Recently I have been seeing a lot of chalk hand illustrated typography pop up on inspiration sites. So this weekend I decided to take on a fun little project of making my own inspiration chalkboard. If you would like to make your own, I’m going to list out the supplies that you will need and a few tips that I figured out in my first attempt.
Photos by Kaleb Nimz
What You Will Need:
Surface (wood, metal, etc.) I used 1/4 in. hardboard
Paint roller or Sponge roller
Start by cleaning the surface that you are about to paint. This will insure that you will have as smooth of a surface as possible. I wiped the hardboard down with a wet paper towel to get any extra particles off.
Once the hardboard is dry you can apply your first coat of chalkboard paint. Try to apply the paint in long even strokes to prevent any ridges or bumps from forming. Once the first coat is dry you can apply the second coat and same with the third. The back of the paint can said to let the paint dry for a minimum of 30 minutes before applying a second coat. That seemed to be enough time for me, but depending on where you live, the temperature and humidity could affect the drying time.
After three coats of paint, we are ready for the fun part: Illustration time! For this piece I chose to illustrate my theme word and Bible verse for 2013 (part of a new year’s resolution I’ve been doing the past few years). This way I can be reminded of what I am trying to focus on in 2013. If you know how to use any design programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or Indesign it will make this part a little easier. I used Illustrator to create my example. I would recommend picking out 2-3 fonts that complement each other and start playing around with different designs. This can get a little overwhelming if you don’t have a plan.
Start by breaking the quote into sections, it will be easier to manage. I like to begin with my favorite part of the quote, once I have that section finished I move on to the next part and so on.
The hardboard is primed and the quote is ready to go. Now I used the blue tape to create a base line for each section and create a grid on the board. This helps by keep everything clean and some what straight. Now you can hand render the quote using the one you designed on the computer as a reference. This part I found out that it was easier to illustrate the bigger type and the smaller details on the fonts were lost. Next time I will either choose a bigger surface, or choose bolder type. Remember to have fun and don’t get to upset with smudges. They bring out the charm of chalk illustrations, and thats what we have the Qtips for. When you finish peel off all of the tape and using the Qtips and water wipe off any smudges that you don’t want.
You have now created your first Inspiration Chalkboard and a great memory refresher to look at each day. Let me know if you have any questions.