Great project. Start with letterforms from all kinds of font typefaces. (Typography is a detailed art-form). I use a binder with sets of all twenty-six letters and capitals. If you want to transfer letterforms print them inverse (mirrored) and use a xylene marker on the opposing side to transfer it onto a surface.
Step 1 - Choose a letter
I chose the first letter of my name, and then looked at different ways it appears when in a calligraphic style font typeface, and also in old english typefaces.
Step 2 - Draw, embellish and ornament your letter
I chose Icelandic things, because I just took a trip there, and love Iceland in general. I included basalt columns, a Björk song lyric, an elf, green moss, and a snowflake. I included fire to illustrate the song lyrics, and also represent Iceland's active geology. The trees hint at a forest, deep in the dark, also a symbol for the mind -- where things take root and grow. In this case, we might be talking about renewal, since there's a spark that has begun and will in all likelihood consume the forest, making room for new growth. It's like the lava in Iceland, where moss grows on top of the cold magma. The tallest trees in Iceland are moss. Did you know that? Icelandic humor.
Step 3 - Color in with inks or watercolor
Choose your inks. Usually, you do not want to start with unmixed colors. Work in layers. If a large portion is black or gray, cover it with a wash. Build up shadows by adding layers. To mix colors, us their complementary. Mix reds with a little green, greens with a little red, blues with a little orange. Mixing colors with give a more intented, might I even say more sophisticated look. If anything, it will show that you understand color theory, and that the colors in nature and the real world (aside from magenta flowers) usually aren't poppy bright yellows and pinks. You can use whatever colors you want though. If you're painting gems, you might want to paint with bright colors. Try adding in something opposing like a subtler shade next to them to emphasize their brightness. Law of contrast, opposing forces emphasize each other thereby drawing the eye's attention.
Step 4 - Display it
I displayed mine on my website. In a way my 'K' is a self-portrait representing who I am by illustrating what I love and am interested in. I could draw one a day for the rest of my life, and each would differ from day to day like people.
Start your own by choosing a letterform!