Where to begin?

I began this blog site to practice how to ‘look’ again in the form of observational studies. But what to draw? How to draw it? How to display it? The possibilities are endless and there is nothing more daunting than this realisation.

The idea that you can do absolutely anything is quite a shock to the system after working within the design industry for the past decade. Here, if you are lucky, you will be given a brief outlining what the client wants and then a ‘spec’ of how we intend to do this. As a designer you can influence how and why we are going to produce this work but there are always constraints and it is essentially always for the client and more importantly – their customers/target audience.

Bodoni Bold Condensed 12pt
‘a’ Bodoni Bold Condensed 12pt

So at first, thinking about what to blog about (and what to draw) when YOU are the client is quite an unusual situation. First of all I wanted to set a number of constraints on myself. I decided, because I procrastinate quite a lot, to make things with the time, space, and materials I have at my disposal at this moment in time.

A few months ago I purchased a set of letterpress typefaces and I thought of producing a number of observational drawings based on the alphabet. So for my first blog I have pen and inked the letter ‘a’.

Letterpress Type – Bodoni Bold Condensed 12pt
‘a’ Letterpress Type – Bodoni Bold Condensed 12pt

Within the boudaries I set – I’ve tried to be quite free and to not labour over these initial drawings. Hopefully looking at these tiny 12pt typefaces will help with what it is to really study something. Even with my sketchbooks and life drawings I like to draw from the actual subject – I have never felt comfortable drawing from photographs – it feels unnatural and pointless. I prefer the immediacy of actually drawing from what is in front of me and the environment I am in. At the moment that is me stealing a couple of hours at the dining room table before bed.

I’m looking forward to posting many more of the letterpress studies in the coming days, weeks months and hope to see improvements in my analytical studies.


Letterpress Type – Bodoni Bold Condensed 12pt
‘d’ Letterpress Type – Bodoni Bold Condensed 12pt

Colin Brewer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *