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FREEHAND  LETTERING

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Vertical  lines  are  usually  drawn  in  an  upward direction,  moving  from  left  to  right  across  the drawing.  However,  when  you  have  to  draw  a number  of  vertical  lines  or  lines  slanted  in  the same  direction,  the  way  you  draw  them  will  be governed by the source of your light and the way you have found that you can draw vertical lines with  greatest  control. Let the first lines dry before starting to draw any intersecting lines. Watch carefully when you draw one line across another line. You vary the thickness of ink lines by selecting a pen unit that matches   your   desired   application   and/or   line convention. The order generally recommended for inking is  as  follows: 1.  Inking  of  a  drawing  must  start  from  the top of the paper and progress toward the bottom. 2.   Start   inking   all   arcs   of   circles,   fillets, rounds,  small  circles,  large  circles,  and  other compass-drawn  lines. 3.  Ink  all  irregular  curves,  using  a  french curve or a spline as a guide. 4.   Ink   all   thick   horizontal   lines,   then   all medium and thin lines. 5. Start at the left edge and ink the thick first, the medium next, and finally the thin vertical lines from  left  to  right. 6. Follow the same procedure described in (4) and  (5)  for  slanting. 7.   Ink   section   lines,   dimensions,   and arrowheads. 8. Ink notes and title, meridian symbol, and graphic scales. 9.  Ink  borders  and  check  inked  drawing  for completeness. 10.  Use  an  art  gum  or  a  kneaded  eraser  to erase  pencil  marks  or  for  final  cleanup  of  the drawing. LETTERING The information that a drawing must present cannot  be  revealed  by  graphic  shapes  and  lines alone.  To  make  a  drawing  informative  and complete,  you  must  include  lettering  in  the form  of  dimensions,  notes,  legends,  and  titles. Lettering  can  either  enhance  your  drawing  by making  it  simple  to  interpret  and  pleasant  to  look at,  or  it  can  ruin  your  drawing  by  making  it difficult  to  read  and  unsightly  in  appearance. Therefore,  it  is  essential  that  you  master  the techniques  and  skills  required  for  neat,  legible lettering. FREEHAND  LETTERING As you work with experienced draftsmen, you will  notice  that  their  freehand  lettering  adds  style and individuality to their work. They take great pride  in  their  freehand  lettering  ability.  By learning  basic  letter  forms  and  with  constant practice, you will soon be able to do a creditable job  of  lettering  and  acquire  your  own  style  and individuality. Anyone who can write can learn to letter. As you practice you will steadily improve both your style and the speed with which you can letter neatly. Don’t give up if your first attempts do not produce neat lettering. Don’t be afraid to ask  your  supervisor  for  a  few  pointers. An  understanding  of  the  letter  shapes  and  the ability to visualize them can be accomplished by drawing them until the muscles of your hand are accustomed  to  the  pattern  of  the  strokes  that make up the letters. You should be able to draw good letters without consciously thinking of this pattern. Your  position  and  how  you  hold  your  pencil will  greatly  affect  your  lettering.  You  should sit  up  straight  and  rest  your  forearm  on  the drawing board or table. Hold the pencil between the thumb, forefinger, and second finger; the third and fourth fingers and the ball of the palm rest on  the  drawing  sheet.  Do  not  grip  the  pencil tightly. A tight grip will cramp the muscles in your fingers,  causing  you  to  lose  control.  If  you  get “writer’s cramp” easily, you are probably holding your pencil too tightly. The pencil should be kept sharpened  to  produce  uniform  line  weights.  A conical-shaped  pencil  point  works  best  for  most lettering.  Usually,  an  F  or  H  pencil  is  used  for lettering. A pencil that is too hard may cut into the  paper,  or  it  may  produce  lettering  that  will not reproduce easily. A pencil that is too soft will require frequent sharpening, and it will produce lettering that may smear easily on a drawing. GUIDELINES Figure  3-42,  view  A,  shows  the  use  of  light pencil lines called guidelines. Guidelines ensure consistency in the size of the letter characters. If your lettering consists of capitals, draw only the cap  line  and  base  line.  If  lowercase  letters  are included  as  well,  draw  the  waist  line  and  drop line. The  waist  line  indicates  the  upper  limit  of  the lowercase letters. The ascender is the part of the lowercase  letter  that  extends  above  the  body  of the  letter;  for  example,  the  dot  portion  of  the 3-28



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