Hello, friends, it's Liz from @thegraytergood again! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been dying to open up my new BLACKOUT book - I’ve never seen another dot grid journal with gorgeous black paper like this, or black paper at all for that matter. Let’s get into it!
- Archer and Olive Journal - I'm using my A5 BLACKOUT Dot Grid Journal:)
- Pencil - I prefer a mechanical pencil with 0.5 mm lead so that I can get those little details, but you can use almost any pencil that’s sharp.
- Pens – To recreate a large shadowed letter like this one, you’ll need a regular black gelly roll, a white gelly roll in size 10, and a Glaze pen for that deep, rich, intense shadow!
- Art Eraser - you know by now that my go to eraser is by Staedlar Mars!
I always start by sketching guidelines, just to be sure that my letter will fit on the page and be centered before going into more of the detail work.
Always draw the skeleton of your letter FIRST and make sure that’s correct before moving on. I chose to draw an ‘A’ here, not for any reason in particular except I wanted to play around with the crossbar of this capital A.
Once you’ve got the skeleton correct, you can add your weight and your serifs. I chose to go VERY high contrast between the weights of the strokes because it’s a look I really enjoy and will add extra pop to this already poppin’ letter.
Now it’s time to play, so enjoy it! I wanted a very evenly balanced flourish, so I made it the same size for both the top and bottom (this is where those guidelines + dot grids come in handy) and just slightly curved the new crossbar through where the original crossbar would go, just so it was still recognizable as an ‘A’. Legibility is SO important when it comes to lettering, so don’t forget that when you’re flourishing:)
We’ve drawn a good bit of drop shade together at this point, so it should be a little easier! ;) Map it out and then connect the dots, I drew mine three down and two to the right. And don’t forget to make the transition gradual on those curves!
Now for the REALLY fun part - making it all pop off the page! You can choose any color gelly roll you like, but I thought the white was the best contrast for this piece. And here’s a quick tip - you can use a standard black Gelly roll to cover any mistakes, once it dries down it’s the same color as the paper!
We’re going in the same order as last time - skeleton first, add the weight and serifs, and finally the flourishes!
I started to add a ball terminal to each end of the flourish, but didn’t like how it looked at the top of the ‘A’, so I went with my gut and ended up ‘erasing’ it with that black gelly roll trick I mentioned earlier and am much happier with the end result.
And here’s the finished piece! I used the Glaze pen because it give a deep and shiny black shadow that looks great against the matte black of the paper. I hope y’all enjoyed this tutorial and can use it to create amazing sketches and/or bullet journal spreads. Be sure to tag me on Instagram with @thegraytergood and #thegraytergood so I can see what you come up with! ;)