I felt like sharing some shots from a recent book find. We undertook some handpainted work on a restored vintage truck for a client a few months ago and, while discussing the design and work brief with the client he pulled out an old hardback book called British Lorries In Colour, by S.W. Stevens-Stratten, to give me some guidelines on what he was hoping to achieve.
He let me use the book as a reference but it proved such a valuable resource that, upon completion of the work, I felt the need to track it down on ebay for keeps to add to the ever-expanding sign / lettering library.
Here’s some of the examples that stood out for me in particular.
This is a job that I’ve been meaning to post about for some time. A couple of years ago a client contacted us regarding some hand-painted work on a Volkswagen Camper.
He had bought the vehicle and had it shipped over from the United States where it had been discovered, abandoned in the Hollywood hills – a discarded relic from the sixties with a psychedelic paint job!
Upon bringing the van to the UK, our client proceeded to strip back the paint and began to unearth the vehicles’ previous purpose – that of a florists delivery van.
Although the previous lettering was very vague, the client managed to piece together a rough outline of the florist logo and information. He then came to us with a series of sketchings, to attempt to re-paint the original signwriting back onto the camper van.
This is how it came out.
The customer was keen to retain the look of the van and wanted the new paint work to have a distressed finish. Vaughan had to thin the paints down so they didn’t look like they had been applied recently, and also had to purposefully scuff areas of the lettering to create a weathered, paint-peeling look.
We’ve been hard at work hand-painting a couple of vintage vehicles ready for an upcoming Dorset show. The boss has been out on site lining and lettering a lorry cab, while my efforts have included lettering this tractor bonnet which, thankfully, we were able to bring back to the workshop as I had to pull a couple of late ones in order to get it finished on time.
I just thought I’d post on my progress with casual lettering. As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of the most instantly gratifying styles of hand-lettering as you are essentially creating your own signiature handwriting style and you don’t require to necessarily do much in the way of setting out or pouncing designs onto your work – just get some guidelines chalked out and you’re off.
Progress was slow at first but once you’ve learned the brush strokes and gotten to grips with them, things start to move along quite rapidly. I’ve been working on these for a month or so now and I’m starting to feel some advancement. I’m now at the stage where I’m getting fairly confident with painting to a pounced design, but it’s something else entirely if you can achieve freestyle hand-painted letters
Obviously some letters are coming out better than others and, as you can see from above, it will take time to gain the required consistency. But once you get a couple of letters looking good it can become quite addictive.