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Illustrative Stylings: Lettering and More with Photoshop

Lesson 9 of 14

How to Go from Framework to Letter


Illustrative Stylings: Lettering and More with Photoshop

Lesson 9 of 14

How to Go from Framework to Letter


Lesson Info

How to Go from Framework to Letter

I'm going to take my framework that I just created I bring the opacity down like we always do we start a new layer and then I'm gonna zoom in a little bit more now to try toe work on this since killing viber so are going to be my big emphasized words I'm gonna work with them first and kind of let the other type wrap around that so as I'm working here, I wantto china use these lines to have the type kind of feel like it's part of this illustration so I'm gonna go go ahead since okay has a straight line here, I'm gonna use that to our advantage and kind of trace this line from the hand, then use that as the shape for my k. So I'm just gonna be these letters up a little bit. Um, I wanted to have a kind of somewhat rough, haphazard feel and again at this point, I'm still kind of keeping things loose. I'm just giving these letters a little more shape and trying to figure out the space I'm dealing with and how it's gonna work out. So this shape since we've got a curve here and we got the v, ...

we got to get a little, um, I need to figure out what we're going to do here to make this still read like a v since we've got the angle so I might just kind of give that a little bit of a curve and bring this up a little bit, so I'm trying to just fit the stuff together I'm talking in the letters into the negative space that's counting so you know, this isn't perfect yet and we don't need it to be perfect we're just tryingto get something to work with and take it from there, so maybe we can try talking the d center from the p in there since route kind of putting this on an angle on making this letter straight play for him not worried about shifting my bass lines a little bit just as long as the words feel connected so it's not hard to read and I'm following this framework that I've created, so now I'm going to turn off my underlying layer um so I can see what's going on I think this is looking ok, but it's not where I want it to be, so I'm gonna turn the capacity of this layer down and then I'm going tio start a new one and just try to finesse a little bit and see what's happening. I think this k is a little weird because it looks kind of thin here and this looks kind of thinned out so might go in and fatten up this section right here maybe carry this down because we're getting this weird space that's less from the k in the m and the problem when you emphasising space like that it becomes a focal point because everything else flows together so nicely so when you have a big pocket that becomes like a focal point we don't really want so what? I'm trying to connect these letters I often will do things like extend the bottom of this came and he curve it a little bit um to use as like a lock in that k and had a mimic what we're doing here with the el then we can get this himto flowing a little better here so again we're just kind of playing and figuring this out as we go there's a lot of just messing around with him littering especially when you're trying to work it into a composition that seeing you know what's gonna work um sometimes I'll do this a ton of times until I get it right sometimes you get it right you know, first shot but other times it's a bit of a struggle so one of the problems we're dealing with is this the was kind of looking like a for you because of the the bottom is so wide so we're gonna need toe figure that out you might need to curb it a little more or something like that I think I'm gonna do another layer on top of this another thing we could do is he is someone of ah saref situation on the d if we don't like the p coming down that far, but again, we're trying to follow the lines from the hand so it feels like a cohesive thing. And again, I'm staying very loose at this point, but still trying to get more trying to get shape, so this is feeling better, but we're still struggling with this little vibe area, so I'm gonna try just trying to get this a little better. So when you have two letters that are very similar, um, in terms of structure like the look and I, I mean, a v and a u, you don't wanna have that mixed up, so I'm thinking maybe we could bring that over to make this eye a little smaller and then get the put a little sarah thing on the b two tuck that over. The cool thing about this is it almost kind of makes the shape of this arm coming in, which is always fun to do to make it feel a little more cohesive, so I think what was happening with the case pretty good. I still think this part needs to be a little a little wider we're just trying to, like, connect this. It was almost like putting together a puzzle just trying to make it feel like a cohesive unit. Make sure you don't kill any of these letters vibes so I think we're gonna I think I'm gonna stick with the the little stare of thing I would be especially since we did it. Um I wanna be having some sort of relationship between all of your letters and important this allows us to emphasize the beginning of the p and give it a little more dimension. Okay, so I think this is pretty good to work from, so I'm gonna go in and bring this this larry opacity down and I'm gonna start a new layer and I wanna switch brush is gonna go to my they were thinking brush the to smooth to be for gotten um, so as a reminder, we have a special discount code for you guys to pick up the brushes I use. Um the discount code is with creative market I like kyle t webster's brushes. He is a great set. Um, I don't use too many of them because I kind of stick to just my sketching pencil in my thinking pencil, but he's got lots of gay brushes for you want to try things like what? Colors or anything like that, but the ones I'm using or kyle t webster's I'm sketching with his ultimate sketch tool and I tend to think ah, the most often with his to smooth to be for gotten um that combined with the felt though the welcome felt names that I use in my stylist really feels like the felt tip markers that I used to work with um on paper so this is you know, working on this thing is so close to the way I used to work in an analog sense that it's really great so now that I've got my sketch in a good place I'm going to zoom in to try to tighten up these letters I'm gonna make these letters a little kind of wiggly and rough and texture almost like electric or something like that to kind of go with the feel for the drawing that I would work with and I also know that I'm gonna add some texture to this down the road so um I'm gonna keep the letters in a kind of rough situation the cool thing about rough letters is you don't have tio try to worry about perfect lines because all the lines are in perfect so make sure you have a new layer up I've got my sketch layer the opacity down usually put it out like you know, thirty or forty percent as long as I can still see it and it's not gonna distract me from my current drawing so when I'm doing these lines I'm just kind of wiggle in my hand around while I'm john it just kind of having fun getting crazy if you have a hard time doing this um I would recommend drinking lee two pots of coffee and then like a runner end here neighborhood until you're about to pass out and then just start drawing and then you can get the shaky lines without having to move your hands because it will just do it for you um I started drawing letters like this because um when I was younger I really got into this punk band called the misfits and all of their uh their logo and like their album names looked like they were in this like hori typeface that kind of looks like this and I used to try to mimic the weekly letters I think it was just a result of like rough printing techniques and they did everything themselves but I love the way it looked so I tried to mimic that and it's kind of become a big part of my lettering someone's I did those ana go ahead and fill dozens are going to see how they look so I like these rough edges because I'm gonna add some texture to it and I think it has a nice kind of feel to it museum out see how that looks so as I'm doing these tighter letter forms on paying attention to the space that I have and kind of pushing it in a little bit more so we're bringing this part of the d and a little bit more and then I'm noticing that I got a kind of come down a little bit further, so it doesn't look a little odd I'm going up there watching those shapes and the cool thing about doing these letters that air kind of rough and loose is, um, you know, there's, flexibility and distorting them. You can, like, mess with the top of this, and when I'm doing letters like this, I feel like it makes them a little more dynamic if I tabor them, so they get lighter at the top, gives them some good dimension in character, and I'm almost like outlining the bottom of these letters, so they kind of flow together, then you can kind of go in, and then you can have some more shaping their he come in and be in the bottom of that l down, so everything is kind of fitting together, like a puzzle like to play around this as much as they can without making the letters hard to read, and I make sure I draw my punctuation in the same way. So this tease looking a little pride, might china bring this? Why an over a little bit like that? So as you can see these air kind of flowing together pretty nicely, since I want to emphasize killing vibe, I think I'm gonna go ahead and match the colors from the composition to make it feel even more competitive so we've got this white and red I want to just stick with those two color so it feels like a cohesive unit um but before I do that I'm looking at this part of the d I think I wantto bring that down a little bit more. So the good thing about working like this is you can just keep messing with it if you don't like the way it looks, you could always start over sometimes I'll even, um duplicate my layer and try something out to see if it might work better and that if I don't like it, I can just go back to the other one so I'm gonna go ahead and copy this, um the red from the hand using the eyedropper tool, but you could just hold down I to get to so I'm gonna switch over to the red to do kill because it seems like an applicable color for that ordered. So instead of doing the straight line like having the sketch, I think I'm gonna follow this line right here and then come over here and again, I'm just we're going my hand back and forth um yeah miss texture to it and you follow that line a little bit then again going a little bit wider to the top curving this bottom of the k up just for fun but I'm gonna taper it cover so you can definitely experiment when you're illustrating letters you just want to make sure that what you're doing is not making it a lot harder um for it to mean I think having a little bit of a challenge is ok because it draws the viewer and and they want to kind of look at it and see what it says you just don't want to make it hard for them to figure it out. So again the beauty of the photo shop and you just don't do that sometime messed up that line if you're gonna do that a lot it's nice to just like stop at the end of the line that made me have to read you more than I needed to because I tried to do it all in one one little thing so again, I'm just following these lines that have already created so that it all feels cohesive and maybe I'll kind of this hell to try to match these again. I'm always just going in and and as I'm either stuff and I'm just tryingto taper things and so that there's a little more variety I don't want these letters to feel perfect at all since I'm trying to keep them nice and loose so maybe taping this down and have make it lighter at the top they don't go ahead and fill these in so I can get a better idea what they look like s o I think I'm gonna skip my for now and go down to vibe because killing viber my focal points and like the words I'm emphasizing that way we can just kind of I have my work into the negative space and kind of wrap around them because there's some flexibility in the letters I'm drawn these types of letters for like a very long time there was until that ten years old I've been drawing letters like these wiggly one so I go pretty quickly with is so don't be discouraged if you're trying to do letters like this and taking a little longer I've just been obsessed with drawing the misfits logo since I was ten all right, so I'm gonna switch back to the um the white for my so that there's a separation between these two so I'm gonna go in here and work with this negative space that have traded between these two words to fit my in there maybe now don't be afraid to like curve the edge a little bit maybe have this kind of come down a little bit the whole point of these letters is they're not perfect and they're rough and playful and kind of trippy so I'm just going to delete that sketch layer so don't get any more and I'm gonna zoom out um I think this is looking pretty good. I'm going to go ahead and select my original illustration of the hands layer and then, um, grab with the lettering layer and just shifted over into the shifted over into the the middle homer. Mikey command's air. Not working with me right now, okay. Instead, we're going to make her life a lot easier and delete all these sketch layers because we don't need them anymore. Okay, so we got this two letters together. I'm gonna hold shifts like both of them, and then I'm just going to use the arrows toe, get this more center in a composition. So, um, that's what? That's, basically where we take this illustration until we go ahead and add texture to it a little later.

Class Description

Hand lettering is a widely sought after skill – adding it to your arsenal of tools is sure to impress clients and help you land more work. Learn how to make attention-grabbing letterforms in Illustrative Stylings: Lettering and More with Photoshop with Chris Piascik.

An illustrator-turned-designer, Chris’s style is uniquely recognizable and his client work spans the globe. In this beginner-friendly class, you’ll get the opportunity to take a peek at his creative process and learn his methods for making illustrative lettering styles and compositions. 

Chris will teach:

  • Options for embellishing typography
  • Techniques for using a tablet to create digital art
  • Working from start to finish in Photoshop
  • Adding color and dimension

You’ll learn how to set up a framework for your composition and shape how letters and words interact with one another. Chris will help you understand how to infuse the content and client vision into your work while making letters that are both expressive and cohesive.

Get your complete introduction to digital lettering in Illustrative Stylings: Lettering and More with Photoshop with Chris Piascik.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2



This was very interesting. It would probably be best for beginners. It's always nice to see process. I feel very confident about jumping into lettering now.

a Creativelive Student

Love this class. I would like to see more like this class.