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This work was done by Vaishali Shinde.
Portion of Bertrand Russell’s 3 Passions:

This was my homework assignment in Reggie’s 26 seeds: A Year to Grow for session 7/8 which covered beautiful letterforms of Neugebauer’s capitals. Rhythmic yet formal letterforms inspired many to have their own take on it. I loved Tony Forster’s version of those letterforms that Reggie had in his handouts and chose to do that in 3 different sizes for the piece. The letterforms need a lot of polishing to come out as beautiful as they were originally intended but the process and (partial) outcome is worth it.

For this piece, I decided to emboss the three key words emphasizing their extensive presence Bertrand conveyed through his quote. As the entire quote seemed out of my league, I decided to focus on the important sentences. I had recently visited Washington DC to see beautiful cherry blossoms and as they represent the fleeting yet beautiful nature of life it felt like it could be an apt addition as a portion of the border. To complement the color scheme, Rose gouache for the letters seems like a good choice too. Center aligning the quote in the enclosed space put the final piece of the puzzle in place.

Once the color scheme and overall look of the piece finalized in my head, the execution started with embossing. From previous embossing tries it was evident to go for a paper heavy enough for watercolor and light enough for dry embossed letters. Strathmore Mixed media paper offered that perfect balance at 90# (11”X11” size) as I didn’t have Arches Hot Press 90# in that size. After finishing the dry embossed letters, I drew the cherry blossom flower/branch layout on a tracing paper for the space I needed to cover on the final piece. Using a light box to reflect them onto the final paper I used the Winsor Newton watercolors to paint them. Once the enclosed space was finalized and using my practice lettering, I imported both pictures in the Procreate app on iPad to finalize the layout and placement of the quote.

After finalizing the border, the lettering practice continued to get some handle on spacing and letterforms with speedball B (size 5.5, 5, 4) and Nikko G nibs. Then using the lightbox over the final lettering practice piece, I set out for writing on the final piece. The letterforms can certainly use polishing, but I loved the overall look of the quote. Something still didn’t feel right, there was still some space left around the quote which made the work fall into separate pieces. To tie it all up, a light sky-blue background would have been perfect. My watercolor skills have a tendency of leaving some hard edges, and it would have interfered with the watercolors in letters too. So Soft pastels were the only feasible option. So out came the watercolor brush size 16 and Faber Castle sky-blue soft pastel. I went for soft dusting using the brush to add the
soft sky effect around the quote. Dusting around embossed letters highlighted them and gave them the presence they deserved in the piece tying it all together. The Finetec Arabic Gold watercolor added to stamens and diamonds between letters reminded me of a few brightest moments we get to enjoy in our life.

I have been enjoying my second year of 26 seeds workshop with Reggie and every homework assignment is a pleasure to work on, it certainly tests the skills acquired and pushes me out of my comfort zone. Thank you very much Reggie for the sessions. And I am looking forward to doing more homework assignments through the rest of 2024!


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