs to be done on the rest of the lyrics! My end goal is to finalize this piece in watercolor since I don't have access to Procreate or Illustrator yet.

Please feel free to provide feedback! This is my first time attempting a project like this, so any suggestions or recommendations are appreciated!


Update, final:

I didn't like how it was turning out on paper, so I took it into Procreate and finished it there instead.

Calligrapher & Watercolor Artist