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Beautiful Work

"Beautiful Work" is simply what I hope to create! I found myself inspired by and wanting to experiment with blackletter and calligraphy influences. I started with very rough sketches, trying to figure out shapes of letters (1, 2 & 3). Once I'd worked out the style of the letters, I started working out the overall composition, drawing them on a slant (4). Then came the calligraphy-style swashes to liven up the surrounding space (5). I traced again in pencil to refine the letters and swashes (6), and then did a trace in ink (7).  I thought the swashes looked too much like clouds and rainbows so I did another trace in ink to tweak them (8) and add more detail. Looking at it now I can see that the size and spacing of the vowels in the word beautiful need some work. I'm also undecided about where to take the decoration on the letters themselves.

Here is the image cleaned up in Photoshop:

I tend to use precise vectors to digitize because my hand is never as steady as I would like on paper. Tomorrow I'll move on to the organic vectorization, but I have a feeling I'll fall back on the precise vectors to get what I want.

Update: Here is a basic black and white organic vector. I tweaked the threshold and path fitting a little but left the other settings the same. It's still not what I have envisioned for the final.

Here is an in-progress screen shot of the precise vector version. This process is a lot more painstaking but very educational practice on getting the letters to look right. I think I picked the hardest possible style to work in, trying to turn all these curves, lines and points into a logical "language"!

I've just been tinkering with the e and a, I might leave those alone for awhile and work on the f to make it match the e more. Not quite sure what to do about the u's and l. Haven't really done much with "Work" yet. More to come...

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