Thursday, July 30, 2009

Final Week: Part II

Another direction I'd like to go in for the book is something akin to this little piece that I did a couple of weeks ago:

One of the biggest advantages I learned for stuff like this is the path tool. Rather than try to change the fills of the different shapes using the magic wand>fill, the paint bucket tool, or some other weird method, being able to import the paths from Illustrator into Photoshop and using the make selection tool is extremely easy and makes all of your lines look a lot cleaner at high resolutions. I found that the best way to do this was to set the stroke on your Illustrator lines to 0 before importing them. It also makes making clean masks a lot easier. Before, I would try to adjust the magic wand settings to get the best lines, but even with the best settings it was less than satisfactory. I tended to work a lot in Illustrator before importing things into Photoshop but now I can do a lot of the same things within Photoshop, which is pretty handy.

I'm hoping that I can use this path method along with some of the texture generation techniques that I used on the last master study to create more of these geometric studies. It's nice to be able to scan your own textures in, but when that's not an option it's nice to be able to create a 300 dpi texture to your liking within Photoshop itself.

It also might be interesting to kind of fuse these two techniques (this and the last post I posted) to add some texture to the flat colors of my sketchbook drawings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Final Week: Part I

Today I continued with the research. I browsed though Etsy's zine section today and picked out a few things that I liked. Here are a few of my favorites (the rest are under my Zine delicious bookmark - which I think will become extremely helpful as this project continues):

This is My Boyfriend - cool illustrations with hand-drawn text
Lil' Laundromatic Zine - more design oriented
Life on Earth - interesting ink lines
Lickety Split - two color illustrations
Dead Letters and Rare Words - screenprinted cover (something that might be possible since I'm taking Printmaking II next semester with a focus on Serigraphy)
TAGS - based off of photos
Doodle Zine - a book of doodles
From the Ground Up - one of my favorites, I actually own a copy of this one. Lots of little drawings
White Rice Fish - block printed cover
Butts - an entire zine about butts
Art Bureau - beautiful illustrations
Hairstylist - asks the reader to interact with the illustrations
The Little Classic Sneaker Coloring Book - interesting binding method
Poor Traits - humor


To show a bit of what I've done before, here's a page from the last book that I made:

When I made the book I wanted to practice creating vector images, but I only ended up with 6 little images; not because I didn't want to do more, but because they took me forever. I wasn't really sure how to go about doing stuff like this, so I used some kind of crazy system where I livetraced everything (gasp!) and then cleaned up everything by hand adding extra points with the pen tool and whatnot. It didn't look too bad in the end, but it was a pretty long and laborious process, each thing taking me a couple of days.

Here's another drawing that I made into a vector image in kind of the same fashion more recently. This also took me way longer than it should have:

Original sketch


I've got a couple sketchbooks full of doodles like these, I always try to finish a sketchbook when I travel, and I've always wanted to do more with them, so this book should be a good chance. I think the tool that'll be most helpful in this circumstance is the brush tool within Illustrator. I haven't gotten the chance to trace one of these drawings with this method yet, but I have to imagine that it will be siginificantly faster. I could also see how overlaying textures could make some of these more interesting, so the research I've done of the past couple of weeks on texture websites will come in handy as well.

Here are a few good (i.e. free/hi-res) ones that I've stumbled across: - textures for almost anything you can think of - pretty new, but what they've got is good - a texture blog of sorts - tons of different categories

-- more to come --

Monday, July 27, 2009

Final Week: Proposal

For my final, I'd like to put into motion a project that I've wanted to do for quite some time: a book. Over the summer I purchased a couple 'zines from artists around the country and quickly became fascinated with these home-made yet visually sound projects. I've create a few books in the past, although nothing too complex, mostly because I simply didn't have the skill set.

From both a design and production standpoint, I think this would be an interesting project to tackle. In papermaking, we've been talking a lot about and researching different kinds of books, bindings, materials, etc., so making this by hand would also be an easy possibility. Researching these different materials/substrates is also useful as far as packaging or printed materials are concerned. Mostly, though, I just want something tangible that I can show and/or give to people at little cost. I'm also hoping this may open its way to more collaborative projects in the future, as I've begun to gather the address of a lot of smaller named artists that I look up to in hopes that, at the very least, we can share some ideas.

*Lots of photos to come

In my posts this week I hope to outline what exactly I plan to do and how certain tools will aid me on this project. Today, I started out by researching. Although I didn't allow myself near enough time, I added at least 35 more bookmarks to my delicious that kind of point to certain directions that I want to go in. I think these bookmarks will be a very useful tool. Tomorrow, I plan on posting a bit of what I've done in the past and how certain methods I've learned will come in handy and save time in the same circumstances, as well as point out a few techniques that I may want to try out in the near future. I've tried to start this project several times in the past ended up scrapping most of my ideas; hopefully by the end of the week this research and planning can give me a more narrow idea of where I want to go in this.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Interpretation Week 4 Update

I've been working on a few ideas for the background of this week's interpretation. Here's a working version. The background is a few different textures layered on top of one another, including one of a stormy sky, which I thought was appropriate for the image.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Interpretation Week 4

Here's a working version of my interpretation for this week. I found a sketch in a notebook I have and made it from that. I'm a little stuck though. It's obviously missing something (background?), but everything I've tried just looks weird. It might be the color choices. Any ideas?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Master Study 4 Update



Here's my attempt at Mar Hernandez's art. Copy is on top, study is underneath. It took a couple hours, but I finally got the method down. The only thing I struggled with (and you can still tell this in places) is getting two colors to blend into eachother. I'll have to keep messing around and see if I can't find a better way to do that. Other than that though, this technique worked fairly well.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Master Study 4

For my fourth project I decided to recreate a piece by Mar Hernandez, an illustrator/designer based out of Spain. She's got these great texturized vector images that I thought would be interesting to work with.

I'm hoping to use something akin to both of the lectures posted today: using paths to create the shapes and using the different filters to create textures. To start out I've traced the shapes in Illustrator so that I can import them into Photoshop.