Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fun Fonts...and how I get them onto canvas! (no stencils allowed)

So, yesterday I mentioned I was trying some fun new fonts on the 12x24 inch canvases. I was able to get quite a bit of painting done last night so I can show and tell. For this order the customer and I decided to go with a larger canvas so we could do the first and middle names which, I think, turned out very cute (I might be a little biased, though). What I do to find fun, new fonts that will coordinate with and really compliment the bedding design is start at fonts.com.

I usually type in some characteristics of the bedding or something that describes the bedding like "playful, fun, jungle, kitty". Using some of these words I found "Jungle Bones" and it was perfect for Eli's canvas. It still needs another coat and some refining, but I just love this font. It will also have some palm fronds and pairs of eyes on some letters when it is done.

For Isabel's, she wanted some girly lettering, so I found several I liked such as Musical, Hand Cursive, Luxe, and Girlscript, but we ultimately chose Miss Kitty. It's mostly just capital letters with a subtle funky flair, but it has a few unique letters that really add to this quirky-cool bedding. This still needs an additional coat or two and some refining, but I just had to show the great fonts!

So, taking a font from your computer screen to canvas is really not magical, just some good ole practice. So, once I decide on a font I draw out the letters several times to really get the feel for the font.

Then, I take a piece of paper that is exactly the same space as where the name will be placed; in this case the white space in the middle measured 6x18 inches. Next, I measure lines on the paper to help me decide what height and width I want the letters; these are 2 inches high by about an inch wide. This also helps me decide on placement. When I get the letters looking very close to how I want them to look on the canvas, I will cut down the paper as close to the name as possible and, in this case, I cut the two names apart.

Then, I lay them on the canvas and decide exactly where they will go and tape a small area at the top of the name so it can still be lifted up. Then I take a piece of graphite transfer paper the same size as the name and place it under the name. I go over the letters in a darker/different color so I can see the original letters I drew. After that, I remove both pieces and wha-la there is your name. I don't always use this technique, especially if I practice the font a lot like Brio, Curlz, or many scripts; those I paint right on or pencil in some faint lines after some practice on another sheet of paper. Otherwise, this technique helps keep your canvas and lines much cleaner and prevents from eraser marks and dents in the canvas. I never use stencils and the lettering is all hand-drawn, but just transferred over for a much nicer finish. So, try your hand at it and see how you do! Don't worry...it's not cheating.

I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial. I know it wasn't perfect; showing this was an afterthought or I would have had more pics.


Erin A said...

This looks great!! Where in the world did you get that transfer paper, I've never seen it before?

Also, thanks for your sweet comments about my blocks!! They are so addictive to make, I'm trying not to give them to everyone I know :)

Have a great week!

Tammy said...

What a fabulous idea! Sometimes things seem so difficult yet the solution is so simple! Thanks for giving me a "light bulb" moment. :)

Meaghan said...

great idea!