NOTE This page needs updating
Doggerel: Elderly elephant educating eocene emissaries eagerly explains ecstatic explosion
Media and materials: emulsion, enamel, emery paper,etch
Style and mood: Expressionist, energetic, elusive, enigmatic
Assessment of the image so far
This image became very much materials driven, and changed considerably from my original concept to respond to images emerging from the materials I was exploring.
My original brainstorm sketches were around the idea of elegant, erratic, erect, electric, energy. Then in my colour mockup, I experimented with trying to draw an elegant elephant with letter Es. I had a number of options for materials, and started with enamel and emery paper. I found that drawing/etching into emulsion paint on an enamel tile produced some very interesting lines. And some of the accidental textures already on old emery paper from earlier sanding and photographing light shining on new emery sheets gave some quite dramatic effects when scanned – particularly the explosion from the mouth with aeroplanes in the background. These images I extended by painting elephant and other shapes in emulsion paint on the emery paper, and adding some etched explosion lines. So I decided to develop the image, then adapt the original doggerel and concept to fit, looking for suitable words in the dictionary.
I then experimented with the typefaces on the letter page to fit the shapes in the image. I like the tangle of thorny people bottom right and the entangled earthworms. Probably I could push this further.
I like the darkness of the image, and the contrast between the dumbo elephant and the dramatic mouth with explosion and aeroplanes in the background. I also like the skeletal inset creatures, and the dumb looking elephant. The main change I will make is to get rid of the irregular line in the elephant’s trunk. I will also experiment to see if embossing effects in Photoshop add anything to the enamel creatures at the front.
First digital mockup
Emulsion on emery paper
For more discussion of techniques in using emulsion paint see: Emulsion
For more discussion of using emery paper see: Emery paper
For more discussion of work on enamel tiles see: Enamel tiles
Developing the spread
History and development of the letterform
Edited and extended from Letter E Wikipedia
E (named e /ˈiː/, plural ees) is the fifth letter and the second vowel in the Modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
The Latin letter ‘E’ differs little from its source, the Greek letter epsilon, ‘Ε’. This in turn comes from the Semitic letter hê, which has been suggested to have started as a praying or calling human figure (hillul ‘jubilation’), and was probably based on a similar Egyptian hieroglyph that indicated a different pronunciation. In Semitic, the letter represented /h/ (and /e/ in foreign words); in Greek, hê became the letter epsilon, used to represent /e/. The various forms of the Old Italic script and the Latin alphabet followed this usage.
Although Middle English spelling used ⟨e⟩ to represent long and short /e/, the Great Vowel Shift changed long /eː/ (as in ‘me’ or ‘bee’) to /iː/ while short /e/ (as in ‘met’ or ‘bed’) remained a mid vowel. In other cases, the letter is silent, generally at the end of words.
In the orthography of many languages it represents either these or /ɛ/, or some variation (such as a nasalized version) of these sounds, often with diacritics (as: ⟨e ê é è ë ē ĕ ě ẽ ė ẹ ę ẻ⟩) to indicate contrasts. Less commonly, as in Saanich, ⟨e⟩ represents a mid-central vowel /ə/. Digraphs with ⟨e⟩ are common to indicate either diphthongs or monophthongs, such as ⟨ea⟩ or ⟨ee⟩ for /iː/ or /eɪ/ in English, ⟨ei⟩ for /aɪ/ in German, and ⟨eu⟩ for /ø/ in French or /ɔɪ/ in German.
Most common letter
‘E’ is the most common (or highest-frequency) letter in the English alphabet and several other European languages – with implications in both cryptography and data compression. It is the most commonly used letter in many languages, including: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Latin, Norwegian,Spanish, and Swedish.
In the story The Gold Bug by Edgar Allan Poe, a character figures out a random character code by remembering that the most used letter in English is E. This makes it a hard and popular letter to use when writing lipograms. Ernest Vincent Wright’s Gadsby (1939) is considered a “dreadful” novel, and supposedly “at least part of Wright’s narrative issues were caused by language limitations imposed by the lack of E.” Both Georges Perec’s novel A Void (La Disparition) (1969) and its English translation by Gilbert Adair omit ‘e’ and are considered better works.
- E with diacritics: Ĕ ĕ Ê ê Ě ě Ɇ ɇ Ė ė Ẹ ẹ Ë ë È è É é Ē ē Ẽ ẽ Ę ę
- Æ æ : Latin AE ligature
- Œ œ : Latin OE ligature
- The umlaut diacritic ¨ used above a vowel letter in German and other languages to indicate a fronted or front vowel (this sign originated as a superscript e)
- Phonetic alphabet symbols related to E (the International Phonetic Alphabet only uses lowercase, but uppercase forms are used in some other writing systems):
- Ɛ ɛ : Latin letter epsilon, which represents an open-mid front unrounded vowel in the IPA
- ɜ : Latin letter reversed epsilon, which represents an open-mid central unrounded vowel in the IPA
- Ə ə : Latin letter schwa, which represents a mid central vowel in the IPA
- Ǝ ǝ : Latin letter turned e, which is used in the writing systems of some African languages
- ɘ : Latin letter reversed e, which represents a close-mid central unrounded vowel in the IPA
Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets
- : Semitic letter He (letter), from which the following symbols originally derive
- Ε ε : Greek letter Epsilon, from which the following symbols originally derive
Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations
- € : Euro sign.
- ℮ : Estimated sign (used on prepackaged goods for sale within the European Union).
- ∃ : existential quantifier in predicate logic.
- ∈ : the symbol for set membership in set theory.
- ℯ : the base of the natural logarithm.
- ℇ : the Euler–Mascheroni constant.
In British Sign Language (BSL), the letter ‘e’ is signed by extending the index finger of the right hand touching the tip of index on the left hand, with all fingers of left hand open.