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Old 06-30-2018, 12:52 PM
autumn08 autumn08 is offline
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lettering

Hi all,
I am starting an oil painting and I am looking for some advice on how to put lettering on to my canvas. What is the best method before I start?
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Old 06-30-2018, 03:10 PM
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Re: lettering

I think a little more info about exactly what you're trying to achieve would be helpful. But one thing you might consider is painting everything except the lettering and letting the painting dry completely. Once it's dry, you can then attempt the lettering secure in the knowledge that if you make a goof, it will be easy to wipe it off and start again. I find this approach helps with telephone/power lines too.
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Old 06-30-2018, 03:46 PM
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Re: lettering

It depends on the painting. If the letters are part of the design, or are important to the painting, then they are a detail like any other. Small paintings of small subjects, like a paint tube for example, should only have the lettering indicated.
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Old 07-01-2018, 02:18 AM
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Re: lettering

Yes, it very much depends on the context.
If you're talking about an impressionistic study then the writing can be just a suggestion of lettering though that's not so easy to do convincingly as some people think. If it's a modern illustrative style you can freely incorporate your version of the lettering into the design. If it's a precisely drawn composition then the lettering needs to be spot on, perspective and all, or the error will be glaring.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:55 PM
kentiessen kentiessen is offline
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Re: lettering

Harry is right about context. Have you any training in Typography? It does help not just with type but with training the eye to the fine points of shape.
The best policy is to avoid lettering whenever possible!
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:25 PM
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Re: lettering

My preference, regardless of whether the lettering is meant to be read, or not, is to wait until the painting is dry, lightly apply some oil/solvent medium (I use 1/2 and 1/2 walnut or linseed oil, and OMS) on the area you want to put the lettering. The type of brush depends on the type of lettering.

Usually lettering needs to be precise and centered. Often light guidelines are helpful, both for spacing and perspective. One thing that a typesetter needn't worry about is perspective!

I just finished this one:

I oiled the face of the rock, used a straightedge to keep the lettering fairly straight, but choose to otherwise 'wing it', since the letters were not on a flat surface and were chiseled freehand. It came out satisfactorily, although compared to the photo, the words did not quite fill the rock as much. However, I doubt anyone is going to hold up a photo next to the painting, nor drag it out to the site for comparison.


If I can find it, I will post an image of a painting I did a few years ago of some small bottles of hoodoo oil used to dress candles.
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Old 07-01-2018, 03:17 PM
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Re: lettering

I found the image for "Spellbinding", a pretty good example where some of the text needed to be legible, and the smaller stuff just indicated.



A closer look:
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:53 PM
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Re: lettering

Study typography, just kidding. You could start by designing your own typeface.
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Old 07-07-2018, 03:37 PM
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Re: lettering

You are amazing! Cheers!
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