Monday, November 30, 2009

Scarlet Letter exploration

Here's a rough little InDesign comp of my favorite concept from the sketches. A bit more dynamic than the straight-on I had. I think this one is just intriguing enough to convince me to do 2 color comps--one for A-face and one for A-back. If I end up developing this one further, I'm not sure if I'll be illustrating the "A" or adding it in InDesign.

book cover illustration

I did 5 sketches for The Scarlet Letter and then thought of one for Pride and Prejudice. Out of everything, I was most happy with the idea for the top left and the second row, because they have stronger concepts. The top left is a metaphor for how people view the main character through the fact that she is an adulteress, they view her through the "A". It also shows multiple main characters, instead of just Hester. Second row left is the most personal, emotional and striking. Second row right is the strongest concept in my opinion--we can't see her whole face because all people see when they look at her is the "A" on her chest, they don't look through it to know her past her sin. The reviews from my classmates are overwhelmingly in favor of the big "A" on the back sketch (2nd row left), as you can see by the 13 tally marks. I would still like to look into illustrating the A-face one, but I'll probably end up doing the A-back instead. I suppose the A on the back allows for more depth than the solid A over the face would. We shall see.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sound color comp #2

The top image is my second try at the color comp, I brought in the old one for comparison. I like the over all composition better because I played with angles in this one. The change in colors was pretty successful, I think, but I did get a complaint or two on the orange. I agree, orange doesn't really characterize the sound of whistling. I think I'll change it too a cooler color, probably teal, and all of the colors will be a bit more saturated in the final. The girl was generally better-liked this time (I think it's the freckles and the slight smile), but a few people said something about her wasn't right. I think it's in the neck/jaw area. The bird and hand were much better this time too, the placement was a little awkward in the last comp.
When I go at this with water color, I plan on making a lot of expressive marks in the background and waves.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cheesy final

Well, Snow White looks better than I thought she would. It took me probably around 10 hours from start to finish (spread out over 2 days). I learned a lot more about controlling the flow of the paint and being extremely careful. I also experimented a lot with holding a paper perpendicular to the board and spraying on the paper to get a kind of feathered but clean line, like with the indents in her sleeve, and her eyelids.. It took a whole lot of strategy to decide which areas to paint in what order. I also had to go over a couple of areas with gouache afterward, like a few hairlines where there was misalignment, the lines between her fingers, and the specks of white above the apple. I am happiest with her sleeve and bow, and I like the background better than the one in the picture I worked from. I would have liked for her nose to turn out a little better (it isn't turned up enough). Also, I'm not all that happy with the highlights in her hair.

Sound pencil and color comps

Looks like I'll be recomping. I wanted to make the sound "waves" look kind of psychedelic, but I think I might have gone too far with the colors. Next time, I'll be minimizing the number of colors I use, to create more unity between the girl and the bird sounds. I like the yellow, blue, orange and salmon the best. The bird needs to stand out more, and probably be either more outside of the sound waves or completely inside of them (probably the latter). It's official, nobody likes the black background (I think I'll try brown instead), and the waves need to be more saturated. I think I'll make the girl happier and more inside the frame while I'm at it... and I don't think her hand is in proportion with her face either. Shoot, I might as well try a different orientation while I'm doing everything else. But everyone seemed to like the concept.

This is my pencil comp, I decided to make the guy a girl, I don't know why, just seemed more appropriate. I like how the bottom left kind if mimics a bird tail. I think I'll incorporate that more in the next color comp.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sound Illustration: pencil comps

Ok, so a lot of people liked the pencil, but it really doesn't have personality, so too bad. Somebody had the exact same idea for the cracking knuckles, so that's out. Rusty likes the crunching leaf. I am undecided among the crunching leaf, the gum chewer with a spit string, the guy sliding down a glass door, and the whistlers. I am kind of fond of the mood in the whistle comp. I think I could do a lot with color in the expressive shapes. The gum chewer might gross me out after a while (pet peeve), that's not one I'll want to hang up afterward, but I think the braces and spit string are funny... The glass door guy could be interesting, I wonder how I would really make it clear that he is sliding down, not just hitting it, without the directional lines. I like the perspective on the crunching leaf, and I could play with going in and out of focus on that one. To narrow it down, I think it's between the leaf crunch and the whistlers. Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MO post card color comp

This is me trying to be funny, I think it might have worked this time! Unfortunately I had a misunderstanding about text, and now I won't need to make any extra space on the right for "Welcome to Missouri." I think the cheesy text added, but it'll be okay. I think I will be using gouache for this one. For the painting, the colors will be more vivid, and there will be darker tones. I am happy with the sunset colors, though. I think I will also make the tractor just a tad bigger. 

Airbrush fruit, take 2

This is my mango with water droplets. I am glad I tried the water droplets, but I don't think they are the greatest. They are  not quite matched up with the surface where they should be, and the drop shadows are a bit much, so most of them look like they are floating.

My process: I cut out each color  area separately in my mask, including all of the water droplets. I started with the skin of the fruit, put the mask back on and worked with the droplets on the skin, moved up to the stem, then covered everything and worked on the inside of the fruit. The last thing I did was the droplet on the inside.

I am happiest with the overall tone and texture of the skin of the fruit. I am least satisfied with the droplets and the ink runs between the skin and the inside.

Monday, November 9, 2009

MO Post Card

Dear goodness, look what I've gotten myself into. So, I wanted to be humorous, because let's face it, Missouri is full of hicks (I am from Hicktown, so I'm allowed to make fun of it). I prefer the ones with a trailer and a flamingo, but it looks like I am developing the cars behind a tractor. The other ones were demonstrating the big city/small town contrast so evident in Missouri, but that's not very interesting, and funny always wins. So, for the tractor post card, I am going to reverse the view. Now we will have a front view of the tractor with a bunch of cars behind it. I like the idea of the sunset, because it is a stereotypical cheesy post card thing, and I think it will be a good contrast to the unexpected. I will also be using a cheesy script font for "Welcome to Missouri". I know how much you like those, Rusty. I am scared of this project now, because I am no good at drawing cars. I guess I'll have to learn something, dang it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Airbrush Plum

Ok, it's not the worst, but it's certainly not great. I am still having problems not getting the bleeding effect on the edges of the mask, I think that is definitely a product of impatience in letting the ink dry. I tried masking areas off and making the fruit look realistic at the same time, and neither one really worked. I should have either masked less or tried to give the fruit a more graphic look. I learned that when I use a mask for a smooth area and then try to blend, it is almost impossible to have a smooth transition, and to not get really dark edges, which is why the entire plum ended up a bit too dark. I do kind of like the shadow though. And I think the color was right on. But I had to use white paint to bring out the highlight after tried to blend the edges of my highlights and getting them too dark. AND, obviously, I cut too hard through the frisket and got into the illustration board, which caused tiny whitish trenches to run though the whole thing. The next fruit will be better.


I think Snow White will be challenging, but it's a pretty appropriate style for airbrush. This is gonna take forever... I tried to use colored pencil the way I would use airbrush, but that proved to be a difficult task in itself. What I'll try to do is mask each separate area of one overall color (skin, apple, blue dress, red dress), and work out details within those areas by being very precise with the airbrush. Yikes, I haven't mastered that yet, but I'm getting better. In my next post, you'll see how I went at airbrushing in a completely different way (too much masking) and kind of flopped. So a new approach it is.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Conversation final

It is about time. This is a water color with ink outlines for the cartoon feel. The final product could be more saturated, at least have a few more areas of intense color, but I think the story definitely comes across, and the characters' faces are pretty successful. Also, the colors became even more muted when I uploaded the file... bummer. With this I learned about working with water color in a less painterly fashion in order to get a unique cartoon effect. I'm obviously still learning. On to the cheese-fest!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Guinness Color Comp

Here she is, all colored up. I like the colors I chose; the dark plum emphasizes the shape of the figure, and the yellow background matches the mayonnaise jar. I do want to intensify the skin color just a bit. The only thing I'm not completely sure about is whether or not I'm going to have text on the mayonnaise jar. I'm leaning toward no, because there will be text in the final product that will explain the image. On to the final... after I do some other stuff...