Block Letters

Here are some exercises to get you in the groove of "seeing" or visualizing letters as not just LETTERS but as SHAPES. Take these ideas and run with them, play with them, and try them with different pens. I draw a lot of letters... variations of individual letters, alphabets, doodles and patterns. These are great practice for building line-drawing skills and getting familiar with what each of your pens can {and cannot} do. 

Assignment #1: Negative Space

Draw horizontal and vertical lines on your paper to make a grid, with boxes of any size you wish. You might start with 1/2” spacing so that each box is about 1/2x1/2” square. I like to make the little boxes a bit upright.

When you look at these boxes, see them as houses for letters. One letter will go in each box. You are going to draw lines to make the boxes into letters. Draw the reverse of the letters so that what is left in the box is the letter itself. You might have to squint to see the shapes of the letters. Imagine your letters as puffy cookie dough or boards of wood. 

Draw lines and shapes inside the boxes so that the remaining white space, the negative space, is the letter. Try different methods of creating the shape of the letter.

Make each box into one letter. Work through both upper case letters A-Z and lower case letters a-z. Some letters, like o or z or c are inherently the same in upper and lower case, although the size might change. Some letters are completely different, such as A/a and H/h. There are letters with variations, such as “a’ or “a” and so you can do the typical variations or just pick one. So you’ll work through 26 upper case and 26 lower case letters. Then work through numbers 0-9. That’s a grand total of 62 letters! That is your homework assignment for this week. 

Assignment #2: Block Letters

Practice drawing each letter of the alphabet in block letters at least twice... with inspiration from the video. For variations, try making your block letters tall and narrow, big and wide, puffy, rounded, etc.