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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Assignment five - Seven Days - continued.

Research; there is a lot of varied information on this subject depending on which country of origin you are looking at, but most theories seem to confirm that the Greeks named the days after the sun, moon and the five known planets, which were in turn named after the gods Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite and Cronus. The Greeks called the days of the week the "days of the Gods". The Romans substituted their equivalent gods for the Greek gods, Mars, Mercury, Jove (Jupiter), Venus and Saturn. The Germanic peoples generally substituted roughly similar gods for the Roman gods, Tiu (Twia), Woden, Thor, Freya (Fria), but did not substitute Saturn. The Germanic peoples adapted the system introduced by the Romans but glossed their indiginous gods over the Roman deities (with the exception of Saturn) in a process known as Interpretatio Germanica. The date of this introduction of this system is not known exactly, but it must have happened later than AD200 but before the introduction of Christianity during the 6th to 7th centuries, i.e. during the final phase or soon after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

SUNDAY: Old English Sunnandaeg, meaning “sun’s day”. This is a translation of the latin phrase, dies Solis. English, like most of the Germanic languages preserves the original pagan/sun associations of the day.
MONDAY: Old English Monandaeg, meaning "moon's day". This is likely based on the translation of the Latin name dies lunae. In North Germanic mythology, the moon is presonified as a god, Mani.
TUESDAY: Old English Tiwesdaeg meaning "Tiw's day" Tiw was a one-handed god associated with single combat and pledges in Norse mythology. The name of the day is based on Latin dies Martis, "Day of Mars" (the Roman god of war).
WEDNESDAY: Old English Wodnesdaeg, meaning the day of the Germanic god, Wodan and a prominent god of the Anglo-Saxons (and other Germanic peoples) in England until about the seventh century. It is based on Latin dies Mercurii, "Day of Mercury". The usual connection is that both Wodan and Mercury were considered psychopomps, or leaders of souls, in their respective mythologies; both are also associated with poetic and musical inspiration.
THURSDAY: Old English Punresdaeg, meaning "Punor's day". Punor means thunder or its personification, the Norse god known in Modern English as Thor. Thor's day corresponds to Latin dies lovis, "day of Jupiter", the chief of the Roman gods, wielder of the thunderbolt.
FRIDAY: Old English Frigedaeg, meaning the day of the Norse goddess Frige. The Norse name for the planet Venus was Friggjarstjarna, "Frigg's star'. Based on the Latin dies Veneris, "Day of Venus" was the Roman goddess of  beauty, love and sex.
SATURDAY: the only day of the week to retain its Roman origin in English, named after the Roman god Saturn, associated with the Titan Cronus, father of Zeuz and many Olympians. In Latin it was dies Saturni, "Day of Saturn".

I came across this poster whilst looking for ideas and inspiration and felt the hand-rendered font would 
work really well for the text to go along with my images. It has a sort of 'medieval' feel about it, almost like
something you would use to write Latin in, so I will be writing all my text in this.

Here are some examples of the hand-written font in capitals, I think they work very well.

Same again, but with upper and lower-case.

Sketch before scanning

Images above showing ideas for the Sunday page. Not keen on the top one as its too
bright and goes too far away from the brief of keeping the colours to a minimum but
I like the pale yellow one and may use a version of this for my final image.

Rough Thor sketch
For the Thursday image I have been playing with ideas of depicting the god Thor, but
seem to be going off the idea of using a picture of him and like the idea of something more
symbolic such as maybe just the hammer?

This is the sort of tone I am looking for in the Thor image. Just the hammer and a
hand with maybe some lightning to enhance the 'thunder god'.

Now we're talking! Pretty pleased with this. Just need to add the text and title. I think
the image conveys the feeling of power but is not too fussy.

I need to get on with these hand-fonts!
more to come...

Well the hand-fonts are done finally and have been scanned in, live-traced in Illustrator and are
ready to place, along with my images. I intend to present each image in a landscape format, in the
shape of a postcard. Each of the illustrations are quite different in style so can stand alone but
are laid out in a similar way, with the same type-face (hand-drawn), and can also
stand together as a set with their contrasting colours.

Monday - based on the Old English meaning of 'Moons day', I've stayed with my original
sketch, based on the theme of the 'man in the moon'. I've inversed the originally black type and
image to aid visibility against the dark blue 'moonish' blue.

Monday Final
Tuesday - based on Tiw's day, I went for the obvious image
of the one-handed god proudly showing off his arm.

Tuesday Final
Wednesday - Wodin, or Wodan, apparently the father of 
Thor. I am aware that the three images so far are quite different in 
style, but still think they sit together well.

Wednesday Final
Thursday - Thor's Day. See above for idea behind
this image. My favourite so far....nice and punchy.

Thursday Final
Friday - For this one I was toying with a figurative image to show off
the Goddess, Freya, or Frige, but decided to go with the minimalist view, 
based on an image by Milton Glaser. Although simple, it still
looks playful and sexy.

Friday Final
Saturday - Saturn's Day. In this instance I decided to go for a more
detailed sketch of a statue of Saturn. I really like the contrast of
the grey-toned sketch against the solid background. Apparently
he was quite a nasty character...ate babies....allegedly.

Saturday Final
Sunday - going back to the more graphical approach, and along the 
same lines of the 'man in the moon' but this time, with the face of the 
sun. I've repeated the image throughout, and tried to keep the 
colours complimentary to each other.

Sunday Final
So there it is, finished. It seems this final exercise had taken me the long
way round, and I'm aware that I've started off on one road, gone quite a way down it,
but then decided to stop and go off in a completely different direction. Art is
subjective, so it doesnt neccessarily mean I've taken the correct route, but I feel
like I've arrived at the required destination and I'm quite pleased with the result.
Besides, don't they say its as much about the journey as the destination?

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Assignment Five - Seven Days

The brief is Seven Days, and these can be seven days of the week, or random days that tell a story.
Initially, I had the ideal of seven days in the week of someones life, such as a holiday, or snapshot into someone's diary. Maybe the seven days of the Christmas holiday and the stresses and challenges that come
with it, but then I decided to go for a random seven days of seven different people, at different stages of their lives, starting at the very a feotus in its mothers womb. I decided that each image would be accompanied by a few paragraphs of text describing the setting for that particular person, on that particular day in his or her life.

The page above shows ideas and notes, along with a bit of brainstorming, following ideas down certain roads  to see if they led anywhere interesting. Some thumbnails along with copy, describing the day being illustrated.



I have the idea of showing these seven stages of a life, and somehow conveying
how everything seems to go full-circle, such as starting out helpless and reliant on
others for survival, and then, as you reach very old-age, being in the same position.

Embro sketch
                   Coloured-up digital sketch.
Sketchbook idea, with text
Whilst I like the digital sketch of the foetus, I prefer the watercolour sketch
above, and also the hand-drawn type, which works well and seems to be a bit more 
interesting, especially the way it follows the lines of the baby, much as the lines of a womb 
would perhaps, as it surrounds the child and at the same time, describes it well.

Eric - aged 7.
The sketch idea above is of the seven-year-old, who is at the age when
everything is a great adventure. Every chair and table is for climbing on
and every stick, a sword to kill dragons with.
I think I've captured that feeling with 'Eric' above, who is resplendent in 
his home-made super-hero outfit of bright yellow wellies and cape, made
from his mum's old blue velvet curtains. His attitude and stance say; come
and have a go aliens....if you think you're hard enough.

Terry the teenager.
I think the image above of the teenager captures the physicality of that age-group
quite well. Sort of athletic, but not quite adult yet. Need to add some text to give
him some bones.

This looks a lot better now and I think the font works well along with the 
image and title, maybe better than the hand-drawn font. I like the idea of 
adding the age to each image and may use the vertical text box again, should the fancy take me.
Also, as a sidenote, I appreciate the text is getting a bit silly, but I 
actually believe it goes well with the illustration, so thats how it will probably stay.


Well, its been about a month since my last blog entry, mainly due to holidays etc, and in the interim period I have had a rethink about where I want this exercise to go. I started to think about the seven days themselves and where their names came from, so thats where I am going with this. 

Brief; based on the seven days of the week, produced a set of illustrations depicting how each day
got its name. Each image should contain an illustration and a short passage explaining the accompanying illustration. Style - the set of images should have a 'wood-cut' printerly feel about them, and each picture 
should comprise of no more than two colours each.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Exercise: Educational strip

Brief - produce an illustrated strip of up to five frames for use in schools, explaining to your teenagers how to cope with the onset of puberty.
Pick an aspect and using metaphor and humour but take care not to trivialise the message.
Also supply a single illustration of the character for the front cover.
The leaflet is called, What's happening to my body? It's all gone mad!

I decided for obvious reasons to cover the subject of puberty in boys as I have, in the past, had
some started off with a bit of research on t'internet.

I then did some sketches of a character with the intention of creating
someone who could appeal to all kinds of boys.
This process then evolved into a sort of 'generic' figure, which could
be adapted into all situations and scenario's.

Brainstorming poster idea

The 'generic' character above seems to work well as he has an emotive face
which can convey all sorts of expressions. I had the idea of him going through
all the stages and side-effects of puberty with all the funny consequences shown.
I think these situations can be viewed as humorous without diminishing 
the importance of the message. I think the strength of the character is that he can 
reach across all types of people, regardless of race, creed or colour.

'Pubic Bob'
This is Pubic Bob, the star of my cartoon strip. He can come in all shapes and 
sizes, thinking back, he's probably a bit like 'Morph' from Vision-On....and he can
change in colour as well, (maybe the kids could colour him in as an added bonus).

Below is the cartoon strip, with Bob going through his antics, in an effort to portray the 
drawbacks and problems of growing up. He's a great character that is
appealing to all and most importantly, he makes me laugh...

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Jazz poster - thats the way to do it!

 I came across this Illustration blog article based on the creation of a jazz poster. I know I've already done a similar exercise but I thought it might be of use to future students.  Its really interesting how the artist, Christopher has shown his method of working, from his initial brief, to his conception and ideas, right through to the finished article. It all looks so simple now, but I guess thats the beauty of a great job.
About the author
Christopher King (aka Wing’s Art ) is an Illustrator & Graphic Designer based in Somerset, UK, specialising in hand-drawn & digital artwork for posters, flyers, books, toys and advertising clients.

I love working on gig posters. I don’t get to do them often enough. Luckily for me Pat West of the blues band,  The Steady Rollin’ Revue called me up earlier this week needing a little something for their upcoming show at The Gipsy Hill Tavern, in London on 22nd April.
Here’s a quick making of;
After a quick telephone conversation with Pat about the band and their sound which has a British Blues Boom feel (think Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall & The Blues Breakers, Cream) he emailed me a few visual influences and a couple of their tracks to listen to. I later drew up a quick rough showing the basic layout I had in mind which was quickly approved.
The guitar in my original rough was drawn straight from memory so I wanted to make sure the guitar in the final poster was appropriate to the band’s sound. Pat’s guitar turned out to be a Sunburst Gibson 335 which after grabbing a few photos from Pat was used in the final design.
Taking influence from show flyers of the late 60s, I knew this should have a traditional screen-printed look that called for a simplistic use of colour and detail. I opted for a two colour treatment with the guitar shape made up from the negative space created by the two side stripes, with a few essential guitar details to seal the deal.
An illustration of the guest vocalist Bruce “Mississippi” Johnson was a must too, so after receiving a promo shot I set to work on his portrait, hand drawn in good old brush, pen and ink.
Once this was finished, it was scanned in, brought into Photoshop and cleaned up. Much jiggery pokery later with textures, painted outlines, laying down text and messing about with dissolve effects and you’ve got yourself a poster. And to finish the job we put together a few colour variations.
This has got to be one of my favourite jobs of the year so far. Smooth from start to finish. Here’s hoping for a few more like this.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Exercise - Working for children.

For this exercise I had to gather as many examples of images for children as possible.
The following images go with the following age groups;


Usually these are mostly just picture books and are often made from cardboard as the little ones take as much pleasure in eating the book, as they do looking at it. Plastic, material as well as heavy-duty paper are also popular, and often come with squeakers, sound-effects and pop-ups. Spot was always popular.


Pre-school (3-5)
From what I can remember, my kids always loved Spot the Dog, drawn by Eric Hill, which was always furnished with a few memorable words on each page to describe the scene being shown. It always amazed me how quick they memorised each page. Julia Donaldson books, drawn by Nick Sharratt are a popular read, offering repetition, numbers and lively images.

Early Reader 5-7

Early reader (5-7)
Repetition, rhyme and the use of poetry is important in this age group and the images can be more detailed.

Established reader 7-9

Established reader (7-9)
The books this age group are interested in can be more sophisticated, less obvious in their storyline allowing the children to develop their inference skills. Images can be more detailed, slightly scarier even.

Older age groups
Longer storylines, often less images throughout with the emphasis being on the strength of the storyline. More use of comedy and a brighter, trendier cover.

I really like this set of stamps featuring childrens illustrations and the diverse styles of 
each one. Some very sophicated and others very simple and childlike, but each
working in its own way.

Spider-grams finding appropriate word connections for  the words 'discovery'
and 'journey'.

Below are some of the images I have sketched of various animals, with the 
intention of aiming towards the 3-5 year old pre-school reader and also the early readers 5-7.

I think the travelling rabbit shows promise, looks a bit serious for 
the little ones though....could be ok for the older children though.

For some reason, I really like the idea of drawing cows and I think
they always look a bit 'thick', also not sure if they work very well
doing activities other than eating grass or farting..

I've moved on to the idea of a travelling octopus......
below are some ideas of what he might look like.

'Olly's journey could be based on images of his adventures, from 
starting out,  planning his trip to catching the train, and then
followed by images of him visiting famous world sites.
This could work well for small children in a geographically
educational format.

Olly's look is starting to come now,  I like the idea of putting him in different 
situations, doing stuff that Octopus's dont normally do. He also has the 
benefit of eight arms/tentacles, so there's plenty of scope for artistic licence.

I have decided to go for a really simplistic style, so as not to confuse the younger children, although, 
thinking about it, I dont really believe that images have to be ultra-simple for
a young reader to appreciate them. Kids love looking at things, regardless of how complicated
they are, and tend to be selective and take away their own key points and views.
However, if an adult sits with a youngster and helps him/her to go through the book, 
the child can be steered in the right direction,.....i think.

Rough colour of cover
I like the idea of a the pages in the book looking like a polaroid photograph 
of each travel page with 'Olly' in the foreground of a famous landmark.
I've tried to keep the typeface 'fun' and informal. also I have the idea of
allowing the octopus to change colour ( I seem to remember them being able to do this), 
like a chameleon and this could go down the road of  'Where's Olly'? as most
kids love a bit of hide and seek.