T1: The Perfect "s"

Since we didn't have class on Monday due to labor day, I knew this project had to be flawless. My letter was Futura "s" and my group's word was "spine." "S" was a tricky letter to work with because the curves pass a little above the x-height and below base line. There was a lot of math involved which I don't want to repeat, but I eventually got the letter on the page. The next step was painting and I've worked with gouache before so I thought this step would be smooth sailing. Of course, I was wrong and there were so many little issues that kept happening that drove me crazy. In my first attempt, I wasn't used to the brush so I didn't have much control. I continued working and somehow the brush splattered paint onto the white of the page. The white gouache didn't help much; it only made the page gray so I decided to start over. In my second attempt, I was certain this would be the one because everything was going smoothly. I had more control of my brush and the consistency of my paint was just right. Then as I was turning the paper to paint another section of the letter, some of the residue of the gouache stuck to the bottom of my hand and smeared into the white area of the paper. I ended up putting the project aside for a day or two because I was tired of it. Before I started my third attempt, I tried to think of ways to protect the white of the paper and keep my edges smooth. Tape wouldn't work because of all of the curves and free handing made me nervous so I decided to use a technique I learned in printmaking. I created a template or stencil with a roll of acetate. The acetate would perform the same function as tape would and it would also keep the immediate white area around the letter clean. I still had to freehand areas but the acetate would prevent me from making major slips. My main goal was not to use the white gouache because it looked tacky. My 3rd attempt was so much more successful and I'm glad I had time to start over when I needed to.

First Attempt:
Second Attempt:
Third Attempt:

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