Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I will admit that at the beginning of this class I was definitely the kind of person who tried to get to the actual illustration step as quickly as possible. I thought all my problems would be better solved at this point. But once I slowed myself down a bit, I realized how much time and effort I was saving myself by paying more attention to the little details in the first couple of stages of a project.
Here are eight of my projects from this semester that I feel show the widest range of skills and techniques that I have learned this year.
The first one is a 6x4.5 water color from the very beginning of the semester, but this is one of the later ones that I did with a landscape and an architectural structure. I actually did all the line work first, then went back and added the color. I like this a lot better than painting on a plain piece of paper or with just a pencil drawing. This is my best little water color because I feel like it was the first time that I let the paint do it's job. Before this point, I was fiddling with the paint and overworking it. I also really like the colors in this piece.
The second piece is a product illustration of a soda can done in gouache. The goal was to make it look "sexy". The best way to do this would be to make it look as realistic as possible like you could go up and grab it off the shelf. I feel like I was successful in making it look real and added an extra punch of sexiness by adding the reflection. I think this project showed my confidence with the material because it took a lot of patience and precision to 'pick-out' the lettering. I painted the whole can red first then went in and picked out all the red paint in the lettering and then went back over the lettering with three coats of white because the red paint stained the board pink. I really enjoyed this project.
The third piece is actually a marker comp for the Three Image Montage project. I included this to show my marker skills as well as how I apply color at this stage and transfer it to the next stage. This project is what made me realize how helpful a well done marker comp can be when you go to paint the actual project.
The fourth piece is the Three Image Montage done in gouache. Since we did this project twice, this is my second attempt. The only part that I really feel is a lot stronger in this one than in the first one is the key. It was much darker in the first one and the highlights were very weak. It also didn't have enough contrast from the kiwi skin behind it. I feel like this project shows how I am able to put together a composition even when each element is very unrelated. I used realistic colors for the most part except I made the giraffe slightly more orange and I decided to make the key have a deep blue tint to it even though the original key was dark brown.
The fifth piece is the Missouri postcard which illustrates what Missouri means to me. I chose to duplicate a picture that I took of myself riding my bike on the Katy Trail. I love riding my bike and in my hometown, Jefferson City, you can ride right along the Missouri river which is very cool. I chose to switch up the colors though because while the photo had a nice view point, the colors weren't anything exciting to talk about. So I decided to make the ground and my shadow a cool blue and my body and the bike warm colors, red, orange and yellow. I used water color for this project because I had been using a LOT of gouache lately.
The sixth piece was my Cheesy airbrush. Overall, I enjoyed airbrush a lot more than I thought I would, but MAN! it really sucks when you are trying to work with an airbrush that is not wanting to cooperate...anyways this was a fun project. I airbrushed a turtle giving the thumbs up and looks like he's from the sixties. It's a Lisa Frank design and I grew up with so much Lisa Frank stuff it's ridiculous. And nothing is quite as cheesy as this. As far as technique, I strangely feel a lot more comfortable doing things free hand than with the frisket and I like the outcome better too. I was only able to use freehand for the purple part of the shell and the green part of his head and hand. These are the areas that I feel look the best. Some of the other areas got a little messy from taking off and replacing the frisket after each color.
The seventh piece was the sound illustration. I chose to illustrate the sound of a growling stomach because my stomach is always talking...sometimes it's embarrassing, especially when it roars! Anyways, I think this project is my best example of a good, developed concept because it doesn't take the sound literally. Obviously there aren't really lions in our stomachs, but sometimes it feels that way. There was a bit of a debate over whether the lion was growling or roaring and it was suggested that I use a lion who was simply snarling. I tried this but didn't like it because I feel like the whole concept was lost. The lion just ended up looking angry. The like the lion that I chose because the focus is on the mouth and even if it does seem like it's roaring i think it works because the sound is just exaggerated that much more.
The eighth and final piece is my book illustration for To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. My original plan was much different than this and I ended up doing another set of thumbnails which was very helpful. I feel like my original ideas were either not original enough or simply too cliche. This composition works well because of the unique perspective. I chose to use watercolor because I think it has a softer look than gouache does and I wanted to reflect the softer side of this book rather than the darker side that includes all the judgment and prejudice that goes on in the book.
Friday, December 4, 2009
This is my final growling stomach illustration. I'm really happy with the way this turned out, especially the lion. And I'm surprised how little trouble I had with it. But I think the reason is because I just PAINTED! Forget the pick out method...I think that's what was giving me such a hard time before. I didn't put any gesso/matte medium down so that I would prevent myself from picking out the color because otherwise I would ruin the board...seemed to work pretty well.
This is my marker comp for the To Kill A Mockingbird book cover. As far as the colors go I was trying to keep them rather muted.
I got a lot of positive feed back. The only bad comment was that the trees need work, and I agree. I also nee to work on the fence. I scared of the tiny panels of the picket fence so I made it more of a wooden panel fence but really it looks like a concrete wall...so that will need to be fixed. I'm going to add some cracks in the concrete sidewalk as well.
Ok, I had a new idea... I still want to use the idea of the ball of string unraveling into the shape of the mockingbird. But there was a tree on the original cover so I want to change the background to a sidewalk leading up to a house. I think it will be more interesting with a more unique point of view.
Monday, November 30, 2009
These are my quick ideas for the book cover project. I chose to do To Kill a Mockingbird. Several of my ideas have to do with the contrasting views and the prejudices that come up in the book, primarily those issues between the black and white communities. That's why I chose to do the ying-yang ideas with the man's silhouette and the bird shadow because several of the characters throughout the book are supposed to represent innocent mockingbirds.
Two of the other sketches illustrate the gifts that Boo Radely leaves behind in the knot hole in the tree for the kids. And the last one is sort of silly...a mockingbird being squashed by a judge's gavel. This is supposed to be symbolic, not literal of course. In the book when the court rules Tom Robinson guilty, it was like the judge taking his gavel and killing the mockingbird...does that make sense...?
Anyways I think I'm going to work on the one with the tree and the knot hole with the ball of twine draping down into the shape of a bird. I need to wiggle the compostion around a little to create a better focal point and really think about where the title will go. I might add a few more the the little "gifts' that Boo leaves behind to the knot hole. I also want the bird shape to look looser, maybe by adding small nails to the tree and make it look like the strig is draped over the nails in the shape of the bird.
After I figure all that out, I'll move onto color. Right now I'm picturing sort of a whimsical color scheme I guess you would say. I think I want the background to be pretty dark like a dark navy and then the tree to be brown obviously, and then have the twine be a purpleish white and I also want there to be some gree so I migh add some leaves some how...
Friday, November 20, 2009
Here is my pencil comp and two marker comps of the sound illustration. I chose to illustrate the sound of stomach growling because my stomach is constantly making noises. And sometimes, it even "roars" at me. I was really happy with the pencil comp and immediatley went onto the markercomp stage. Then, after getting feedback from peers in class, we had to do a second marker comp and change something that someone suggested. I got a lot of positive feedback but there was one person who said that the illustration read as stomach "roaring" instead of stomach "growling". They suggested having the lion look more like he was snarling instead of roaring. But the reason I chose that lion was because the focus was on the mouth, not the eyes or any other part of the lion. Also to exaggerate what was happening, exaggerate the sound. I was pretty sure if I had a lion snarling, it would just look like an angry lion on someone's stomach and that's what I think my second marker comp looks like. The focus is on the eyes and not the mouth. Another issue that I had to deal with was making sure the lion didn't look like a tatoo. But I feel like I was successful in making it look like a lion head as part of the girl's body by extending the mane past the edge of the body as well as blending in parts of the mane with the texture of the skin.
Now, I've got to paint this. And I'm hoping I didn't bite off more than I can chew...just because I can draw it well doesn't mean I will be able to paint it well. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to use gouache but I'm going to try and just paint - no pick-out method, in other worlds. We shall see...
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
These are my thumbnails for the Guinness Book of World Records poster. I chose to illustrate the fastest pumpkin carver (Happy Halloween!) I want this to be a poster for the Food Network inviting people to come see Stephen Clarke carve a pumpkin to see if he can beat his record from 2006 of 24.03 seconds. I like the one with the view of his back and pumpkin pieces flying every where.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The top one is the first attempt, and the bottom is the second attempt. I definitely think the second one came out better: with the gouache and after being printed.
My technique didn't change as much as my confident level did. I used less water because I was more comfortable putting more pigment on the board. I like the colors better too. There is a lot more contrast between the kiwi and the key in the second one than in the first one. This is how I intended it to look the first time - like the marker comp.
The giraffe turned out pretty much the same. The tongue looks much better and the fur overall is less orange.
For printing this time, I adjusted a lot of the settings when I scanned it. I increased the cyan and all the highlights since last time it printed too dark. I also upped the brightness once I got it into photoshop.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
These are the comps for the conversation project. I think I was successful in making him look like a bum, especially withe the 5 o'clock shadow he's got goin on. The only things I changed from the pencil comp to the marker comp was his left arm, the wording on the board and the amount of sidewalk that is showing. I changed these things because of the comments I got from my class mates. They weren't sure where he was sitting so I showed more of the sidewalk, including the curb and added some cracks in the cement. I really liked having written comments from everyone and being able to comment on everyone elses.
I plan to take this illustration into Photoshop for final production by adding color to a line drawing.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
The second piece I chose for the portfolio is the product illustration we did in gouache. The main reason I chose this piece was because it shows my ability to copy type accurately and maintain the integrity of the original type, in this case logo. First, I laid down the red, including the shadows and once that dried I traced the logo on top. I went in with a wet brush and used the pick out method to take out where the letters were going to be. Then, since the board was stained red from the paint, it wasn't white at all, I went in with two layers of white. To finish I created the highlights with the same method and then put in the reflection with a method similar to watercolor. I feel like this product illustration is especially "sexy" because of the reflection as well as the bold, crisp lettering. This project took me probably close to six hours - the majority of that time was spent on the lettering.
The third piece that I chose to submit was my first experience with gouache. I like the simplicity of it. All I did was lay in the black color and then pick out the highlights. I was surprised at how white some areas of the board were. I guess it's because I picked out the paint before it was all the way dry, or maybe I had a thicker layer of gesso. I don't know. On all of my projects since this one, I haven't been able to get the board that white after I have painted over it.
The fourth piece is a line drawing with watercolor. This was from the project where we had to do 10 different versions of the same subject using different materials and techniques. This only took about twenty min. I like the line drawing a lot. Not a lot of shading, just some lines but you can still distinguish some values. The background was done in color and I really like how it turned out. Why didn't any of my other watercolors look like this?!? Well, actually, I think I know the answer to that. I spent about 60 sec on this background. On most of my other watercolors, I didn't know when to stop and overworked the medium. Watercolor can be so easy if you let it do it's thing. And that's what I did here. I wet the paper and then loaded my brush with blue and green and put it on the paper. I'm pretty sure I went back in with a paper towel in a couple areas so that it didn't run into the bird. But I like all the soft edges.
This is the fifth and final piece I chose for my portfolio. This is one of the last small water colors I did. This one was done in sharpie first and then water color was added. Again, I think this one was so successful because I didn't try to control the watercolor so much. There isn't a lot of line work, but what little there is, especially on the house, is really nice and adds that much more detail in a subtle way. This is also one of my best examples of clouds. I did wet on wet with a very light blue and then went in with a paper towel and dried the areas that are now white. Then I took a loaded blue brush and put the color in the areas that were still wet. Then I tilted and turned the paper to let the blue run to all the wet areas and softly bleed into the areas that I had dried which creates a very soft, cloud-like edge. This illustration took me about 45 min I think.
These are my ten thumbnails for the conversation illustration. My conversation came from a girl and a guy Friday night after the play, Columbinus (which was really good) and they were talking about the recent misfortune of the St. Louis Cardinals. They lost the first three (out of the five) games against the LA Dogers this last week. The conversation was brief: "I know man! The Cardinals suck. I can't believe they got swept by the Dodgers in the playoffs." They also talked about the error by Matt Holliday when he missed a catch in the outfield and, as the newscaster put it, "got hit in the nether regions..." I only did one thumbnail illustrating that. All the others are showing how the Dodgers put the Cardinals out of the running in the NLCS.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I did the giraffe first by laying down three different brown hues and then added some gray, brown and black colored pencil. I did the key next by putting down brown marker over the whole thing first (except for the white areas) and then went over that with blue and black colored pencil. I chose blue so that it would contrast the brown-orange color of the giraffe. I went back in with a white pen to add the detail and highlights. The top of the key will be transparent-you will be able to see the kiwi and the giraffe through it. For the kiwi, I colored the entire thing with green marker and then went back in with yellow colored pencil and blended the heck out of it. The skin of the kiwi has the same colors as the giraffe and provides a nice texture. The rest of the background is just a light blue with a little bit of texture.
I hope my gouache will look better or just as good as this does!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Anyhow, this version is a little different from the last three versions-almost a combination of them. The only thing I really wish I could have squeezed in is the photographers umbrella, but I couldn't get it to fit in the way I wanted it to. I think the spotlight alone sends the same message though.
I decided to only show the back of heads of the photographer and the make up artist so that there would be more focus on the DMV worker's expression and the model's face. I like how it has turned out so far.
These are my three variations of one scenario at the DMV. Rusty chose the one where the girl is getting her driver's license photo taken and she is all dressed up and has brought her own camera crew and equipment and in one, she has even decided to bring her own personal make up artist. In all three, the DMV lady is rolling her eyes and looks frustrated with the situation. She is my favorite character. I honestly didn't mess around a whole lot with different expressions and different ways to make cartoon features, but I feel like I was successful nonetheless.
The first thumbnail illustrates a girl who has come to the DMV to get her photo taken for her license and she has brought along her own camera crew and set. The DMV worker is apalled.
The second one shows a fisherman who has come to renew his boating license and he was hoping he could pay with fish instead of with money. The DMV lady is annoyed. I think this one would be harder to convey the way it is now with out the speech bubble. If I use this one, I will have to rework the composition and really emphasize both of their expressions. Maybe I could show his pockets inside out and empty to show that he doesn't have any money.
The third one focuses on the fact the when you go to the DMV, you will 99% of the time be waiting in line for a while. I wanted to show a line of a variety of different people all doing different things while they wait in line - sleep, eat, daydream...I want to have a couple people gathered around a board game on the floor too.