Holmes, sweet Holmes. | Skillshare Projects

Catherine Maldonado

Web Developer etc.



Holmes, sweet Holmes.


Some final tweaks and inked!


Here's my latest sketch! I think after a few tweaks I'll be ready to ink it.

I've already made a few changes from what this looks like...I scanned this sketch into photoshop to nudge some spacing, resizing "sweet" and centering it better. I also made the book larger and the crossbar in the bottom "H" more prominent. I'm planning on printing it out and tracing parts to finalize the sketch before I ink it. So close!


I went back to the the inspiration board for some samples of script flourishes and took the advice of incorporating the lettering of the first "Holmes" into the steam more. I think this brings in more of the antiquarian look that I liked in my first drawing that came through in the smoke shape and hands. I'm happy to have the presence back. I think the treatment of the bottom "Holmes" will soften it up, but I also have some ideas to bring that up a notch from the cartoony feel I think it has. The sugar cubes are going to be the trickiest part. Lot of sketching going on for those. I'll probably place them in the center of the page on a curve and work around them to shape the sketch once I decide on a style...


Here's my sketch of my second idea. My goal here was to focus on highlighting the words more. I can't help wanting to draw, so I incorporated that tendency into making some objects into letters. I like that the smoke turned into tea steam but I still wanted to sneak in a pipe.

I'm probably going to redraw it with the top two words centered better and a curve. I think I might turn the teabag string into a different type of flourish and give the top "Holmes" some more character. I'll play around with it.


Here's a thumbnail and some sketches for my new idea. It's nice to have the luxury of working on this over days or weeks without a firm deadline.

I'm thinking that the pipe/"s" will actually be a design on the teacup... nice to think of Holmes being gifted a tea cup with a pipe on it. I'm not sure if I'm going to include the sugar ants or not. I don't want it to get too cutesy. My last sketch seemed more sinister to me and I'd like to keep a bit of that with softer edges. I think the "E" will be a wax seal. Thoughts?


Here's my first sketch for my favorite concept. I know it's a little imagery heavy, so I'll work to refine it down (as someone suggested) by removing the hands and working to puzzle the text together better. Had fun with this one, though. My idea with the hands was to work Holmes, Watson, and Mrs. Hudson into the piece somehow.

I have another good idea for making the bottom "Holmes" into letters made up from things around his house (book, magnifying glass, pipe) mixed with domestic things you wouldn't expect in his house (rolling pin, bunny slippers). Keeping the pipe in the piece as the last "s" would let me keep the smoke idea up at the top... or it could be steam coming off a tea cup next to "sweet" spelled out in sugar cubes. Oh, the ideas. Excited to get sketching on this new idea!


Here are my initial thumbnails with notes in the margin. I've been pretty tied to the first sketch since the idea popped into my head. After getting it down on paper, I really think I can tighten the graphics up and make the hand-lettered text really stand out. I know right now it may look image heavy, but once I give the letters more weight and make the word proximity/spacing the priority it will come together nicely.

After the first sketch was knocked out, another one came pretty quickly. Here are two variations on the ideas I liked best. Thoughts?


The process so far has been really great for me. Usually, I get an idea in my head and force the pieces to work. Having a stockpile of references and font options allows me to make choices and let go of the ideas that aren't working. For example, at the beginning of the project I had it in my head that the "o" in Holmes needed to be a smoke ring. Sketching it out, I realized that it made the rest of the word too hard to read and didn't make sense. I kept the smoke idea but incorporated it with a legible font I had already created.

I've pretty much settled on three illustrations to incorporate into the piece: pipe/smoke, a cookie/biscuit, and a letter addressed to "Holmes." I like the styles I came up with during the warms up and have been tweaking it into a smokey shape. I looked up some more references for pipe smoke to get things right. I thought I knew what smoke looked like, but it was looking too much like fire! Through trial and error, I determined the letters would fit best as the space between the smoke whisps rather than as the smoke itself.


After doing the warm up I realized it probably would've been more beneficial to work on "sweet," but I like the styles I came up with and will probably apply one to "sweet" anyway.


I signed up for this project because I love drawing and feel that my work can benefit from more considered hand-lettering. I want the words to work as an integral part of the graphic in addition to giving the illustration a context.

I entered the below image in a design contest for Kate Spade and The Strand. It's getting closer to a style I'm interested in pursuing for a line of prints and cards. I'm excited to start the process of incorporating hand-lettering into my work.

I love Sherlock Holmes stories. I'll read and watch anything related to Sherlock Holmes. The 1988 parody film "Without A Clue" with Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley has many memorable moments. One is when Sherlock returns for the night after an evening in a local bar and says "Holmes, sweet Holmes" to nobody upon walking through the door. He's clearly drunk and punning on his name. I want to focus on what home is to Sherlock Holmes. My initial idea was to lay it out as a traditional embroidered saying, but I'm not tied to that. It seems too obvious and I want to try incorporating the text into more of an illustrated scene.


Please sign in or sign up to comment.