28 October 2013

Sweet Christmas

Time flies by too fast. I have so much to write about, so many thoughts wanting to be presented to the world. Yet, time is not on my side. Maybe it's all about getting more organized, not wasting time on trivial things, or maybe I should stop overthinking topics and put them down on paper (or screen, to be more precise). I'll start with this post. I'll keep it simple. Here are a few christmas designs I finished today. Lettering meets illustrations. The topic was to create christmas type, but somehow along the way the story evolved and I made this series of three cards with christmas cookies, candies and cupcakes. I've chosen the word 'Noel' on purpose, for the wording to stays readable in the whole composition. 'Noel' was transformed into cookies, mistletoe and cupcakes accompanied with christmas decorations and little birdies (I couldn't resist adding some characters into the story). The idea to use cakes and cookies as a central piece came after brainstorming for new recognizable christmas icons. There are so many great takes of christmas cards on the market already, so it takes something new to create interesting sellable art.

The color scheme is kept within a limited color quantity, reinterpreting the classic red-green christmas colors. As you can see there is no 100% white in the images. That's how you can achieve a more vintage style (as well as not to use 100% black or rich black). The red gives enough freshness, poping and contrast. Little note: exporting the images into png files diminishes the intensity of the reds - in the source file it's even brighter. And of course, no use of structures makes it obvious to be digital art. I was really tempted to age it even more by adding rubber scratches and brushes in Illustrator, but decided to stay true to my style. It already had enough details with all the yellow thread making its way through the whole design.

As promissed, I'll keep it short this time. I'm already working on the next posts. I still haven't posted about my trip to London and me walking the Brand Licensing Europe show (that's going to be a lengthy one). And MATS! We already entered week 4 and I haven't written a word about it, haven't shown one single image. Well, let's get down to work! In a few months none of it will be newsworthy anymore.

10 October 2013

Going Waco : Winter Wonderland

Still playing around with my Wacom tablet. Trying to find the best way to use it, yet stay true to myself. My style actually. So far I explored different possibilities in Illustrator and Photoshop. The options are really vast. I never even knew that there were so many brushes on the market. That's the thing with technology, it easily seduces you, sometimes into ways you never imagined, sometimes into ways you never wanted to go. While trying to get used to this new tool I'm also watching out not to end up in the wrong alley. I can't tell you how much fun I had playing with all the options, but at the end I always came to the same conclusion - that's just not me. So I started a new strategy. I took my existing style and pushed it through Wacom post production (o.k. I just made up this term so don't start googling it) to get an upgraded version of the same image. I wasn't going for shades to gain 3D (for that I could have used a 3D modeling program), I was more looking to give it more atmosphere. That's how Winter Glamour Girl was created.

As you can see I took an existing character design of mine and started adding some new layers. And a little bunny. Couldn't resist. Initially there was supposed to be a feather, but it already looked too furry.

Here you can see the stages of adding layers to the initial show girl. Everything was done in Illustrator. Quite simple. I only used 2 brushes and the transparency option. And the Wacom stylus, of course. This is definitely a look I wouldn't have achieved with my truest companion the Mouse. A mouse just doesn't take you to places like this. When I hold a mouse in my hand my mind works in a different way. More calculated, less flowing. And you can't swipe the mouse like a stylus to achieve that kind of energized lines. To keep it short, I like the outcome. Winter Wonderland.