How to Letter Celestial 3D Letters

Happy Thursday, everyone — it’s Julisha here! Today, I’m showing you how to letter Celestial 3D Letters. For the month of June, I’ll be showing you how to letter 3D letters in three different ways and first up is Celestial 3D Letters. I chose to draw “CONGRATS” in Celestial 3D Letters to send some dreamy love and support to 2020 grads. Cancelled-graduations may feel like cancelled-celebrations but every one of you should celebrate and be very proud of your accomplishments! Now, let’s get started on learning how to letter Celestial 3D Letters — shall we?

 

[Click this photo to watch the video!]

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Materials you need to draw Celestial 3D Letters are:

  • Paper: In this tutorial, I’m using a piece of white watercolor paper in size 3×5 inches. The reason why I like to use watercolor paper is because ink doesn’t bleed on watercolor papers, making it a good option for ink drawing. Also, I personally like the bumpy textures on watercolor papers.
  • Pencil & Eraser: Can be either a regular pencil or mechanical pencil — your choice! I always prefer mechanical pencils simply because I don’t like sharpening pencils. My go-to mechanical pencils are: Staedtler Mechanical Pencil, 0.7mm and Staedtler Triplus Micro Mechanical Pencil, 0.7mm.
  • Ink Pen: In this tutorial, I used black pens in two different tip sizes. I used Sakura Pigma Micron Pens in 0.5mm (to draw outlines and details) and 0.8mm (to fill in the letters). Sakura Pigma pens can be purchased in various sets.
  • Ruler: Rulers aren’t 100% necessary but use them if you’re a bit of a perfectionist like me and have to draw clean guidelines. But freehanding is definitely cool too!

 

Simple five steps to draw Celestial 3D Letters are:

  1. Draw Guidelines
    For this tutorial, we’re going to draw five horizontal lines, equally spaced, in the middle. Top and bottom margins are going to be bigger than the spaces between the lines. If you like to be numerically meticulous like me, use these measurements: top and bottom margins measure 0.625 inches from the edge of the paper and horizontal lines are 0.375 inches apart from each other. The top horizontal line indicates how far the 3D part will extrude. The bottom four lines indicate baselines and cap lines for the letters (letters will be drawn up and down so it looks like they’re bouncing up and down). 
  2. Draw “Skeletons”
    Once guidelines are drawn, we’re going to roughly space out the letters. First, we’re going to draw the first and last letters, C and S. Since we’re going to do the 3D extrusion to the upper right hand corner, we’re going to leave extra space next to the letter S. Next, space out the rest of the letters, O-N-G-R-A-T, drawing them up and down so that the letters look like they’re bouncing up and down (for a happy and whimsical vibe!).
  3. Add Weight
    In this step, we’re going to add weight to the skeletons of the letters. For this tutorial, we’re going to draw serif letters with a good contrast on stroke weight. Thick and thin contrast ratio will be about 3 to 1.
  4. Stylize Letters
    After the weights have been added, we’re going to stylize the letters and illustrate the 3D extrusion (that morphs into a cloud). First, we’re going to add bracketed serifs (meaning, the connections between the stems and serifs are curved). Next, we’re going to add 3D extrusion lines to the letters. Then, we’re going to connect the lines at the most left and right, morphing it into a cloud. Lastly, we’re going to draw celestial things like the stars, moons, and planets inside the cloud.
  5. Ink It
    Now, we’ll get into the inking step! First, we’re going to outline the letters, the 3D extrusion aka the cloud and celestial drawings inside the cloud. For the 3D extrusion lines on the letters, we’re going to draw them with lines and dots, making them to look like shooting stars. Then, we’ll erase all pencil sketches and fill in the letters (with a black pen with a thicker tip). As a finishing touch, we’re going to draw more stars and dots around the whole composition.

 

Did you enjoy today’s tutorial? Let me know if it was helpful to you — we want to hear from you! Now it’s your turn to draw leafy letters. What will you letter? 

 

Love,

Julisha Kim / @julishakim

 

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