Friday, March 16, 2018

Painting a Logo Using Old-School Tools


To wrap up my coverage of professional basketball, I'll paint the NBA/ESPN logo by hand using old-school tools. (Link to video)


At almost any antique store, you can find high quality drafting sets, by Dietzgen or DesignMaster. They're not too expensive because few people use them anymore. For example, I recently found a DesignMaster 1146C for about $20. 

Drafting sets contain a variety of compasses and ruling pens. Some of the compasses can be set up with either a graphite tip or a ruling pen tip. The ruling pen tip has a small set screw that precisely adjusts the width of the line. The bigger compasses have double break points so that your ruling pen meets the paper at a right angle.


You can fill the reservoir of the ruling pen tip with either ink, watercolor or thinned-down gouache. Instead of dipping the tip into the ink or liquid paint, you should put a drop into the gap using a brush or an eyedropper. 

With these tools you can paint a perfect circle in gouache. 


The logo for the NBA on ESPN is usually seen in its digital incarnation, which has a gradation to make the white ring look dimensional. To do that, I load two brushes, one with dark red and one with lighter red, and blend the colors wet into wet.

The NBA / ESPN logo is a trademark belonging to their respective owners
The result, which appears here a little larger than the actual size of the original, isn't perfect, but it's just a sketchbook page. If I wanted to refine it, I would work larger and spend more time on it.
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3 comments:

Unknown said...

Nice. I'm looking forward to your next installment, "Using a rotary phone to order a pizza."

David Webb said...

Haven't used instruments like those for a while. I often used the compass/ruling pen in the 80's to draw circles on acetate overlays, for illustrations. Mostly for highlighting a feature, then doing a close-up view of the area within the circle.
I always held my breath when I was drawing them, but they usually turned out ok.

admin said...

Very interesting materials, now I will visit your blog more often, and I look forward to a new post with impatience.