Arts n Crafts,Lettering,Tutorials

Tutorial: Blocking and Illustrated Lettering

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Blocking and illustrated lettering

How to: Blocking and Illustrated Lettering.

I love lettering and have been exploring the world of pretty words for about 6 months. One of the main reasons I started this blog was to write as I learnt but then my love of beauty products also stepped in and made an impact too.

Today I made this little sign type, illustrated lettering piece using a technique called ‘blocking’. I learned about blocking from my book “Creative Lettering and Beyond” (Which is amazing by the way. If anyone needs a beginners lettering bible then this is for you!) Blocking is basically where you decide on your quote and then sketch out blocks to fit the words in. It’s a very similar technique to the one people use for their gallery walls at home. Sketching out the squares, rectangles and other shapes to get a feel for how their frames will look on the wall when completed.

So once you know your quote you will need to work out how many words you have, where you want certain words to fit so that they stand out more (for example I knew I wanted my ‘flower’ and ‘diamonds’ to fit in the banner blocks) and also what type of shape blocks you want.

blocking and illustrated lettering

Here was my first sketch for the blocks. I knew I wanted to make the effect of words getting smaller on one line and bigger on the next so I used blocks that almost look similar to triangles of brie. I found this worked really well. (I seriously love cheese and this is why it was the first thing I saw when I drew a simple triangle.. it’s a problem! )

blocking and illustrated lettering

I then lightly wrote the words in with a pencil to check it al fit in nicely and also I wanted to give a 3D effect to the words in the banner and so sketching first made sure the words fit in their blocks and had the desired finished look. Blocking and illustrated lettering

Next step is to go over in pen. I used my black Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen (which I loooove). TOP TIP: wait until the pen ink has dried before rubbing out your pencil lines. I’m super impatient and this has led to many – a – smudge which is so infuriating!

Blocking and illustrated lettering

And here is the finished piece. Ready to be digitalised, framed or given as a gift. Do you use blocking as a technique? What other techniques do you have up your sleeve?

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