Letter Hats: Linework, Colour and Shading


Trilby, bowler, boater, fedora, cloche, flat caps and fascinators. These are just a few of the many kinds of hats worn by people.


Today’s project is about hats, similar to the mushroom project last week. You will be using letters to create twenty six different hats. Drawings are to be in your sketchbook first, use the Pinterest board as reference. The focus is on drawing loose and light.

Hat drawings are done in a sketchbook. By using the letters as starting points explore the possibilities of the varieties of hat styles in spontaneous sketches.

Watercolour Project

Once you have completed the sketchbook project move on to the watercolour block. Cover a watercolour sheet in the alphabet and turn them into hats using a dip pen and high flow paint, it will be easier to dilute the paint a little to create flowing lines.


Add colour to the hat shapes. You can use the whole spectrum of of colours in the QoR set, or your own watercolour set. The objective is to keep it light, with emphasis on linework and simple colour sections. Explore colour combinations, techniques such as dry brush, simplified details and shading. Paynes Gray had been used to add suggestions of shadow.

PS... Quintin Blake is a master at creating illustrations using solid linework and watercolour details to great effect. Have a look at his work as well.

PPS... You are welcome to share the outcomes of this project, but please do not share details of the process using letters on social media, online or in workshops.

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

© 2020 Explore Colour