Over the last 3 weeks, we've been focusing on colour and composition. For the first week we had several challenges regarding colour theory, and we also had to produce some typeface posters. After doing basic colour theory - i.e. the colour wheel and gradients, coming to grips with primary, secondary and tertiary colours, we had to produce grids of colour with different titles in the classic Bauhaus style - produce 4x4 colour grids using colours associated to the rainforest, Mumbai, Blackpool, a hospital ward, a misty morning and finally autumn, along with a 6x6 grid using colours which coincide with our personality. Throughout all of these exercises we had to use purely the primary colours - using only black and white within the gradient exercise. I found this task really fun as I love mixing different colours and find it quite therapeutic! The other task for this week was to produce typeface posters with the themes masculine, feminine, scale, power, pattern and playful. Along with that in mind, we had 5 fonts to use - Bodoni, Rockwell, Helvetica, Clarendon and Din, and we had to choose the one which we thought fitted the theme best. For this challenge, I used InDesign which I found quite easy to use for this. Overall, I think this week's work went well, however I could probably improve on the colour scales. I really enjoyed the typeface poster challenge and think they turned out very well.
The second week consisted of producing 3 book covers all titled 'The Tree', all with different genres - a children's book, a psychological horror and a science fiction. We also had 3 artists who we had to research and use as influence for one of the covers. I decided to have my children's book cover inspired by Anne Yvonne Gilbert who uses pencil crayon for her pieces. Her work is incredibly detailed and consists of many layers - and she sharpens her pencil every few seconds to keep the detailed aspects. I found this very time consuming but enjoyable and quite therapeutic. After scanning it in, I added the text in photoshop, using a soft font to tie in with the children's book feel.
For my psychological horror book cover, I used inspiration from Charles Keeping, who has quite a strange and creepy style using mainly inks and watercolour. It became clear that he uses a relatively shiny surface which causes the watercolours to leave a certain effect, and the inks to shine. I tried out various materials to achieve this, and did my final piece of foam board as I found this was the most suitable. I really enjoyed this style and would like to develop this further, however with my final piece I think I should have had the tree more in the piece, looking at the golden ratio, having it fill more of a third than it has. Regarding the font I used for the text, it's clear that I definitely rushed this as the font doesn't go well with a psychological horror so that is definitely one of my downfalls. I experimented using complementary colours for this as well as I thought this would give more of a psychedelic approach which I think works well.
Finally for my science fiction cover I used influence from Brad Holland who uses acrylic paint with a dry brush technique. I found his technique difficult and time consuming but after getting the hang of it I quite enjoyed it - he tends to scrub the paint into the canvas (which has been covered in one colour) with hardly any paint on the brush, and this makes blending the colours a lot easier. For the canvas I got some MDF from woodwork and stuck fabric to it using PVA and then coated it in white paint to achieve the same idea as a canvas. It became evident that he likes to play with surrealism and particularly scale, so I tried to include this within my experiments. I think the font I used is alright but I probably could have been more adventurous. I like how the final piece turned out, but one improvement would be to scrub bits of all the colours through the piece like the way Brad Holland does.
I really enjoyed this week's challenges. I definitely found it challenging, but I enjoyed getting to grips with the various techniques by all the artists, and I liked the idea of producing book covers for different genres - kept me entertained and didn't get bored!
The third week's task involved producing a 12 page book which narrates a nursery rhyme. We had the choice of 6 and I chose 'The Grand Old Duke of York'. After producing various thumbnails playing around with colour, composition and material, I produced 2 mock up books which helped me figure out how I was going to narrate the book and helped me plan out the words and the illustrations to fill the pages appropriately. Whilst doing this I found that, since the nursery rhyme is very repetitive, my illustrations were quite repetitive also. To overcome this, I decided to have each of my pages cut out to reveal a green background (a hill), which I found helped me with the narration as I then had a constant theme to work from for each page. I really like how this turned out, however to develop it further I would probably experiment using different cut outs for each page, rather than having each page the same (although I do think this works well). I think with the style I've used, I could have looked into Tom Gauld, and possibly given some of the soldiers more character - drawing attention to the elements which aren't supposed to draw attention the way Gauld does., and this would have added a further element of curiosity/interest. Overall, I found the task challenging and interesting, I like how my final piece turned out but I would probably experiment with more thumbnails to support my final outcomes further.
I have really enjoyed the last 3 weeks, playing around with colour and composition and learning about different materials and techniques. I found that I struggled with my time management with this project due to being very ill in the first week which put me back therefore I was playing catch-up for the rest of the time. However, taking this into account I think I managed to produce a lot of work, and I am happy with the overall outcomes.