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Remember those art lessons in first school where you’d be given sheets of tissue paper to cut out flower shapes, and have to stick them to sugar paper using those glue spreaders? Wasn’t it always a mess, with the tissue paper getting all crumpled if not outright ripped? Maybe that was just me? Should I stop with the questions already? What is this?

Well anyway, this geometric exercise was reminiscent of those days, just without the heady whiff of PVA. I wanted to do something with flowers and spring again, but quite where or why the triangle fetish emerged I have no idea. Still, I’m always willing to give new things a go and what we have here is me just drawing triangles in rather a carefree manner (for me at least) to give some semblance of a flowerhead.

Of course, then came the onslaught of Photoshop effects! Similar to my previous spring exploration, mostly dropping old pieces or textures over and under the drawings. Some flower power vibes coming through here, especially with the pink.

When I got to a rose – or at least that’s what I’m thinking it is – and found I was thinking about composition too much, I decided it was time to call it a day. But it was interesting. The layered outlines below are something, though. I think this could be the way to go in future.

Triangles are fun. Not as good as hexagons, but still rather neat.

pixeltree-3dI’ve developed a bit of a thing for this reductive/De Stijl/glitch/whatever I’m calling it today style I’ve been exploring lately, so set about doing some more, moving the focus from line and more toward shape – topiary, if you will – just throwing blocks and circles together, basically, and trying not to balls it up in the process.

I did give myself some rule and order in that I restricted myself to circles, triangles and oblongs, each of which having three proportionally sized ‘heads’. I then attacked them with texture brushes. The copses above were rather thrown together, trying to not to overthink composition. The same went for an attempt at one of my favourite trees, the weeping willow:

pixeltree-3I would say these have been the most exciting experiments of the year, but, given my rate of posting that isn’t really saying much. It’s the most fun I’ve had in a while, anyway, and I’m sure there will be more.

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Of course A would be chosen for the final letter! Coupled with the return of Geometric, more messing with shapes beckoned. Wanting to mark the finale in some way, I started off thinking about something suitably jubilant – a geometric firework display, perhaps, or game show glitter…

…but that rather quickly fell by the wayside, as it didn’t come together quick enough. Maybe an upward triangle with sunny colours could be seen as positive enough in its own right? Yes, let’s go with that.

Blending the above developments somehow resulted in this fierce eye creation. A for angry, I suppose! Perhaps he’s miffed that the series is coming to an end? Anyway, it’s something quite peculiar, and it’s geometric. That’s good enough for me.

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That’s it, then: twenty-six letters and more than 420 developments (!!) later, here we are with our rather repetitive alphabet. Generally, I think the wheel behaved itself. Some themes evaded the flipper, though; I would have liked Gothic and Speccy to come up. I’m alarmed to discover that my name is apparently no longer valid. We’ve skipped, among others, an E, N, and the beloved W. Let’s not joke about the lack of D.

Of course, that’s the very nature of the wheel. Chance. If I’m to do this again, I may only choose the theme at random; at least then there would actually be twenty-six spins! We shall see. But, whether you have a super-exciting wheel to spin or not, I cannot endorse the random element enough; it not only enabled me to create by eliminating the awkward dithering stage altogether, but often demanded fresh approaches or a reconsideration of old ones. Results vary, naturally, buy today’s concluding letterform is a prime example of an aesthetic which probably wouldn’t have happened outside of the series. Prospects abound with challenges like this. Give it a whirl and see how you fare.

Until next time, it’s been fun. Here are the fruits of the last few weeks’ labour:

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Geometric! Shapes! What better shape could there be than the hexagon – the naughty one? It is J for Jacob, after all – ahurhurhur!

It wasn’t originally going to be this way, as you can see. J for Jaws? There was all sorts of nothing going on here. Sensing a lack of reasonable focus and beginning to panic, I went back to basics and ended up paying homage to the hexagon:

The shape still works its magic, despite the broken wall. As you can see, there are quite a few experiments here with dimension and embellishment, but I decided the simplest form was probably most effective. I could see it having quite an industrial vibe as part of a full alphabet – nuts and bolts, and that carry-on.

A post dominated by hexagons and not a single Blockbusters reference. I’m learning.

negative-letters-2-01More fun letter play. I was feeling geometric, and I’m afraid that’s about as far as this one goes regarding rationale. Well, besides fun! With that as it was, I just took a square and elipse, trying to make some interesting configurations. It soon morphed into a ‘negative’ bent, hence the results. I called it Positive because it was darn fun – as good a reason as any.

negative-letters-2-05It can work in a single white-out, though it’s not quite so successful when inverted as some characters begin to look indistinguishable.

negative-letters-2-08_0002Strokes are kinda fun! We probably shouldn’t go around subjecting it to Photoshop warps, though…

negative-letters-2-07Illustrator’s Simplify tool straightened the round edges, giving it a very different aesthetic. A little rough around the edges when done that way, but it looks like a trigonal variant could work just as well with a bit of care.

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The alphabet is by no means perfect, but it was a fruitful exploration. I always say on my return to lettering that I should make an effort to do more. I am saying that again, here. It’s a very Positive experience.

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