I had been researching the design of versal letters used in the Lombardy region of Italy for a different project when I needed a design for a family wedding present. The Lombardic letters have an interesting and distinctive shape that work very well as initials. I experimented with various ways of using watercolour paints to create the initial letter. The watercolour style adds a flowing watery element to the strong but also flowing lines of the Lombardic letter outlines.
Framed with their names and marriage date, the letters made an ideal wedding present, and was very well received. These would also work well for anniversaries such as silver, golden and ruby celebrations.
I have since created single letter versions for births, christenings, birthdays and anniversaries.
The painted letters and frames can be any colour, but I have found that mixtures based on complimentary colours work best. These painted letters (framed or unframed) are now available in my Folksy Shop.
It’s always difficult to find the right wording or image for Christmas, not too religious but without becoming completely secular and forgetting that it is a religious festival.
This year I’ve used a poem by one of my mother’s favourite poets, Seamus Heaney. The Last Mummer also connects with me. Since I was at school I have performed a Mummers’ Play in Sussex every Christmas.
I’ve used a letter style that is traditional but not too formal. A sort of Black Letter script. I started by using a broad nib pen to write out the words and watercolour to paint a background colour. Both of these were scanned and taken into Photoshop. I then outlined the letters and cut them out of the colour area and hey presto letters made up of shaded texture rather than solid black.
As the cards were digitally printed I had no choice in the paper stock’s colour so added a tint across the whole card to make it off-white.