Sunday, November 23, 2008

Signwriter's block

Completing my second attempt at signwritng is proving much more challenging than my earlier attempt.

This time I started by gloss painting a dark red background, which is probably what I would use on Herbie. Actually I was very pleased with the finish I got considering the painting only took a minute or two and the fact that I was onlt using some old Wickes gloss paint. I remembered what I had learned on Phil Speight's painting course this summer. Use a long bristled synthetic brush, put plenty of paint on it, quickly spread the paint in all directions then lay off with straight vertical strokes. So far so good.
The bit which is not so easy is laying out the lines for the letters. I tried a white crayon, but I couldn't really see it. Painting the letters will have to be done without clear marking out lines, and I reckon that will be harder. However I'm going to have a go in the next day or two, this time with a font copied from the signwriting on Saltyspash's Lady Elgar. However bad, I'll let you see it when it's done.

I've also been studying close ups of Phil Speight's signwriting which I photographed on the course. He does it all freehand. The close ups give some interesting insights into how he does it. Take a look below.
I love the little gap left between the cream letter and the orange blocking, and also the little white highlights that give the letter a sparkle. Incidentally you can see the great man's reflection in the background.
Then on this one I love the black shadow to the right of the letters. It really enhances the 3D effect. You can hardly believe he does it all freehand and very quickly too.

For now, however I'll be concentrating on basic shapes, proportions and neat brushwork. I reckon that will be challenge enough.