30 August 2015

ILLUSTRATION PROJECT: Illustrated Watercolor Alphabet

Time for another Illustration Project post here on my art blog!

The newest illustration project I've finished is this alphabet for children, painted in watercolors.

It consisted of both a color and a black and white version of each letter of the alphabet, and was generally a lot of work (relaxing work, but anyway...)

It's to be used in a school setting to be colored in and to form words, respectively.

As always, I like the 'handmade' look of my work, so I decided against using an existing font as a base for the letters, and instead started with constructing the individual letters from scratch.

Then I sketched in the animals and objects starting with the letter in question.


... it could only go upwards from there.

Some letters were easy to do, providing a variety of cute and easily recognizable objects to be filled with.

Some were ridiculously hard to fill, though. Words with Q, anyone? How to draw a 'Quilt' in black and white? Will any child even know what a 'Zither' is?

That up there in the right corner is one.

Painting the individual letters of the alphabet:

The quilt made it due to Q not offering all that much else.
The queen is one of my overall favorites, though!
Anyway, indecision and sketching woes passed by, and I went on to color all 26 drawings.

I left the pencil line art visible to provide some contrast and started layering watercolors. Every letter of the alphabet has a slightly different background color forming an overall 'rainbow' gradation effect if all the letters are placed in order of the alphabet next to each other. The colors of the objects and animals inside were adjusted to look harmonious within that base color.

'O' is slightly more greenish in its background color...

... than the following letter 'P'.
Coloring was actually a lot of fun, despite the huge amount of illustrations to be finished in a relatively short time.

As the format was A3 I had some space for mistakes which wouldn't be visible later when printed, so I didn't have to whip out my smallest brushes for the most part.

At the end I went over all the illustrations with my pencil once more to make the outlines stronger.

The cleaning up in Photoshop was a whole other story, though...

The black and white versions were actually more work!

I drew them on the back of the watercolor illustrations using my light table to see the original lines and tracing those with multiliner pens. (to save paper and trees! :D)

As there were a lot of curves involved in some of the letters - and my hand wasn't steady enough - I had to do a lot of the precision work digitally.

The finished alphabet is already in use and I'll print some sets for myself - my nephew is already learning how to write in English (Korean pre-schoolers....) and these as A5 sized cards made a nice and practical present.

The color versions of these alphabet letters are available in my Etsy shop as a printable pdf file. The pdf consists of 13 pages with two letters each, so they're easily transformed into cards. Just print on a nice, heavier paper (I'd recommend 200g and upwards), cut the paper in half and there you go, 26 individual cards to arrange into name signs, wall art and of course to teach the letters of the alphabet for early (English) learners!

Thanks for reading!

Watercolor Illustration Alphabet - Hand Drawn Printable ABC cards, nursery decor, wall art, etsy evydraws