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Group One
In & Out of Studio 3D
Friday, 8 February 2019
Numbers of Lettering Styles
Topic: Lettering

Continuing on with my series on progressive lettering development, I have a set of lessons based in the book of Numbers in the Bible.

Day 1 – Block Letters – Introduction

We are moving now into an entirely new letter form – the basic block. We will only be working with an upper-case.


Note that all of the letter parts are the same width, whether they are verticals, horizontals or angled and whether they are straight or curved. On the sample I made these elements one unit wide which works well with a letter height of four units. The letter widths will vary as you can see with the M below.


Be sure you are working in pencil throughout the design and layout stages and only ink your letters after they are exactly the way you want them.


Just as we did with the basic round letters, we will be exploring a variety of ways to customize this basic style over the next few weeks. So, work now to develop good form so you have a good base from which to branch out.

Day 2 – Block Letters – Alphabet


This is the full alphabet for the basic block letters (capitals only).  Just as with yesterday’s sample this is a four-unit letter height with one-unit elements.


Strive for consistency in your letter forms. The hardest letter to achieve is the S with its double curves, though that seems to be a common problem with most alphabets. This is one of the reasons it is important to start with pencil and only ink after everything looks like you want.


You do still have some leeway in the basic forms. I think I may have gotten the W a bit too wide and I note that the Q is the only letter that has a non-blunted end. Try correcting these in your own alphabet, or offer them as options on your page so you can choose between forms if you like when using the alphabet for a project.


This afternoon, we have a bonus page for you! Since you may wish to write your scripture reference in the same block lettering as the rest of your project, you’ll need to have the numbers in the block style.


I have provided 1-9 and 0 for you in the basic block. Write these up as a reference and then, as we go through the lessons on enhancements, edits and embellishments you can apply the same rules to the numbers as we do to the letters.


If you don’t like the exact style these are drawn, please feel to edit your set to suit yourself.

Day 3 – Shadowed Blocks – Alphabet

Here we are with our first option. Today, write up a full set of block letters, ink them and either leave them open as this shows or fill them in solid (your choice).


Once you’ve done that, use a highlighter to make a drop-shadow on the right and bottom of all letter parts These marks should be about ½ the width of the letter elements as it will make your letters look like they are standing up off the page. If you have a hard time visualizing these shadow placements try this: take two identical copies of your alphabet and hold them layered together up to a window. Slide the top copy to the left and up (1/2 the width of the letter elements). The lower layer will show up from behind indicating where the shadow lines should be, just trace them onto the top copy!


Sorry that my scanner did not like highlighter so it washed it out a lot. In reality the shadows are day-glow orange!


NOTE: before you begin, test your pens and highlighter together to make sure the inks are compatible. You don’t want to get all solid letters and then have the highlighter smear your ink. Eeeek!



Day 4 – Shaped Block Letters – Word Art

Today, I want you to take a short phrase and create word art with it. This is similar to what we did in week 5 with the words contained in hearts but the result will look more free-form.


Start by creating shaped boxes where the words will go. For instance, I penciled in the first wedge shaped box with a curved bottom going upward as it went to the right. I used block letters to write in the word ‘the’, letting the edges and ends of the letters follow the curve of the box.


Below that I drew a second box with an arched top and a flat bottom. The outline of the box has an offset from the previous one so the letters don’t touch. The next word was lettered inside this box. The same was done for boxes three and four, changing the curves to create interest. See how the top of the U even echoes the curve on the bottom of the S.


Where I had vacant spaces, I filled in with illustrations. Then I filled in my letters with a gradient of colored pencils.


I hope you will try out this technique.

Day 5 – Shaped Blocks – In Your Bible

Today we will use the shaped block letter technique studied yesterday and create word art in our Bibles.


I combined my block letters with some basic round letters from earlier lessons as well as some handwriting script and other styles learned over time. You can use as many or as few styles as you wish, although the block and the basic round should be among them. Note that I adapted the ‘styling’ of the basic block capitals to create some words in lower case!


Look at how much text you can include without it looking cluttered or messy. Keeping some things consistent will help in this realm: a) repeat your styles in more than one place, b) color repeated styles consistently, c) nest shapes and letters together, d) vary the size of words.


In my sample, I combined this scripture with the sunflower from this week’s Drawing Room.

So in 6 weeks we have learned a total of 11 versions of lettering. SO much more to come: 1, 2 and 3 alphabets per week. Hope you are enjoying the journey.




Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 9:01 AM PST
Friday, 1 February 2019
Hymnal Art
Topic: Hymnal Art

Because I didn't have enough artwork going on around here... haa haa haa... I decided to do some art journaling in an old hymnal I had here. I'm not sure what future jrojects may look like but I really was pleased with how this one turned out.

I wanted to do a very familiar hymn, but when I turned to it's page it only filled the bottom of the sheet. I covered the chorus of the previous song with scrapbook paper and used it to make a new title for the hymn in brush lettering. I used a dry rummer adhesive to hold the paper down.

I drew in three flowers with leaves and colored them with markers. Then I added a butterfly to the lettering and a black thick outline around the outside edge of the scrapbook paper.

There will be more of this going on!



Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 2:36 PM PST
Lettering Series - Week 5
Topic: Lettering

Can you believe it? In just 4 weeks we have learned 7 basic and enhanced lettering styles! This week we will actually learn 3 more. And since it is all done in a progressive manner - one little step at a time - the process is easy and stress-free.

Now on to week 5

Day 1 – Adding to the Round Print – Introduction

This week we are going to make more changes to the basic round print to create three new alphabets.

Start by writing the book name ‘Jude’ in the basic round print learned in week 1. On one set, add a single line off to the right side and the bottom of all lines. We are calling this the offset line.

On the next set, widen the main downstroke (just on one side) and fill in with dark ink.

Then make another set like the second and add simple serifs like we learned in week 3.

Just do the single word in all three styles for today. Tomorrow we will begin to see how these look in full alphabets.

Day 2 – Offset Line Print – Alphabet

Here’s alphabet one for the week. Write out the basic round alphabet we learned in week 1 and then add a single offset line on the right and bottom of all lines. Notice that the ends of the lines to not overlap nor do they touch.

Watch for where you can put tiny lines like under the bottom curve of the a, d, u and at the upper left of the m and n.



Day 3a – Thick Single Line – Alphabet

There will be two alphabets today! First, write up the basic round print from week 1. Add a thickened line to one of the verticals on each letter. If that thickened line has a curve, taper so the curve ends up skinny, not wide.

Remember, there is only ONE thickened line on each letter.

Day 3b – Thick Single Line with Serif – Alphabet

How similar this looks to the previous alphabet, right. Well, it certainly starts out that way. So, draw up the basic round print, thicken one vertical line like we did yesterday and then, add serifs like we learned to do in week 3.

See how easy it is to make new lettering styles? 

Day 4 – Shaping Words to Forms – Word Art

Our lettering does not always have to be lined up in neat rows across the page. Are you ready to bust out?

We are going to use the three versions of lettering that we learned this week and fit them into shapes. I decided to reference Jude 1:2 – “Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” The natural shape for me was the heart.

I drew three hearts in pencil, overlapping them a bit. Then I drew the words in pencil, using the basic round print while stretching and shaping them to echo the outlines of the hearts. Then I inked the letters and, finally, added the variants from this week’s lessons: offset lines, thickened lines and serifs.

The last step was to outline the hearts and erase the pencil.

You can do this with all sorts of shapes (houses, clouds, flowers, leaves)



Day 5 – In Your Bible

Despite the teaser on word shaping yesterday, when I used this week’s lettering in my Bible, I went to the simplest form and lined it right up on the straight sidebar. HA!

But this seemed to suit the simple message of the scripture which I combined with the dove from the Drawing Room and some stick people, lifting one another up.

Use any of the alphabets and/or techniques we studied this week to add journaling to your Bible in the book of Jude.


End of Week 5



Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 2:23 PM PST
Friday, 25 January 2019
Lettering Series - Week 4
Topic: Lettering

Week 4 of the progressive lettering lessons

Day 1 – Serif Options – Introduction

In week 1 we learned a basic round print with letter shape options. Week 2 we built on that alphabet by introducing a looser styling. Week 3 saw the introduction of two basic serifs. Now here we are at week 4 and we are going to look at some less conventional serifs.

These serifs are used in a more casual manner. We are working through the cover2cover journaling program with CBJ and find ourselves in Leviticus. If there is any book in the Bible that could NOT be described as ‘casual’, this is it! So, I wanted to lighten things up a bit with the lettering – not be so ‘rule’ oriented.

The first style begins, again, with the basic round print. But when we get ready to add the serifs, they are a angled stroke and a little longer than the standard short-stroke serif.

In keeping with the lighter feel of this style, it is a good one to let the letters vary a bit in size and/or bounce them up off the baseline. Let them play.

We’ll continue using the P-I-E method of lettering. If you have forgotten that, please go back and read the introductory materials in the Lettering Unit.


Day 2 – Serif Options – Alphabet 1

This is the full alphabet for the first casual serif option, based on the basic round print from week one.

This casual style is comprised of a single slash in place of the straight short-line serif. You’ll note the informal look of this alphabet. Here’s some good news; the placement of the slashes is entirely your choice! If you think I’ve used too many, just eliminate the ones you don’t care for. Experiment! If you want to go even more informal, try using double slashes in place of the singles.

Although we talked about this being a good font to let the letters play a bit, in your reference alphabet sheet, it is best to use standard sizes and keep them sitting in a row.

Continue to use the P-I-E method of lettering:  Pencil-Ink-Erase.

Day 3 – Serif Options – Alphabet 2

Here is another casual style of adding serifs to your basic round print. These look like little bird wings. You’ll note that there are some places that have only one wing (‘B’, ‘b’, ‘D’, ‘d’, ‘E’, ‘F’, ‘g’, ‘L’, ‘M’, ‘m’, ‘N’, ‘n’, ‘P’, ‘p’… you’ll find the rest.

Just start by writing out the basic round print alphabet and then use this reference to place your full or half bird wings.


Day 4 – Serif Options – Word Play

Today I used a crossword-style layout to write up words that cover the main themes of Leviticus. I used the bird-wing serif on the vertical word ‘regulations’ and the slash serif for all the words describing what is being regulated.

Find a way to play with your lettering, too. Often, I do sheets like this because they allow me to get a lot of practice with the upper-case. In normal writing, we spend a lot more time on lower-case so this kind of practice is valuable. This also help in training yourself to get your letter sizes consistent. I did mine in a single space (unit) wide and two spaces (units) high.


Day 5 – Serif Options – In Your Bible

In my Bible journaling I tend to gravitate toward commands, prayers and promises. Today is no exception.

In the midst of ‘laying down the law’ to the Israelites, God made promises to them on what they could expect if they kept the law (Leviticus 26:12) and if they disobeyed. His promise to walk with the obedient is framed on my page with the ‘Stone Footpath’ from the Drawing Room. For most of it I used the slash version of the serif options from this week’s lesson. Just the words ‘GOD’ and ‘PEOPLE’ use the bird-wing style.

Select a scripture in Leviticus to journal and use one (or both) of the serif option styles for your lettering.

End of week 4









Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 2:16 PM PST
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Plagues of Egypt
Topic: Bible Journaling

The illustrating of the plagues of Egypt has been a slow process - done piecemeal. I don't think I have showed any of the pages (other than in the lettering lesson yesterday) so I thought I would post them all here together.







10 plagues in all. The page that follows these celebrates the Passover.







Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 2:06 PM PST
Friday, 18 January 2019
Lettering Lesson Series - Week 3
Topic: Lettering

Week 3 of the progressive lettering series:

Day 1 – Standard Serifs – Introduction

The value to learning a basic round print first is that it can now become the jumping-off point for all sorts of fancier lettering styles. This week we will be exploring standard serifs.

Serifs are the little caps and feet that appear on print letters. The standard serif is short, goes at the ‘exposed’ end of a letter and can be either a full serif or a half. A full serif sticks out on both sides of a line and a half serif sticks out only on one side.

Remember that we follow the P-I-E steps: Pencil the basic letter shapes and add serifs – Ink the letters – Erase the pencil marks when the ink is dry.

Day 2 – Standard Serifs – Alphabet One

Type styles, unless they are ‘novelty styles’, are generally described as ‘serif’ or ‘sans-serif’. The term sans-serif means without serifs. So, the basic round font we learned in week 1 is a sans-serif. By simply adding the head and foot marks to the ends of the lines we turn it into a serif style, just like that. Easy-peasy!

So, find your alphabet reference sheet from the basic round print and copy it out again. Then refer to the alphabet below to see where the full-width and half-width serifs are to be placed.

Remember to follow the P-I-E steps: Pencil the basic letter shapes and add serifs – Ink the letters – Erase the pencil marks when the ink is dry.

Day 3 – Standard Serifs – Alphabet Two

Serifs come in different ‘flavors’ and today we introduce the triangle, based on the serifs we learned yesterday.

You can simply make a copy of yesterday’s alphabet if you wish or you can copy it out again, including the short line serifs on the letters. Then, refer to the alphabet below to see how, making a little angled line to connect your short serif back to the base letter makes a triangle. Note that letters that end in an open curve get a little teardrop instead of a triangle. See the ‘c’, ‘e’, ‘g’, ‘J’, ‘j’, ‘q’, ‘r’, ‘y’. Also, note the single anomaly with the ‘t’ which has a curved triangle at the intersection instead of at the top. These serifs are filled in when you ink. The triangle serif looks better on a letter drawn with a thicker pen.

We’re still using the P-I-E steps: Pencil the basic letter shapes and add serifs – Ink the letters – Erase the pencil marks when the ink is dry.


Day 4 – Standard Serifs – Word Play

We’ll practice both styles of standard serifs today. I made mine into a list of the plagues of Egypt. The left column has single line serifs and the right column has triangle serifs. Side by side this way you get a better feel for the ‘flavor’ of each one which can help you decide which to use when you move into a new project.

You’ll also note that I made the lines heavier in the word ‘PLAGUES’ to illustrate the difference line weight makes.




Day 5 – Standard Serifs – In Your Bible

I’ve been gradually illustrating the plagues of Egypt in my journaling Bible.For today’s exercise I used the short-line standard serif style to write the introductory scripture to the account of these disasters. On print this small, the triangle serifs were much too heavy.  I made the numbers in the scripture reference match the serif style by adding little marks to the ends of the digits!

Exodus 7:5 says “And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand and bring the Israelites out of it.”

Using the P-I-E steps, Pencil the basic letter shapes and add serifs – Ink the letters – Erase the pencil marks when the ink is dry, add a scripture to your Bible in the book of Exodus.


And so ends week 3.





Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 1:55 PM PST
Friday, 11 January 2019
Lettering Lesson Series - Week 2
Topic: Lettering

Week of the lettering lesson series is set in Revelation