Lettering with Love
Whether working with a spade and wheelbarrow, or relaxing on a lounger with a lemonade, for many people their garden is a place of refuge and pure relaxation. Sometimes, even a small balcony garden can be enough to make you happy – our studio has a roof terrace that we’ve filled with lots of flowers and plants. This art print is to remind you of your blooming garden or balcony all year round.
For this design, we chose to use rough A4 (8¼ x 11¾in) watercolour paper. A size 10 paint brush is best for the illustration. For the wording, use a fineliner and a fibre/felt-tip pen. As always, use an HB pencil, a ruler and an eraser for the sketch. You will also need a pot of water and small pot or dish for mixing the paint.
For this project, we’ll work in the opposite sequence and start with the lettering. The idea is that the lemons and leaves will later wrap around the wording like a pattern.
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Use the pencil and ruler to draw three horizontal lines. The lines should be positioned in the middle of the paper.
Draw three rectangles around these lines in the places where you want the words to go.
Once you have sketched the main message, it is time to add those flourishes. Make use of the white spaces in between and around the words, and make the swirls nice and round.
When you are happy with your sketch, you can start to draw over your letters with ink. Carefully go over all the lines in fineliner.
To finish, fill in the remaining white spaces. You can do this with the fineliner or your fibre/felt-tip pen. Once dry, carefully rub out the pencil lines from your initial sketch.
Ensure that your lettering is completely dry before you start sketching and painting the lemons.
Fill in the remaining gaps with individual leaves. Make some of the leaves face up and some down, as this creates a more balanced pattern.
Tip: A pattern looks more harmonious and structured if the individual objects in it are roughly equidistant from one another. You can make sure of this in your initial sketch.
When you are happy with the positioning of the lemons and leaves in your sketch, you can start selecting the colours. Choose one shade of yellow, one of orange and one of green. In your small mixing pot or dish, thin the yellow well with plenty of water; this will be the base colour for the lemons.
When the paint has started to dry, add a few orange dots here and there in the upper and lower sections of the lemon. This imitates the large pores on the fruit, and looks more natural.
Let the fruit dry completely, and then finish off your pattern by painting in the stems and leaves with the green colour. We have used a muted shade, but by all means use one that is stronger. Start by painting the line for the stems with a steady hand. The leaves can then be shaped from two crescent-moon shapes, which makes them nicely full and round.
Tip: It is effective to leave a few unpainted areas on the lemons and leaves. It mimics light reflections, which lightens the illustration and brings your work of art to life.