Hand-Painted Lettering on Vintage Saw

I have seen some awesome hand-lettering projects on antique saws so I was happy when I got the chance to do my own. The saw I used has a carved hardwood handle and having been stored in a garden shed for the last 50+ years, there was a lovely rusty patina on the blade. I cleaned it up and removed all the loose rust to get a stable surface for painting onto.

I wanted to letter a phrase onto the blade that had some kind of connection with the use of a saw and woodworking – as well as being inspirational…. so here’s what I came up with:-

Hand lettering on old saw by Debbie Kendall

Read on to see more pics and find out more about the process…

After much pencil and paper work trying out different lettering styles and layouts, I transferred my chosen design onto the blade.

Lettering design traced onto saw blade

It took a while to figure out a nice colour combination – I settled on a simple, traditional palette of cream, red and ochre – and then using sign writers brushes and my favourite casein (milk-based) paint, thinned with a little water, I got painting.

SawDev5WSawDev6W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SawDev7W

SawDev8W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SawDev9W

…And after some painstaking hours of painting I was pretty happy with the result

Hand painted lettering on old saw

Hand lettering on antique saw by Debbie Kendall

The final stage was a thin coat of linseed oil to seal the painted letters and bring up the wooden handle to a nice colour. The oil also gave the painted lettering a nice vintage look.

Hand painted letters on old saw by Debbie Kendall

Hand painted lettering on vintage saw blade by Debbie Kendall

I like it so much that I’m not sure I actually want to part with it!

 

 

In Memory of a Dog

A good friend recently had to say goodbye to her gorgeous flat coat retriever, River.

It was sudden and shocking news. I wanted to create something uniquely personal for her in River’s memory and also use drawing as an outlet for my thoughts on this sad news. River was a beautiful boy, so handsome and good natured and his love of water really lived up to his namesake.

If you are familiar with my prints, you will know that hand-lettering is my ‘thing’ and as someone who bought one of my prints recently commented, I have to be “both a printmaker and a wordsmith”, so I decided to write a poem about River and combine it with illustration in a vintage style.

Here is my Ode to River, in pen & ink on Japanese Hosho paper…

Tribute to a dog

 

 

Framed tribute to a dog

 

Golden Retriever Original Print

Here is the 8th breed in my dog tag print series – the Golden Retriever. This well known and loved breed is also adored by over 160 celebrity owners including Martha Stewart, Ronal Reagan, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Seinfeld, Jackie Chan and Christopher Reeve.

Golden Retriever Print

The  Golden Retriever was developed by the wonderfully named British aristocrat, Lord Tweedmouth, in the late 1800s, as a handsome and practical gentleman’s hunting companion. Tweedmouth was an avid hunter and well connected gentleman in Victorian society.

In 1865 Lord Tweedmouth bought the only yellow pup from a litter of black wavy coated retrievers and crossed him with the (now extinct) Tweed Water Spaniel, a rugged water dog with excellent retrieving abilities. He wanted to create the perfect sporting dog to retrieve upland game and waterfowl on his Scottish estate, but also an animal that was handsome and of a biddable, sweet disposition — an ideal a family pet.
Today’s Golden Retrievers are a testament to those early ideals.

Golden Retriever Art Print

Handsome as a Hollywood movie star, sensitive and intelligent companions, with smiling faces and heart-melting eyes, its hard to resist the allure of a Golden! Their inherent retrieving instinct and strong desire to please their people means that they love to carry things in their mouths – shoes, underwear and soft toys rank high on theirs list of favourite things to collect and present as gifts to their cherished family.

Framed Golden Retriever Print

Yet these dogs are so much more than a pretty face. Behind all the glamour lies a versatile and accomplished hunter who loves to be at one with nature. I always smile when I meet a mud-covered Golden out on a walk, fresh from romping through the undergrowth, wallowing in the mud and rolling in all manner of unmentionable substances. They simply love to have a good time with their people. What more could you ask from a dog?

The print combines my hand drawn lettering with illustration and each one is hand-printed on my press in a rich yellow ochre ink, then individually signed.

Prints are available both framed and unframed from my online shop

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Print

The popular Staffy is much misunderstood, frequently feared and often unfairly maligned by the media. They are (according to Kennel Club statistics at the time of writing) Britain’s 5th most popular dog, yet they also top the list of breeds in rescue centres and shelters in the UK. The truth is that while the Staffy might look like a tough dog, they are actually big softies – a loving, reliable and affectionate family dog, devoted to their human companions.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Pen and Ink Drawing by Debbie Kendall

So where do they get their bad rap from? Stan Rawlinson, the Dog Listener has written an excellent article on why this breed (the only one to be described by the Kennel Club as being ‘totally reliable’) has such a fearful reputation. Part of the reason is that the Staffie resembles many other of the so called ‘bully’ breeds that can be aggressive towards humans. In addition, staffies are often crossed with such breeds and this can alter or dilute the reliable Staffy anti-aggressive human bond.

Their tough looks and similarity to other more human-aggressive bully breeds, combined with easy availability from unscrupulous breeders, has sadly resulted in the Staffy becoming a status symbol dog amongst street gangs – a kind of ‘pseudo pit bull’.  These owners sometimes beat, torment and neglect  their dogs to try and make them into the ultimate aggressive accessory, to boost their street image and terrorise other gangs. They may also breed from their dog to generate income by selling the puppies. These puppies do not generally have the best start in life and are rarely properly socialised or appropriately trained. Indeed any breed of dog that is treated badly is likely to show aggression towards humans.

This is the key to why rescue shelters have a disproportionate number of Staffies. Many of the irresponsible owners who have acquired a Staffy to enhance their street credibility find that they are too much bother to look after, or having mistreated them are unable to control them. Neglect, inappropriate training and a poor understanding of a dog’s needs leads to many Staffies being abandoned or rescued by charitable organisations.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Print by Debbie Kendall

Created in England in the late 18th and early 19th century, Staffies were a cross between Bulldogs and Terriers, bred for the ‘sport’ of dogfighting by working class men. Staffies were expected to live harmoniously with their families, often in small spaces with lots of children. No aggression towards humans was tolerated and it is said that any dogs showing even the slightest signs of ill will towards their family members were ruthlessly weeded out.

As with all dogs, but particularly so for Staffies, they do have to be well socialised from an early age with other dogs and  animals in order that they do not develop aggression towards other dogs.

Hand lettering by Debbie Kendall

The Kennel Club recommends the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as being particularly suitable for families with children – one of only 2 breeds to deserve such a high accolade – and they describe the Staffy as:

“Extremely reliable, highly intelligent and affectionate, especially with children.”

Their reliable, loving nature and affinity for children is the reason that Staffords have earned the nickname “The Children’s Nursemaid” or “Nanny Dog”

My latest print celebrates all that is good about the Stafford. Hand lettered and illustrated, each print is hand printed on my press in a deep inky green – and individually signed.

Framed hand printed Staffy dog art by Debbie Kendall

Available from The Enlightened Hound’s online shop from just £40, unframed.

Creative Manifesto

Inspired by a recent challenge in Uppercase magazine I decided to hand letter a Creative Manifesto.

hand lettered creative manifesto by debbie kendall

I added a couple of vintage illustrations and set it against a nice sheet of ageing ledger paper.

I do love the sentiment… as behind the polished and perfect world of self promotion via social media, which can make success look so effortless, is a lot of unseen creative angst!

I might get a plate made and hand print a few on my press… I think it would be a good reminder to have on the studio wall!

Find out more about me and my work at The Enlightened Hound

Hand Lettered Pug Print

The Enlightened Hound’s “Dog Tag” series of prints has a new addition – The Pug Print.

Hand printed Pug 'Dog Tag' Art by Debbie Kendall, The Enlightened Hound

I must admit that I didn’t know much about these popular little dogs before I started researching them for my latest Dog Tag breed story print. The pug is often characterised by the Latin phrase “multum in parvo” which means “much in little”. This refers to the fact that these little dogs have such huge personalities!

Hand lettered detail of Pug print by Debbie Kendall

Pugs have a fascinating history dating back to ancient China. Also known as Foo Dogs in the West, they were bred by the Chinese Imperial Family of ancient dynasties to resemble the sacred Chinese Guardian Lion. Historical documentation indicates that pugs could only be owned and bred by emperors ~ breaking this law was punishable by death.

A very desirable feature was the “W” shape in the forehead folds, which in Chinese letters meant prince.

Pugs were treasured companions who were held in the highest esteem. They lived in the lap of luxury, eating only the best food, with their own devoted attendants to look after them and special carriages to ride in (not that different from today then!)

Framed Pug Art Print by Debbie Kendall

Pugs have long been associated with royalty, favoured as companions by several European royal households. From a Russian princess to the Dutch king, William I, French ruler Louis XIV, and British monarchs, King William III, Mary II, Queen Victoria and Edward VII and more recently The Duke & Duchess of Windsor. A more royal pedigree could not be found!

Fame and fortune go hand in hand with these great little dogs. Other celebrity owners include Josephine Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Andy Warhol, George Clooney and Grace Kelly.

Pugs have also been immortalised in many movies and books, perhaps the most famous of which is Frank the Pug in Men in Black – an extra-terrestrial living on Earth in the disguise of a pug!

The print combines my hand drawn lettering with illustration and each one is hand printed on my press in a rich deep orange/red – and individually signed. Available from my website both framed and unframed.

Also available are Labrador, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Whippet and Portuguese Water Dog. Up next is the Staffy!

The Whimsical Whippet Print

Here is the latest print in my series of Dog Tag prints that celebrate the story of a breed. This time it is the Whippet, and although I do not own a Whippet I do have rather a soft spot for them! I sometimes see a Whippet tearing across the common in my village and I love to see him, literally running like the wind, with reckless abandon.

The Oxford dictionary defines ‘whimsical’ as ‘playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing or amusing way’ and I feel that it sums up the Whippet perfectly. The Whippet has a wonderful history and, although there is no specific proof, it is thought to be an ancient breed, as Whippet-like dogs were depicted in the art of several ancient civilisations including the Romans and Ancient Egyptians.

Whippet Print by Debbie Kendall, The Enlightened Hound

As they are the fastest dogs, for their weight, they are the consummate sprinter and as such were prized by the British working classes  as racing dogs. At the end of the 19th century in Northern England and the Midlands, Whippet racing was taken extremely seriously, as a good racing Whippet could top up the family’s income quite significantly. Easier to come by and cheaper to buy and look after than a Greyhound, the Whippet was nicknamed the ‘poor man’s racehorse’.

Hand Lettered Whippet Print Detail by Debbie Kendall, The Enlightened Hound

They also made a useful poacher’s companion, being extremely adept at catching rabbits, yet small enough to hide under a coat. It is easy to see why these dogs were cherished by their families and were always given the choicest cuts of meat, even if the family had to ‘go without’.

Framed Whippet Print by The Enlightened Hound

Officially recognised as a breed in 1891, the Whippet with its affectionate, gentle nature, sleek, elegant lines and wise, soulful eyes is for me, a truly lovely dog.

Combining hand lettering and illustration and printed by hand on my press in a deep smoky blue/grey ink, each print is individually signed.

From The Enlightened Hound’s website.