Wednesday, April 11, 1973

Try This - Outlined Words

Posted January 2010

First, please read my post, "Anybody Can Draw," if you haven't already. And please don't copy my drawing - but do feel free to use it to inspire your own.

If you can write or print neatly and legibly, you can successfully do this technique. It does not require calligraphy skills or "beautiful" handwriting. Simply outlining your words will make them look much more polished and finished.

STEP ONE: To try this, draw a 4x6" rectangle, or use an unruled 4x6" index card. Select a few different colored markers. SLOWLY write or print a few words with the fine tip of your marker, or the pointed tip of a chisel tip marker, or brush tip - whatever is comfortable for you. By moving slowly, you will have better control, and you will also create a somewhat thicker line. A few tips:
  • Make your loops and circles a bit larger (more open) than usual.
  • Write your words at different angles to look more interesting, and also to conceal any unevenness in the letters.
  • Try using several different colors for the letters of one word.
  • Use more than one style of writing, such as printing and cursive writing.
See the drawing above, for Step One of my drawing.

STEP TWO: Now, take your black drawing pen and outline the letters, tracing all the way around the outer shape of the word. Keep a smooth line and flow as you go around. Next, trace the insides of the letters, such as the inside circle of the o's or the inside half-circle of the e's. A few tips:
  • You don't need to draw your outline exactly alongside your colored lines. Instead, you can leave some blank space as you draw the outline, if you want a thicker-looking word. After you finish outlining, go back and color in the blank spots.
  • This can also be a good way to fix a letter that looks too short. For example, my "l" in "light" looked like an "e," so I made it taller when I outlined it.
  • Your outline should go around, not cross over, any loops, such as my "h" in "hope" and "l" in "light."
See the drawing at the right for Step Two of my drawing. I also added a few simple flower shapes, colored with the same colors as my words, to fill in some of my empty spaces.

STEP THREE: Fill in the blank spots remaining in your outlines. Enjoy.

For more drawings to try, click on "try this" just below, or in the menu bar in my blog header, or in the label list on the right.

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