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.

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Hay Festival Project: Experiments with Style

After my feedback from Hay Festival people, I decided to experiment a bit further with the style I have been using for some of my drawings. In these images I have used a variety of different materials, but I think the images using pastels have come out best in a way.

I especially like how the bird has come out, this bird was an experiment using feedback from Hay Festival. They liked my birds from before, and also the trees, but felt that stylistically they did not go together. To combat this problem I used the same materials I have been using to create my trees to create my birds too. In this case, the style has been dictated by the materials I’ve used. My next step in this project will be further developing this and creating more images.

Illustration Application: A Summery

I think I have learnt a lot through out this module, and explored a variety of different styles and techniques in the process of creating completed illustrations for small briefs. I’ve improved upon my technical skills, as well as organisational skills. I have written more in depth blogs about each of these illustrations that I will link below.

Art Direction Editorial Illustration

We teamed up in pairs and found articles for each other to illustrate, and took the role of art director for each other. Read about how my work turned out here, and how i directed my partners work here. (Her side of the story is here, and here.)

NC500 Editorial Illustration

Given an article about North Coast 500, Scotland’s answer to the USA’s route 66, and had to create an illustration for said article. Read about this here.

Library Pamphlet Cover

Pamphlet cover illustration for Herefordshire Libraries.Read about this here.

Editorial Illustration: Birds and Superstition

Nicholas Stevenson visited us and set us a small editorial brief, with him as acting art director. Read about this here.

Penguin To Kill a Mocking Bird Book Cover

Illustrated book cover for penguin book publishers competition brief. Read about this 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.

Book Arts: Encyclopedia

I enjoyed this module very much, and this encyclopedia was a nice way to finish it all off with. When I first approached doing this book I got too caught up with the “how” and “what” I was doing, so in the end I choose one of the book formats I enjoyed most creating, which was an accordion style book. I tried not to get too caught up with planning it out and just went for it in the end, using one of my favorite mediums, gouache paint, (with a little bit of mixed media on some aspects.)

I wasn’t too picky over the underwater creatures I choose, I mostly just wanted to include a wide range of species from deep sea, to rock pool, and incorporated that idea into the layout of the animals  on the page. Looking back on it now, if I could change anything about this I would’ve carefully chosen animals so that it would’ve also of been in alphabetical order like a traditional encyclopedia is. Overall I am quite happy with how this experimental approach turned out, and in the end it went on display at the small exhibition we created at De Koffe Pot, in Hereford.

Library Pamphlet

This image was created for Hereford Library Pamphlet brief/competition. I was not happy enough with it to hand in for the competition but looking back on it now I probably should’ve at least tried. In the end, I’m proud I went ahead and finished it anyway.

My original idea was to add lots more detail, but it was taking too much time so I tried having a go at simplifying the work, and using a limited color palette to match. I created this image traditionally but I think this would’ve been a more effective image if I had colored it in digitally, using flat colors.

I attempted doing something sort of minimalist but still had lots of little details creating some form of narrative to the image, like the blankets and tea, and the cat sleeping on the window ledge. I included a couple of little nods to Hereford with the small cow ornament and the bowl of apples.

An extra detail I was going to add but decided against in the end, was to add drawings of Herefordshire country side through the windows, to bring together the themes of Herefordshire and reading together.

An Update On Book Arts

I’m gonna be honest, weekly posts about this module would’ve been ideal, because almost every week we have created a new book or learnt a new technique. So to try and make up for it I’m giving a quick update on a handful of the completed books I’ve done so far.

Pamphlet Book

Alphabet

This was the first book of the module, a basic pamphlet style book made from a collection of different papers. I then collaged and drew letters and managed to fit the entire alphabet in here twice because I used so many papers. The papers I used included origami paper, old bank envelopes, brown paper and envelopes, among other things, along with a piece of string to tie it all together with.

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Accordion Book

Journey

The second book of the module (I think) was this one. We were given the theme of “Journey”, so for this book I took a nice walk around the college grounds and took some photos of things that interested me. I also gathered things together like leaves and twigs and photocopied these things to collage together with my images.

I tried to explore the theme of “Journey” we were given, using the collected items and photos I had. After experimenting a bit with collage I created some dreamlike images by combining different elements of multiple photos. I really like how some of the collage aspects came out and thought it sort of reflected the way you would remember something; how it would become sort of jumbled and you would only remember specific things that had caught your eye at the time.

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Zine

Celebrating Books, Libraries  and Book Shops

For this particular book arts book we had to interview either a book shop seller or a librarian and either a classmate or a friend about books. I interviewed a librarian at Hereford Library pop up shop in the Town Hall and my old friend who I grew up with sharing a lot of the same books. I then picked out quotes and facts from these interviews to include in my zine and draw inspiration from.

 

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Chapbook

“How To…”

For this book we had the theme “How to…” something. I decided to go with “How To be a Cat”. It originally started out as “How To Look After a Cat” but I thought the other title was more fun. We also had to have a very limited color pallet of only three colors, so I tried to use a simple style to work with the simplicity of the color pallet. Using basic shapes like this helped free myself up from getting preoccupied with the details and let me experiment more with the composition and balance of the images instead.