Wednesday, March 30, 2011

At the end of the day

This past weekend I was trying to figure out what to make for my postcard for the creative industries module that I've been working on. I was just sketching really and then this little fisher elf came to me and I just had to finish him.

I won't be using him as a promotional card but I'll probably add him to my portfolio in the children's illustration section.

here's a step by step of how he came to be:

Steb 1 was the sketch. I did it in pencil and scanned it.

Step 2 was to start laying on basic colors in the background before starting to give them more life and tonal value. I played around with some brush dynamics so I could paint the foliage faster.

Step 3, Now you can see that I'm starting to add some texture to the greenery and I've decided what colors the elf should be wearing.

Step 4, I've skipped ahead here. After a few hours of rendering, color adjusting and so on and so forth this is what the image finally turned out like. If you look closely you'll notice that the tree in the background is bigger. I found it to be too small in comparison to everything else in the image so I resized it.

Until next time

Anita Night

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The progression of Poe

Yeah, so I've been struggling alon with my Uni Projects. Most of my work has turned out as I wanted it to, but the one book cover in my Final Major Project that will not give me a flippin' brak is the Edgar Allan Poe book I chose to illustrate. It has taken forever to get to a stage where I don't want to gouge my eyes out when I look at the illustrations. I have made so many versions of this book cover that I have actually lost count. Although I think I might begetting somewhere now.

Fig 1: The very first attempt at the cover. It looks like a children's book, and Poe is not really appropriate for children. I don't want to send out the wrong message.

Fig 2: This was the second idea I had, but which I can't use because it was really just a doodle and consists mostly of borrowed images from the web slapped together with som textures I had lying around.

Fig 3:Next I tried painting a cover instead with acrylics. It didn't turn out as I wanted to but I gave it a go.

Fig 4:Another cover based on the painting, It's looking better now, closer to what I was imagining, but I', still not completely happy with it, and neither were the teachers so that solved the matter. Moving on.

Fig 5:So I went to pencil drawings, which apparently is something I do well (or so I've been told). And it's looking better now. A bit old fashioned and sketchy. Still I am not happy, and at this point I got close to giving the whole thing up.

Fig 6: So to keep me from going insane I did a 180 turn and tried something completely different. A modernized take on Poe with fresh colors contrasting with the black dark and gloomy literature that Poe is so well known for. I think that by giving the book a more modern and fresh feel it will appeal to younger people and make them interested in reading Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe.

Soooo, what's your opinion?

Until next time,
Anita Night

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Promotional cards

Right now we are doing an assignment at Uni called creative oppotunities and industries. In this module we are asked to do as SWOT analysis of ourself and our illustrative practice. We are aske to make a short term and long term plan for our illustrative career and also to do market research and determine where we belong in the world of illustration. All of the above are tough cookies, but they all seem to pale in comparison to the dreaded:

Promotional Postcard!

When one is confronted with a problem that demands you to create a single illustration that totally describes you as an illustrator, the task seems to be almost impossible. Why is that?

Fig 1: The style I work in when I do fantasy art

Well here's the thing, I think that we all think we know who we are as illustrators, until we are asked to describe ourselves in only three words or through one single illustration. it is kind of like asking someone who they really are, it's almost an existentialistic question when you get to the bottom of it. Most illustrators can be branded as being children's books illustrators, or fantasy illustrators and some are more editorial illustrators. Simple right. No.

My problem is that I like doing many different types of illustrations, and when doing different types of illustration I change my style too. I like variety you see or else I'll get bored. So how do you narrow the expressions of someone who likes to do a bit of everything into one postcard without cluttering it up with bits and pieces of everything you like doing thrown into the mix?

Fig 2: The type of work I would do for children's books or fantasy character sketches

To be honest I have no idea, but I have some thoughts upon the matter:

1. A clever idea is probably to look through all your work and see if there are any recurring themes or techniques you utilize no matter what genre you are working in.

2. Sit down and really think through what sort of illustrator you want to be known as. Do you want to be known for awesome dragons or colorful children's book illustrations? You should focus on what you really want to do and enjoy doing.

3. Try to think of an illustration that could appeal to as many employers as possible. I am not in a position to say what such an illustration should look like. It has to be an individual decision in my opinion.

4. And if all else fail, try to analyze yourself and the way you illustrate. Are you a traditional painter? Do you have good drawing skills? Is color and shape your strong suit or is maybe more graphic design work what you excel at? These are pointers I believe can help you decide upon a proper illustration.

Fig 3: The kind of work I do when I work traditionally with acrylics and watercolours

I still have no idea of what to make, but hopefully I'll get there and soon...

Does anyone perhaps have any suggestions that might aid me and indeed others who struggle with this problem? If you do, please feel free to share your nuggets of wisdom by commenting on this post.

Until next time
Anita Night