Final Major Project: “The Horned Women”

After some tutor feedback, I’ve decided to go ahead and create some large illustrations made up of many smaller illustrations, akin to something like Alice Puttello, or possibly Jonny Hannah. Both artists use folk art as a big source of inspiration, and both of them have different ways of bringing it in to contemporary illustration that I admire.

(You can find Alice Puttello’s site here.)

(You can find Johnny Hannah’s site here.)

I had lots of little visual ideas for “The Horned Women”, but was struggling massivly putting everything together into one big idea. There was a problem with all my thumbnails and things so far; there wasn’t any obvious or strong narrative going on. It was just a lot of little things put together. So to help myself out I went back and looked again at other illustrators work to see what they were doing right and I was doing wrong.

This is where I had an “ah-ha!” moment. I had nearly forgotten about the small drawing I did of the two witches approaching the house, and looking at Alice Puttellos illustrations, I could see how I could put these ideas I had floating around in to a working composition. In this thumbnail here, I have the witches arriving at the house in the middle, surrounded by the objects and things the mistress uses to break the spell. So here I could combine the two ideas to have something like a complete idea that can visualize two parts of the story. I’ve finally settled on an illustrative plan that I’m happy enough to attempt to go ahead with.

 

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Lisbon Trip!

I recently went on a trip to the beautiful city Lisbon with the college. Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal, and I had never been there before, and had never been on holiday without family before so didn’t really know what to expect, but I had heard nothing but good things about Lisbon. I had a (mostly) great time but the highlights of the trip was getting to go to the aquarium, which was one of the biggest in Europe, and getting to meet the teacher and author, Ed Hooks. His enthusiasm for animation is endless, and almost makes me want to get back in to it. Either way I can relate to his love for the medium, even if I don’t make it myself.

Lisbon is the second oldest city in Europe, after Athens, which makes for a very interesting city to explore, although very confusing at times. Getting lost is just part of the fun, and in doing so I came across some beautiful back alleyways, churches and streets. This day of exploring these streets was the main inspiration for my illustration.

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While I was in Lisbon I collected some leaflets that were appealing to me visually, and from these I took some inspiration for the colors I chose. I played with a couple ideas, including some aquarium doodles, before settling on illustrating the streets and houses of Lisbon, and the way they seem to pile and layer on top of each other.

My initial thumbnail developed in to some experimental sketches, and I really loved how the simple composition of just a handful of houses turned out, so decided to try and redraw and refine that idea again on the next page. I did have this other, more ambitious idea of doing a large illustration of lots of buildings and landmarks, illustrated almost like a pattern design. I never really went that far with this idea because of how time consuming and tedious I thought it might be, but who knows I still might come back to it.

As an artist I should really push myself to try new things, so I decided to try something out with my favorite sketch I did from my sketchbook. I haven’t got nearly as much experience with Photoshop as I should have and have been wanting to try out using it for adding colour to my illustrations for a while, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

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It took a while, but I managed to figure out a way to do it with my limited knowledge and memory of Photoshop. I’m mostly pretty happy with how it turned out, but maybe its not quite as clean as I would’ve liked it to be. I still cant decide entirely which colour pallet I like the most out of the two I’ve played with. I think the I’m possibly leaning more towards the red/orange/bluey-green one from the two, because I feel the colours represent the city better, with the red rooftops.

Overall this illustration was a great exercise in Photoshop, and I learnt a lot by doing it, and will experiment further with this method of adding colour to hand drawn images in the future because I’m quite happy with how this turned out.

Collections: Winged Keys and Final Plans

My collection of brooches has sort of morphed in to keys. I was given a box of decorative keys and buttons and nick-nacks from a friend, and because I was starting to get a little bored of drawing my badges, I had a go at drawing the keys.

After a couple of sketches and doodles, and a chat with tutor and classmates about my work, the idea of combining some elements of my drawings together started to take form. Using my wings from my dragonfly brooch, and my sketches of keys, and some inspiration from Harry Potter, we came up with the idea of illustrating the winged keys from harry potter.

I had a go at drawing some of these keys using one of my favorite drawing mediums, dip pen and ink.

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I think these sketches were quite successful, and am thinking about going on to do some prints of magic winged keys for my final exhibition piece. I think etching or collograph printing may work best for this work, so I can get in the fine detail on the wings and keys. I may also try out doing some using lino cuts too, just to see how they would look.

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I have also made a small pinterest mood board for these keys which you can find here.

Book Cover: To Kill A Mockingbird

I started out making this book cover by researching a bit into the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. I ended up watching the movie of it, and that’s where I got the inspiration to create this cover. At the end of the movie the two children are walking back home through the woods on Halloween night after a party, and to avoid much spoiler, a key moment happens in that scenery.

For this illustration I used freehand pental brush pen for the lines, and painted it using windsor and newton watercolours. I then scanned them in and created the final book cover in photoshop. The text I used for this I had also drawn with the same ink brush, to match the style of the illustration. I had decided to keep the colour pallet simple, using only a yellow ocher and a dark blue to reflect on the theme of a late autumn night.

I am mostly happy with how the final product has come out, but I’m not quite happy with the spine of the book, on reflection I think i should have added a strip of watercolour to create a wrap around of the two images and to bring it all together, but then again at least having the text on a solid background on the spine makes it easier to read.

Another idea that I didn’t implement was including a drawing of Scout in her ham costume running away through the woods. I think including this would of possibly brought the image and story together well.

For this book cover project I had also tried out recycling one of my previous images into a cover for this book, using the image from this editorial project. You can see this image below.

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I am mostly happy enough with this cover trial, but if I had given myself more time to work on this I would of scanned in some brown paper to use as background instead of just block colour, and I would of re-scanned in the hand written text I had used, because the text in this image was at a lower resolution and could not be made much larger without loosing quality. It was a nice experiment with a previous image, and was a good exercise in using photoshop.