Assignment Three: A poster

Assignment Three: A poster

Working at the third assignment felt particularly hard.
The brief left a lot of freedom, only giving us a theme to choose, between a group of three and the final size of reproduction, A3. It also gave suggestions on the procedure to follow to get to the result.
It all started by looking up for other artists work on the same theme, a jazz evening event, to get a bit of inspiration. Then came the brainstorming part, obviously around the word jazz.

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While brainstorming I realized that choosing a location for the event would have helped to create a connection with the illustration. The first idea was of a garden but after I thought that it was a little too romantic and perhaps I would have linked this kind of music to a more urban setting.
I recorded my ideas in thumbnails and notes.

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Thinking of urban settings I had in mind some underground venue, with brick walls and various exposed pipes, but my choice fell into the skyline of a city, with its rooftops, aligned against a night sky.
At this point I put together a moodboard.

The idea was to illustrate an event called Jazz on the rooftops by picturing a series of roofs (amazingly inspired by the view from my rear window!) and to substitute trumpets and saxophones to the chimneys, as they were singing to the moon.
Having decided the main objects of my illustration would have been rooftops, a night sky and brass wind instruments, I tried different arrangements of the composition with quick thumbnails and then I chose two of them to produce line visuals.


I made up the text to include, choosing a random date, time and name of the location (changed in the last version!) and added it digitally.

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I was pretty sure that the first arrangement was more successful so I carried on with that. I made a colour visual, but I have to say that I felt a bit lost at this point because I didn’t exactly know how to produce one and I couldn’t find any example as a guide. I thought that pointing the major colour areas at this stage was enough so I used coarse materials and then, again added the text digitally.

colour visual

I also felt a lack of skills and probably equipment that could have helped me to produce a much quicker colour visual, but when it came to the production of the final piece I felt more confident and reassured.
In the colour visual I decided to invert the colours of the night, to get a much brighter and intriguing result. The background is white and a black moon is placed as part of the writing ‘Jazz’, which has been produced with a linocut. I then proceeded to a light pencil drawing which has been filled in with watercolours and refined with a fine liner. Tiny dots were added for the stars.

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The finished drawing has been scanned and the work finished by adding the text with Photoshop.

Having worked in A4, I printed a final A3 version to make sure the image was working properly at its final reproduction size.
It was a long and hard journey to the result, but I am satisfied with that and I understood how much I still need to learn about visuals.

Exercise: Mock up

Exercise: Mock up

Mocking up a book cover has been really fun. It is so beautiful to see an illustration taking its own role step by step, visualizing what was only in your mind.
I choose the book Whitchfinders, A Seventeenth Century English Tragedy by Malcolm Gaskill.

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After reading the blurb on the back, I started brainstorming around the word witchcraft.

I came up with few ideas after reading some parts of the book.
I thought to represent a witch, but at the same time I wanted to make clear that the brutality of witch hunting killed a lot of innocents, mostly women.
I thought representing only the feet of a hanged women would have been particularly effective, with striped socks and a black cat watching at her, to underline how superstition and words of mouth could be deathly at those times.
As a symbol for trial, I added the hand of a judge using the typical wooden hammer. After this I realized I have to find a way to connect the back cover with the front one, so I thought to draw a figure connected to that hand. Particularly I used as a reference a portrait of Matthew Hopkins which is the character responsible for the hunt described in the book. On page XIV of Witchfinders we have the portrait from which I draw a silhouette to adapt to the rest of my drawing.

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Once sketched using the measures of the book cover as a reference, I proceeded to the final drawing, using fine liners and black ink.

The rest of the job was done using Photoshop, I added the blurb, the title and the editor’s details using a background of a similar colour as the original cover.

I really appreciated the process explored with this exercise and I am quite satisfied with the outcome.

Exercise: Client visuals

Exercise: Client visuals

I worked on visuals choosing two illustrations.
The first one is an illustration by Spike Press, one of his logos.


The first step was measuring the drawing and enlarge it by 2 times and half (8,5×16,5 to 21,5×41,25). I took more few main points to keep the proportions right and started drawing. In the first visual I tried adding as many details as possible also trying to give an impression of the textures and the shades, even though I didn’t use any colour.


I traced this drawing to obtain a simpler version, editing all the unnecessary details, getting a basic, clean line drawing.

The second illustration is by Rohan Daniel Eason, whose works I particularly enjoy. I couldn’t find its real measures, so I took a screenshot and worked as it was my piece of paper (12×15,3 to 30×38,25).


With this second illustration I worked in the opposite way, compared to the first one. I started with a quite simple line drawing, adding some lines, just to distinguish the black and white areas.


Afterwards I started filling in the drawing with lots of details, trying to get it as clear as possible.


I experienced a really big difference between the first and the second illustration, mostly because of their really different style.
I thought that even in the edited version the Spike Press’ illustration was really clear and perfectly conveyed the final idea while I definitely needed more details in the basic visual of R.D. Eason’s piece, because the simple line drawing was a bit confusing and didn’t give a correct idea of the final result.
I found R. D. Eason’s website particularly useful to understand the art direction. In the page named Process he published some of his artworks from sketches to final, giving a great example of how things work.
Pictographic Index 1, by Karolina & Hans Lijklema , pages 268-279, Spike Press.

Exercise: Viewpoints

Exercise: Viewpoints

I put together some objects which made me think about summertime. I chose a striped beach towel, a pair of sunglasses, a straw hat, a swimsuit and a pair of goggles.
I arranged them on the floor and started shooting some pictures trying to catch different angles.

There were some situations where I had to arrange the objects in a different way in order to get their most descriptive side in the photo.
After that I started drawing from life, having already selected in mind the angles I thought were the most successful. I took little thumbnails and then reproduced them in bigger sizes, trying varied formats.

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The ones I liked the most have been the irregular hexagon, the landscape, long thin rectangular shape and the oval. I thought it was particularly successful as a design, even though is not showing every single object, the close up on the goggles, because it’s a very clear symbol and because the beach towel was arranged in a way which reminded me of waves, Also a little corner of the hat is visible.

5_0004This point of view makes me think of the kind of visual you have when you lie on the beach and everything looks just flatted down to the sand.
The oval frame looked really nostalgic to me, a round one would have worked better, probably linked to the idea of a boat window, however I felt the best frame for this visual was the rectangular one, long and thin, in fact it gives me a fresh feeling which I associate with summertime.
This exercise made me realize how much I need to work on the concept of thumbnails, because even though I tried, I couldn’t make up my mind until I worked on a bigger size of the images.