Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Caroline won!

Reasons for choosing Caroline:
The dress fits the vibe of the picture
She is in realistic proportion with the background
I just love the bangs.

This is how I am thinking of laying out the front and back covers. The background image is going to wrap around the booklet to give is a cohesive aesthetic.

I will need to do a text print to see if the figure is big enough of if I need to make her even larger so that she will be a decent size when I get the final booklet.

The Girl

Time to pick a figure. It is always such a struggle to choose.

This is the short list:

I didn't want to do a full figure this time. Given the booklet is only A5 I think the image will look a lot more interesting and striking if the figure is a decent size.

Monday, May 30, 2011


I'm feeling rather inspired by colour at the moment. Which is odd because in gerneral, I hate colour. Maybe my refusal to wear colour is coming out in an obsession with using colour in illustrations? Who knows. Anyway, the point of this is that I have been collecting some more images that are providing the direction for this fashion illustration. They all have a very desert, boho, wild feel about them which is totally different to the refined styles I have done in previous assignments.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Basic Application

Before I start applying blending modes to a fashion illustration I need to get a basic understanding of what each mode does. This will also be used within my booklet to demonstrate how blending modes may be used.

Things to consider:
- There are twelve blending modes. Do I want to use all of these or just some of them?
- Will they be applied to photos, shapes, brushes etc?
- Will different blending modes respond differently to the things they are applied to?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One of the things that really attracts me to blending modes is the ability they have to soften an image. By blending images they take on a dream like quality that is a lot softer and more interesting than the hard lines of a straight photo.

This visual style is something I would like to experiment with in my assignment to see what can be achieved by applying a range of blending modes.

There is also a depth of colour that can be achieved (although it is usually quite unrealistic). This element of fantasy within a landscape is very appealing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Basic Applications

I am trying to put together some information about blending modes so I can work out what I am going to say in my booklet. I need to demostrate both the basic applications of the blending mode, where to find it and how to apply it, and then how I have applied blending modes in my fashion illustration.

To start off: Basic applications.
There are sixteen basic applications (including normal, but that one is a bit of a farce). These can be split down into:
Darkening modes - darken, multiply and colour burn
Lightening modes - lighten, screen and colour dodge
Contrast blending modes - overlay, soft light and hard light
Comparative blending modes - difference and exclusion
Image component blending modes - hue, saturation, colour and luminosity

Each mode will change the way that an object (this can be patterns, graphics, photos, brushes ect) interact with objects underneath them.

It is difficult to find two objects that really clearly demonstrate how each blending mode works. Instead I have used two for each mode to try and clearly show what each does.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I did use a bit of the mesh tool in my last project and really hated it (if we're going for honesty) so I think I will work on blending modes this assessment.
Blending modes offer a great opportunity for merging illustration and photos, creating depth and generally extending my illustration skills.

Picking a technique

Where do you start picking a technique?
Looking back over my past two projects I have use a lot of brushes, clippping masks and strokes.
So much so that I am quite sick of them. Although I think I know quite a bit about them, I would like to use this project as a chance to explore some diffrent illustrator techniques and skills.

- Blending modes
- Mesh tool

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A note on image quality...

After test printing some of my images it came to my attention that they may not be the best possible quality. I set about substituting other images in to see how it would look with high quality images. Unexpectedly, the lower quality images actually look better. This flow image is not very refined but it has a lovely, slightly vague feel about it that really compliments the poster. So even though it might not be the highest res, I'm keeping it because aesthetically I think it is the most suitable. The same was true of the glitter cut out on "for fun". I substituted ina really high quality image and it ended up looking flat and boring. Part of the reason I like the image is the un-perfected raw feel of the images.


With just a block colour my figure looked very 2D and boring. To try and create some dimension to the work I wanted to render it, however I still wanted to keep it very minimal to balance the business of the rest of the figure.


(I love that word)

After playing around with a variety of methods (colour mesh, paintbrush etc) however in each of these I was trying to create a really realistic face and body that really didn't compliment the rest of the images. Instead I decided to try and reproduce the shapes and lines of the rest of the artwork within the skin through layers of shapes in slightly different shades. Ths would be a lot less "realistic" but more in keeping with the aesthetic of the work as a whole with a looseness and relaxed style.
After doing this I though it tied quite well with the image as a whole. The one issue was that subtle colour changes didn't really stand out enough. I ended up going for three tones, a basic skin colour, a white highlight and a dark cream shadow. This looks a bit odd at first but I think it creates the allusion of dimension a lot more effectively than the subtle one.


The assessment brief gave us a block of text to have on our poster. I took this text and re arranged it to try and put the most important information first. I also sorted it into blocks of text to make it more comprehend able:

General exhibition info
Opening night
Exhibition dates

Then within each block of text I sorted out the key points and tried to make them stand out. I really like the way magazines use a combination of CAPITALS, italics and normal text to try and create interest. I used a combination of the Birmingham font used in the title and a simple myriad pro to make the text easy to read.


Monday, May 9, 2011

How to fill the void??

It is not so much a void as just a bit of empty space around each poster. To try and tie together the text and fashion figure I am trying to incorporate something extra .

"Full bloom" was a pretty obvious choice, I continued the flower motif of the collage into lines that weave up the side and base of the poster.

"For fun" was the trickiest to decide upon. I tried adding cut outs behind the figure of fireworks and sparklers but that didn't allow space for the text . It also did not tie to the illustration. In order to try and connect the three posters together I wanted to add some red to the poster. In the end I settled on a red cut out behind the figure.

For "For the better" I used the spot pattern in the skirt cut out and continued it in the top right corner. This balances the heavy base of the skirt with the text

The colour of your skin

Trying to pick skin colours is proving to be a tough decision.

The options:
- cream, natural(ish) looking colour
- grey
- white

The cream is the most appropriate. It balances the bright colour of the background and the white of the dress without being drowned out. It provides a nice middle ground between them.


I decided on my layouts rather early on in my project, but I only thought to blog about them now.
Each poster has been considered as an individual piece and as a part of the set of posters.

As a set of three:
- I didn't want all my posters to have exactly the same layout. Instead I wanted there to be some interest across the three, so that when viewed togeter they have a flow between them. That is why I chose to put the figures in varied positions. The first poster has the figure on the bottom left, the second in the middle and the third on the right. This balances their positions across the set of three.
- In order to create a sense of importance with the text, I wanted there to be consistency across the three posters of font, size and position. I put the text across the top of each poster to make it a feature in each individually and in the set.

As individual posters:
- The place of the figure on each poster was impmortant for shaping the layout of each poster. After picking my figures I moved them around in order to find the most appropriate position. This meant a larger central figure for poster 2 and smaller figures placed to one side for the other two.
- The posters looked very bare with just the figures, so some sort of feature needed to be added to create interest. I needed something that would create a link between the text and the image and make a cohesive poster.
- The place of title was quite obvious for me. I have been considering for a while the purpose of this poster to advertise an event. Thus it was important for the title to be attention grabbing. I find posters with text at the top really easy to digest as my eye is immediately drawn to the top corner and then on to images or other information. I therefore decided to put my text at the top of each of my posters so that is the first thing that attracts attention. This had to be slightly different for each of my posters. For no. 1 it was closer to the right hand side but remained left justified. For no. 2 I left it centered as that complimented the figure better than a left justified title. Then for no. 3 I had it left justified in the top left corner.
- The postion of text was a little trickier. I tried to place text in blocks so that it was easier to digest than one huge block of text. (I'll write more on the breakdown of text later.) I then aligned it with left justification as my feedback from last assessment made that it clear that this is the easiest format to read in. If this poster is meant to be an advertisement then it needs to be as easy to read as possible. For posters 2 and 3 the text sat down the left hand side and compliment the layout of the artwork. No. 1 was a little trickier as the figure was down the left hand side. I kept the left justification but broke the text into smaller chunks to move down the right hand side.


I've added the backgrounds to my posters in a lovely bright pink.

I considered some other colours, red, pale pink, grey. However none of these colours:
a) complimented the illustrations themselves as well as the bright pink
b) really stood out as well as the pink did.

And that is why I chose pink.

I considered choosing different backgrounds for each poster, however they look a lot more unified with the same background.

As promised...

The coloured figures.

What type are you?

I've narrowed down my selection to three:

I like each of these fonts for a different reason. Quigley Wiggly is a very strong font that grabs the attention. I think it would give the posters a very clear, strong heading. However I am not sure that the style is quite right. It seems very bold and thick in contrast to the delicacy of my lines. There is an assertiveness about Birmingham that would make it a good heading font. The little features on each letter makes the font a little softer which could make it work well with my illustrations. Calson Initials captures the softness and detail of my artwork but I'm not sure if it is strong enough for a heading. The slight italic nature of it weakens the font.

I am going to try each of these fonts in the posters themselves to see how they work with my figures.

Stay tuned for the final decision.

Trying to pick fonts can be so overwhelming. There are so many out there!

I have been looking online at:

There are quite a few different ones that I think could be suitable for my posters.


Some decisions first:

1) Will one font be used for the whole poster or will there be different fonts for the title and the bulk of the text??
2) Will I use the same font on all three posters?
3) Do I want capital letters or little letters?

I've decided to try and find fonts specifically for the titles of my posters, then later I can decide if I want to use the same font for the bulk of the text. I'm not too fussed about capital letters vs small letters, I think this is largely dependent on the style of the font which is the most important factor. Lastly I am going to try and find one font for all three posters. This will tie my posters strongly together as a set of three.

Colour Mesh...


But I think it gives the best result. So slowly but surely I am adding colour to my dresses to give them a bit of life.

I experimented with a coloured shape with other colours added on top, however this gave quite a heavy look. Instead I have gone with a white background with red and hot pink features added.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

colour me up buttercup

I've been adding colour to my images to lift them a little and give them a bit of depth. I tried doing this in several ways:

1) Coloured strokes. This just looked tacky and unfinished. They didn't combine with the black lines as I thought they might, instead they just stood out really obviously and drew attention away from the work as a whole.

2) Gradients. This technique worked a little better than the lines. The block colour is a lot more effective than the lines. I have been using reds and pinks to fade into white.

3) Mesh tool: This technique is very similar to the gradient tool, only it allows for more layers. However given that I am only wanting one or two colours I am not sure if it will make a lot of difference?


I've said this before but I'm going to say it again, I am trying really hard to have a more relaxed style in these posters. Here are a few practical applications:

The cut outs are not all EXACTLY UNIFORM around the object. When I did do them perfectly they seemed very awkward and out of place. When I gave it some variation it looked a lot more HARMONIOUS with the rest of the poster.

The colour mesh had a similar problem, it was very easy to keep trying to achieve something with perfect even shapes and movement of colour, however it looked a lot better with UNSTRUCTURED bleeding of colour. It captured a sense of MOVEMENT and freedom that really enhanced the figures.

No. 3

Ive decided to add some colour to the last poster to make it tie in a little better with the other two. I think it lifts the artwork more than the black and white cutouts.


This theme comes with a very obvious image associated with it. This photo is one of my favourite flower photos. The way the colours compliment each other is so beautiful!

When I was thinking about fun, I thought of something with novelty and excitement,something unusual. The play of light and dark in these two images is so much fun, I though they managed to capture the idea of fun. Also I just love glitter.

This was by far the most difficult to decide upon as there is nothing that obviously encapsulates this theme. I decided to go for images that showed things that people look towards for optmism.
(Just a thought: I am a little concerned about the lack of colour in this poster.)

Words - education - knowledge.

City - development - technology.

Religion - salvation - hope.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


To make sure all my posters look like a SET instead of INDIVIDUAL projects I am making some features tie across all three.
All three posters will have a similar COLOUR PALATE. In particular the background will be the same across the three posters. My three figures will all be done with paintbrush LINES. All of the posters will combine photos, text, lines and background in a COLLAGE.

Here we go again

I've added lines to my figure to highlight the darker areas of the clothes and hair. I decided to make the hair on each of the girls quite dense to give some weight to the figures. Then the clothes are a little looser and lighter to lift the work. Each image has some cut outs to create a collage feel in the work.