Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I've got my dmv panel decided

I came to class with a few new facial expressions for the dmv driving test administrator.  One with the eyes closed and jaw clenched and the other one with wide eyes and jaw dropped.  For the girl I didn't change much on her except to work on her arm angles.  I had a hard time fixing the hands on both of them.  Until now they had looked basically like mittens.  I think they look a lot better now and with the directional lines for the dmv guy's hands I think you can tell that he's slamming his hands on the dash and holding on tight. The one I'm finalizing is the top one.  Just moving the two seats closer together will be the final step.

Rapala ad- 1st version

The next assignment is creating a two-page spread Rapala fishing lures. This assignment is different than the previous ones because the text is more of an ad, than an article so it took me a while to get a layout going. This is still pretty rough, but I feel like I have a good start. I made the brand name the biggest part because in an advertisement the logo definitely needs to be seen or people won't remember what the ad was for. I put in an old fishing picture I found and put a thumbtack in it to make it seem more like it's up on a wall to go along with the title "How guys on bait shop walls get to be guys on bait shop walls". The lure I found is interacting with the text, which in an article I think wouldn't work as well, but for an ad I think it is an interesting way to use the imagery. And lastly I added an illustration I did for illustration class just to show that another image or illustration will probably go there.

Monday, September 28, 2009

final memory portrait

This is the final of my memory portrait that I will turn in on Wednesday.

more dmv

These are my three versions of the same scenario at the dmv. I'm going to work further with the bottom panel. I need to work more on the instructor's facial expression. I may make him arch his shoulders in the final one, like he is in the second one.

2nd revisions for food spreads

For the "How Safe?" article I moved aligned all of the text with the same column. I made the heading more connected instead of on two different margins. The lead in text was made green and I increased the font size to establish a sense of hierarchy between the heading, sub-heading, and body copy. I'm still trying to resolve where to put the picture caption.

I changed a lot of things for the "Feeling Full" article since the last time. I replaced the bowl and spoon with a dinner plate half empty. According to the colors in the photo, I
changed the key colors in the spread. I used brown and green. I also messed around with the heading to try and make it stand out more by making the word "full" larger and in a different color than the rest of the heading. Some changed I want to make for the final are moving the heading, sub-heading, and pull quote around. I also need to work with my image and possibly see about rotating it or using a different image.

Friday, September 25, 2009

loving the DMV

For the next assignment we did 5 different cartoon scenarios for the DMV. My scenarios varied between taking a bad license picture, waiting in line, and taking the driver's test. The one I will start developing more fully is the second one I did with the girl taking her driver's test peering apprehensively over the wheel. For the next series of comps I will draw in her driving instructor with a terrified expression on his face. I'm not experienced with drawing cartoons at all, so I will be focusing on creating really good expressions. These are the scenarios I presented in class today.

illustration color studies

I drew the illustration chosen last class three different times and painted each with a different color palette. I went with a traditional palette for the one on the left, used a more redish/brown palette for the middle, and a greenish brown palette for the last one.

more memory sketches

I redid some more memory sketches and got one approved for the next phase of the assignment. 2nd row, far left.

2 new magazine spreads

I'm working on two new magazine spreads now. One deals with a hormone that could be an appetite suppression and the other deals with the dangers of foodborne illness. I like the topics of these articles better because there is a wide range of things that could be used for imagery. For the "How Safe?" article there is a very limited amount of text so I used a whole page for imagery. I even carried the image into the next page in order to connect the two pages together. I reflected the picture vertically and made the reflection more transparent than the original image. I think this was an interesting way to fill the page without it being one big image. Also I'm working on figuring out how to incorporate the intro paragraph into the left page. I tried to tie the heading into the picture by changing the color of the "o" to match a color in the image.

For the "Feeling Full" article I used an image of an empty bowl and spoon to go along with the idea of over-eating and the possibility of an appetite-suppressant. The two other colors I incorporated in the spread were taken from the image. I used the golden-brown color in the sub-header and on the sidebar and the blue-gray for the heading and the magazine section rule at the top. I spent a lot of time formatting the type before I presented it today. I think I want to try text wrapping around my image.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

these are ugly...

but I guess I have to put them on here. I did 6 small comps for the memory portrait of various family members and this is the result. 5 more on Friday...

product illustration

I was pretty worried when we got the assignment about painting a realistic product illustration, but I ended up having fun doing it. I chose a pepsi can because I liked the new pepsi logo and I liked the typeface used. The approach I used for this illustration was the same as it was for the first one. I coated the illustration board with a mixture of matte medium, gesso, and water first and then painting on top of that. It was hard to pull out the really bright whites like the ones in the logo and the type so I used white gouache. For the background I just looked at the bright yellow gouache that I never actually use and decided to lay it in the background very watered-down like I would with watercolor. It dried to have kind of a fresh, fun look. I then added a blue color, which turned a bit greenish to go with the pepsi can itself. I'm pleased with the way it turned out because I really thought I would have major problems with painting something this specific and tight.

final stressed layout

I added a photo to the right side that added to the idea of stress and being crunched for time. I continued it out to the end of the page to match the one on the left coming out of the red rule. I spend a lot of time fixing the orphans and widows and I also made sure that all the columns lined up with one another to echo the red rule at the top.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

painting from memory...

is not fun. I'm working on my sketches now and have no idea what I'm going to do. I'm not very good at drawing people to begin with so having no reference to draw from is going to be hard. My sketches are very, VERY rough and whichever one I do for the final will need a lot of work.

Also I've been working on my pepsi can illustration and I almost feel like I'm making it worse the more I work on it. I'll probably give it some more time today, but not too much more because I'm starting to not like it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

another stress layout revision

I made a few changes to my stress layout for class today and will continue to make changes. Some of the suggested changes were to make the red line consistent across the entire spread and to connect the left hand image with the red line. I'm still trying to resolve the right side and I'm looking for an image to compliment the left side.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

first gouache illustration

For my first gouache illustration I picked an image that was primarily a landscape, but also had a person in it. I enjoy painting landscapes so I thought it would be a good start to paint something I really enjoy. I have a hard time painting people so I figured I would start with a simple figure nothing too complicated. I enjoyed using the subtractive method with the gouache on the gesso/matte medium mixture. It was easy to pull out highlights. I really like how the mountains turned out, but had some trouble making the trees look like trees. The water was also a little tricky, but I think it was somewhat resolved. I would definitely be able to enhance this piece if given more time for the assignment.

Friday, September 18, 2009

stress layout revision

I changed a lot of the layout and found some new, high-res images for the magazine spread. I'm still sticking with a red color in the headline and on the block quote. I thought a brownish color would go well with the red so made the image on the right a tritone image with a red, yellow, and black. The image on the left page was cob'd and place in with a brownish background. I think the text is laying out nicely, but I still have to go in to fix widows, orphans, etc. I'm planning on keeping the headline spanning the full spread.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Final NAHM Poster

I just mounted my final version of the poster for the Native American Heritage Month for class tomorrow. I made the changes mentioned in the previous poster- making the mask and headline larger, and changing the yellow color back to full opacity. I also moved the event text lower and evened out the spacing to make the white space evenly distributed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1 object 10 ways

Due for today in Illustration were 10 ink/watercolor/gouache paintings of the same object, same position, but with different drawing and painting techniques. I chose to depict a pair of scissors. I used ink and watercolor and had a pretty even number of each and also used them together. I'm putting up two examples.. one with just black ink using thick contour/shadow lines the make up the shape, and another one with black ink and a little bit of red watercolor.

BIG watercolor

Over the weekend I finished the 20X30 watercolor that was assigned on Friday. With the previous illustrations I discovered I like to use black ink first to lay out my composition and come in with the watercolor once I'm finished. The picture I used was a still life of fruit and flowers. I really like painting both of these types of subject matter. I went in with pens of various thickness to add shadow, contour, and depth. After that I went in a variety of bright watercolors. I'd say I spent around 3-4 hours on this. I did the ink on Friday and came back in on Saturday to do the watercolor. I didn't want to spend too much time on any one area because watercolor works best for me when it's quick and fluid and I don't spend forever perfecting details. I'm pleased with the way it came out.

starting a magazine layout

Our new assignment is a magazine layout for an article entitled: "Stressed Out! Let the Most Frazzled Win!". Because we were already given the headline and the body copy, this project is focused on typesetting and layout instead of concept. This article is for Mature Living Magazine in the Modern Lifestyles section. That is something that is important to keep in mind because as a college student it would be easy for me to create something for my age group, but with this magazine I'll have to design for an older demographic. For today a rough comp was due. I worked with setting the type a lot, and didn't focus much on the headline, imagery, or color. I want to make the headline span the 2-page spread and incorporate imagery underneath the heading. I'm not at all sure what color scheme I want to use yet. I'll have more detail on Friday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

3rd revision

For my third revision of the Native American Heritage Month poster I decided to try to tie the mask image into the headline better. I decided to have the word unmask cover the eyes of the actual mask. I think it definitely helps join the different parts of the poster together. I also incorporated a native american pattern to separate the headline from the events text. The pattern was repeated again, only smaller to give some contrast. These two horizontal lines echo the line in the heading. I used a lighter shade of the spot color, but from far away I don't think it works so I'm going to try to go back to the full pantone 116. I want to play around with the size of the heading because that, too, was somewhat hard to read from far away. Since the final poster will be 13 X 19 I think I have plenty of room to increase the size of the heading.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


10 more illustrations were due Friday. We did half with pen and ink first and then watercolor and the other 5 with watercolor first and then ink. I would much rather do the pen first and follow up with watercolor because the pen lays better under the paint and it is easier for me to map out what exactly I want to draw. These are my two favorites. The fruit still life was done with pen first and then I came in with the color, while the flowers were done in watercolor first.

Also, I worked a lot friday night and saturday morning on my 20X30 in watercolor due Monday. With sorority recruitment all this weekend I had limited time so I did my best making time late and night and during the mornings before the events. I decided on a still life and just finished it. I'm very pleased with the way it came out.

Friday, September 11, 2009

back to the drawing board

Since my first idea for the native american heritage month wasn't going to work I spent hours and hours trying to find a new direction to take the poster. I probably logged 4.5-5 hours formulating my idea and getting a rough idea down in the computer. I searched for a lot of native american imagery and came across native masks used in ceremonial dances and rituals. From there I thought of "unmask..." and got the remaining inspiration from the movie Pocahontas. I was looking up quptes from the movie and saw the phrase "new world" a lot so I came up with my concept: "Unmask the Mysteries of the New World". I found various pictures of american indian masks and picked one for the poster. I made it a duotone, and with the black and yellow it got a brownish, "native"-look. I also made various accents with the yellow color to tie it all together. The scan of this poster cut off a little bit of the white border, but you still get a sense of the overall flow of the poster.

For the second poster my first idea came much more easily and I probably spent 30 minutes coming up with a concept and accumulating words and imagery. Since the original TSODA dance poster had a dancer graphic on it I wanted to stray away from that and work with type only. I decided to incorporate many dance-related words in and put them all together. I started with the word dance in a large typeface and then used words such as "stomp", "twirl", and "step". I decided on a purplish color as my accent color. And right before I printed it out I added a large purple ribbon-like graphic behind all of the text to provide movement throughout the poster.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

more illustrations/drawings= less quality

Over the labor day weekend I spent about 2-3 hours each day painting watercolor illustrations and matching line drawings. The two posted were actually the first two I did and they ended up being my favorites. I probably spent the most time on these too. As I went, I spent less and less time on the drawings and paintings and the end result lacked a finished look. With 20 pieces due overall I was more focused on trying to get them done, while managing other homework, than I was with providing 20 quality pictures.

I painted (and drew) a picture from my trip to Colorado last summer. I tried one of the techniques from the video we watched in class, using a candle to draw lines that when painted over would remain white. It was somewhat successful, but because I couldn't see the wax it was harder to draw the snow exactly as I wanted it. I enjoyed starting line drawings but it was harder to cover the paper area as quickly as it is with watercolor. I think this is also why it took longer. I'm excited for the next round of paintings because we get to mix the watercolor with the black ink.

getting a concept... blah

For the next viscom assignment we are redesigning a poster for the Native American Heritage Month. I spent a really long time trying to come up with a concept that wasn't stereotyping the Indian culture, but still got the message across for heritage month. I ended up comping up an design with the concept "Rooted in Tradition". I was playing around the idea of old trees and the roots of "heritage".

I had a really hard time deciding how the roots would be done for the actual poster and discovered in class today that I would need to be 100% sure if they were going to be a successful graphic. Because I'm not sure how to proceed, I've decided to start completely from scratch with a new concept and new imagery. I'm in the process of accumulating native american imagery and trying to spark some creative genius. Hopefully I have something awesome for class Friday.

In addition to a revised proposal for the native american heritage month poster, we're also redesigning a poster for the TSODA dance recital. I've been brainstorming for that too and right now I've just got a long list of words, phrases, and possible images. I plan on making significant headway tonight on both of these.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

10 more watercolors...

For the next 10 watercolors we needed to focus on architecture. I used pictures I had previously taken for other viscom assignments so most of mine are from Truman's campus or downtown Kirksville. These are two of the most successful ones I finished. It was a lot easier to use a reference so I knew the angles of the lines and the exact shadows. I like using watercolor and that I don't have to use exact detail to depict the buildings.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

more posters...

The first poster I redesigned dealt with the Truman Rock Climbing Club. The concept I went with was "Push to the Limits". This topic communicates the strength and endurance it takes to rock climb. In order to keep with the topic I drew a climber in between two rock walls in Illustrator. This image takes up most of the page and provides a lot of contrast for the text. I used a gradient mesh to achieve a jagged, rocky feel. The climber I drew breaks up the space well. I achieved good movement throughout the piece and I think the image definitely would draw in the viewer. By using a large graphic on the poster it automatically conveys what activity is being promoted.

The second poster was advertising a Latin Dance Party and Salsa Dance Lessons. The original poster was a little confusing because it advertised both events, but didn't tie them together. With my concept, "Don't get caught with two left feet", I wanted to show these two events as steps. The first step is to go to the dance lessons and the second is to show off the newly acquired skills at the latin dance party. I incorporated a dance step graphic to clearly convey the message of the poster. I think it was good to keep most of this design simple, while still getting a viewer's attention.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First two days of Illustration...

I have watercolored before so I was excited to start Illustration last week. For the first assignment of painting basically whatever we wanted to get familiar with the medium I just painted what I saw around my apartment. Many of the objects were sitting on the counter, but I even opened my door and just painted what I saw out the door. It was interesting to not dwell one picture and have to move on quickly to get ten done. The two from that day that I'm posting are the view out my door and a stuffed, fuzzy duck of my roommate's.
The next assignment of painting 10 landscapes was a little difficult because I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to spend on them. I painted the sky first on each painting and then went in later to add the land, trees, etc. I really enjoy painting landscapes, but I found it hard to do them in a short amount of time. Also I think it would have been more helpful to have some sort of reference to paint from. The two below are my favorites from the 10.

Viscom I - Poster Redesigns

For the next assignment I redesigned two posters, one dealing with German culture and the other advertising ceramics classes.

The concept I used for the ceramics classes was "Get your hands dirty". I thought that would draw people in to see what exactly was being advertised. My type layout was pretty structured, with implied line and Helvetica font. In order to offset the structure and also to go along with the "get your hands dirty" theme, I painted my hand and made a hand print, which I later scanned and worked into my image. I think the imagery pulled the piece together. Most people respond to imagery right away so I think it was a good choice to add the hand print.

The second layout, dealing with German culture, was a little more difficult to design. I went back and forth on various ideas, dealing with the German flag or the actually shape of Germany. I decided to layout the type similar to cities on a map of Germany. I used bullet points and a star to give the impression of a map. I header font I chose was somewhat stereotypical of Germany so as to make clear what I was advertising. I'd say this flyer isn't completely resolved but does make the even clear in an aesthetically pleasing way.