Practice makes Perfect….(April challenge)

Note – This is a blog by my dad and I, and this is our first post, although this is one done by me only. This is my first post, so please no nasty comments although constructive feedback is appreciated. We are doing this for a bit of fun, and this also gives me a chance to get connected with my creative side once more. This is also a big post but very detailed (apologies for the poor pictures, I took them on my phone). I hope you all like it!

As most know, art is an amazing way to express oneself as an individual, to show people how you see the world, capture a moment in time or express ones feelings at a precise moment. Some may take to drawing and painting relatively easy with quick progression, whilst others may need a lot of practice to paint or draw, well, anything. I am one of the latter. I need lots and lots of practice.

Trees and butterflies became my forte during GCSE art as these where really all I drew (I have my art teacher ot thank for that), and after plenty of practice I could draw them near perfectly, without taking and age to do so. Although since then I haven’t really delved too much into my creative or ‘arty’ side, other than doodles when college boredom would strike. so I decided to take up art again and to try my hand at drawing a variety of things, and so the search began to find a daily doodle challenge for me to have a go at…….

I searched for ages trying to find a doodle a day prompt challenge, when I finally stumbled upon a 30 day doodle and lettering challenge on Pinterest. I followed the link and ended up on a website called Dawn Nicole Designs, so please do check this out, she does have some helpful tips on lettering and some freebies as well. The only downside to this challenge is that she only gives you the 30 days, and a ‘bonus’ 31 day, so in months with 31 days it does look like she misses a day. Lettering wasn’t something I particularly cared or thought about, nor ever tried, so I thought I might as well stick with this challenge and just go for it!

The next thing I needed to do was look for different fonts to try my hand at. There are some great fonts at font space that you can download, but do be careful as not all fonts can be used commercially. I then picked out a few different fonts, which I will list and link for you later. Next up is getting together the materials I’ll be using.

My budget is pretty measly so I went for cheaper supplies than I would’ve liked. Below is a picture of what I used (minus a rubber and sharpener!).

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As you can see the sketch pad is a Crawford & Black pad which cost me £1.50 from The Works. You get 30 sheets of ‘high quality white cartridge paper’ with a weight of 130gsm, spiral bound. ‘High quality’, to me, is a bit of a lie. Heavy handers out there (guilty!) will indent the paper (which looks horrible), and I found that using a rubber on this paper just made horrible weird rough like patches appear, thus ruining everything. So overall I shall stick to only pen and pencil on this, and will try to keep erasing to a minimum. I also need to buy a better quality pad, when I have more money.

The sketch pencils and the drawing pens are from WHSmith. The pencils come in 6 grades ranging from B to 6B. The pens I got are a pack of only 4 in 0.1mm, 0.3mm, 0.5mm and 0.7mm line widths. I cant remember how much the pencils cost but the pens cost me £9.99. Both are fit for purpose, go on well, so no complaints there. Lastly is the pack of 24 Staedtler Noris Colour coloured pencils. I do really like these as there cover is usually fairly good although they disliked the paper I used them on this time. Admittedly, I actually have another pack of these, that’s how much I like them!

Next is the actual drawing (finally!). I start using the B grade sketch pencil to draw my guides, including the lettering. Note – for anyone who regularly draws and knows the pencil grades and correct order to use them in, I have no idea, but I’m looking to do a post on this for all the beginners out there. Below is a picture of the drawing at this stage:

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Before I get to far I shall now list the fonts I used plus the phrases and as you’ve likely noticed, I couldn’t sqeeze all of them from the challenge on this 🙁

After the guides have been added its time to use my drawing pens. Most of the outlining was done using the 0.1mm pen, the lettering using the 0.5mm and the 0.7mm was used for the ‘colouring’. I left the ampersand and flower near the top as these are going to be zentangled so I’ll simply draw without any guides as they aren’t needed. I’ve also started colouring as you can see below.

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As you can guess the last thing I do is the colouring. I coloured most of the background a blue colour, as I simply hate leaving large pictures with a white background, plus I think it helps bring out the colours more :). I also added the polka dot pattern, ladybirds, flowing vines and fireflies in the corner (well they’re meant to be fireflies aha!). The ampersand and flower have now been zentangled using the drawing pens and the picture is finally complete as per below. This took me around 5ish hours (I didn’t time myself) to complete.

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So that’s my first go at the doodle and lettering challenge, I hope you guys enjoyed the post and I hope to make the post for the may challenge soon! (I’m a bit behind)