Basic No. 2: KNOWING LETTER STRUCTURE
Learning the basics of letter formation, mechanical measurements, optical judgment and new vocabularly were all excellent skills for my foreign students to develop. It provided a hands-on math and English language project for ESL (English as a Second Language) students, besides art skills in communication.
We begin with identifying the parts of a letter as diagramed in the left sketch. We found lined computer paper very helpful in planning size and space measurements. And---we didn't have to draw the "guide lines"! If this is not available, preparing 12"x18" paper with 1/2" ball point pen lines (so they will not be removed when erasing) will do just fine.
Learning to write English and print it are two very different skills. Remembering to add extra space between lines needed frequent repetition. This is something not ordinarily done in the cursive handwriting but is a must for a lettering page. Also, planning upper and lower case letters has to be correctly organized so all words read clearly and are correctly spaced. Ascenders and descenders have different spatial needs, and crossbars can have several options. With new vocabulary in mind, let's move on to a first practice. Got your ruler handy?
Mechanical spacing is just a matter of arranging units of a letter space ( for example, 1") immediately followed by an empty space (i.e. 1/4"), 1 unit for each letter. We begin by making light marks for both above the printing area to determine the word width needed. Then light guide lines (dotted lines in the sketch)are drawn making a box space for each letter to be drawn in a square or rounded form. The word "PARAGRAPHS" below was mechanically spaced in this manner in a round Poster letter form. Note that the letter "i" does not require a whole letter space. It is just drawn in after an empty space, with another empty space following it as shown in the animated word above.
This pencil practice in mechanical spacing involved a square sized capitalized word. The computer paper is measured in 1/2" lines which made the height dimension very easy to establish. If this is not available, simply measure 12"X 18" paper into 1/2" line spaces in ball point pen. This allows erasing without line removal. The printing style is optional with eithor squared letters, middle peaked (as in "A") or rounded as the demo word PLENTIFUL above.
|The next section, Lettering 3 shows a quick method in word placement that doesn't use rulers at all! Have a look!|
DRAWING PAINTING WORD ART 3D GRAPHICS MIXED MEDIA HOME SITE PLAN CHOICES