Hey! Due to technical issues (read: my Mac crashed and it took me 2 days to repair, reinstall and fix it!)– this series is off to a series of catchups! You shall be seeing seeing letter studies on B, C, D and E and F(oh, gosh!) shortly- and then it’s back to track with today’s letter G!
Let’s start with B.
B is one of my favourites- probably only because my last name starts with it, haha! I also find B a little tricky to write when it comes to tackling the different strokes. Let me break it down for you:
A lowercase ‘b’ is composed of:
- an entrance stroke
- an ascender loop
- an oval curve
- an exit stroke
Here’s the drill reference:
A word about drills: If you practice all the drills separately and then integrate them all to form the letter at hand, you shall get more control over understanding the pressure points and the flow of that letter! So, do try breaking down the letter.
This drill image is a basic one: since ‘b’ can be written in a variety of ways. I’ve doodled some ways I like to write ‘b’ and just experimented a little bit. This is without any reference, read my explanation of starting to practice letters without using a reference first- in this article.
- First, use your imagination and see what your memory currently has stored about the particular letterform.
- This gives you a good understanding about what you know. Don’t be disappointed or have any prior expectations –
- Then, it’s time to whip out your phone/ iPad / tablet / laptop / switch on your computer. Head on over to Pinterest, Instagram and find different ways to write letters.
You can see one of my lettering and calligraphy related boards here:
- After you practice from looking at some nice references, compare the first one where you used your imagination entirely (no cheating, people!) and the inspired one.
- Chances are, you’ll see a whole lot of difference. The lines you drew may not be perfect, they may be shaky, you may make mistakes and cross stuff out- and that’s okay. The real difference you should see is the thought process behind each line and each curve in the letters.
- With your imagination: you rely quite a bit on memory and your regular usage of the letter.
- With references: your mind gets a rush!- and you try out things, you concentrate to imitate the movements of the letter which you don’t currently have in your muscle memory.
- The whole point of this super long paragraph: you’ll understand what you know and what you don’t. Then you can decide which skills you want to learn- maybe you’re struggling with flourishes, (me!) and maybe you’re facing alignment and neatness issues. Whatever the issue is- you’ll see it displayed directly to you with this exercise.
Here’s a demonstration from yours truly (no references):
I shall update this with my inspired-by-references image later.
I love pinning lettering and calligraphy stuff, so here’s one of my favourite boards.
NEXT: Let’s talk about tools!
Here’s a little letter study with the tool side by side:
Here’s a small video just for fun:
Let me tell you what's going on…. My computer crashed day before yesterday 🔳😞 so for the past 20 hours I've been on the phone with apple support reinstalling and repairing it. And guess what – all the data in my computer got deleted 😝 but after 5 hours of talking on the phone and troubleshooting (seeing that progress bar makes me wanna scream lol) it's back to normal and atleast working again!! It is painful when that happens though (all my photos and documents gone) and I hope it never happens to you- but I don't have time to feel bad because I gotta rewrite my blog post for '🅱' and C too today! Thanks for being patient- you'll be seeing B and C blog posts today and a bunch of interviews hopefully too! Just a quick video for #SimpleAlphabets and #simplealphabets_b .. I used powdered paint which resembles a bit of both- poster and gouache paint. added embellishments because I can never resist a plain canvas ✍🏻 and its purple too! 💜 gold copper and gold highlights for fun 💛☯ #gouache #brushlettering #AlphabetsbyAaria Ps- if you've missed out B, feel free to catch up too!
LET’S TALK ABOUT HANDLETTERING A ‘B’:
Bunnies, bunting and balloons, oh my! This looks like something you’d see in a child’s bedroom, I suppose- but honestly I never planned it to turn out this way or anything, haha. That’s the beauty of art- especially spontaneous art. For these hand drawn letters, I usually think of a bunch of words (some awesome people on instagram also leave ideas in the comments, thanks for that!) and then I just figure out how to combine them into a single image- with a connected, integrated outlook. Sharing a bit about my step by step process for this 30 minute piece:
- I drew the serif B
- I had bunnies in mind so I drew one- rubbed it out because I drew it too realistically, and pondered how to do this for a bit. Then I settled on drawing cartoonish bunnies because, um, that’s just easier.
- After drawing two bunnies or so, I started adding bunting.
- Added more bunnies.
- Thought of adding..balloons! Initially I started with only bunnies and bunting to be incorporated, but yeah, got a brainwave. Creativity, y’all! I love the process.
- After drawing it, it was time to paint. Since it looked a little kiddish, I wanted to add some playful appeal. So I searched for gouache paints, but I couldn’t find any (messy room, alert!)- so I grabbed poster paints instead. I know, I know. I need to organise!
- I tried painting the B with ochre- but ugh, I hated it. Also, I hadn’t used poster paints for a long time, because nowadays, I primarily use watercolour. Transitioning from the smooth (and er, watery) flow of watercolour to the matte, slightly sticky consistency of poster paint was irritating. So after the B was painted, I switched back to my trusty watercolours and added in the balloon textures.
- Time was running fast! (And yes, I am timing this process, not kidding about that!) So I scribbled in with coloured pencil (and my regular pencil too) for the bunting and bunnies- ain’t got no time to paint each triangle for the bunting!
- The ochre B looked a bit dull (why did I choose ochre again?) so I decided to add a wooden finish by making lines and curls (I love making the curls in while drawing wood!) with a micron.
- Um, done. Thanks for reading this (if you did read it, lol!)
So let me know- how are liking these alphabet posts so far? If you’d like to see something more in detail, please let me know in the comments! Happy lettering! -Aaria
You can join in the #SimpleAlphabets challenge anytime this June! Best to join asap 😉 Find details on my instagram @surelysimpleblog and @surelysimplechallenge (where the challenge is being held! Some brilliant lettering artists are sharing their talent while we letter the alphabet everyday! You don’t want to miss out 🙂 Here’s the prompt list:
PS- read about letter A here.