"Leaves are Falling, Autumn is Calling"
Hand Lettering Project by Danison Fronda
Hello, llamas! Danison, here! You may have seen me post over in the Facebook Groups over the course of the past few years, but more frequently in the Lettering Group! That’s because I’m a lettering artist from Florida with a passion for building people up, being kind to everyone I meet, and rainbows.
I’ve always been creative, constantly just doodling words in various fonts that covered my school notebooks. So when I reflect on my life, I guess I’ve always been hand lettering. I just didn’t know there was a name for it! In September 2018, I got engaged, and I wanted to hand-address my envelopes, design my own invitations, and make my own signage for my wedding. This was when I learned about the official art form known as Hand Lettering. After deciding this, I took the leap of faith, searched for some material to help me on my way, and I landed on a book that would change my life forever. I bought "By Hand" by the lovely Nicole Miyuki. I purchased the recommended materials from the book and practiced and practiced AND PRACTICED. Around the same time, Nicole had announced that she was going to be joining the Let’s Make Art team as the Lettering teacher, and that’s when I became hooked onto LMA!
Fall is my favorite season! I’m originally from New Jersey, and I will say that the fall weather from up north is what I miss the most. I love the changing of the leaves, wearing all my sweaters and scarves, and my birthday month is September! So, I wanted to share this ‘Leaves are Falling, Autumn is Calling” project with you so that you can join in celebrating my favorite season with one of my absolute favorite lettering techniques!
So enough about me, let’s get into this project!
Step 1: Pencil Sketch Layout
Print out the outline and fill out all the bubbles by drawing out all your letters and connecting them! Try to fill out all the space, and don’t worry about going outside the lines to fill up space! Download the Bubble Template HERE.
Step 2: Apply Thin and Thick Strokes
Once you’re happy with your layout, trace over the quote with any Dark Color Dual Brush Pen! For this tutorial, I’m using 977 Saddle Brown. Remember to focus on “Thin on the UP, Thick on the DOWN!”
Step 3: Trace your Template
Using a light box, lay down your completed template at an angle of your choice. Once you’ve decided, lay a piece of Strathmore Bristol Paper over your template, and trace the quote with the N95 Cool Grey 1 Dual Brush Pen. Once you’re finished tracing, set aside your template for later!
Step 4: Lay Down The Colors
Start by making marks with alternating colors over the drawn letters. For this project, I am using 885 Warm Red, 985 Chrome Yellow, 026 Yellow Gold, and 977 Saddle Brown in that order. I like to lay down all of one color first, pick up the next color, and repeat.
Step 5: Use Blender Pen
Using your trusty N00 Blender Pen, blend everything together! For the areas that you didn’t lay any color, just pull from the pigment that you laid down! You can also use this step as an opportunity to thicken some down strokes to get more variance between your upstrokes and downstrokes.
Step 6: Outline Quote
To make your letters pop, outline your quote with a Black Micron Pen-or any monoline pen lying around! It’s okay if you leave some white space between the outline you are drawing and where you laid the colors. The white spaces will look like purposefully added highlights once we get through the next step!
Step 7: Add Shadows
For the final step, using N95 Cool Grey, add a shadow to your letters for even more of a pop! Sometimes, visualizing a light source can be hard, so here’s what I do instead--using a light box! Grab your template and match up your final project paper with it. Then, shift your paper in any direction until you see a little bit of the template peeking out from behind! The visible parts are going to be where you make your shadows! And now you don’t have to worry about visualizing a light source!
AND VOILA! You have an amazing hand lettered piece that you made with your own two hands! Feel free to incorporate your own style of lettering, different colors, a completely different quote, or even add some fall doodles to make it even more festive!