Thursday, 28 April 2011
Friday, 22 April 2011
In case you didn't realise thongs are what we call flip-flops in Australia - weird huh?
The footwear driving parrot was a character concept designed to take readers on a journey through an Australiana puzzle book I was putting together a couple of years ago. The publisher wasn't keen on the character concept, so the book was published sans the highway touring cockatoo. Which I thought was a terrible pity.
With this weeks Illustration Friday theme I finally got an excuse to draw the little feller and his friends.
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Who first the water of life bottled.
Distilled of grain mash frothing frisky,
Uisge beatha! We call it whisky.
I was originally going to do a preachy piece about the evils of bottled water and how we should use filtered tap water instead, but who wants to be preached at? Not me. Instead I went to our old friend Wikipedia and did a little research on the history of my favourite bottled substance - whisky.
'Uisge Beatha' is Scottish Gaelic for 'water of life' which is the name monks of the time gave to pretty much any distilled spirit. Over time 'Uisge' became the word 'whisky'.
Is it a bit much suggesting 'old' and 'bottled' could rhyme? Hope not.
I've included some images of the illustration process. I like it when other do so and thought I should follow suit.
Here's the rough concept sketch
The image traced onto some good drawing paper and three quarters inked
My usual drawing tools.
I colour everything digitally, as it is fast and I can change my mind about colour schemes without having to redo everything. My digital colouring process shall be posted another day - promise!
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Melody Nelson, a local boutique gift and homeware store, have just updated their on-line presence. They commissioned me to create a strong visual identity for their updated site which they could then carry over on to their new online gift shop.
The illustration solution we finally went with was a hand painted border of swirling ornaments, cats, bees and iconic buildings accompanied by their existing logo (I designed the logo a few years ago).
These swirling ornaments are much more than just pretty decorations. They were carefully designed to visually convey the message that the store carries fun, beautiful, quality gifts sourced from Europe and America.
The brief and sample images the customer originally supplied suggested they were after a fairy tale appeal with wrought iron style decorations combined with a whimsical hand painted freshness.
Here's a rough sketch design I sent in response to the brief. Just a quick scribble to get the idea across without taking too long about it.
It was decided that I was heading in the right direction, but the buildings should sit vertically, the vespa should go, and I felt the design should be a little less complex and perhaps less symmetrical.
To produce the final art I began by playing around with typefaces such as woodtype ornaments, which are a range of existing digitised swirly decorations, but they all looked a little too clean and sterile for my liking. So I grabbed out my brush and ink and drew up a bunch of swirls, lines and little characters.
Here's the bee enlarged. As you can see the line work is quite free and unfussy.
The art was scanned in and placed into image editing software with all the items on separate layers. I could then rearrange items at whim until I was happy with the complexity and balance. The resulting art was made into transparent GIFs to float, in careful arrangement, over the parchment background.
And there you have it - a strong, unique visual identity appropriate to the store's philosophy.
Of course I wish Melody Nelson all the best for their new on-line gift shop and encourage all to have a look, and perhaps purchase an item or two.