Saturday, August 29, 2009

Final Landscape of the Absurd

This is my final Landscape of the Absurd composition for ACN107


These are some compositions done in class that explore the Dada movement.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Landscape of the absurd

Here are the images I used to create my landscape of the absurd

And here is the final landscape. I might choose to work on this further, though at the moment, I'm happy with it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood revisited

These are all the images from The Little Red Riding Hood assignment.


Black and White





Sunday, August 16, 2009

Poster Appraisal

All the lines in this poster are flowing, curved and elegant. This was used to evoke a sense of sophistication - fitting for an orchestral concert. The sweeping line of the bird's leads back at the text, which is the most important part of the poster, whereas the curly part of the tail is reminiscent of the patterns found on violins etc. The golden sweeping lines in the background are also suggestive of musical staves- again fitting for this concert.

There is a kind of circular design in this poster. Since the lines are all curved, there are many (unfinished) circles which create an elegant flow. The shape of the bird is very much elongated, which suggests a tall, noble air. The negative space in the poster is actually quite dominant, but helps to enforce the text.

I used analogous colours in this poster. I specifically chose reds, oranges and golds (i.e.- warm colours) to suit the idea of 'The Firebird'. Of course fire is associated with warm colours, so I though it would be fitting to use a lot of red and gold. The light gold of the title complements the bird, but is also a light enough shade that it stands out against the black background. I chose black for the feeling of a sophisticated night concert.

The texture of the bird is mostly smooth. The wings and tail of the bird are particularly smooth to create an unopposed flow, and I created this smooth texture using the smudge tool in Photoshop. I used it to evoke a sense of elegance and chic. The chest of the bird however is textured with a photo of fish scales. I chose scales rather than feathers because I wanted the bird to have a dragon-esque feel about it. Afterall, I don't want the Firebird to be just any ordinary bird- there must be something magical about it.

Poster Development

Here is my development process for my poster. With suggestions from friends, I chose to tone down the opacity of the tail so that it isn't fighting the text for attention. Also, I put all the text in one place rather than having one line at the top, since it broke up the composition. Next, I changed the colour and typeface of 'The Firebird Suite' so that it complemented the elegant curved design of the bird. The change of the colour also helps the text sit in the poster, whilst still keeping a good colour contrast so that it's noticeable. I also spaced the text a bit more so it doesn't look so cramped and uncomfortable.
The last one will be the one I hand in, although I may make a few more little changes before Tuesday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Poster Development

Here is my quick concept sketch of what I wanted my poster to look like.

And here is my poster development so far. I feel it's a bit simple, but I'm not sure what I could add to it. I've tried to explore line, texture, shape and pattern. Colour also has been explored, but at the moment, I'm not sure how I can improve this poster further.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Music Festival: Stravinsky- 'The Firebird' Suite

ACN107 Music Festival Poster Assignment

a) What kind of music is at your festival?

Classical Music. To be specific, my festival is a performance of 'The Firebird Suite' by Igor Stravinsky.

b) Who goes to your festival?
Mostly middle-aged and older members of the upper middle class society. Although, anyone with a taste in classical music is likely to attend.

c) What is the atmosphere like at the festival?
It is a relatively formal music concert, and people are required to dress elegantly to attend. The audience is well behaved and polite.

d) In what kind of venue does it take place?
The venue is an upscale concert hall, brilliantly furnished with elegant architectural design. The hall is vast and is designed to give the best possible acoustics for a full orchestra.

e) Any other useful information about your festival?
This music concert is performed by a full Symphony Orchestra. It is an event of sophistication; perhaps a mimicry of an olden-day opera performance. However, to accommodate to modern times, it is not required to dress in the finest fashion with the finest jewels as it was back then. Still, it is an event primarily for the wealthy who have a sophisticated taste in classical music.

More Firebirds

Researching a little into Stravinsky's 'The Firebird' suite, I read a bit of the backstory to the ballet. Basically, a man enters a forbidden domain which is filled with magical creatures. He sees the firebird and captures it. The Firebird then begs to be set free, and promises to grant him a wish if he will let her go. She fulfils her promise when the king finds the man illegally in his domain. That was a very rough, largely incorrect sketch of the story.

I remembered also that Fantasia 2000 has a piece of animation to part of 'The Firebird' suite. Although the animation focusses mostly on a Sprite, the Firebird makes an appearance as a personification of a fiery volcano. In that instance, the Firebird is drawn to look like Tolkien's Balrogs as illustrated by John Howe. This isn't really the approach I'm going for.

I've started to draw birds to get an idea of what I want. Below is a concept design of a phoenix by Ben Wootten. I believe it was a potential design for the phoenix in 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe'. I did a pencil drawing of his illustration to get me into a bird-drawing mood.

My next couple of birds are less anatomically correct. I actually like the splayed wings of the first one- it suggest fire to me. The second bird is more precisely drawn, but it has no sense of drama or action in it. I'll probably take elements from these two drawings to create the final bird in my poster.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Firebirds and Phoenixes

I've decided that for my musical concert poster, I'm going to base the concert around Stravinsky's ballet, 'The Firebird'. I've never actually heard the music from 'The Firebird', but knowing Stravinsky's style somewhat, I feel it will be suitable to my design aesthetic.

One of the major reasons for choosing 'The Firebird' is the fact that I can incorporate a bird into my design. I have several ideas of how a dramatic poster can be created through bird illustrations and motifs.

Doing a quick Google search on 'Phoenix', to get an idea of what my firebird might look like, I found quite an amazing image:

It might just be unfinished, but it almost looks expressionistic in the way that quick strokes are used. This is a good starting point for my poster. I love the use of colour and the power that emanates from this image. I'm not sure, but I think it may have been done in Painter, just looking at the brush-strokes.

I've drawn a phoenix in the past myself. I'm not happy with all of it, but it's another good starting point.

Having to paint a Phoenix on the shape of a K isn't easy. I really don't like the tail, although the wings and head are alright.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Past work- A Level Design

Here is some of my design work from CIE A Level Design. My theme was 'Fantasy Tales', and the following were designs of the old characters.

Poseidon the Sea God. In this illustration, I really utilised the Photoshop brushes and tools. I'm not totally happy with how Poseidon sits in the waves, and I think there's something wrong with his anatomy, but I'm still pretty pleased with this illustration. I think it could be more dynamic though.

Zeus, the God of Gods. At the time, I liked the idea of Zeus having a Cloud-toga. Now I think it looks a bit strange and I can't help wondering where his legs are. I over-exposed his face and hair to give the sense that he's radiating with light. However, I feel there's something wrong with his face. The whole image is too still, there's no sense of dramatic movement.

The Four Winds- Arctic North, Asian East, Desert South and Forest West, from Hans Christian Anderson's 'The Garden of Paradise'. I'm actually quite happy with the look of each individual character. Their outfits work quite well. Their faces are however dreadful. Life drawing is something I really have to work on. I don't really like how the overall piece has so many colours, but it was sort of unavoidable since each wind is a different colour.

The Ice Maiden from Hans Christian Anderson's 'The Ice Maiden'. This was my very first digital illustration. I tried to use every Photoshop trick I knew. I even designed my own snowflakes and stamped them across the image. I think it's not a bad first attempt. However, her proportions seem very wrong though, the flow of cloth could have been better, and the mountains are just dreadful.

Carabosse from Charles Perrault's 'Sleeping Beauty'. I'm happy with her costume design (although it's incredibly impractical), but again, my life drawing skills are just terrible! Even with a huge mask to cover majority of her face, the neck/chin line looks very wrong. I like the S shaped fire pattern however, although the fire along the bottom edge looks quite bad.

These were the book covers I made for 'Sleeping Beauty', 'The Garden of Paradise' and 'Greek Tales'. The whole transparency overlay thing is actually very impractical (I had an idea with a more solid frame at first, but my teacher didn't like it), but it added an extra dimension to the covers. I'm really only happy with the 'Greek Tales' book. I remember the other two giving me so much trouble...

These were bookends of Carabosse and the Ice Maiden. They were my very first attempt at sculpting (with Super Sculpey), and I think they could have looked better if I had spent some more time and patience on them. From a distance the sculptures look alright, but close up, any sculptor would gasp in horror! I left scratches and fingerprints all over them, and my anatomy is absolutely dreadful. The wire used on both sculptures was supposed to be a 'modern twist', but really, I think it would have worked just as well without the wire. The packaging I made looks good, but it was actually incredibly flimsey. Theoretically I had planned for it to look a lot better and be a lot stronger. Practically, it didn't quite turn out as planned.

Past Work: Illustration and Design

I thought I would upload some of my older design/illustration work which sort of shows the style of art that I'm into. There's a lot more, but these are the ones I'm still relatively happy with... though not wholly happy.

This dragon was illustrated in an attempt to do a good illustration of a dragon for once. I'm not very happy with the background and how the dragon sits in it, but I think the dragon itself is okay. A bit of a boring pose, but I think the colouring of the dragon in this illustration is quite good.

This was an RPG character I invented- Nimlith the Shadow. Though I like the overall composition of this piece, I'm not very happy with the face and hair. I did a lazy background for this piece, because I find that I'm really no good at drawing full backgrounds.

This piece is named 'Grâce à des Souvenirs', meaning 'Thanks for memories'. It was illustrated as a birthday present for my friend, David in response to a piece of music that the wrote for me. There are a million meanings in this illustration, and I was trying to achieve a sense of the impossible. I'm somewhat unhappy with the flow of cloth- especially around the hole. I had a lot of trouble working out how to do the background of this piece; when it should fade to black, and where. Overall however, I am quite happy with this piece.