Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Final thoughts

This semester has opened my eyes to media and techniques I had not experienced before, but will continue to utilize. The barrage of watercolors in the beginning was my first real experience with the media, and with them I was able to loosen up my control freak tendencies a little bit. I'm still working on that. Above is one of my more successful pieces out of the 50.
I realize now that the line work/watercolor pieces were some of my favorites, but I didn't really explore that technique past the memory portrait, which also turned out well.
I know it's not your favorite piece, but the large-scale water color was really fun for me, and I think it was the first vehicle picture I've ever been happy with.
Gouache, particularly with a gesso/matte medium under-layer, was a challenge, but I really enjoyed learning with the first project. Though I struggled with gouache throughout the semester, I am pretty happy with my final attempt (The Scarlet Letter). The marks became more confident, and I tried to let the paint do interesting things outside of my control.
A change of pace came with the DMV comic, which required clean line work (something I am not any too practiced at) and Photoshop skills. I learned a lot about the proper way to separate line work from background in Photoshop, but I'm still wondering about the "easier" way that you mentioned... Anyhow, it was a fun project.
The gouache montage(s) (the second and more successful of which is above) were good for experimenting with textures and pick-out. I tried different methods for the fish fins and sky in each. The second try proved to be a good idea, I'll admit it.
The conversation illustration was a good opportunity to introduce narrative/concept, and more practice in clean line work. I like my characters, but I'm not fond of it overall, because it's a good example of how I am afraid of pigment.

The Missouri postcard and the sound illustration (pictured, because I don't want to look at them) are not things I like to talk about either, because I lost any confidence I had gained with gouache and water color at that point in the semester. I think it was all the airbrushing.
Speaking of airbrush, Snow White was a pleasant surprise when I removed all of the frisket. I think the 2 fruits did help. That piece taught me control with air flow and helped me figure out the balance between having enough pigment and overdoing it. Also, patience. I don't know how many times I had to go over and over and over some of the more saturated areas and wait for them to dry so that I wouldn't have color leaking underneath the frisket.
The Guinness poster was fun, even though I didn't at first agree with anyone on which idea to develop. I used watercolor on uncoated paper, which I hadn't done in a while, and I think you can tell I was out of practice in the skin areas... But, I did enjoy the experimentation with texture on the corset. Also, I think the plan for the text (and the mayo idea) turned out pretty well. This was a good practice of planning an illustration around information.
Again, I didn't agree with everyone on which idea to develop (that seems to be a trend with me), but I'm glad I pursued this one. I think this was my most successful use of non-local color so far, even though she maybe looks kind of like a zombie. Also, I think I kept structure while letting the paint do a lot of its own thing. It was a good project to end with.

Altogether, I did develop some useful skills over the semester, but I still have a long way to go to get comfortable and confident with the media. I also realize that my color comps were never quite like the finished product (and also in colored pencil, not marker, ok), so I should get more decisive with those. But for learning mostly new media to me, I feel pretty good about the body of work, and I'm excited to do more of it in the future, assignment based, and for fun. I might even be a carnie with my airbrush skills, who knows.

book cover design

Here it is, the title and byline are pretty simple additions. I wanted to use serif font to echo the "A" on her back, and "Scarlet" has only a slight rose tint, so as not to fight with the illustration or blend into the background. I think the plan to make room for the title and byline beside the neck and waist worked out pretty well, but I wish there were more room to make the title a bit bigger.

book cover llustration

This is the final illustration for my Scarlet Letter book cover. I used gouache over a gesso/matte medium layer and practiced freeing up my hand, which I had forgotten to do as of late. Most of the figure is a mixture of pick-out technique and loose, watery brush strokes. I also tried to incorporate non-local color without making her look like a zombie. I added more pink to avoid that. The background was a lot of letting the medium do its own thing, which I enjoyed. Thought I originally wanted the "A" to be a bit tighter, I think the loose, slightly inconsistent texture of it fits in with the rest of the piece. Next: the cover design.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Scarlet Letter color comps

My personal favorite is sadly not very popular; I think the eyes creep people out too much. So I'm giving up on it and developing the A-back comp.

The entire class likes this one, so here we go. I think I'll be addressing the bonnet with more detail and perhaps adding a little more blue to the shading, to contrast the A. I'll have a lot of fun with the background, I think. I plan on doing a gouache/water color combination. I need to learn how to address large portions of skin better, so this will be a good opportunity. The title will probably go in the top left, and the author's name in the bottom right? We'll see about that...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oops...I forgot to post the Guinness poster...

Here she is, all painted and InDesigned up. I had quite a bit of trouble printing the yellow background and getting the whites white. I also couldn't really get her skin the way I painted it. I'm pretty happy with the layout, it went just as planned. With this project I learned a little bit more about adjusting colors for printing and planning an illustration in preparation for adding text.