A Study in Hand Lettering

The Best View

I apologise for the terrible lighting..

Some people tend to categorise this as faux (meaning fake) calligraphy because calligraphy effects are added manually rather than from using tools. But this is actually more hand lettering than calligraphy. According to Lettering Daily, “Hand lettering focuses on drawing and illustrating the letters. Calligraphy, on the other hand, is the art of beautiful writing.”

The image above is a visual example of the difference between hand lettering, calligraphy, and typography.
Image Source: Lettering Daily

Any way, this is how it ended up looking like!

Hand Lettering #2

This quote by Dr.Seuss reads, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out!” I discovered this quote just a few months into my new school (years ago!) and it meant the world to me!


~A Little Background~

Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel was an American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker. He is known for his work writing and illustrating more than 60 books under the pen name Dr. Seuss.

During World War II, he took a brief hiatus from children’s literature to illustrate political cartoons, and he also worked in the animation and film department of the United States Army where he wrote, produced or animated many productions – both live-action and animated – including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. After the war, he wrote classics like If I Ran theZoo (1950), Horton Hears a Who! (1955), If I Ran the Circus (1956), The Cat in the Hat (1957), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957), and Green Eggs and Ham (1960). He published over 60 books during his career, which have spawned numerous adaptations, including 11 television specials, five feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series. Geisel died of cancer on September 24, 1991, at his home in La Jolla, California, at the age of 87. {Wikipedia}


Apart from how it echoed my ‘new kid’ struggle, I also loved how the quote ends in an exclamation mark, rather than a question mark. It makes the quote sound like something that is already so obvious. If it ended with a question mark, it would appear to have different answers depending on the person.

For example, if I said, ‘The moon isn’t made out of cheese!’, it sounds like it’s an obvious truth everyone knows but if I had said, ‘The moon isn’t made out of cheese?’, there’s a 0.0001% chance, someone is going to say, ‘Why, yes, it is!’

I used a reference image to get the different fonts right and a pencil for the initial sketch, then went over with a black gel pen and a used a fine liner for some parts. And this is what it ended up looking like!

Now you know exactly what to say, when someone tells you, “You need to try to fit in with others’!

Moving on to the last one,

Does it ever bother you when you forget to do something that is seemingly so small there was no way you should have forgotten in the first place? Or when someone smiles at you but you were moving so fast by the time your brain ordered your face to smile, you were already far from the person? Or when someone who helps you all the time asks you for a pencil when you didn’t have a single one and had to say ‘Sorry, I cant help you’?

Sometimes it ruins the entire day when these occurrences start plaguing you with ‘What ifs’. “What if I’d written it down?” “What if I’d walked slower?” What if…What if..?”

As much as I love the quote, I wasn’t happy with how the purple ink wasn’t opaque enough or how the gradient on the word ‘little’ didn’t turn out prominent but I loved the contrast of yellow and purple. This is how it ended up!

The little things hold so much significance and play a crucial role in everybody’s life, whether you want it to or not, whether you accept it or not. They are what makes the big things seem big. How could you say something big has happened in your life unless you had a little scale to compare it to?

So cherish those little things that come your way. The little moments, the little gifts, the little memories, everything you think is little is going to play a big role one day.

Cheers to the little things in life that help us see the bigger picture!

Thoughtfully yours,
-Introverted Thoughts aka D

For The Love Of Animals!

I saw an animal tag over at Cari’s blog, All Creatures Great and Small. She didn’t tag me but I found it interesting and she very kindly told me I could do it!

Make sure you check out her wonderful blog here to learn more about a huge variety of animals and support her efforts to “save the world through education and conservation”.

Since I was doing an animal tag, I figured I might add a few drawings as well. I recently finished two animal pages and it didn’t turn out very neat, since I was using water colour for a few of their backgrounds.

The Rules:

➼Link back to original creator – Cari
➼Link back to the person who tagged you or the blog where you first saw this tag (Cari).
➼Answer all the questions.
➼Add one more question of your own.
➼Tag at least 5 people.
➼Don’t lie.
➼Have fun!

Now onto the questions!

1.What is your favorite animal?

Apart from dogs, I think I’d go with panthers! And I love owls and eagles among birds!

2.What got you interested in animals?

Everyone in my family loves animals. I sort of just grew up and into that mindset. Besides, I have never found a reason to not like them.

3.Do you have a pet?

Yes! I have a pet dog named Willy! He’s four years old and I might as well add, he’s my best friend! I also got a Betta fish recently whom I named Pete. He’s shimmery blue and looks gorgeous with a tinge of red towards the end of his tail. I’ve been dying to draw him, but I don’t want to do an inking and I don’t know how to do it in colour pencil.

4.What is you’re favorite nonfiction book about animals?

Definitely All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot! I loved his manner of narration in this book.

5.What is your favorite fiction book about animals?

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell! It’s an exceptional book.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell is considered to be one of the first fictional animal autobiographies. I loved the way the whole story was narrated from the horse’s perspective. All those detailed descriptions and tales, some of which were heartbreaking all came together at the end. I would definitely recommend this book to all ages; it’s an incredibly beautiful story.

-A tiny review I wrote on both Amy’s blog, Amy’s Musica. She’s a wonderful singer and an incredibly supportive friend!
It’s also been included on my book blog, Paper Hearts.

6.Have you been a part of any animal conservation efforts?

No. But I hope to be part of one, soon.

7.What is your top bucket list dream that you would do with animals?

Good question! I haven’t thought of it before but I would love to see animals in their natural habitats. As to what I would want to do with them, I think I’d enjoy scuba diving in a place with a rich aquatic eco-system.

(I drew this little pup for a competition over at The Bandit Post)


8.Have you ever dressed up like an animal?

I always dress like a human (yes, humans are animals).

Humans are terrestrial animals, characterized by their erect posture and bipedal locomotion; high manual dexterity….
Wikipedia

But no, I don’t think I have.

My added question, (to which my answer is yes) is:

9. In the poem, Animals by Walt Whitman, the poet states that,
“They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins..”

where the ‘They’ refers to animals. Do you agree?

I tag:
Krisha
Evin
Meg
Maggie
Shanessa
Chloe

Lizzie
Claire
And anyone who loves animals!!

Thoughtfully yours,
-Introverted Thoughts aka D

Elves and Reindeer 🦌

Picking up where I left off last week, we’re back to another semi-history post because I couldn’t include reindeers or nativity scenes in the last post.

Welcome to the second part of Christmas Cafe! Today, I’m going to be sharing a little more about the day we have all come to associate with joy these days! Akin to the previous post, I’ve included a few Christmas themed (*ahem*) sketches as well! I think they turned out slightly better than the previous ones. Hehe.

Baubles

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Known by different names like Christmas ornamentsbaubles, “christmas bulbs” or “Christmas bubbles” or Christmas “ball balls, these are typically made of wood, blown glass or more commonly, plastic. It is also quite interesting to note that apples, white candy canes and pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts and flowers were used as ornaments to decorate trees initially.

Christmas baubles first originated in Germany inspired by the red apples that were used to decorate the ‘tress of paradise’ for miracle plays which would take place on Christmas Eve. First invented, by local man Hans Greiner in Lauscha in the mid-16th century, the first baubles were fruit and nut shaped glass, eventually turning into a more spherical shape. Interestingly, these baubles were considered expensive as they were handcrafted and purchased only by the wealthy until affordable plastic versions were introduced.

I think these turned out more or less like I wanted them to. These are the same ones that were shown above Santa in the previous post.

Elves

Showcasing roots in German mythology and folklore, elves are considered to be humanlike beings with supernatural powers capable of both helping or hindering people. They have a rich and fascinating history in a plethora of cultures and various countries. It was William Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, that popularised them as small, impish beings.

I feel like the whole scene gives his face a little more context. The watercolour background made it look a tad messy.. I used a reference from Pinterest for this.

Christmas elves however, a relatively recent notion gained popularity in the United States. Elves came to be to be first associated with Christmas presents in the first half of the 19th century with the Tomte and Nisse( mythological creatures from Nordic folklore today typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season) in Sweden and Denmark respectively.

First introduced in literature by Louisa May Alcott around 1850 in a book she never published, a parallel was drawn with Santa Claus in the 1823 poem by Clement Moore, which describes St.Nicholas himself as a ‘jolly, old elf‘. Their position as Santa’s helpers was popularised by Godey’s Lady’s Book, whose cover illustration showed them in a workshop. The folktale, The Elves and the Shoemaker also played a role in supporting their image as Santa’s helpers. The elves names are Alabaster Snowball • Bushy Evergreen • Pepper Minstix • Shinny Upatree • Sugarplum Mary • and Wunorse Openslae.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Reindeers

Image Source: MarieClaire

According to Wikipedia, “The first reference to Santa’s sleigh being pulled by a reindeer appears in Old Santeclaus with Much Delight“, an 1821 illustrated children’s poem published in New York.” Santa Claus is believed to have nine reindeer, since the mid-20th century.

Illustration to the first verse of “Old Santeclaus with Much Delight”, 1821
Image source: Wikipedia

Of these nine reindeer eight are known as, Dasher • Dancer • Prancer • Vixen •Comet • Cupid • Donder (also called Donner) • and Blitzen. These are based off the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (commonly called “T’was The Night Before Christmas”) by Clement Clarke Moore, which is also recognised as the basis of the reindeers’ popularity. The ninth reindeer, Rudolph, a young reindeer who was teased by the other deer because of his large, glowing, red nose was the creation of Robert L. May, a copywriter at the Montgomery Ward department store in America.

Rudolph, well- known for his bright red, glowing nose for which he was made fun of by other reindeer, came to Santa’s rescue by leading the sleigh with the light his nose gave off on a foggy Christmas Eve!

Simple and Humble.
I liked the background this time!

The Nativity Scene

Taking its inspiration from the accounts of the birth of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, setting up a crib also known as a manger scene, nativity scene, crèche or in Italian presepio or presepe, is yet another widely observed Christmas tradition. It is specifically an exhibition of models of both humans and animals who have gathered to pay their respects to the infant Jesus. Apart from Mother Mary and St. Joseph, an angel, a donkey and an ox are typically depicted in the scene, with the Magi and their camels, commonly included.

According to Wikipedia, “Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 in order to cultivate the worship of Christ to place the emphasis of Christmas upon the worship of Christ rather than upon secular materialism and gift giving. He himself had recently been inspired by his visit to the Holy Land, where he’d been shown Jesus’s traditional birthplace.”

Nativity scenes are often set up around Christmas time in both churches and homes. While manger scenes with human participants are common, statues are used more frequently to keep cribs throughout the month. Speaking of the animal components, the ox traditionally represents patience, the nation of Israel, and Old Testament sacrificial worship while the ass represents humility, readiness to serve, and the Gentiles. Pope John Paul II inaugurated the annual tradition of placing a nativity scene on display in the Vatican City before the Christmas Tree in 1982.

And that was all for today! I find it quite interesting how rich a history every single Christmas element has; I didn’t know elves had such a wonderful and rich history where they weren’t associated with Santa. I haven’t mentioned it all here but check this out when you have time!

Speaking of time, seems like it really is flying; there is just 1 week till Christmas!! Can you believe it’s Christmas next Friday?!

And a quick reminder that my feedback form is open all throughout December! If you haven’t taken the survey, please consider doing so here! I’ll be compiling an acknowledgement post with all your lovely responses in January!

Previous post:
Disconnected Entities

Thank you so much for reading! Which of these did you find the most interesting?

Christmas Nuggets 🎁

Welcome to the first part of Christmas Cafe! Today, I’ve compiled a little list describing the origin and history of several elements of Christmas with a Santa and a Christmas tree drawing (painting? sketch?). Getting into it now! so it doesn’t get longer than it already is

#1 The Date

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a confirmed fact nor is it mentioned in the Holy Bible that Jesus Christ (whose birthday is celebrated as Christmas) was born on December 25. Most scholars think that Jesus was born between 2 BCE and 7 BCE, possibly in 4 BCE. In fact, the first recorded event of a December 25th celebration was in 336, during the time of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine. Orthodox and Coptic Churches that still use the Julian Calendar celebrate Christmas on the 7th January, and the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates it on the 6th January.

Image Source: Reader’s Digest

It is also believed that Mother Mary was told she would bear a baby on March 25, an event observed as the Annunciation. So, December 25th (9 months later) was arrived at, as the birth date.

Hanukkah, The Jewish festival of Lights, starts on the eve of the Kislev 25 (the Jewish month that coincides with December). Jesus was Jewish, suggesting this could be another reason why the Church chose to celebrate his birthday on December 25.

#2 Santa Claus

Santa Claus, the portly, jolly man we have all come to associate with Christmas is also known as Father Christmas, St. Nick or Kris Kringle. The progenitor of the modern Santa, St. Nicholas was a Greek Christian bishop, born in Patara, near Myra, in the Mediterranean.

Did you know the name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas)? Known as the patron saint of children, protector of children and sailors and noted for his piety and kindness, he lived during the Roman empire in the third and fourth centuries.

Could have definitely been better. I liked the book though.


Wikipedia describes Santa Claus as “a portly, jolly, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, red hat with white fur, and black leather belt and boots and carrying a bag full of gifts for children.”

Thomas Nast, an American cartoonist of the 19th century was one of the first artists to define Santa Claus’s modern image.
Image Source: Wikipedia

As to how this popular image came into being, it is believed that the poem, ” ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” is largely responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as “a jolly old elf” with the ability to travel through chimneys. This poem, originally titled “An Account of a Visit from St.Nicholas” was written by Clement Clark Moore, a minister, for his daughters in 1823.

The poem by Clement Moore. The poem reads from top to bottom, starting from the left column to the right column.
(Image designed with Canva)


#3 Christmas Trees

There is a very interesting legend revolving around the Christmas trees we use today. Here is a short version:

Once upon a time, there was a Scandinavian village and there was a tree in the forest. The tree, a thunder-oak was considered to be the Norse God, Thor’s altar and the heathens who lived there sacrificed humans and animals at the altar as offerings to Thor. The tree which was believed to have grown from blood, was so forbidding and daunting that no one ventured out to it, animals or people. It also had mistletoes hanging from its branches.

So, one Christmas eve just before the winter rites were about to begin, St.Winfred, arrived with his people, went to the tree, took out a shining, golden axe (yes, it was golden) and hacked the tree at its base. The priests who supervised the offerings were clearly shocked that he was ruining the mighty Thor’s altar. Soon, the tree finally fell backwards. But then, they noticed a young fir tree behind the thunder oak, untouched by the gigantic fallen tree.

The saint then said to the people,
This little tree, a young child of the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the tree of peace, for your houses are built of fir. It is the sign of endless life, for its leaves are forever green. See how it points upward to heaven! Let this be called the tree of the Christ Child. Gather about it, not in the wildwood, but in your own homes. There it will shelter no deeds of blood, but loving gifts and rites of kindness. So shall the peace of the White Christ reign in your hearts!”

Image source: Pinterest

He further told them the tree was worthy of being holy unlike Thor’s tree which required blood to be holy. He then went on to emphasise on the usefulness of the fir tree which included it being used widely to build homes. The tree’s spire pointed to the skies and heaven, by extension, prompting the saint to declare it a ‘Child of Christ‘. The fir symbolized love, kindness and sacrifice. Fir also represented endless life and hope as it is an evergreen tree.

He told the people it should be kept inside homes, sanctified with love and compassion. He also introduced the idea of sharing gifts under it as a sign of sharing love and joy. The fir tree also stood for peace, youth and strength. When Saint Winfred introduced the fir tree to the heathens, it was accepted as the holy tree of Christmas. Since then, the heathen folk accepted fir as the symbol of good will and peace and welcomed it in their homes every holy Christmastide.

It looks very meh, unfortunately.
There. That looks so much better.
Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

#4 Carols


A Christmas carol is a song or hymn based on Christmas that is often sung on Christmas or during the Christmas season. Did you know that the popular Christmas song, Jingle Bells, wasn’t originally intended for Christmas? In fact, it was first sung on Thanksgiving and came to be associated with Christmas when it was sung in in Ordway Hall on September 16, 1857.

Image Source: Deposit Photos

The first known Christmas hymns may be traced to 4th-century Rome. They were sung throughout the subsequent centuries but rose in popularity after the Reformation in the countries where Protestant churches gained prominence due to reformers promoting the singing and use of carols. Publication of carols’ books in the 19th and 20th centuries were yet other factors that catapulted carols to the public eye resulting in more frequent and popular use. Carollers assembling in public spaces was a 19th-century phenomenon. It is also vaguely accepted that one of the first Christmas carols ever to be recorded was the 129 AD ‘Angels Hymn’.

It’s incredible to read about how human perception has evolved over the centuries. It’s funny how little we see and eventually believe when there is an incredible amount of information we seem to overlook.

And a quick reminder that my feedback form is open all throughout December! If you haven’t taken the survey, please consider doing so here! I’ll be compiling an acknowledgement post in January!

Thank you so much for reading!

A note! (and Art Niche!)

I recently crossed 100 followers and I am absolutely overwhelmed with shock and gratitude. I love writing and it feels even more great to have you all actually read what I write. So, a huge thank you to each and everyone!!
Secondly, in view of the above unbelievable occurrence, I have planned to start an art page. I’m terrible at drawing but I find it incredibly calming and fun. I have an unhealthy obsession with cartoon characters and most of my sketches are of cartoon or book characters. I’d absolutely love it if you could check out the page here or by clicking the image below! It’s called Art Niche!


Thirdly, I am sorry to say that I’m going to make this blog award free as school has made it a point to take up most of my time. I am immensely grateful for all the award nominations I have received and truly appreciate your kind gestures. But, the upcoming award posts will be my last.

And lastly, I’ve started a new series on my blog titled ‘Awfully Thoughtful’, the first post of which I uploaded a few days ago. Check it(dear diary,) out here!

I genuinely hope everyone is staying safe and would like to conclude on a grateful note. Thank you so very much for sticking around!