Before I started, I need a few tools for drawing tight sketch. Simple as that: a pencil, erasers and a ruler with protractor. For the erasers, I prefer to have two kinds: one for erasing large area and the other for adjusting details.
It is always good idea to have several thumbnail sketches before jump into drawing perfect lettering. But for this article, since quite a lot of people liked this hand lettering—Psalms 27:14 Day 1/30, I decided to make it tighter. I want to show the process of executing the loose hand lettering tighter. "Tight" meansthat drawing the sketch with considering many principles of typography.
With a ruler, draw guidelines like the vertical line and horizontal lines: baseline, cap heigh and x-heigh. Cap heigh from the baseline is the size of the capital letters and x-heigh from the baseline is size of lowercase letters. In this sketch, I drew the x-heigh as half of capital letters, but it does not have to be half size. Draw the baselines and cap heigh with considering the spaces between two lines, so that descenders and ascenders are not touching each others. Also, draw a few 55º lines which is for the angle of the letters.
Now start drawing the letters, but never start with full pressures on the pencil. Start gently with light and soft lines and curves. Make sure to follow the guidelines and angles. Draw entire letters first to see if they sit on right place to keep balances of the entire sketch. Then give more pressure on the pencil to make the letters be more specific and clear. Keep adding pencil lines to make the each letter have certain weight. For this design, I meant to the letters in single weight (or mono weight); no thicks and thins on letterform.
This is it for now, and for the next post, I will write about the next step which is tightening the sketch. Also I am planning to write about typographic terms.