W is for …

… wood duck. When we were in Cumbria a few weekends ago, we had a stroll through the ornamental gardens in Grange-over-Sands. The little park has a lake, busy with various kinds of wildfowl. I spotted this well-dressed chap amongst them. woodduckphoto

I’ve been taking a Skillshare lettering class by Jessica Hische who designed a special series of books for Penguin featuring beautiful drop caps. The project she set for the class is to design a cover for a favourite book featuring a single capital letter. I love to read, and trying to narrow down even a shortlist is proving tricky for me. So this morning, I decided to skirt the issue by creating an alphabet for a collection of birds (a project which has been on my to-do list for ever). Step 1 was a bit of research and a watercolour sketch to figure out the colours and markings of the duck in question – a Wood Duck, I discovered.

woodducknotes

Step 2 was to design a drop cap that would go with the wood duck. The watery colours and the splashes seemed appropriate. Step 3 was to sketch out the shape, especially the duck’s head (which reminds me a bit of a racing cycle helmet).

woodducksketch

Step 4 was to paint the duck again. woodduckwc

And step 5 was to vectorise the letter in Illustrator and put everything together in Photoshop.

woodduckfinal

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