L is for...

Lace and Loopy Letters

Hand made lace is an exquisite labour intensive product, a fine open fabric created with cotton or silkmade by looping, twisting or knitting thread in patterns and used especially for trimming garments.

Here are two links with some information on lace:



Today’s project is a simple one, with the possibility of being quite remarkable. Lace is something quite special, the intricate lines and patterns have been important components in fashion over centuries, associated with royalty, wealth and religion. You will be drawing lace by using letters shapes as components.

Here’s a link for lace inspiration: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/estemacleod/lace/?eq=lace&etslf=NaN

Creative Process

In preparation for the project you will need two medium or large sheets of watercolour paper. Cover the paper with a mixture of matte medium and black High Flow and let dry. You will not need more than a medium tablespoon of matte medium and half a teaspoon of black paint. Keep the layer of paint thin. The reason for the black paint is to create a smooth dark area to work on. Other materials you will need for the project include High Flow white and a dip pen for drawing. Remember to give the High Flow a good shake for at least a minute.

To create this, look back to the mini-projects you completed for B, C, D and H as inspiration for your letter shapes. In those exercises you created letter-based repeat patterns, rows of letters and cross formations. Look at these again and find your favourite letter and combinations of shapes. Do some of them suit lace designs better than others? Loopy letters such as l, e,f, h, y, k, j, and g work well, o is a good one to use facing each other since it is symmetrical. Angular letters such as i, v, t and w can be used effectively as well.

Now try out the dip pen and explore the drawings of lace patterns. Try something small and basic first. The letters can be connected with more lines to resemble lace; you can also add extra shapes in order to make it more elaborate. It is vital to keep the drawings of the lace connected to drawing letters in order to keep it uniform and maintain the flow in the drawn line.

Once you are comfortable with the drawings, draw a bigger design such as a lace collar or handkerchief.


This project is very strongly linked to your individual handwriting, creativity and artistic style. Developing your sensibilities for design and composition, as well as improving drawing skills with a dip pen - in white on a dark background - are important aspects to this project.