Yet another newbie.

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Aaron Repath
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 10:58 pm

Yet another newbie.

Post by Aaron Repath » Sun May 12, 2013 1:36 am

Hi all. I'm completely new to lettering, but it's an art I've always admired. I'm an advertising graphic artist. While I'm more than handy with Photoshop, Illustrator, etc., there is a certain feel you just can't get on a computer. I was searching for some hand-lettered fonts for samples to sketch out, one thing led to another, and, well, here I am. Since I've always stopped to admire hand-painted signs, it was just a matter of time before I was going to want to get a brush and try it out.

I found the post with the practice strokes and figured I might as well start trying this. So far I've been practicing on newsprint with a flat brush and some Pelikan ink. Today I actually found a quill here in town. Seems like pretty much no one carries them - I did want to shop local, but I'm going to have to order quills online. (At least I can get 1-Shot nearby.) I actually did have a can of 1-Shot in the shed. The label is worn off, and I wasn't sure I had the can I was looking for... opened it up, caught a whiff, yep, that's the 1-Shot alright. Stirred it up and it still looks great. I've got some turpentine, some oil... once I pick up some mineral spirits I can start practicing with the 1-Shot. My lines so far look like... well, a beginner. But I'm already seeing small improvements. That's always good because it helps motivate you to practice more and more. I think once I start working with the quill and the paint that things should feel better as well... ink on newsprint spreads out and soaks into the paper. I'm going to have my neighbor (a custom frame guy) cut me a piece of glass to practice on. Most importantly, my wife is all for me learning this, so I've got that going for me.

First steps. That's where it all starts.

Mike Jackson
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Re: Yet another newbie.

Post by Mike Jackson » Sun May 12, 2013 6:10 am

Hello Aaron,
Welcome to the Hand Lettering Forum. You are in good company here.

If you already have Turpentine, you can start letting with the One-Shot today. Sope people prefer it over Mineral Spirits for thinning paint. It is usually more expensive, so people use Mineral Spirits to wash out their brushes. Turps can clean a brush just as well.

Also, you might want to know there is a difference in Mineral Spirits. We taught a class on glue chipping in Boise a long time ago. Normally, when we needed to dissolve the asphaltum layer, we washed it in Mineral Spirits and it came right off. When in Boise, we went to a discount store and bought a gallon, only to discover it didn't do a good job of dissolving the asphaltum. Rick Glawson gave me the info about Mineral Spirits. I bought a gallon from a paint store and it cleaned off much better. When I first started lettering, I happened upon a pinstriper doing a wonderful job on some custom cars. He swore by a product made by Pratt and Lambert called Durasol. I used it off and on over the years, but Darla never liked the smell of it. From what I could tell, Durasol mixed thoroughly with the paint and allowed the lettering enamel to bite into the vehicle paint better. Not sure if they even make it now, but it is worth mentioning.

Best of luck learning how to letter with a brush! You might also want to pick up a copy or two of SignCraft magazine. http://www.signcraft.com
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons

Kent Smith
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Estes Park, CO
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Re: Yet another newbie.

Post by Kent Smith » Sun May 12, 2013 7:54 pm

Durasolv was an OTC version of the High Temp and Low Temp reducers we created, now available under the OneShot label.

Doug Bernhardt
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Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:29 am
Location: Ottawa Canada
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Re: Yet another newbie.

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Mon May 13, 2013 9:48 pm

Always good to see someone with as much interest as you seem to be showing. Just do your best with the on-line tutorials and keep an eye open for lessons or classes that you may happen upon. Bad habits are easier to deal with now of course. The Pelican watercolours are great if you have the brush to match which would be the all but extinct sables so common just a few years ago. Good luck and keep practicing.

Aaron Repath
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 10:58 pm

Re: Yet another newbie.

Post by Aaron Repath » Tue May 14, 2013 5:20 pm

Sunday I got things together and got outside and cracked open the 1-Shot. I didn't do really much in the way of practicing strokes - I did some - but it was more about learning how the brush behaves, how the paint behaves, things like that. Glass does seem challenging but it doesn't seem like anything I can't deal with. I got a little experience with thinning the paint, paletting, things like that. I found I have to learn how to keep a consistent width on the line. My lines are starting out narrow and getting wider as I put the brush down - I also have to learn what kind of angle to lay the brush down (I've seen on some videos where the brush hairs are almost at a 90 degree angle to the handle dragging across the surface.) That's what practice is for, though.

I gotta say this, though... it's like nothing I've ever done. The colors and the way it pops off the surface are amazing.

Mike Jackson
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:02 pm
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Re: Yet another newbie.

Post by Mike Jackson » Tue May 14, 2013 5:20 pm

Hi Kent,
I am ,let's say, 100% positive the Pratt and Lambert Duasol or Durasol product was on the market long before Steve Burman and Chromatic were in business. I learned of the product right after I started lettering in 1973. I think I still have a can of it in the cabinet. Will look later.
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons

Anthony Bennett
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 4:50 am
Location: England
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Re: Yet another newbie.

Post by Anthony Bennett » Wed May 15, 2013 3:46 am

Hello and Welcome.

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