Monday, December 7, 2009

[Witty title]

Where to begin? I've always found the start to be a good place.

The poster project went well. I was very happy with what I produced. For my first time making a poster, I enjoyed it and found it challenging. Here be the poster:

I tried to emulate the style of Derek Hess as well as using my own style. I think I mixed the two well, but seeing as my style is pretty similar already, it wasn't as big an effort.

After this we did another poster project. This time we had to copy a poster that we found. I looked through a big book of posters (I thought it would be a good book to look through for a poster) and found a nice gig poster by a man called Jay Ryan.
It was a fun experiment and I found that although his style is a little different, it is still quite loose at times and is something I can learn from when it comes to incorporating other artists' work into my ideas and the little image library in my head.

Here's the original:

And then my copy:

I started by putting a high res. scan of the poster into photoshop, where I then put a new layer over the top and traced round the figure. For the letters I used the magic wand tool to select the shapes. I found a font that was very similar to this but it cost a pretty penny to get. I'm a student. And I'm on an exchange programme. I don't have the luxury of what most people know as an 'income'.
The muscle memory, if you will, that came from copying this figure (thrice, it turned out, thanks to the computer hating me and not saving the image) meant that I could easily draw this over and over without using the reference material. This is how we learn.

The last project the we did (and the one that I am handing in minutes from now) was to make a big character, taken from a selection of typefaces, out of mount board. It was a brilliant project! Although my final piece warped somewhat, I was pretty happy with it. As with all the projects on the course, it was my first time attempting something like this and it is something that is going to prove very useful in the future.

In a few parts the sides are coming off the main face of the character. I would put this down to warping of the material. It went swimmingly when I dry-fit the material but after the gluing the things together and leaving it for a few nights, it had pulled apart somewhat. The paint that I used was good but I think I could have used another coat or two. Or at least a solid, non-patchy coat.

All in all it's been a fantastic year for learning things that I wanted to learn prior to getting here but never having the time or motivation to sit down and teach myself.

To finish in my usual style, here is a project that I finished the other week for my Drawing class:

And then two doodles; both emulating - and inspired by - the style of an artist under the username 'tooms' on an art forum I post on.

This style is appealing because it calls for bold lines. You have to know where you want them to go and not worry about getting it wrong. Which I still do...

Exploding head. I enjoy drawing these.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Poster roster.

It seems as though - even if I set aside a time to do things - I wait until it's late or until I should be doing something else. Posting right now is fulfilling both. It's late and I have a couple of other blogs that I wanted to write tonight. I just spent the evening doodling. C'est la vie and all that.

I was thinking about poster ideas and how I wanted to go about doing things when it comes to doing this project. My main inspiration is Derek Hess. In a nutshell, he started out doing flyers for his mate's bands and that progressed to posters. From there, he's done album work, magazine covers, calendars and what he doesn't use on an item, he sells as is.

This flyer is one of his most recent ones and it was done in 2008.

This is one of my favourite flyers. I work in pen, so my lines are visible. All of them. Derek Hess' style encourages me in that a style similar to mine can be used and accepted in a wider community.

I included this one as I like the way he has almost pieced together two completely different things and made them one. The mite's legs and jaws with the skull's upper structure. Drawing the unreal in a way that makes it seem almost possible.

But onto his posters. I wanted to get some ideas as to what I could do with my poster. I thought of creating a band or gig poster promoting the band that my dad was in through college. 'Nolo Episcopari'. It's latin. For 'I do not wish to be a bishop'. That's where I get it from...

This is his most recent gig poster. It was completed this year. One thing that interests me is his use of different media. His work - whether in ink or not, is always enhanced when he puts a bit of colour behind it. Even if it is just a splash or brush stroke. The beauty of doing this in photoshop is that I can Cmd+Z if anything goes awry.

The thing I like about these two is that they both have combinations of things that wouldn't go together. The body with the gramophone cone as an ear, the cicada nymph on a pumpkin surrounded by Snoopy characters. I like that - in the second poster - he has used his black lines as shading as opposed to using a darker colour in the shaded parts.

And one for luck.

This is just one of his pieces that I really like. It's using his loose style, it's using mixed media, it's using superimposed characters. I think it's an amazing mix that comes together nicely.

And for my doodle, this is one of my pieces for the 'Alternative Representation' project:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Logo a go-go.

The first steps to creating a logo is to draw as many small pictures as possible.  Profound.  It's news to me, anyway - I've honestly never really given it that much thought before.  I'm learning already, folks.

Here's the first page of little ideas:

The ideas ranged from everything between prayer and food, sleep and music.

Refining the ideas like the amateur goldsmith I am, I reduced the jumble of doodles to a well seasoned selection, before mixing them back up in twos and seeing what I got.  One such combination grabbed my attention in a way that if it were a person, I'd say "Hang on, mate.  Do that again."

The winning combination was of a pencil and a guitar.  After I had found them, I proceeded to work and rework the image until I had a blend that was silky smooth.  Also included above are the fringes of another design and a head with nothing but a big mouth.  That's how I roll.

The finished idea is here.  I used the negative space in the guitar to highlight the graphite in the pencil.  I elongated the eraser and the eraser holder to show the head of the guitar and I used the lines of the side of the pencil to show the strings (I know - there aren't enough).

I'm very happy with how it turned out.  I'm made happier with the knowledge that it's not going to be my best work.

Now all I have to do is create this logo in Adobe Illustrator...

Bonus game - the drawing from a previous project is in one of these pictures.  Can you find it?

And a doodle.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

And here's me thinking Gestalt is a bloke...

It turns out that, like a lot of quirky foreign words that we can't quite translate (or don't want to), we have simply added the word we like as is.  Albeit with a different pronunciation.

'Gestalt' (short for Gestaltqualit├Ąt) describes the configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts.  (Thank you, Dictionary).

In a nutshell, it means that we see the picture before we start to break it down into dots and lines and whatever else it is made of.  Like the dalmatian, for example.  We see the overall picture but only after looking at it for a while, we see that it's a mess of dots.  Glancing at it for a second is the best way to identify what it is.

A short post, for now.  I shall be back to talk about logo ideas and scrawlings in a short while.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Take two.

Simplifying pictures, it turns out, is not as simple as it would have us believe.  Which parts to leave out, which parts to add more to.  Let's see how little old me got on, shall we?

First of all, here is my original idea for 'Socially Significant'.  There was a food and drink festival in my town and I was part of a small contingent who were asked to re-create this logo on the beach in 2 metre-tall letters.  A photograph was taken and the logo was incorporated into the banner for the festival.  I went to the festival with my brother because we got given VIP passes to the event.  It was average at best.



Quite a big change.  I cut out a lot of noise and went from three messy, nondescript panels to two more noticeable sections.  A picture of me and the logo --->  A picture of the picture of the logo on the banner.  It makes perfect sense...

Bonus picture of the logo itself:

My second one was not really in need of changing, I thought.  It was simple enough.  Being a geek, I asked someone to teach me how to do a Rubik's cube for my 21st.

"Dan," I hear you say, "how do fight off the waves upon waves of girls who are so eager to know someone with such a skill?"

Fortunately, 'Impressive Outcome' doesn't necessarily have to also be 'Socially Significant", so I dodged a bullet there.

I digress.

I was seeing how fast I could do it and one minute and eighteen seconds was my best time.

Thank you.  Thank you.  I'm here 'til May.

And finally, my first piece.  'Positive Consumer Experience'.

Basically, a Moleskine sketchbook was cheaper than I thought it was.



If you've never had a Moleskine, get one now.  Right now.


A few  more things to note:

Go and see District 9.  It's everything you can want in a film.

Go and see Inglourious Basterds.  QT is always brilliant.  Go for the guns and the blood, stay for the acting and the script.

That is all.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Sometimes it's nice to use words that make us seem smart.  More so when you're an artist.  Plus, now I can apply my new phrases to everyday life, should I so choose.

  If someone's house is on fire, it denotes that their things are burning.  If they talk further and explain why it was a bad thing, they would connote that the things that are burning have different meanings to them.
  A symbol of the fire would be the smoke.  It's a connection that we've made through simply observing it.  To put it out, we'd look for an extinguisher.  That would have an icon that represents fire, so we know what it's for.
  The object of the fire would be the flames.  The Representamen would be the light being emitted from it.  The Interpretant would be that the things it touches are going to be damaged and if it touched a person, they will come to harm and I don't know what I'm talking about any more.

These are sable.  Or sables.  I don't know the plural.  Is it like fish/fish or chicken/chickens? 
 Who knows.  The one at the top is the one we paint with.  The one at the bottom is not.  The 
more you know...

Drawing in class opened my mind a bit.  Well, it made me think a bit more about simplifying things, anyway.  I have to snap out of my doodling mindset, I think.  I'm scared, but it's how I'm going to learn.  My doodles are going to be used, but for now I need to think of silhouettes and basic shapes and things.  It's always weird to use new tools and techniques, too.  I've been drawing with a biro for the past 6 years or so.  Such is my wont.  It's going to be good to use ink with a brush.  Or even pencils.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Test Post.

Fighting through the unrelenting heat, Dan made a post. There was much merriment.