Today we got to touch up a beautiful wall sign for Valentine Distilling in Detroit. They wanted their name changed from “Valentine Vodka Detroit” to “Valentine Distilling Detroit”. Remember to contact us for any wall lettering or mural painting you may need in and around Detroit!
After spending a week drawing out the Roman chart by hand with pencil, we finally got to brush it with our Davinci Series #1111 size 10 Pure Red Sable Brushes. These size 10’s feel much smaller than the big 16’s we’ve been using all along. When pressed all the way out, they can almost make a half inch. However, when painted “off the tip” (i.e. not laying the brush all the way down) you can get some really, really thin lines, which is necessary for the thin elements of the Roman.
The trick with Roman, and what makes it different to letter than Gothic, is that you paint the thin strokes just with the tip of the brush. This also means you pallet the brush differently when getting it loaded with paint. Instead of going back and forth to get a sharp chisel, you instead roll it back and forth so that it makes a cone shape, loading the whole brush up with paint and keeping the tip small so the paint will flow smoothly and evenly from using just the tip.
But possibly the hardest part comes when you paint a curved stroke. You start on the tip, twist the brush as you turn through the stroke, and simotaniously apply pressure to the brush to get it to fan out on the paper to get that thick part of the stroke. As you’re rounding the curve, you start to ease up on the pressure to bring it back to the super thin, and then complete it as a thin stroke again. It sounds confusing, and can be tricky to execute, but when done right, it looks great.
We went over our pencil charts with pencil again, darkening down the marks so that we could overlay a piece of paper and see where we drew the letters. This was so that we could copy over our drawings of the letters, ensuring that the proportions were perfect, and that we knew when to widen the stroke and when to get it thin again.
I don’t have a photo of the finished chart, but this chart I did the following monday NOT overlaying the pencil chart, and just trying to go from muscle memory. It was hard, but i think with some more practice we’ll be smooth sailing. Hardest part was trying to keep all those serrifs uniform!
Next week we will be entering the wild and wonderful world of Script! Stay tuned!