Alpha-birdy-bet in pen.

Progress is in the air….I am almost done inking the letters (just 6 more to go).

Alphabirdybet in ink.

I originally wanted to add lots of leaves but found that the letters started to look kind of furry. So I decided that plain branches would be better.

Alphabirdybet in ink detail.

The birds will be blue with red tummies and the birch branches will be light grey. I want to use watercolor, but the drawings are all done on bristol board and I don’t know how badly it will wrinkle. Anyone ever tried painting on it? Bristol board seems comparable to 140 lb hot press watercolor paper to me, so I’m hoping it will work if I tack down the edges and keep my paint light. If not, I’ll probably try colored pencil instead.

As I’ve been working with pen + ink, I’ve been thinking a lot about perfectionism. It kinda bothers me that the ink lines aren’t perfectly straight or perfectly curved and that the thick/thin parts don’t always fall where I want them to. This is where Illustrator is treacherous for the perfectionist…you can make your lines perfect. Absolutely, mathematically perfect. Set up a grid, set your stroke, choose your color, and go. It’s really tempting, sometimes.

I wish I could say that I thought all vector art was boring and everything hand-drawn is fabulous, but that’s just not the case. It’s not so easy for me to pick and choose what I prefer, or to say that a drawing is necessarily “better” for all its imperfections. I just have to live with it and be grateful that God gave me a hand that wiggles a little bit when I wish it wouldn’t. And fight that old urge to re-do everything that doesn’t look perfect.

In completely unrelated news, I discovered after arriving at work today that my pants have a hole in them. So I asked the secretary for a safety pin and made some discreet repairs. Despite my faith in safety pins, however, I am constantly waiting for a “sproing” and a jab every time I sit down. Is it too cheesey to say that I’ve been sitting on pins + needles all day?

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7 thoughts on “Alpha-birdy-bet in pen.

  1. Paula, thanks for the comment. Glad to have found your blog–I enjoyed putzing through your older posts a bit.

    Also, I am hopelessly in love with these letters. I want them in my babies’ room, desperately. Seriously.

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