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Week #34
This work was done by Cheryl Lee Lawrence in Chicago this year for the session “Variations on Romans” , in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow.
In her own words:
What A Fool Believes – Cheryl Lee Lawrence

This piece measures 13 by 20 inches and was done on Arches text wove paper. It was done as a homework assignment for Reggie’s 26 Seeds class session on Roman variations, using Neugebauer caps.

I’d had the words to the song, “What a Fool Believes” (Michael McDonald and the Doobie Brothers, 1978), rumbling around in my head for some time. I chose to do the quote for this assignment because I thought the letter forms suited the words. I’m not an artist, but had desired to incorporate more art work into my pieces, which are usually just letters and words.

I started with a wash on the paper using watercolors and gouache, which I then spray fixed.

I lettered the quote onto grid paper until I had the desired layout. Using the layout as a guide over each line, I directly lettered the words onto the paper using a Speedball B1 nib and a Mitchell 2.5. An EF66 was used to touch up and square off each letter. For the color choices of the words, I knew I wanted certain key words to stand out, so I made them larger and darker. In retrospect, I think this makes the darker lettered words look disproportionately larger than the others. Reggie suggested flipping the colors of the lettering and if I have a chance, I will redo it in that way.
I found the image of the fool on the internet, copied it and adjusted the size before tracing it onto the paper next to the lettering. I outlined it with a very fine, black micron marker and then did the gilding of the bells on the hat. I’d intended to use variegated gilding, but it did not fully adhere to the Instacol, so I applied lemon gold and 23k gold to the areas that needed to be filled. It came out surprisingly well!

After the gilding, I painted the image, using very thinly mixed gouache, as my last step in the completion of this project. However, when I looked at the fool, I realized he wouldn’t fully look the part without a gold tooth – so I gilded one of his front teeth in lemon gold. Final touches included the addition of the blue dots to the smaller letters to pull the dark blue color through the piece and the rule lines, which helped to unify it.

I cannot say enough good things about all I am learning this second time around in Reggie’s class.

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The answers to most of your questions regarding “Primitive to Modern” or “26 Seeds:  a Year to Grow” can be found through the main page at the web www.reggieezell.com .
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