Illustration – The Gunman.

Illusions, Uncategorized

This illustration was created mainly for me to improve my workflow and broaden my understanding of working with clipping masks and layers. I spent a lot of time experimenting with how Photoshop works for illustration during the process of creating this image. In this post i will try to breakdown the main steps in how i brought this image to completion and what i learned from the process.

Initially this illustration was sketched, drawn and written about in an earlier blog post, however i did not feel like it was completed. The line art was done and i added some blood spatter to illustrate wings. But i wanted to take it further and experiment with colour and some shading.  The previous post can be seen here : Wings of blood.

A previously drawn sketch / line art

A previously drawn sketch / line art

To continue working on this illustration i first cleaned up the sketch again and began reworking and preparing it for the next step.  After i removed the spatter i re-cropped the image to be in portrait mode instead of landscape mode. I also refined the line art.

 

While working on the image i organised the layers into folders, even though this consumes the focus and some time from working on the illustration itself, it was well worth it for the workflow later. I could then click through the layers and display them as i saw fit while working on the illustration.

Layer folders

Folders created for the layers during the illustration work flow.

I proceeded to add the base colours to have a middle tone to work from. This means having a base that i could work in both lighter and darker colours if needed. I also added a somewhat bland background colour to further figure out my colours later.

Working with Pure white as a background is not good when trying to figure out skin colours etc as it is a very sharp and dominating colour, it will influence the choices you make, as darker colours look a lot darker in contrast to the white background.

 

 

After i added the base colours i used a colour slider to tweak the colours on each layer. This makes the overall colour scheme more cohesive and ensure the different colours and layers work well together. Following your instincts during this process is important.

This affects the aesthetic of the whole illustration so taking the time to get the base colours just right (in accordance with your own taste) is time well spent.

Base colours 2

Base colours have been tweaked using the colour slider on each layer.

When all the base colours are a nice mid-tone and seem coherent, the next step was adding two layers to each folder. One for shadows and one for the light. Personally i always start with the shadows as these are larger blocks of degraded light. filling in the shadows also helps in figuring out where the light is actually coming from.

shadows.png
The shadows add some needed depth to the illustration. Finally the highlights are added as well as some final detailing to finish the illustration. The highlights also puts some further emphasis the shadows. They can be used to make the shading more gradient as well, giving the image a more completed feel in regards to the direction the light is coming from.

final image.png

In this image the lighting is coming from the right side of the person.

For future illustrations i think i would benefit from experimenting more with bounce lighting. It is also evident to me that i am not completely confident when it comes to colours. These are aspects of illustration i will be working on to further improve my work.

Blending is also something i am intending to work on. Too much gradients when it comes to blending makes the illustration look a little flat. Being rougher with edges, lighting and shadows could be better as it may create more interest and depth.

Thank you for reading.     -J

Design & Art History – The Psychedelic Movement (CA.1960-1970)

Design & Art History, Mandatory Assignments, Uncategorized

” The sixties was the last idealistic time, the years that shaped an entire generation. An era that some say ended with the death of president Kennedy and Martin Luther King jr.”

 – The Sixties – The Years That Shaped a Generation. – [Documentary]

 

In the late sixties something happened to an american generation that would mark them forever. It is a story of war, the struggle for racial equality and the explosion of counter culture, it was a time when a generation rebelled, and lost its innocence in the fight against injustice. Vietnam was the first ever televised war, and the images were inescapable.

A decade that ended with disillusionment and rage began on a moral high note. Thanks to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King jr, it seemed the time for racial equality in the US had finally arrived.

There is so much to write about in this era, that it is very difficult to select just one thing to focus on. Even though there is an absurd amount of art and design that stems from this time period. When we talk about the “sixties” all we seem to recognise is the music, psychedelic rock and artists like Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix in particular.

Album art and festival posters however is a good place to start. As music was a force to be reckoned with, so came the album art work and poster designs, hand in hand.

One thing that seems to be re-occurring with most of the visual artists at the time is a relation with underground comix. These were small press or self published comic books, usually socially relevant and satirical in their nature. These depicted content deemed unfit and forbidden to the more strict mainstream media.

 

Rick Griffin :
When we look up band posters it is hard to avoid finding a Grateful Dead poster somewhere, anywhere. The artist behind these were Rick Griffin.He was an american artist and one of the leading designers of psychedelic posters in the 1960s

His work within the surfing subculture included both film posters and his comic strip, Murphy.

Album art for the Grateful Dead album Aoxomoxoa and a poster for the Quicksilver Messenger Service at Avalon Ballroom 1/12-14/68 by Rick Griffin.

 

 

 

Victor Moscoso :
A Spanish-American artist, Moscoso was the first of the rock poster artists of the 1960s era with formal academic training and experience.

After studying art at the Cooper Union in New York and later attending Yale University, he moved to San Francisco in 1959 to study at the San Francisco Art Institute. Here he later became an instructor. He was one of the first of the rock poster artists to use  photographic collages in his art work.

His art and poster work has continued up to the present and he is a big inspiration to rock poster and album illustrators to this day.

 

 

Bonnie MacLean :
Another American artist making a name for her self at the time was Bonnie MacLean. She was born in Philadelphia and graduated from the Penn State University in 1960.

She then moved to New York where she worked at the Pratt Institute while attending drawing classes in the evenings. She later moved to San Francisco where she met and worked with a man named Bill Graham, who became famous as the promoter of rock concerts at the Fillmore Auditorium. There she worked alongside another artist by the name of Wes Wilson.

Wilson had a falling out with the promoter Bill Graham. Bonnie MacLean had been painting noticeboards at the auditorium in the psychedelic style, and took up the creation of the posters after Wilson left.  Thirty of her posters are now listed in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum.

 

 

Wes Wilson :
The aforementioned artist Wes Wilson was also one of the leading illustrators of psychedelic posters in the 1960`s. Working with Bill Graham and Bonnie MacLean, he was a big part of promoting venues at the time with posters and illustrative work for musicians and bands.

The font and lettering of the posters from this era were created by him. he popularised this “psychedelic” font around 1966 that made the letters look like they were moving or melting. This lettering is still used on newer albums and art works for artists like Foo Fighters, Kyuss Lives and The Queens of the Stone Age.

This in turn proves that the psychedelic movement is still influencing artists, especially in the world of metal, desert rock and stoner rock. The style is very much still alive as its own staple.

 

 

Modern poster styles :
Posters still influenced by the styles of art work can be traced through homages and inspirations in rock and metal posters from the present all the way back to this era.

Many more modern posters can be viewed on the web pages of Malleus Rock Art Lab if you should be interested. I personally find a lot of inspiration through their imagery.

Thank you for reading.

Design & Art History – Pop Art (CA.1959-1970)

Design & Art History, Uncategorized

The exchange of creativity and culture.

“Good evening.
The world of pop art, the world of filmstars, the twist, science fiction.
A world which you can dismiss if you were feeling so inclined of course as being tawdry and second rate, but a world all the same in which everybody to some degree anyway lives,
whether we like it or not.” -Unknown

In a world of fast food and fast cars, pop art emerged in the mid fifties, during Americas post war economic boom. In the sixties Americans went big on cigarettes, alcohol and sex. Because of this an industry sprang into action to sell more of it, namely advertising.

A brazen new art, it shrugged of the tragic burden of the human condition.
Adding to a new mass produced world, filling the billboards and television screens for a new wide eyed generation of consumers. The British had started it, but the Americans made it bigger and more daring. Pop art in itself was a rebellion against the expressionist art movement at the time.

 

Andy Warhol :
There is simply no way around it.
There is no discussing pop art without mentioning Andy Warhol and the pop art he created of Hollywood stars and starlets.

Most famous of which would be the Marilyn Monroe prints. These silk screen prints were created in, and distributed from, his studio known as “The Factory”. The Marilyn print portfolio was created in 1967, after she passed away in 1962.


There are more than 20 versions, of which just one of them, recently sold for 28 Million USD.

Andy Warhol, being the man that he was, claimed painting was “dead” and that he was at the forefront of creating a new art form. This was in 1966 after he created “The Cow Series”.

This series transcended the expectations of printmaking and artistic expression at the time, and is probably the reason why this technique was later adapted for his work with silk screens and the Monroe series. The cows were printed on wallpaper.

 

 

Roy Lichtenstein :
Another artist working in New York at the time was Roy Lichtenstein. Known for recreating single frames out of cheap comics in a large and matte  format.

Lichtenstein had a masters in art from Ohio State University. He worked in advertising up until 1957 before he became obsessed with the shape language of pop art.

One of his most famous artworks is an image of two jets called Whaam. These are two individual frames combined to create the full work of art. His works keep inspiring artists to this day, and his style has become a staple in what a new generation might misinterpreted or call “old style comics”. For instance, the dots a printing press would create, were recreated in his work as an aesthetic.

BHP-Roy-Lichtenstein-Whaam.jpg

Whaam by Roy Lichtenstein

 

POP ART NOW.

Pop art is very much still a big part of the times we are living in currently. Inspiring new as well as established artists and students, in many ways.

 

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Artist : DogHollywood. “I’ve always loved the Andy Warhol pop art style from the ’60s and wanted to do a homage to it.

 

Yoshitomo Nara :
Talking about pop art in more recent times, the biggest name is Yoshitomo Nara, a japanese artist working out of Tokyo. His art is being displayed in museums and galleries all around the world. He attended the University of Fine Arts and Music in Aichi japan and later moved on to study at the Düsseldorf Art Academy.

Being a part of and inspired by the modern pop culture from both the western world as well as pop culture in Japan after the second world war. He is recognized as the greatest contributor to Japans very own pop art movement in the 1990`s.

 

Yoshitomo-Nara-Girl-with-Cigarette-image-via-Tyoindexcom.jpg

Artist : Yoshitomo Nara – Girl with Cigarette

Thank you for reading.

Illustration – Wings of Blood.

Illusions, Uncategorized

This week i decided to try a new/different software for my illustration. Namely Krita.
Keep in mind, i have not been approached by anyone to write a review.

This is not sponsored content.


Krita is a professional free and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.

  • concept art
  • texture and matte painters
  • illustrations and comics

https://krita.org/en/


 

Sketch progression : 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The software :

Krita worked nicely for the most part, i did push it with a rather ridiculous canvas size as i was thinking i would try to crash it.

Because of this there were a few moments with a 3 second lag every now and then. But nothing that managed to stall or break the software. Krita worked well for me throughout the week and was surprisingly stable.

If you are new too or are looking to just try out digital art without spending money on software, i would recommend this application.

It does not eat insane amounts of your computers resources, it is stable and has the tools you need to draw professionally.

 

gundropsketch7.png

Ridiculous canvas size…

 

 

Illustration :

I started sketching and ended up completing the line the work as well as add some blood spatter to illustrate a set of wings.

I did however spend a serious amount of time on the line art (as usual), especially on the gun. I did not create a new layer for the “fine” line art this time and instead refined the sketch itself to its finished state.

The reason for this was that i was focusing on the “dynamics” of the illustration to create some more depth in this one compared to my previous work. In short, using perspective to create a more three dimensional foundation.

I am planning on adding some more colour (other than the red of the “wings”) on a later date and spend some more time on the image so i can add it to my portfolio.

I am thinking about adding some skin tone and light colour and shadowing to the rest of the illustration. This while still trying to keep the high contrast of the crimson and white in the illustration.

 

WingsofBlood2.png

 

 

Until next time i hope you enjoyed this post.
Thank you for reading.

Illustration – “AI” – Geisha.

Illusions, Uncategorized

Tools :

The software i used for this illustration was Adobe Illustrator on the Ipad pro (also known as Adobe Draw). I later imported it to Adobe Illustrator on my PC to touch up and finish the image.

From sketches to illustration – progression.

Before i begin sketching i usually go through a thought process. Depending on the work i want to create, the time i spend thinking about the image and visualizing it varies.
After i have an idea on how i want the sketch to turn out i do some research.

Spending a few minutes on Pinterest i get some inspirations and visual impressions before i execute the first/starting sketch. Be careful with spending too much time on this however as you do not want the inspirations you receive from elsewhere to dictate how your piece turns out.

IMG_0077

The first step was starting a rough sketch, trying to capture the essence of what i am visualizing and trying to create with the image.

This is however not necessarily the right approach always. It was the way i started this illustration, but sometimes you just get a sketch you want to complete with no visualizing or intention as well.

The beginning of an illustration or sketch is always open to varying your approach. You could always start a new sketch if it does not pan out as intended.

IMG_0046

After the main sketch was done i spent some time experimenting with it on different layers, thinking about colours and lighting etch, this is evident with all the layers i used.

After i had spent some time thinking about the image i reduced the opacity on the sketch and started refining the line art on a new layer.

This is definitely one way several digital artists go about refining and create line work.
However this is not always how i go about it myself. Refining line art on a new layer is maybe an easy way of doing it but sometimes refining the sketch itself is a better way to approach an image, albeit a more difficult and time consuming approach.

IMG_0048

On this one however i refined the line work on its own layer. Spending some time adding details around the face and hair to create more interest and ensuring the face is the focal point of the illustration.

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I do this spending some ekstra time getting the line work to be coherent. meaning creating lines mostly in one long swift stroke with minimal amounts of breaks in between the lengths of the lines. This is to ensure the line work doesn’t look scratchy and broken up in between the endpoints.

IMG_0050

After i have finished the line work of the main sketch, i continue working on it adding more details. Focusing on shadows and where the light source is i draw in where the shadows  are to create some more depth in the line work. I also add more detail around the face and hair, trying to create interest.

IMG_0051

Finishing the line work is always satisfying to me, probably because this is where i tend to spend the most of the time i work an an image. This is when i begin spending time on experimenting some more with new layers and colours to figure out what i want to do next.

When i have made up my mind i start organizing my layers again to remove the unnecessary ones and clean up the work space. Keep in mind however that you should not delete the rough sketch layer. It is nice to have as a comparison later down the road of the illustration.

IMG_0055

Now the time to add colour has come, i played around with several combinations of colours to find the ones i wanted to use in this illustration.

I like de-saturated colours as they dont “glare” and strain the eye as much as highly saturated tones do. I want the image to lead the eye well without having too bright colours that steal the interest away from the focal points.

IMG_0061

After getting a base colour palette to work with mu drawing i started fiddling with the flowers on the fan the geisha is holding.

This is where i got stuck. This happens sometimes, you get stuck on illustration work and you dont really know what to do about it. I put the illustration away for a few days while thinking again about how to deal with this issue.

I the end i asked another artist friend of mine on how she would approach it (i specifically asked about the background colour). Blue was suggested as the colour for the background as she thought this would give the illustration some more depth.

In this i agreed, i played around with some blue hues that i thought would work well.

Pro Tip : When stuck, ask someone for directions.

A-I 1 - Drawing 2

To finish the illustration`s background i wanted a graphical element to round the whole image off.  In the background is the kanji for “Ai” drawn on a makeshift wall.

Of course when using graphical element from a written language that is foreign to you, one needs to do some research.

In Japanese, both “ai (愛)” and “koi (恋)” can be roughly translated as “love” in English. However, the two characters have a slightly different nuance.

I did some research and found this web page from ThoughtCo explaining what i needed to know for this illustration with, at the very least,  a small degree of confidence.

 

Feel free to leave a comment on this post and let me know what you think.
Thank you for reading, i hope you enjoyed it.

Learning Activity – Designing for Performance.

Learning Activities

Learning Activity – Designing for Performance              (3 hours)

Surf the web and find 5 examples of websites that have been coded and designed for performance.

https://futureoftransit.designit.com/home

http://interactive.unwomen.org/multimedia/timeline/womensfootprintinhistory/en/index.html

https://www.10thousanddesign.com/

http://www.stylenovels.com/en/

http://www.associationforpublicart.org/

Learning Activity – Creating a Brief.

Learning Activities

 

  • What is the client’s service/product?
    – Musician / Band.
  • What are their requirements?
    – A one stop site to post upcoming tour dates (Blog style), links to their albums and publications (Spotify). Biography page.
  • What is the website’s goal?
    – The websites main goal is to be a hub for their social media and informational posts along with information on how to get in touch with the artists.
  • How are you going to achieve this goal?
    – Using WordPress is the “easy” solution, using a tailored design and execution, it will cover the needs for the client(s). It will also be good for better updates and upkeep of the site in the future.
  • Build the website architecture (so we can see what sections will be needed)
    Website architecture
  • What is the design style that will be required?
    – New, Rustic, Rock.I like grabbing a few key words and build around them when designing for instance a mark. What definitely was a feeling along with the sound of the group was that they are merging new ideas with old ones. To better Illustrate this a small mood board was created.

  • What are your suggestions for marketing the site?
    – Facebook is a given as the group already have a presence there. In addition to using the existing social media i would have a flyer created, to be given out at places they play as they travel. Posters are also an option depending on the venues and gigs they play. Another way is to have an e-mail list followers can opt into on the site.

Learning Activity – Providing Your Own Hosting Service.

Learning Activities
Learning Activity – Providing Your Own Hosting Service

(2 hrs)

This learning activity is to acquire your own hosting service. This hosting service will be needed throughout the rest of your studies, and this Learning Activity is therefore mandatory.

You are free to choose any hosting service in the world. If you find it difficult to find one, we recommend one.com.

If you choose one.com, the monthly fee is only about 1,5 USD a month, and there are step-by-step guidances to setting up the account, creating e-mail addresses, connecting via ftp etc.

By acquiring the web hosting yourselves, you get (depending the hosting service):

  • Valuable training in providing hosting services
  • Domain name of your choosing
  • Personalised e-mail account with your own domain name
  • Cloud drive
  • A lot more space
  • 24/7 support
  • The service and domain name remains yours after your studies are done (if you wish to keep it)

Consider your domain name very carefully. This cannot be altered. (You can of course sign up for other domain names and delete the one you have, but “getting it right the first time” saves you a great deal of trouble.)

Also note that it can take 24 hours or more for the hosting provider to complete the registration. In some cases, you may need to print out a document, sign it, scan it, and e-mail it back to the hosting company.

 

I personally use Domeneshop.no for all my domain purchases and have several domains hosted here. I always have a good experience using this service and have been pleased with them over the past 5 years as one of their users.