I had the privilege of taking a workshop this past August with the amazingly talented artist Suzanne Moore (see her beautiful work here). She is one of the lettering artists who worked on the St. John's Bible with Donald Jackson.
The workshop was titled "Letters as Subject: Written, Drawn and Painted." She led us through a series of exercises that "helped develop and build on our own lettering and design skills, creating black and white variations...moving on to color renditions of letters, words and phrases." She was a fount of information on all sorts of different media, from gesso to graphite. The workshop was a treasure trove of new ideas and inspiration! If you ever get the opportunity to study with Suzanne, you will NOT be disappointed!
This small (8" x 8") piece was one of the exercises that used gesso, sumi ink, graphite, and oil pastels.
And this exercise was one that had us all tearing our hair out! Working with positive and negative space, we were to take one word—using a favorite lettering style—and make a sort of design/logo out of it. It was a mind-bender, to say the least! I loosely based my letterforms on some beautiful Uncial forms I saw in Issue 27:1 of Letter Arts Review. They were created by California artist Larry Thomas. My word was "ablaze."