Thursday, 31 March 2011

Professional Project: Layout selection

After looking through a bunch of illustration/art/design books, analysing and logging the various layouts I came up with a fair few spreads or pages that I felt were quite effective. Obviously they will need to be edited and adapted to fit on one grid otherwise the flow of the book will be quite strange. But here are the ones that I've pulled out of books that I think work well.

This is the selection I will be using to set my work & my text on. I'm not sure how to choose at the moment. It was suggested that I devise a random process similar to the process I'm using for subject matter to choose to give the book a completely random element. That could work well if I structure the beginning to introduce it properly before giving over my design to chance.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Smoking Girl

Letraset pens, fineliners, ink, brush, pencil, water. 
The hair could be better.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Professional Project: Illustration Number Nine - Roman Army

The Roman Army came up as my subject matter for illustration. I had a massive block on this one and just couldn't get started on it. Eventually I just grabbed something and ran with it. If an army was disobedient the generals would execute every tenth man. The Roman armies symbol was an eagle. Hence the work.

This is the first eagle I drew up. At actual size the tail feathers had no detail so I had to drop some of them out and make gaps bigger so they could be seen clearly. I did two versions of the piece.

Of the two I prefer the black on white rather than the white on black. I think the lines are cleaner and therefore bolder, the red stands out better and in particular on the red eagle the detail gets lost in the black. The type is a reference to the famous OBEY poster work.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Sad Bear

I never just draw in pencil. I drew this while red nose day was on the TV. Probably where the sadness came from.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Professional Project: Illustration Number Eight - The Age Of Discovery


My eighth random subject matter was The Age Of Discovery. Which, after some research, turned out to be comprised of a lot of people sailing around the oceans with no particular destination in mind. They were just trying to find somewhere new. Later this created trade-routes and things like that. But what struck me most was the vast amount of sailing that happened. So I decided to draw a boat. Above is the original drawing. Rendered in Letraset Markers, coloured pencil and of course, fine liner pens. I think this worked really well as the markers allowed me to blend and give some detail to the sails. But I felt it was a bit bland on it's own...

So I did this. Simple border (fineliner and markers) remeniscent of old pictures etc. Since the subject matter was all about discovery of new things I decided to go for a multi-media effect, using some torn paper with some lines draw on it to create the sea.Some simple dodge and burn gave it some perspective. Then I went for the photographic sky and clouds to get the really deep blue and the detail.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Professional Project: Illustration Number Seven - Alfred Nobel

Alfred Nobel was the man who invented dynamite, amongst many other things, and founded the Nobel Prizes in his will. I decided to go a different route with the illustration through and looked at his love life. He never married but had three deep relationships, the last of which was with a flower girl called Sofie Hess from Vienna. They were together for 18 years until she fell pregnant by another man. Hence the image. Watercolour & fineliner. I wanted to keep it quite simple & stylised and tried to work in sepia type tones in the yellow and browns, due to the time period, but felt that it would be altogether too monotone if it was ill in this shade. So I left in some white highlights and added the blue to the faces and colour to the flowers to pick them out.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Always Looking Toned

I've evolved my style to encorporate skin tone which I think makes it look so much better. Especially with the tone that sits around the chin and stuff. Next time I'm thinking about going for full colour on the tattoos as well just to make it brighter. But that requires a lot of patience which I don't have much of. But as for this, I love it. This is probably my favourite draw I've done this year.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Always Looking Envious

I've abandoned the dating system. Another piece that I found time to draw in between spending 14 hour days on Illustrator. This is one of my favourite pieces that I've done recently. I think that the face has worked really well, the red and the green are subtle but highlight the areas well and the tattoos just give detail.

Always Looking Shaded

Got around to doing some of my own drawing for the first time in a while. Still using the same style but this time I went for a bit of shading with some grey brush pens. It's payed off on the face but I think i went a little bit overkill on the torso.

Professional Project: Illustration Number Six - Astronomy

This illustration took what is known as forever. Too much time on illustrator. I changed the Earth to a live traced version of a photograph, I also used this technique for the other planets. It just makes them seem a lot more realistic and less tacky. I'm pleased with how this turned out, I think it's quite effective to have all the squares black with the various images set inside them. I chose a font that I felt complimented the images and set it where I felt was appropriate given the flow of the imagery. I think the arrows work really well to give flow and direction to the illustrations and help to explain it.

Professional Project: Illustration Number Six - Square Two

 I jumped right passed square one, because that requires a completely new illustration, and just went for one that involves the MESSENGER craft.

I think this works well, I tried not to use any black in the craft so that it would stand out from the black background, I put a couple of gradients on the Earth to make it look a little more spherical. I think the colour of the arrow works well also, taken from the colour of the ones in 'Instructoart'. The typeface is bold but unobtrusive and I think I will have all of the text sitting in this position if possible.

Professional Project: Illustration Number Six (The Beginning) - Astronomy

Subject matter for illustration Number Six came out Astronomy. I researched this and it seemed like quite a difficult subject on the surface and all the information was really generic and dull. I delved a little deeper and looked at what is currently happening in the world of astronomy and discovered that the MESSENGER craft, launched six and half years ago, is nearly at it's destination of orbit around Mercury. This seemed much more interesting so I looked into this and found loads of facts like it's travelling at an average speed of 133,200mph and on entering orbit will have travelled 4.9 Billion Miles. Thats pretty far. So I'm illustrating it's journey with some of these facts thrown in. Here's my messenger.

It's not entirely accurate obviously as the real craft has so much on it and I needed it to be simpler.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Professional Project: Illustration Number 5 - Heathrow Airport

My process for creating random subject matter threw out Heathrow Airport. Which I though was a really boring subject to illustrate and I literally couldn't think of a single thing to do for it for ages. I tried to find some stats on lost luggage and cancelled flights but couldn't. In doing so I came across a couple of waiting time stats, I researched further and found a few more that I thought would make a good little illustration.

 The times are:
31 Minutes wait before you can check-in.
24 Minutes wait before you can go through security.
98 Minutes after that before you can board. (Based on arriving 3 hours before your scheduled departure as Heathrow advise and an average delay of 18 minutes.)
45 Minutes wait on the plane before it takes off.

As these were all at different point throughout the process of going through an airport I thought a sort of guide of wait times could be created in a sequential format. Which is exactly what I did.

I think the icons have worked quite well. I spent a long time changing the check-in icon over and over, i'm still not entirely sure about it but feedback seems to be that it works well in the context. Having the colour as grey I think is effective as it doesn't overpower as black would. I tried to keep the icons as simple as possible and I think this has worked well with the strip format.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Professional Project: Illustration Number Two - Richard Bartle & The Bartle Test

 Managed to finish up illustration two from my series.
The reasoning behind the imagery is thus. Richard Bartle put forward a theory that there are four groups of people who play online games. These were Killer, Socialiser, Achiever and Explorer. Each group was interesting in different aspects of playing online. A test was then divised to see which of the groups someone fell into and depending on the percentage of their answers they fell into the categories as shown in the image.

It took about 10 times longer than I ideally would have wanted but in the end I'm pleased with the outcome. I think it looks quite a lot like the old school game graphics - pixelated, limited use of colour etc. In particular I like the wine glass as I think the shading works well across it. The medal also works well, although I've just realised where I set it against a background the part of the ribbon that supposed to be white isn't so that needs fixing. But the wreaths around the 1 looks really good, simple use of two shades of square. I think the percentages also work well, I like how the numbers aren't quite perfect, it gives them a little bit of character.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Professional Project: Illustration (set) Number 4 - Bushido

Bushido is the name for the code of conduct that Samurai warriors adhered to. It was comprised of seven main virtues. If a Samurai was to break the code and disgrace himself, the only way to regain his honor would be through ritual suicide. The seven virtues were:








The process for coming to this subject matter was:
Date: 02/03/2011
Book: Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs
Page: 3
Word: (11th word) "Mortals"
Wikipedia: "Gods and Mortals"
Frank Miller

The symbols on each illustration are the Japanese symbols for each of the virtues. I wanted to keep the colour scheme really simple to reflect old japanese art. The style is also picked to reflect this, although I decided to use less detail so as to leave block areas of colour. I looked at old Japanese drawings of Samurai and took the poses from these.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Design And Art Direction Awards Not Quite Final Piece


So here's the half of the video that Eddy Mac and I got finished before we succumbed to illness and had to drop out of the running. We're both really disappointed we didn't get to see this one through because on watching this back just now we we're both really pleased with the outcome. If we'd had more time there would have been some additional footage on the third screen section and ideally the same process completed for a second song.

I think that the succession of food being hit with the hammer is a really effective portrayal of the notes and makes for interesting watching, especially with the changing of speeds that comes with the chorus and the faster sections of the song it creates various lengths of clip which give a different effect. I think that the middle section is also very effective as the speed of the movement juxtaposes with the slowness of the third screen. I think that the 3 different speeds across 3 different screens works really well and the addition of some stop frame work on the third screen would have brought in an extra element to the video which would have completed the set. 

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Work In Progress? The Gypsy And The Moon (Again)

Since last time I posted this I've added up extra layers of paint to most of this. The headband was originally green but it ran too much into the leaves on the rose so I switched it out to purple. The goats skull I painted in yellows and browns and then went over the top in a thin white acrylic so it's translucent. It's actually a bit whiter than it looks on the photo. I've also blocked in the background in a dark purple/dark blue/black mix to try and get it to look like a night sky, probably gonna add some stars on top of that.

Close up of the face. I'm really pleased with how the hair came out, it took a while to work over each area indivdually to get the gradients right in the seperate curls but it was definitely worth it for the effect it gives out.

Close up of the lettering. Pretty standard tattoo style script/cursive writing, which I do a lot. It's a lot harder with a paint brush than with a fineliner.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Professional Project: Illustration Number Three - Hermes

If you're wandering what happened to Number Two, it's still being made. This one came from Terry Pratchett's 'Making Money' through some random words and ended up at Hermes. I had a look at those old Greek jars with the black imagery on them so that's where I took the colours and sort of the style from, lots of black blocking.

D&AD Diesel Illustration Brief: The End

So the deadline for D&AD is tommorow and due to Ed having an operation on his shoulder and then me getting ill and spending near enough a week in bed we've had to pull the plug and admit defeat. If only we were immune to mortal ailments. Above is a little glimpse of what we spent out time doing, although only a fraction. There was also a lot of hitting food with hammers and filming it, dropping eggs and things. This Diesel Logo is made with ketchup, flour and mayonaise and it was pretty large as you can see. That was fun. We nearly had one video of fruit smashing fun finished before befalling our bad luck spree. Maybe we'll get it finished and I can post it.