After seeing all the print work that other students had put into the exhibition, I thought I would have a try at producing some lino cut prints. Due to the aesthetic created by lino cutting, I decided that I would use medieval style imagery of my characters, Spoon Knight and Knife Dragon, which also fits with the theme of knights.
The designs are based on medieval imagery of knights and dragons. The shapes used are relatively simple due to the forms having to be carved out of wood or, in this case, lino.
Due to other projects, I haven’t had the time to properly print with these lino cuts yet, however I have done a practice print using watered down acrylic paint.
The result hasn’t been unsuccessful. The acrylic being slightly thinner than normal has left some interesting textures, although I think using more professional equipment I will be able to get more definition and more of the detail will be visible.
During the Illustration Application module I have produced 6 illustrations for varying medias and using varying mediums. I tried to keep in mind both the tone and themes of the articles in question to create both an interesting and, where applicable, contemporary illustration that highlighted a key section of the articles text.
In the 1st article, the theme that I drew on was the idea that although the earth and economics are competing, economy seems to have the advantage. I feel that by having the personification of economy resting his feet on the earth, I have managed to get this across. This conflict between the two has also been highlighted through the use of contrasting colours (blue and orange ink). (original post xx)
As the 2nd article was about birds in Dakar, I decided that by giving the illustration an ethic feel though use of pattern, I could give an idea of where the article was set through the illustration. The use of simplified shapes, particularly in the feathers and hands, has been effective and has lent itself to the screen-printing process I have used to produce the final image. Although the colour has misprinted slightly I feel this has given an added effect to the feathers, particularly the 3 below the head. (original posts xxx)
The 3rd article was set by my peer as part of an Art Direction task. He told me that I should focus on characters as that was a strength of mine and thought this article would lend itself to this. As it was an internet article, not for a newspaper or magazine, I thought I would keep the illustration light-hearted and not too serious. By using a fairly cartoon like style I think I have managed this. Again I have used contrasting colours to highlight the conflict in the article and drawn from a key section of the text to represent with the image. (original posts xx)
After the articles, we were tasked with creating penguin book covers. The first book was “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee. Looking at existing covers for this, I decided to stay away from images of birds and focus on the themes of the book instead. The key theme I focused on was the idea of the black man being found guilty and sentenced to death. I have used a limited colour palette and contrasting, complimentary colours to highlight conflict. The imperfections created by screen-printing have added to the piece, especially in the rope of the noose making a silhouette appear slightly 3-dimensional. I used orange for the background in reference to the classic penguin book covers that used orange and white. (original posts xx)
The second book was “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole: Aged 13 3/4” by Sue Townsend. I didn’t know a lot about this book but after researching it and other diary based book decided on the idea of having the cover look like a journal page. I achieved this by using notebook pages roughly torn and used handwriting for the text. I included some small illustrations in a somewhat childlike style as if doodled by Adrian; I highlighted 2 parts of the book in these, Adrian actually writing his diary and him being in love, a key theme in the book. The ink splatters are effective in the diary aesthetic but became too smudged in the blotting process. (original posts xx)
The final illustration was a cover for the Herefordshire Libraries Book Festival brochure. I decided i would focus on the the idea of books more than Hereford as i felt this would play to my strengths and would therefore be more successful. I chose to do a dragon as fantasy is a popular children’s book genre as well as mine. The dragons scales are individually cut out of paper and are supposed to represent books. I wanted to keep the background simple to keep the focus on the foreground imagery. I decided to use a page of a book to stay with the book theme. After trying various pages, I settled on “Tigger is unbounced” a story from “A world of Winnie-the-Pooh” as the layout of the text worked well with the imagery and it made sense to use a children book as a background for a brochure uses imagery aimed at children. (original posts xx)
I created my final image for the cover using a stencilled screen print. I like how bright the colours turned out as previously when I have used opaque ink to print with the colour has been slightly off.
After scanning the print I fixed some of the imperfections; i.e. the dark areas around the nose and the misprint around the neck, and cropped the image to the correct size.
I inserted the text that I had hand drawn and also scanned and positioned it in place.
When I printed this on the Xerox printer the blue was too dark and the spine text was unreadable. To fix this I have added a glow around the text itself and have altered the blue to a more of a dark turquoise which made the text more legible.
I have improved on some aspects of the design, i.e. making the Earth look slightly more strained and added a simple background in order to ground the image. I chose to use a simplified colour pallet of orange and blue, with the addition of black and white.
I used blue and orange in particular as there is a trend towards this particular set of colours in a lot of contemporary illustration at the moment. I also picked them as they are contrasting/ opposing colours which echos the conflicting “characters” in the illustration and article.
As I used ink to colour the image, some of the colours ran into each other; however i like the effect this has created, especially with his mustache and beard.
The colour ran through to the other side of the paper I used. I think this has created an interesting effect and, as Nicholas Stevenson pointed out to me, it might be interesting to see what this would look like layer onto of the original image.
Before deciding on the final colour scheme I ran some tests with a variation on the main body red. As I used a dark grey underneath the image, the body had to be opaque; this created a slightly pinker colour that although contrasts well against the darker reds of the feathers, didn’t have the effect I had desired.