PICK OF THIS WEEK - Week # 27
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This work is by Karen Roberts Nordstrom
in Pittsburgh in 2002 for the session "Roman Variations" in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow.
In her own words:
To interpret the words of "Three Passions" by Bertrand Russell, I wanted to give the piece a mystical feel because I found the words to be profound and inspirational. I used Strathmore watercolor paper (15" x 22") and a combination
of gouache, watercolor, and soft pastels.
I created the background using a watercolor technique I learned from Leanna Fay. Full strength Winsor & Newton watercolor paint was squeezed out of the tube directly onto the watercolor paper. I used the edge of a credit card to
spread the paint, then spritzed the paper with distilled water to allow the colors to bleed. Resulting in some areas with thick paint, and some with a pale wash. The areas of thicker paint are difficult to letter on so, I used Blair workable
fixative spray to make the surface writable. The lettering was written in Winsor & Newton's designer gouache. Soft pastels were used to emphasize the title and unify the two major areas of lettering.
I wanted to emphasize the title and important words by using distinctive lettering. The title was written with the Tom Perkins style capitals which were drawn in outline with a bowl nib then painted in with a brush. The text was written in an uncial style inspired by Friedrich Neugebauer. The larger body text is written with a Speedball B nib then finished by squaring off the letters with a Brause EF 66 pointed nib. The body text was written with a bowl nib. I tested many nibs and found the bowl nib glided over the textured paper best to achieve a monoline letter.
Taking the year-long class with Reggie was a challenge but it opened me up to more layout and design possibilities and variations of calligraphic styles. I also enjoyed the recommended quotes, such as the Bertrand Russell one here, and the "optional homework" assignments to encourage students to take time to appreciate quality music, art, and film.
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