Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Design: 21st Birthday Invitations

I've just finished some birthday invitations for a 21st birthday. I was asked for fractals in blue, green and purple – but since I don't have a clue how to use fractal programmes, I simulated the effect with a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator. Fortunately, seahorse tail fractals were the type of choice anyway!

I created the shape to be used for the fractals in Illustrator, then took it into Photoshop, duplicated, resized and slightly rotated it, and then repeated that command until I had a swirl. It took me a few goes to get a swirl I was happy with, duplicated it a few times, and I ended up with this:

Naturally I couldn't leave it looking like that, so I added some spirograph-type designs (created in Illustrator) and some glowy bits, until I had something much more atmospheric. I added the text in inDesign, using Takion for the font; the birthday boy loves science and mathematics, and I felt that font fitted that theme nicely.

The majority of the invitations were emailed out, but for those that were to be posted, I got 5x7" prints done at a Kodak Photobooth. This meant some of the border was chopped off, but they still came out very nicely. 

Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign CS6

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sketch: Southern Belle

Here's a sketch I worked on, on and off, for a week. When I started it I had been intending to sketch something far more adventurous, but I was feeling very stressed and extremely disillusioned with people in general... and so fell back on my default of pretty girls in pretty dresses instead. I could overhear a western my father was watching in another room, involving a pretty girl from the South, so I went with a saintly Southern Belle with magnolia in her hair.

Working on all those frills and curls was very therapeutic. =) It's across 2 pages of an A5 Moleskine sketchbook. 

And the other day I slapped some colour on in Photoshop CS6, as a warm-up for some digital work. I quite like the way the dress came out, but I'm not too enamoured of the rest of it... the colouring took about 40 minutes. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Orders of Service

My Great Aunt died (at the grand age of almost 94) on the 12th, plunging us into frantic funeral planning. She was in a lot of pain, and we were very sorry to see her go, but some people didn't seem to appreciate her qualities as maybe they should (she had her faults, but don't we all?) so I wanted to make sure she had a nice Order of Service to send her off in style. She actually had two services (a funeral and a memorial service) but we used the same cover for both, only changing the information inside.

Previously I have done photo collages of important items for orders of service, but as all such important items were in Moora about 100 miles away, this was out of the question. Also, as we were not going to a professional printer, I couldn't arrange for printing right to the edge of the cover, which would have spoiled the effect somewhat. 

Aunty Phyl loved flowers of all kinds, so I went to the Victorian Language of Flowers for inspiration, as no one could really tell me a specific favourite flower, and made a border for use on the booklets:

This contains the following:

Michaelmas Daisies – farewell
Harebells – grief
Green Locust Tree – affection beyond the grave
Osmunda – dreams
Persimmon – "bury me among nature's beauties"
Red Poppy – consolation
White Poppy – sleep, my antidote 
Weeping Willow – mourning 

I did a very rough version in Photoshop to start with, so I could work out roughly where everything should go, then a clean sketch on paper, which I inked and coloured digitally in Adobe Photoshop CS6 with a Wacom Intuos 3. I was inspired by Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers, and added a faint halftone pattern to the whole thing to subtly suggest older printing methods and add a bit of texture:

Once the border was done I inserted photographs into it. A large, fairy recent (taken at her 90th birthday, but I didn't have access to anything taken more recently) photo for the front, and a smaller photo from the 1930s for the back. The font is Melany Lane

I added some swirls (from the Melany Lane Ornaments font) to fill up empty space on the front. We got them printed at Officeworks, but unfortunately not all of the swirls ended up printing and those that did were much more subtle (although not quite as subtle as appears from this photo =P)

I also did the interior of the booklet, using Adobe Indesign CS6. The inside cover contained a dot-point timeline of her life, and we managed to fit the whole order of service onto the front and back of an A4 page (so four booklet pages) and even had some room left over for a little decoration. For this purpose I did a linework hyacinth ('constancy', but also a flower she was very fond of):

I coloured this digitally for use on the Thank You cards:

I printed these (two per A4 page) myself, and used a punch to get the round corners.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Illustration: Standing Stones

I've had lots of work to be going on with during the holiday period, plus all the socialising and stuff that eats away at one's time at this season. Plus it's been really hot, so when I'm not working, I haven't really felt like drawing. But I have taken a little time out to do some sketching.

This was started on New Year's Eve. The ABC broadcast the Edinburgh Military Tattoo then, and it's a family tradition to watch it. The show this year was opened with schoolkids dressed as Picts, which inspired this image. It took me a few days to sketch it, and then a few more to add some digital colour:

Click for a larger view!

I suppose I'm looking at about 6 hours, all up, but I wasn't really keeping track.It's not meant to be anything spectacular, and it's rather rough around the edges, but I like it!

Here's the original sketch:

And just for fun, here's a little pic of someone wearing a bearskin hat (also done while watching the Tattoo, of course). My father gave me a Wacom Inkling for Christmas, and I was playing around with it, getting the hang of it before I inserted it into my working routine. This started as a fairly simple sketch, which I then imported into Photoshop. The Inkling isn't entirely accurate with line placement, so it's better suited to images where that isn't an issue, but I tried to embrace that situation, and coloured it using the magnetic lasso tool:


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