Hand Lettering Psalm 3:8

Two stones on the beach

I’ve wanted to illustrate a verse for some time. But which verse, and why? This one popped out at me because of its literal and spiritual significance. David wrote it while being pursued by his son Absalom. His son’s intent was to kill him and reign unopposed.

While David is speaking of literal salvation in this instance, his statement rings true spiritually. He had numerous insights like this one, made all the more astonishing when you consider how little of God’s plan had been revealed.

I doodled the first of several layouts with these thoughts in mind. “Salvation” is the key word in the first sentence, but “the LORD” is the obvious star.

A sample doodleI liked what I came up with, so I gave it a rest. A day went by. I had to see what was possible with my two Sharpie markers, so I experimented with serif and sans serif typefaces. Which words to emphasize became clearer as I progressed. Emphasizing “your” toward the latter half was a mistake. The “blessing” is key and should receive greater emphasis.

Doodles with a Sharpie penThe process of scanning and cleaning up in Photoshop revealed something: one, this would take a while, and two, my markers bleed like a hemophiliac. Not good. The amount of cleanup required was ridiculous, so I decided to trace the best pieces and edit them together. I also determined to nix the butterflies because I just can’t draw them well.

The final versionNext, it was time for a lovely background! I’ve been keeping a folder of nature photos for several years. The one I picked is from 2008 when my family vacationed at Cannon Beach, Oregon. A few other options were flowers and such from a stock photography website, but they didn’t fit. Besides, it’s safest to make art with your own content if licensing is a concern.

After tinkering with warming filters, I pronounced the design finished. Or, rather, I was tired of fiddling with the saturation and called it a day. Looks a bit orange, no? That’s something I’ll have to keep in mind when I play with filters again. Less is often more.

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