February 25, 2014
Below is the working draft and final submitted version of my “R” Letterform. In trying to achieve a balanced look to the R, I spent quite a bit of time revising curves and adjusting the thickness and weight of the stem, as well as the shape of the counterform. I wanted to evoke both an Arts and Crafts weight and thickness to the letterform, as well as a woodcut feel. While I nixed a variation using “adze” marks cut into the outer edges of the letter (which you can see remnants of in the Stage 2 drawing), I began to simply draw lines into the interior of the form. A look similar to Eduard Munch’s “The Scream” emerged, but I didn’t wan’t to have that level of tension in the letter. Two of my favorite draftsmen are Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, so I continued with the simple lines snaking and worming their way through the interior of the letterform, hoping to evoke a more organic and placid feel to the lines. I like this idea because I think that it can translate well through the rest of the alphabet, and while it may be an endless path of experimenting with variations on each letter after spending the time simply creating them, it gives every one the opportunity to have its own lyrical personality. There are places in the letterform where I felt the need to resist adding too much, though perhaps still need a different synergy, so there is more work to do, but I think that creating each of the additional letters will allow for experience and “looking” to help resolve my instincts.
Stage 2 below shows the disparity still evident between the sketched image (black), and the digitized drawing (green). In using the red geometric guides, I had strayed from the original drawing, and the result (posted in my Feb. 18th entry), felt off balance.
In Stage 3 I redrew the digital version using corrected guides, staying more faithful to the original drawing. I also employed spheres to create smooth, repeatable transitions between the arcs and rectangles which had become the skeleton of the letterform. In order to maintain a consistent softness, I began to explore a roundness of the bottom of the feet, something I carried through to the last stage of the letterform.
In Stage 4 – Final, I filled the finished form with black…what came to mind was an etching and woodcut look. As I continue this I also want to tailor this look to evoke some favorite 19th century draftsmen, Klimt and Schiele (more so than Munch, but I do like his drawings too). Anyway, my 4 year old just walked up as I finished this and said he likes “the Tree one better.” My best critic in life is now commenting on my homework!
February 18, 2014
Some refinements on the letter R, and trying to use geometric shapes to provide uniformity and consistency of scale to the letterform. I need a series of spheres to help create the various radii where stem meets leg, etc., and I created a series of arcs to find the larger shape of the R’s bucket (sic). Will look for more guidance in this week’s class on how to strengthen the forms. I also began the process of softening the feet of the R and the serif at the top of the stem, but will need to more closely study existing Arts and Crafts font types to find a good solution.
February 5, 2014
Hand drawn Letter R, inspired by the Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Bauhaus periods, and ending up with a streamlined woodcut look. Scanned into Photoshop, contrast tweaked with levels then positive shape selected, inverted and deleted to leave only the pencil outlines, then placed into Illustrator. In Illustrator, I used Image Trace and expanded, however I was left with well over 4,000 points, even after simplifying the path. I then resorted to tracing over the placed photoshop image using the pen tool. A much cleaner start.
February 3, 2014
Beginning letterform studies and exercises