One letter, 5 ways: R

For the final set in this series of lettering illustrations, I chose the letter R with a mouse theme. Mice have been on my mind lately because it appears we have some living in the attic and I hear them scratching around. Plus, they’re just very cute.

I created a color palette based on a mix of warm and cool neutrals. The goal was a blend of soft, gentle, and whimsy — without being cartoonish.

The gouache brushes from Bardot Brushes was awesome for this group. I played around with layering over color-filled backgrounds for more depth and interest, which helped me get results I was imagining in my head. Each of her brush sets have so much potential packed into them! I’m trying to use some restraint so the final results look cohesive and harmonious.

The swiss cheese illustration is one of my favorites because it has the feel of vintage hand-lettered sign painting. And the script based on the curly, swishy tail of a mouse just makes me smile! On this one, I experimented with dry brush marks outside the letter form to indicate subtle movement.

I had been wanting to purchase some gouache brushes for Procreate for awhile, and I’m glad I finally did. These really started to click for me when I layered them in different ways, and imagined that the Apple pen in my hand was actually a variety of real brushes with different consistencies of gouache paint on them.

I’m sure I’ll keep playing around in Procreate (I’ve found I really enjoy relaxing with it on the couch in the evening, doing some drawing and painting in my PJs). But the next project I have queued up is a series of bird paintings. Time to bust out the oil paints again and get in some easel time — it’s been too long!!