Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Wednesday 22nd February 2012 - A Black Swan Assignment

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me- Enough of that. Where were we...

An assignment we picked up from uni (one set before my identity one, but which I was less inclined to complete) was to do the D&AD brief for Little White Lies - Another one of them seemingly annoying film review magazine which focuses on "Truth and films" which sounds like the strapline from a left wing theatre group. 

Yes, I wasn't exactly enthralled. However, the film I could choose to illustrate for their potential cover was Black Swan, which meant drawing Natalie Portman. Fun! 

This is where everything started - There are 4 pages like this, with rough designs and possible outcomes. An overwhelming proportion of the covers are a simple portrait of the main protagonist, completed in the illustrators own unique style. I could do that.

The next step after choosing a design idea was to become familiar with my subject, which meant lots of drawings of flat on, static, lifeless and in short, f*cking boring faces.

Completed in parallel to this was a final draft design, blown up slightly do a decent size, with the focus on communication and not ideation.

Next; a test of finishing style. I was surprised with how happy I was with this, and how well it came out.

Typography. I wanted a nice messy style - in keeping with how I was going to render the final. I like the red swan on the lower type.

My first attempt at the final. While I think each element in it works to a degree, as a whole I totally and utterly hate it, and am only showing as a point of reference for my repainted version.

So, after much deliberation and self deprecation, I spent a sunday totally repainting the final, lightboxing my test on finishing style onto fresh A3 board, and repeating the processes. As I was finding out that the eyes of Portman in Black Swan are the main focus - far beyond that of any other part of her face - I decided that the inclusion of anything but the eyes, in terms of composition and impact, were totally unnecessary, so I removed them all together!

My favored design, with an alteration of the type, and included masthead.

And that's where I decided to call it quits on this assignment.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Wednesday 15th Feb 2012 - My identity?

A one day uni assignment tasked us with producing an A1 poster illustrating our identity. Now, I'm not being stupid, but I assumed that people undertaking a degree in illustration, in their second year, would shy away from stereotypes, prejudices and assumptions.


I was... shall we say, worried... by some work I saw, and in my usual cander, ignored them and went on with drafting something completely different.

The words I went with were;
Sombre, Solitary, Obsessive and Melancholic.

And so thought about producing a landscape (landscapes are often used by fine artists as metaphors of the human condition [Dali]) which encompassed these. And I was going to do it digitally. Fuck yeah.

After a day of drafting, a day of research, a weekend of work (all illustration relateds were shelved for the duration) and a day of painting, I had this.

Black and white value paintings really help me when applying colour; it allows for the hues to maintain a wide tonal range, rather than muddying themselves with midtones everywhere.

Then after half a day of colours I was left with this. I find I lose some of the raw values of black and whites when adding colour. So must compensate with using some very saturated colours to help drag the eye across the canvas, and stop and sense of boredom and maintain some rhythm.

Edit: And as a wonderful addition. A 1920x1080 wallpaper.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Thursday 2nd February 2012 - Tying up loose ends.

Well, not in actuality, but just some stuff that's floating round with nowhere to go.

Dragging out some sketches from my old Moleskine. It's pretty easy to colour over them in Photoshop, I just need to cover up all the shi--less effective areas of the drawing.

Practice is pracitce.

Yeah. They were mostly pin-ups back then.

And something slightly more recent.

And something slightly more sarcastic.