Last week, I took part in a signpainting workshop with the amazing Mike Meyer. A complete learning experience for me, considering I'd never so much as used a quill and before but I'm glad I did it this way, learning it the *proper* way rather than on my own. I've wanted to do a self initiated signpainting project for the past couple of years but a general inexperience and having no idea where to begin has always stopped me.
These pictures are from the second day of the workshop, which ran for two days on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th, and where I began from scratch after a bit of a shit show the day before. I spent a good few hours doing basic exercises; straight lines, horizontal lines, practicing straight finishes and flicked finishes (it was only last week and now I can't even remember the proper terminology...) I then began using some of the reference materials to just start painting words and get more comfortable using the brush to write letters. I discovered that find it much easier to do script or freehand rather than geometric/bold typefaces, using a rough pencil sketch as a guideline (as i did for 'Hubbs' below) or just beginning to paint straight (as i did on 'Luckies pay higher prices' and 'french'). I was really happy with a 'young' i did in grey at the end of the session on Thursday, but it dried stuck to a sheet of newsprint so it's more of a ghost!
It was a real joy to get more *hands on* with typography, like I found with letterpress. It really gives you an understanding of the letterforms and how treatment (how you position and angle the brush, know when to push down and lift off) can make such a difference. It also taught me that, while it's necessary pay close attention to detail and focus, it's really important to be relaxed and to trust your instincts (also, to try to get a good line with one stroke - a shaking hand and increasingly thickening paint the first day working on bold letterforms meant that really didn't work the first day.)
Now to get some paint and quills and start practicing again!