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  1. Design & Illustration
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How to Create Floral Typography With Ink

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Drawing doesn't always have to be about copying reality. Sometimes, it's more about the idea and composition than about a perfect rendering of something that already exists. 

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a special text effect, where text is revealed as the negative space of floral ornaments. The drawing process of this is very relaxing, and the end result, when done carefully, is clean and beautiful! The best thing here is that you don't need real drawing skills—just follow my steps!

What You Will Need

You'll need the following equipment in order to complete this project:

  • three sheets of paper
  • pencil
  • utility knife
  • printer
  • ink liner ~0.1
  • ink liner ~0.3
  • eraser
  • scissors (optional)

For inspiration:

1. How to Prepare the Text

Step 1

Type your text in a chosen program using a fancy, yet clear font. In this tutorial, I used Carosello, and I typed "Fleur", which is French for "flower".

thick handwritten font download

Step 2

Print your text, adjusting its size and the format of the page to your intended result.

print the text

Step 3

Place the printed page right on top of a clean sheet of paper. Use the utility knife to cut the outline of the letters. Do it gently and carefully, keeping all the curves. Make sure that they're all connected to each other!

cut text with utility knife

Step 4

Once you've finished, move the upper page aside to reveal the other sheet. Deepen the cuts if necessary, and then remove the paper outside from the letter. You can also use scissors to clean up any sharp corners.

clean up the letters

Step 5

Place your text on another clean sheet of paper, right where you want the illustration to be.

place text on new sheet

2. How to Sketch Basic Floral Ornaments

Step 1

Take a pencil. While holding the text in place with your other hand, draw a "skeleton" of a big flower. Do it gently, sketch lightly, and be careful not to move the text. It's safer to start drawing on the text and then go on the paper than the other way around.

draw sketch of flower

Step 2

Outline each petal.

draw sketch of petals

Step 3

Add a more detailed shape to each petal. Feel free to ignore the parts that are entirely covered by the text.

sketch outline of petals

Step 4

Sketch the basic rhythm of leaves here and there. If you need to move your hand, always secure the text with the other hand first. If you move the text by accident, it can be very difficult to place it where it was before!

draw rhythm of leaves

Step 5

Add the outline of a leaf.

draw shape of leaves

Step 6

Add some veins.

draw details of leaves

Step 7

Draw a branch of lines.

draw branch of lines

Step 8

Add some leaves and berries to it.

add little berries and leaves

Step 9

Draw the basic shape of a flower bud.

draw shape of flower bud

Step 10

Add details to it.

draw details of flower bud
draw flower bud

Step 11

Add a few dill-like flowers.

draw dill flowers

Step 12

Draw some branches with little leaves.

draw regular branch
draw skeleton of leaves
draw little leaves

Step 13

Draw a bell-shaped flower.

sketch bell shaped flower

Step 14

Add curled petals to it.

add petals to the flower
finish the flower

Step 15

Add the stamens.

draw flower  stamens

Step 16

Add a branch with leaves. Keep all the parts of the twig straight for a more natural effect.

sketch basic branch
add more branches
add more branching
draw a sprig with leaves

3. How to Finish the Sketch of the Ornaments

Step 1

Add some more flowers here and there.

add more flowers
add flower details
add inner flower
finish the double flower

Step 2

Add a fern leaf.

draw rhythm of fern leaf
draw branching of fern leaf
finish fern leaf

Step 3

Add a pair of simple flowers along with stems.

draw simple twigs
draw simple flowers

Step 4

Add another flower, starting with a cup shape.

draw cup shaped flower
draw a twirl inside flower
draw the petals

Step 5

Draw an exotic flower to fill the space between the letters.

draw exotic flower

Step 6

Draw another branch with little berries.

draw simple branch
draw more little branches
draw little berries

Step 7

Draw a big palm leaf behind the big flower.

draw big palm leaf
finish palm leaf

Step 8

Add another sprig.

draw another sprig
finish the sprig

Step 9

To make all the letters visible, we must give them all some background. Fill all the spaces left with big leaves in various shapes and poses.

draw many big leaves
finish the leaves

4. How to Draw Floral Ornaments With Ink

Step 1

Take a thicker ink liner now and outline all the sprigs and branches. Do it slowly, to keep all the lines steady. This is very important for this style, and it helps keep the text in place right until the end.

outline the sprigs

Step 2

Outline the flowers. Try to keep them all in a similar style, even if they differ in details.

outline the flowers

Step 3

Outline the leaves.

outline the leaves

Step 4

Thicken some of the sprigs.

thicken sprigs

Step 5

Take the smaller ink liner now. Fill the small leaves with straight "veins".

draw veins on leaves

Step 6

Do the same with big leaves, trying to keep the same rhythm all over each one. Be very careful when crossing the letters!

draw veins on big leaves

Step 7

Make the lines denser around the middle vein...

shade the leaves

... and on the outer edge.

shade outder edge of leaves

Step 8

Add one more level of denseness, even closer to the middle vein and to the edge of the leaf.

shade all leaves

Step 9

Draw the middle of some flowers.

draw middle of flowers

Step 10

Draw some texture on the petals of the flowers. Draw it lightly, barely touching the paper, to achieve an interesting effect.

draw texture of flower patelas

Step 11

Shade the texture more.

shade texture of flowers
shade flowers

Step 12

To make the letters stand out more, shade the elements right next to them by thickening their lines.

add shadows under letters

Step 13

Take the thicker ink liner again and thicken some of the outlines.

add thick outlines

Step 14

Now, very carefully, lift a part of the text to see how the effect looks. If necessary, put it back and shade the elements some more. You can even add some fake shading where there are no elements, as long as it gets lost among the elements around it.

add final shading

Step 15

Finally, remove the text. You can still fix something at this point, but be very careful—crossing the letters can ruin the effect! Once the ink dries, erase the pencil marks.

remove the cover text


Do you want to try other tutorials about drawing with ink? Check these out:

how to create floral text effect with ink
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