Bicycle Postcard – Part Two

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This is a continuation of last week’s post, on the idea process behind my bicycle postcard. Once I have decided on which rough to go with, I draw out the different pieces of the illustration. I drew the face and body of the cyclist separately, as I have a hard time drawing faces small. Next I transfer the drawing to the lino block, and start carving out the lino. I also carved the face and body/bike separately, so I could get more detail in the face.

Once the lino blocks are printed, I scan them in and start collaging digitally in Photoshop. I put the head onto the body digitally first, and then created a background digitally using simple shapes. I also added the spokes to the bicycle wheels digitally. I did a greyscale version first, to figure out the composition.

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Once I was happy with the background and composition, I added color. I use ColorLovers to pick out color palettes. In this case I used two palettes to choose colors from. The color palettes I used were: “I Like Your Smile” by joy_of_summer and “Praise Certain Frogs” by Skyblue2u.

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And that’s the final illustration! Thanks for reading!

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Bicycle Postcard – Part One

In January I worked on some new imagery for a postcard mailer, which I plan to mail out in the spring. I assigned myself the brief of “Bicycle Obesession”. I started by sketching out some ideas, different bicycles, and did a little sketch of a burly guy holding a bike. I liked this idea, so developed it further. I did more sketching, and created two roughs with different backgrounds.

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The guy ended up being skinny, as I thought I would be more true to the typical bicyclist, who is slim. I added a smoothie, to alude to a healthy diet. I tried out different backgrounds – one with a cityscape, and one with bicycle wheels. I decided to go the more traditional route, and go ahead with the cityscape background.

Stay tuned next week, I will reveal the final illustration.

Monoprint – Second image

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Continuing on my monoprinting series. This is my first attempt on my own, with no guidance. Pretty rough, wasn’t happy with the results from that day. This print I left too much ink on the plate, so it printed really dark and black.

This is a second attempt at the same image, and the ghost print. The nice thing about scratching the drawing into the plate is the template is still there, so you can re-ink the plate again and again, without having to start completely from scratch. You still have to re-paint the image each time.

After printing that day, I had to remind myself that I am learning, and not every print is going to look amazing. I haven’t learned a new printmaking process in a while, so I have to remember what it’s like to be a student, and that it is frustrating sometimes.

Monoprint Series

I recently learned how to do monoprinting (a method of printmaking where you only get one unique print per plate). To practice this new skill, I have decided to work on a new art series, of building or architecture details. My first monoprint is of a downtown building detail from my trip to Seattle. I have since been collecting photos and doing small watercolor studies of interesting architecture that I see.

This is the watercolor painting I worked from for my first monoprint.

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This is the first print I pulled of my monoprint plate.

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To create the image, I started by scratching a simple line drawing into the plexiglass plate. Then I rolled the whole plate with etching ink. Once the plate is completely covered in ink, you use a rag to wipe off ink from larger areas (I started with the background area). For very white areas, you use a Q-tip to wipe off the ink. For some of the finer white lines, I used a chopstick. If you wipe off too much ink, you can always apply more ink again with a brayer. I did this on the background, because in my first attempt I wiped off too much ink, in too many directions. Every stroke and brayer mark, you will see in the final print. I really enjoyed the process, it is very painterly and expressive.

After pulling the print, I pulled a “ghost” print, which is another print, without doing anything to the plate. You print with whatever ink is left on the plate, resulting in a lighter image. I then added watercolor to the print, after it was dry.

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I will post more images as I create them, so stay tuned for updates on this project! It will probably be a long project, as I am thinking of turning it into a solo show.

Broken Pencil illustration

Recently I did some illustrations for Broken Pencil magazine, and another one of them has been published. This illustration was for a short story titled “The Trouble with Sisters”. The story is about two sisters and their relationship. One sister helped the other one out during tough financial times, but the help wasn’t appreciated. The sister is resentful towards her sibling, and part of the story is about her getting her revenge.

I had trouble with the concept for this story, so I think the illustration is so-so. These are the two roughs I sent to the art director.

The art director chose the purse illustration. This is the lino print of the purse.

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When carving the lino block, I forgot that the purse was white in the story. So I made the purse white in Photoshop instead, so I didn’t have to carve the lino block all over again.

This is the final illustration.

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Thanks for reading!

Grieving on Social Media – The Illustration Process

In this post I will share images breaking down how I created the final full page illustration that I recently completed for Shameless magazine. I start by referencing my rough, and figuring out what I need to draw for the different parts of the illustration. In this case I drew a portrait for the profile pic, a landscape for the cover photo, and a candle for the candlelight vigil portion.

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I draw all my components, then carve them out in lino, and print the lino blocks.

After I scan in all my prints, I digitally collage them together in Photoshop to create the composition. In this case I duplicated the candle several times, and stretched or squashed it to create some perspective. The candlelight circles in the background, I created digitally.

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When I am happy with the composition, I add the grey tones. Usually at this point I add color, but in this case the illustration was going to be black and white.

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Ta da! All done!

Thanks for reading!

Grieving on Social Media – The Idea Process

A couple weeks ago I shared an illustration I worked on for Shameless magazine, for an article about grieving on social media. Here is some of my idea generation process.

I started by playing around with gravestone imagery and combining it with the Facebook layout. I also drew some ideas with the social media icons. I used candle imagery to reference memorial candles at shrines or altars. I put the social media icons on the candles to reference memorials on social media, like a memorial Facebook page.

My first rough combines the ideas of a traditional newspaper obituary with a Facebook memorial page. My second rough combines the ideas of a traditional candlelight memorial, with a Facebook memorial page. I liked the juxtaposing of old and new ways of remembering people.

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I did a full page and a spread for this project, and the art director chose the candle imagery for both illustrations. Above is my first draft of the rough for the spread. The art director had a couple ideas for revisions, so I sent a second round of roughs for the spread.

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The art director chose the rough with the shadows.

That’s my idea process in a nutshell for this project. Little bit of back and forth with ideas with the art director, but that’s normal. Thankfully not too many revisions.

Thanks for reading!