Polly put the kettle on | Skillshare Projects

Annie Mathews

instagram: anniem00



Polly put the kettle on

*** This project has the newest updates at the bottom. ***

Updates so far:

01-Mar-2014: First posting, rough sketches and different lettering types.

08-Mar-2014: 2nd posting, trying one idea with added doodles.

17-Mar-2014: Included shape fill of a kettle to see how that looks.

06-Apr-2014: Back to the drawing board - new thumbnails and flipped shape fill.

13-Apr-2014: Adding colour.



I joined this class a little while ago, and was stuck for a phrase to work on. So I've been noodling around with "Polly put the kettle on we'll all have tea".

I don't have a fully formed idea of how to lay it out, or what doo-dahs to add (and this has been the main reason I've been reluctant to post anything).

I have time to work on this after the day job, so like many of us, it's snatching time when we can; although I do try and use my commuting time to visualise other lettering styles.

My aim is to keep this quite simple, otherwise I may get overwhelmed by the possibilities and never complete it.

My scanner is no longer working (it's so old HP have stopped supporting the driver updates it needs - cheers for that!) so the pics are taken with my phone.

The pic below is a composite of the sketches I made in various layout pads I have.

Had a go with a basic block lettering style.

For this attempt I used a pointed nib dip pen (purchased for the Calligraphy class Molly Jacques has here on Skillshare).

This one is a mix of calligraphy style and block lettering.


Some more progress - I've been messing with this for ages, but quite happy to put the hours in.

I've added sketches of sugar cubes, tea strainers, spoons and tea leaves. I thought about putting a kettle in somewhere but am not sure where it would go. Potentially I could have the lettering within the shape of a kettle. 

I may come up with some more sketches, or try and finish this one and have another version.


Following feedback from Brook I have included a containing shape and plonked the words inside. Still more to do of course. Am having a think about the doodle elements, the fact that the kettle shape makes it lop-sided now.



Something wasn't right, and I couldn't put my finger on it. I decided to try different options and see what they looked like rather than try to imagine it.

When I look at my image above, it feels like the words are lost in all the space - that was the first thing I decided to change. I played around with a different style for the word Polly, and didn't really feel the love for it. So that was ditched. Next to go was the orientation of the kettle, that came about after I started some new thumbnails - it really is the quickest way for me to get to "yes", "no" or "aarggh" and then I can either refine it, ditch it or take a crumb of inspiration from it and try something else.

I have spent quite a bit of time on this (too much?!) but for some reason I am compelled to try and make something that pleases me. My picky nature won't quit just yet. Below is the latest sketch inked up. 


Many hours later I arrive at this position. I’m not sure why I keep fiddling with it, but I must enjoy it otherwise I’d stop. This version has been assembled in photoshop.

I did try and vectorise it in Illustrator but I really wasn’t happy with the result. I know the settings have to be tweaked to get the best results, but early on I gave up and focused on the photoshop version.

I will do a vector version, but probably after I’ve had a rest.


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