Saturday, December 11, 2010
The reason I chose this self portrait project as my best project is because of the different factors surrounding its creation. When I illustrated this piece, I had literally just gotten familiar with the photoshop illustration technique. I really hadn't begun to even enjoy photoshop illustrations. When I started illustrating this, I just sat there and went at it without really thinking too much of it. In the process, I happened to stumble upon my own individual technique within photoshop utilizing specific steps and specific layers that I would continue to use on all of my photoshop illustrations throughout the rest of the semester. And when I was finished, I realized I had enjoyed the process of its creation, just as much as the final product.
This project marks the beginning of me taking to photoshop over all the other mediums we worked with in class. Because photoshop illustration is much more forgiving than gouache or watercolor, both of which I continuously struggled with all semester, I was very fond of spending the time to put in little details. I obviously hadn't yet mastered my technique so there were many instances when I found myself illustrating in the wrong layer, which is still one of my more common mistakes. But the restarting doesn't involve completely starting over like hand-illustrated art does. It's also convenient because I didn't need to scan my artwork into the computer, then mess around with color balancing just to make it resemble the original. Photoshop illustration gives so much more freedom, it's sort of a no brainer to use it.
So overall, I am really glad photoshop illustration was touched on in class. I know I was supposed to be doing more of the hand-made work since that's mostly of what the coursework calls for. But I wouldn't have been able to discover the style of illustration that came most naturally to me. Photoshop illustration has changed my perspective and added a very helpful, not to mention marketable, aspect to my style as a designer.
This project was definitely one of my favorites. I got to utilize both my photoshop illustration skills and my layout design and typography skills. I think the is the first project that I was able to see first hand that I'm capable of illustrating for particular design related projects. I can definitely see myself using my photoshop illustrations in my future design work. Some issues I had with this design was that when I first started it, I was nervous that I wouldn't have time to finish it. It's a very detailed image that took a lot of time to get the colors just right, then add the highlights on top in a way that still looks elegant and not as graphic as I typically make my art and design look. I think that was definitely the biggest challenge for me. While it does still look somewhat graphic, I think I was able to achieve the necessary amount of elegance to fit with my book cover design. And surprisingly enough, I did have time to illustrate another photoshop illustration for the back cover. I needed something to balance out the layout and still fit with the themes of the book and I think my quill and ink dish also accomplish that. Overall, this was another illustration that shows my development with the specific tools and techniques unique to photoshop illustration.
The airbrush project was definitely very challenging and frustrating. Despite the fact that I struggled with this illustration for 4 hours, I think it's my best hand-made piece I did throughout the entire semester. There were a few times I almost gave up on it, but I kept going and, aside from a few mistakes, I was able to pull it off. I corrected my mistakes with some hand-done line work, then the rest I retouched in photoshop. It's also really cool to know this was my first attempt at my first full illustration with the airbrushing technique. While I'm happy to be done with it, I would actually consider using airbrushing as an illustration tool for my design work in the future.
I chose the album art project as one of my best formal projects because it shows my proficiency in photoshop illustration. For this particular project, besides using my personal layering technique and layer styling, I used some other hue changing techniques in order to change the color of the initial balloon animal I illustrated. Prior to this project, it didn't occur to me that I could use other effects, filters and tools on my finished illustrations. It was a great discovery since now I can continue to learn new methods and tools. It was also a challenge to resize what I had already illustrated into two other smaller compositions. I do with I had done this differently so they would all be exactly the same, but unfortunately, I didn't crop the arrangement of illustrations, so I had to manually position them within each of the smaller comps. Though considering this, I believe I did a good job eyeing everything out. Overall, this project was really fun with all the fun discoveries I made in photoshop.
I chose the photoshop marker comp that I did for my event poster because it shows that I was able to choose the color scheme and apply it to the initial artwork and composition of the piece. The line work was near complete and I only had to make some minor changes to it. The technique I used to add color into the line work was the basic paint tool in photoshop. I added a low opacity fill to the particular shapes, then went back in to highlight and lowlight. This marked the first epiphany I had as far as developing my own personal design technique within photoshop. After this marker comp, I began to utilize layers a lot more and discovered I could get really detailed work done with just the brush tool and color tool in photoshop.
For my 10 best technique exercises, I chose 3 line art by hand, 3 line art in photoshop, 2 8.5x11 watercolors by hand and 2 photoshop watercolors. I chose the 3 line art by hand pieces because they show my best quick line-work for practice. Not having taken a drawing class in a while, I was very surprised I was still able to crank out some decent line work, which turned out to be helpful on many projects that followed in illustration class. I chose the 3 photoshop line exercises because this was my first experience with the photoshop illustration techniques demonstrated in class. I was a bit shaky at first, but then I was able to draw these three, which I was very pleased with and these drawings ultimately hooked me on photoshop illustration. The 2 watercolors that I did by hand are examples of my best a favorite works. The really bizarre and surreal one was an experiment in which I put down the color first, then drew in the line work depending on what shapes I perceived the paint blobs to be. It was a fun and interesting exercise. The lighthouse was one done in class in which I had more time to complete. I really like how it turned out. I had a lot of trouble with watercolor and when I was able to paint this particular painting, I began to like it a bit more and felt more confident that maybe I'd be able to actually use it as a designing tool one day. And the last two are examples of watercolor and line work done in photoshop. These two were my best out of the 5 assigned to do. They show how I progressively became more confident with color and the different brush options within photoshop. They also show another step towards my preference for photoshop illustration over hand-done techniques.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I spent 4 hours airbrushing this damn kitten, which I got so attached to him in the process, I named him Mr. Wigglesworth. I think it came out ok overall, minus a few mess-ups, which I was able to take care of in photoshop. Hopefully it's cheesy enough to live up to the project specifications. Oh, and I guess I should add that this is my first experience with any sort of airbrush ever. I tried a couple exercises, but not all because of soccer so it's amazing I got this done in 4 hours.
This book cover was actually fun to do. I really enjoy photoshop illustration so I was an overachiever and did two illustrations, one for the front cover and one for the back. The color scheme and typography are meant to be more elegant, so hopefully that's how it comes off. I'm going to take some pictures of the final printout mocked up and on the book to see how successful my mockup design is.
Maximum Balloon is the new album out by David Sitek, also known as "the white guy from TV on the Radio". One of my favorite new albums out. I decided to go literal with the imagery and last minute I changed my mind about how I was going to incorporate balloons. I went all Jeff Koons and used the balloon animals, to be both literal, and to reference some of the more animal-like emotions put into both the sound and lyrics of Sitek's songs.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
All pics were taken in the raw at my mom's shop in Geneva, IL and altered in Photoshop, mostly in the raw software where I did a lot of color (un)balancing. Her clients were surprisingly very willing to have their photo shot while my mom was going at their scalps with all kinds of torturous tools and chemicals. Oh, what women will do for beauty...thus the origin of the ad.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Hmm. Where to begin. I began this 3 image gouache montage with high hopes. I was possibly going give this to my cousin for Christmas since I wanted to paint her new son, Shane, surrounded by Chicago Cubs paraphernalia, our family's favorite baseball team. But because Shane looks like a demon baby, I think I'll hold on to this one. It was really difficult trying to figure out a good composition with the subject matter that I chose to paint. I think each thing turned out well enough individually (except the demon baby), but the arrangement is pretty awkward. I'm bummed I didn't have enough time to choose different subjects or at least orient them differently on the page.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The product I chose is Suze, which I believe is basically just a really old brand of European tonic water. So old, in fact, it was depicted in one of Picasso's famous collage pieces called "Glass and Bottle of Suze." The photo I found is of what looks like an antique Suze bottle with old charm. It was sort of a dumb choice, which I didn't find out until I started trying to paint the glass part of the bottle. Painting glass is damn near impossible for gouache beginners like me. Next time, I'll choose something with a bit less glass. Jeesh.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
My attempt at large scale poster photography and advertisement for a touchy issue. It was near impossible to think of ways to make this kind of poster somewhat neutral without either stirring up anger in those opposed to the message I was trying to send or getting in trouble with ROTC or the US Army. They typically have an issue with people advertising for topics they do not support or have not approved of. Lucky for me, this is a school project and will never leave the Truman campus for reproduction. I also figured not too many people can touch me if I'm simply supporting First Amendment rights.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Because I have been having constant battles with my watercolor brushes and paints, I've turned to technology. I recently had the "aha" moment when illustrating in Photoshop, which I'm really grateful for because I wouldn't have anything to show you if I hadn't figured it out. It just makes sense to me. An all-in-one tracing and coloring program with layering capabilities? Umm, one word: Forgiving. Everything just looks better to me if I illustrate it in Photoshop, not to mention it's mess free and ready to put onto the blog sans scanning when it's finished. On top of all of that, I also got a brand new Bamboo pen tablet to draw with so it's going to be even more difficult to motivate myself to figure out watercolor and gouache. But in my recent projects I have been relying a bit too much on Photoshop illustration. So I'm hoping I can pick up on gouache much faster than watercolor because I would like to be familiar and proficient with this particular media, mostly because it's fast and if done properly, looks good. And because I like drawing so much in Photoshop, I would like to try combining the two a bit more often. Anyway, here's what I feel is my strongest illustration. I feel like it's almost cheating because I actually had an extra hour to work on it. I can only imagine what I'll be able to get done with more time!
Choosing my worst work so far this semester is kind of a bummer. Hmm. My worst work. Sadly, there are quite a few to choose from. It's made me realize how much work I have to do to get all the techniques down so I can actually utilize this media in a pinch if needed. So far, watercolors have been the hardest to get down. Though time has been an issue, I still haven't had the "aha" moment in which all of the techniques click on in my brain and I can crank out 10 good watercolors in only 2 hours (which is sadly the most time I've had to work on most of the homework assignments). Yes, this example lacks decent composition, color saturation and though not too visible on the merciful computer screen, scattered and runny pigments. I am glad to say that I have improved from this point and am able to have minimal pigment scattering, more color saturation and much better composition. Let's just say that practice is still in the process of making perfect.
Monday, October 18, 2010
So, I'm pretty sick of Red Barn projects up to this point so my goal was to try and switch up the imagery a bit. I included some festival events and some crafts, but did them in a way that wouldn't remind me of the topic that's been beaten into my portfolio for three years now. I gave Photoshop illustrating another try, only this time, I had some fun with the brushes. Instead of using the plain straight edged brush selection, I tried some new gloppy looking ones to give my illustrations the feel of color being added before the line art. For the dancers, I also tried with color and without to show the definition of the tutu's which was the focal point for that work.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
My idea for the Ryle Hall mural is a "Wall of Fame" and it includes all famous people either born in Missouri or that have lived and worked in Missouri in the past. Since the new cafeteria resembles Panera, I wanted the mural to look like the warm line drawings that are commonly found on the walls there. I believe my topic is visually and intellectually interesting, while still maintaining the cheesy ideas of community and the world. If mine gets chosen, I will touch it up to perfection, make the background better, and include all the names of the individuals and where they lived or worked in MO next to their image. Also, if mine gets chosen, I will research a large format printing company that could print the mural out and have it pasted onto the wall easily instead of having people paint it on by hand.