Happy Thursday, everyone — it’s Julisha here! Today, I’m showing you how to letter Funky 3D Letters. Last week, I showed you how to draw Celestial 3D Letters and today, I’m showing you how to draw Funky 3D Letters. Funky 3D Letters are one of my favorite styles to draw because its whimsicalness brings me joy and smiles. For this Funky 3D Letters tutorial, I chose to letter “LOVE”. With the current Black Lives Matter movement and consequent rising voices for social justice and human rights, which left me thinking deeply about justice and love. As Dr. Cornel West said, “justice is what love looks like in public.” So much “love” has been missing in our society and I wanted to remind all of us to start, continue and never cease to “love”.
Now, let’s get started to learn how to letter Funky 3D Letters — shall we?
[Click this photo to watch the video!]
Materials you need to draw Funky 3D Letters are:
- Paper: In this tutorial, I’m using a sheet of black paper from Fabiano Black Black Pad 300gsm — I had a scrap piece in 4.5 x 6 inches. This is by far my favorite black paper for ink drawings because the paper is nicely thick and high quality so that the ink flows nicely and pigmented.
- 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 a white pen to draw and black pens to “erase”. My personal go-to white pens are the White Gelly Roll gel pens in Bold tip (size 10 / 0.5mm). (They also come in smaller tip sizes as well.) For “erasing” the white pen, I used a Sakura Pigma Micron Pen in 0.5mm and a Sakura Pigma Graphic Pen in 1mm. 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 Funky 3D Letters are:
- Draw Guidelines
For this tutorial, we’re going to draw a bounding box and three horizontal lines inside the bounding box. The bounding box has 0.5 inch margins and horizontal lines are spaced out so that the spaces between the lines are roughly the same. The top and bottom of these three lines indicate where the letters will sit and where the 3D extrusions begin.
- Draw “Skeletons”
Once guidelines are drawn, we’re going to roughly space out the letters. For this tutorial, we’re going to draw multi-directional 3D extrusions that extrude to all four corners of the page. For this reason, we’re going to leave extra spaces next to letters L and E. Also, we’re going to draw the letters up and down, alternatively aligning the letters along the horizontal lines. Letters L and E are bottom-aligned at the bottom margin and letters O and V are top-aligned at the top margin.
- 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 block letters. Next, we’re going to draw multi-directional 3D extrusions:
- Letter L extrudes to the top left corner
- Letter O extrudes to the bottom left corner
- Letter V extrudes to the bottom right corner
- Letter E extrudes to the top right corner
- Stylize Letters
After the weights have been added, we’re going to stylize the letters. In this tutorial, we’re going to draw outlines and inlines with uniform thickness. We’re going to offset the outline twice with approximately equal distances, meaning, you’re going to draw six lines in total. Curved line-work can be tricky but one trick is to draw them in sections. For example, for the letter O, try drawing the curves in ¼ sections at a time. For the 3D extrusions, we’re going to fill in the space with wide hatch lines, following the direction of the extrusions.
- Ink It
Now, we’ll get into the inking step! We’re going to ink the sketch in the order of: outlines and inlines of the letters, 3D extrusions, filling in the outlines and inlines, and final touches of stars and dots. Drawing the curves with a pen can be daunting but remember to work in small sections. Also, the good thing about using black paper is that you can “erase” your ink mistakes with a black pen! If you follow along the tutorial video, you’ll see how terribly shaky my lines were on letter O and E. But that’s not a problem! — at the end, I fix and finesse that with a black pen!
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?
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