Illustration, Inspiration, Typography

Typography Illustration: Do Your Best

Hand-Lettering is a BIIIG part of my life. It seems like every day I have a new lettering project that I am working on. Some projects are client-driven, while others are ones that I take on myself. This illustration was an exercise in not only doing the work, but documenting it and photographing the steps.

I chose the phrase “do your best” for this illustration because I want to encourage others to strive to do the best they can do with their art.

I wanted to show my followers on Instagram the steps I take in completing the inking of a typographic piece. I always start with a pencil sketch. I generally use mechanical pencils for their precise line and easy erasing.

Once the lines are finalized, I go over them with ink. I use a variety of pen sizes and types.do_ur_best1

Start to finish: counter-clockwise from top left.

I wait a short while for the ink to dry and then use a soft, white eraser to erase the pencil lines. This is sometimes the hardest part! Be careful to let the ink dry, though, as it can smear and ruin your drawing!

do_ur_best2

I added stippling after adding the bold ink outline.

After the ink has dried, you can add other embellishments like hatching, cross hatching, or stippling to add contrast. I think I will color this piece, but I will leave that for another time!

 

DIY, etsy shop, Inspiration, pink toe press

Crayon Artwork for Nursery or Child’s Room

Crayon Project Step 13

Today I have a fun DIY that would make a lovely addition to a nursery or child’s room. This is a project that could be completed in an afternoon or even during “nap time” and it uses supplies that you may already have at home!

STEP 1 GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES:

Crayon Project Step 1

For this project you will need:

*A Canvas of any size. I used a canvas that measures 11 x 14 inches. (I added a coat of white paint to my canvas to give it an even color. This step is optional.)

*One box of Crayons. You will need enough crayons to cover the horizontal measurement of your canvas. I used 33 crayons but you may need more or fewer depending on the size of your canvas. I recommend using Crayola brand crayons. You can find them just about anywhere.

*Hot-Glue Gun and hot-glue sticks

*A hair dryer with several heat settings

*Newspaper or a paper shopping bag to protect your crafting area.

*Masking tape.

***PLEASE NOTE: This project includes warm to hot tools and materials. Please use caution with your hot glue gun and hair dryer while in use around children. Also, while it will not get VERY hot, please exercise caution while working with the hot/warm wax, especially if you are doing this project with children or have pets nearby.***

STEP 2 PLAN YOUR ARTWORK:

First, let’s lay down our paper bag or newspaper over our workspace. Use masking tape to secure the corners to ensure that the paper will not move around while you are working and using the hairdryer. This is to protect your workspace from getting melted wax on it. Before moving on to the next step, plug in your glue gun to allow it ample time to warm up.

Crayon Project Step 2Make sure you have enough crayons to go across your canvas

Next, set your canvas down and lay out your crayons. You don’t need to decide what colors will go “where” quite yet. This step is to make sure you have the right amount of crayons to go across your canvas. Add or subtract crayons as needed (I needed 33 crayons for 11 inches of canvas). Once you have the right number of crayons, arrange them in the proper color combination for your preferences.

Crayon Project Step 3I chose a rainbow order from white to black.

Before you start gluing, make sure that you have the right number of crayons and that they are in the correct order. You should also decide whether you would like the crayon brand name to be facing out OR if you would rather each crayon’s color name to be showing. I love the names of the colors, so I chose to have those facing outward.

Crayon Project Step 6The color names are way more fun to read than the brand names.

STEP 3 GLUING:

Crayon Project Step 4

Now that your crayons are in place and your glue gun is heated up, you are ready to get gluing! Start with your first crayon and carefully glue it to the canvas. Glue each crayon one at a time with a long, thin strip of hot glue. Make sure each crayon is carefully secured before moving on to the next one.

Crayon Project Step 5

By gluing each crayon one at a time, you’ll make sure no crayons are glued in the wrong spot or wrong order. This will also help make your piece of artwork more durable in the end. Once every crayon is glued to the canvas, lift the canvas up and hold it vertically. Make sure you have a clean line across the top and that no crayons are coming loose. Unplug your glue gun and plug in your hair dryer; we are on to the next step!

STEP 4 MELTING:

Crayon Project Step 7You can see the crayons heating up.

This next step requires a little patience and is a little bit messy. If you haven’t put down some scrap paper or newspaper yet, it would be a good idea to do that now.

What you will want to do is hold your hairdryer in one hand and use your free hand to hold the canvas. Start on ONE SIDE and aim your hairdryer (on high heat) at the crayons and heat them up. The crayons will start to sweat a little bit (as shown in the picture above) and then will soon start to melt. Keep the canvas horizontal until the crayons melt enough to make a small pool under each crayon. Turn the hair dryer off or point it away from the canvas and slowly tilt the canvas vertically so that the wax will run down the canvas. Try not to rotate side-to-side so as to keep the path of the wax only up and down.

Crayon Project Step 8What a beautiful rainbow!

To stop the wax from dripping further down the canvas, just reduce the angle and move toward a more horizontal position (as if you were lowering a lawn chair to lie down). You can always add more heat to the crayon or the wax path to make it bigger or longer.

**Take advantage of lower settings on your hairdryer if you want to work more slowly. Also keep in mind that the highest settings may blow harder and could cause the wax to spread and splatter.

Crayon Project Step 10Add and remove heat as necessary.

 Repeat these steps across the canvas until each crayon has been heated and every color is melted onto the canvas. I found it easiest to work in groups of 6-or-so crayons at one time, waiting until the last group was mostly cooled before moving on to the next group of colors.

Crayon Project Step 18A

If you want the melted wax to travel all the way down the canvas or make a certain pattern, just add more heat until you reach the design you would like.

Crayon Project Step 19A

If you find your wax thinning out toward the bottom, use your hair dryer to add more heat to the crayons and melt more wax of that color. The wax will follow the path already created, so it is pretty easy to add more wax. Be careful not to over-melt the crayons, though. I almost did that with my silver and grey crayon while trying to melt the colors next to them. If you melt a little too much wax at one time, tilt the canvas back to stop the flow and allow to cool before proceeding on to the next color.

crayon_s_step19Crayon Project Step 12Almost done!

**As you get closer to the bottom of your canvas, you may notice some wax dripping off of the canvas. Be careful not to get any wax on you, your clothing, or your workspace. While it will not be VERY hot, please exercise caution while working with the hot/warm wax, especially if you are doing this project with children or pets nearby. The hairdryer scared my cats away, but please be mindful and safe while working on this project.**

I wanted to take full advantage of these artful drips, so I made sure to have my wax drip over the sides of my canvas. This way, little-ones can see the rainbow on the canvas even if they are looking at the artwork from below.

Crayon Project Step 11I wanted my artwork to fill the whole canvas! Even the sides and bottom!

STEP 5 COOL and HANG:

Spend as much time on the previous step as you need, tinkering to make sure your artwork is “Just Right”. When you are finished with your artwork, unplug your hairdryer and set the canvas down horizontally to cool for a few minutes. Once completely cool, hang your new artwork in your living room, nursery, or playroom!

Crayon Project Step 13

Voilà! Shown with another fun DIY project.

DIY, Halloween, New Artwork

Here is one more hint

Now, I suppose I should give you one more hint. I posted some of the supplies that I will be using for a project earlier today, but let’s give you all one more hint:shield pieces

These three pieces are cut from cardboard.

Here is a photograph of the DIY project I am working on in one of its earliest stages. Does this help? Keep the guesses coming! I will be sure to let you know what I am working on in the next couple days. I will be posting lots of step-by-step photographs and instructions so that you can follow along at home!

Artwork, Screen Printing

The Process of Screen Printing

I’ve been printing a lot of new tote bags lately! They are currently available for purchase in my Etsy Shop! I thought it would be interesting to share some of my process photographs with you. It is important to show the polished final product. But with something as hands-on as screen printing, I think it is important to show the process as well!

Screen printing process: tote bag
Carefully pulling the ink through the screen to make the print on canvas. 

It’s important to have your inks mixed before you start printing. You can either buy ready-made ink colors or mix your own! This red-orange ink was made from a pre-mixed orange and process red. I’m using my smallest squeegee to make sure I get the right coverage and pressure with each print.

All that careful work paid off! Look at that beautiful print! Since I am only printing with one screen today, the printed bags can be hung up to dry right away. On to the next bag!

Screen printing process: tote bag
The finished print: Looking GOOD!

When it’s time to change a color you need to wash the screen out COMPLETELY and let it dry. There is a chance that some of the ink from the first color would pass through with the new ink color if you are not careful, and that will muddle your colors or, even worse: dry in your screen.  Between colors (multitasking while waiting for the screen to finish drying) I heat-pressed the first set of bags so that the colors be permanently on the bag and will not run if the bag gets wet!

Screen printing process: tote bag
Back in black! The black ink is a little thicker than the orange ink, so it takes a little more ink to print the same design in black.

 

Some of my new tote bags are made from brilliant colors of cotton canvas. Black looks best on them, so I changed ink colors to black.

Screen printing process: tote bag
Carefully lifting the screen away from the bag. This is one reason why it is called “pulling” a print!

Screen printing process: tote bag
Go Green! This bright green canvas is one of my new favorites!

More colors of tote bags coming soon. I am in the process of MAKING MY OWN TOTE BAGS out of 100% cotton canvas made in the USA to ensure the quality and colors are up to my high standards! New colors include yellow, natural canvas, and avocado.

Screen printing process: tote bag
I am even offering small purse-size (or kid-size) tote bags! They are 9 x 12 inches and are a really great size!

All of these amazing tote bags are available in my Etsy Shop!