A Bit of My Day, Art Techniques, Brushes In Action, Thank You, WarmUps

Wednesday WarmUp Alphabet Series 4


For the past few weeks, this blog has hosted “Wednesday Warm Up,”— a day of usually quick drawing, inking, brushing as warm up to our serious art. I share a strategy to try each Wednesday using the iPad app ProCreate. I usually only use the brushes in the app— there are so many I haven’t tried that warming up with a new brush will be an added bonus and challenge.

This Week

This week’s warm up is about Brenda Bakker’s Alphabet Series on YouTube— each are usually less than ten minutes and are so relaxing to learn. A few have some great tips on strategies– like the letter “W” which teaches how to create depth to your letter! Find her on Instagram as DekWebbel. She shares her brushes and watercolor paper in her Skillshare class, and that alone is worth a month’s fee. She offers free trial in her YouTube links.

So far I’ve created A-J – K-OP-T. Today we finish up with U to Z.

Just a note on “W”– here are the layers– with the brush name on each.

Mostly my canvas is 10 inch by 10 inch and sometimes I use 4000px x 4000px, both at 300 dpi. Here are the native brushes I applied this time– and all have a watercolor paper layer on top.

  • U Brushes:
  • Blackburn [Drawing] for letter [increase streamline]
  • Gouache [Painting] for shading and highlights
  • Background: Rad [Vintage]
  • V Brushes:
  • Background: Fresco [ painting]
  • Blackburn [Drawing] for letter
  • Hartz [Artistic] for shadow
  • W Brushes
  • Blackburn [Drawing] for letter
  • Tinderbox [ Inking ] for outline and dark shading
  • Background: Burnt tree [charcoal] for background with lower opacity
  • Highlight and Shadow: I duplicated the W twice, changing the color of each— one black, one white. The black one is below the later, above the background. The white one is above all letters. For each, I added a “motion blur,” taking care that the shadow of the blur is on the right and the highlight of the white blur is on the left. The white layer is on blend mode “screen,” and the shadow layer is on blend mode, “multiply.”
  • X Brushes
  • Blackburn [Drawing] for letter
  • Gouache [Painting] for painting letter— dab a bit for texture
  • Dry Brush [Painting] for shade, highlight— adjust opacity as needed
  • Shade in black on overlay with dry brush; highlight in white on overlay with dry brush
  • Dry Ink [Inking] for details in white and shadows in red and black [lower opacity]
  • Y Brushes
    Background: chalk/pastel brush — I opted for the Moorilla [Drawing], which is a dynamic color brush, applying a very slight Gaussian Blur and lowered the opacity.
  • LETTER: I used the Script [Calligraphy] brush. I duplicated the original and upped the streamline, increased stroke spacing to 12% and in Properties, increased the size so it would be large for my large canvas. Using a smaller canvas wouldn’t require this.
  • Color: Plimsoll [Artistic] smudge with Willow Charcoal [Charcoals]; highlights with 6B [sketching], including smudge
  • Dots are Flicks [Spraypaint] [black on overlay mode]
  • Z Brushes:
    Lettering with Blackburn [Drawing]
    Coloring, on different layers: Wild Light [Artist], Old Beach, Larapuna, Taraleah
  • Details: Splatter [Spraypaint] white overlay
    Glimmer [Luminescence]
    Ink Bleed [Inking] blurred white to create rounded look

Try it!

Go ahead –check out Deb’s channel of alphabet/lettering resources so you can learn and adapt and mix to create your own original letters. Imagine what lettering pizazz you’ll add to your art! It’s not just for lettering, but also for different styles of illustration. I so appreciate her style and sharing so we can all learn.

I’m glad I joined Skillshare for the many teachers like her. Be sure to check out Skillshare and the many teachers if you’re really wanting to up your art game.

And, please remember to add any suggestions or ask questions here if it’s not clear and please share:  #warmup4art .

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