Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jabberwocky - Second Half

I've got almost all the wording for Jabberwocky done now. The only part left is on the right hand side, but because that's going to be masking fluid covered by ink to put the words in relief, I'm going to do that after I've torn the paper, which should keep the ink from bleeding into the other panel.s

This is my favourite bit.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jabberwocky - Words!

It always amazes me how quickly a project progresses after the planning stage. Hours and hours on research and layouts and experimentation, and yet the things itself only takes a short amount of time. I suppose that means I did my planning correctly? Here are the shots of the first side of the paper. I'm holding the pen very loosely and barely putting any pressure on it, as well as loading too much ink in the nib, giving it a thick, wobbly, appearance, and trying to mimic the font used in old newspapers. 

I'm fairly happy with it. I still have to decide on a cover (I have no idea at all!) and whether or not I'm going to draw some kind of Jabberwock on it. Suggestions are welcome!

Opps! For some reason I wrote the 'bur' all on a line instead of curving up.

The drip was a happy accident.

I like the upside-down words, and occasion backwards letter. I'm going to be more conscious about adding extras when I write the other side of the paper.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Jabberwocky - I give up!

I came to the conclusion a few days ago that this is a ridiculous project to attempt as an edition. It's just going to be a single, handwritten volume. It's simply to large and unwieldy to make any other way. I'm going to make a book edition soon, but I will start with a much simpler format. I may use Jabberwocky again as well, since I already have ideas for how I'd like to do it. As it is, here's what I've managed in the last couple of days. It looks a few hours to pencil out the layout on the big piece of watercolour that will become the book, especially because I kept putting things in the wrong square and had to erase all my beautiful sketches. It's a full 22" x 30"piece (140lb cold press), but after all the folding the book will only be about 2 3/4" x 6". I haven't torn the maze pattern out yet because I don't want to compromise the paper until absolutely necessary. All the turning and folding could really damage the edges, so I'm not going to until I need to actually ink on the edges. This will going to put a lot of pressure on me to tear it perfectly, because I don't want to restart at this point!

Apologies for the crappy photos, light pencil doesn't show up very well.

Time spent on this part of the project: 5 hours.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Officer's Mess Coin

The Officer's Mess here at CFB Winnipeg voted to give out special coins to departing members who have been here over a year. I believe most messes do this, and there are lots of nice examples of designs available. They are having a contest (I think they only got two entries though!) and this is my contribution. It's a vintage maple leaf on the left and a stylized plane on the right, in two shades of blue (what else? It's a good thing I like Air Force Blue because there's nothing else around). In the plane is a simplified map of downtown Winnipeg, focusing on Portage and Main, of course. The yellow parts would be in metal, and the colours in enamel or whatever it is they make them out of.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Variations on a Theme: Butterflies

I posted this design on my last blog entry, and today I worked on two designs based on it for a contest at Spoonflower. The theme was butterflies and it was limited to six colours, which they specified. This is what I did with the above design, given the parameters for the contest.

I'm not even sure I like the colours they choose, but I'm fairly happy with what I did with them. I entered the bottom design. I hope that was the right choice! I'll sure sure to let you know when voting starts so you can help me win!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Butterflies, Dandelions, and Steampunk Paisley: Fabric Designs

Sometime last year I joined Spoonflower, a neat site that allows people to uploads and print custom fabric. They also have contest every few weeks on different themes, which I enjoyed the challenge of designing for. For about three weeks until I got interested in something else... I've finally made some new designs, and a couple of variations on an older one, and because they're offering free shipping until tomorrow morning I broke down and ordered some samples. They come in 8"x8", and I have to order them before the designs can go on sale (quite the racket!) but I want to see them in person and I think it will be really neat to use fabric I designed myself to make spines for books.

News from the Grey Side of Life

 I love mail! Especially when it's a brand-new sketchbook. My soon-to-be filled entry for the 2012 Sketchbook Project I wrote about just arrived! Many photos are to come as I start filling it. I choose the theme 'The Grey Side of Life.'
I put this design up for sale on Buy one! Tell your friends! It's a great site for t-shirts so I'm going to start putting up plenty more designs and artwork. Just as soon as I get to it...

I learnt a little about this weekend, and I'm looking into using it to publish copies of The Tell-Tale Heart. This will be a huge amount of work, so it will be long-term project preparing all the images. Please let me know if there would be any kind of market for it, because I don't want to go through all of that for nothing!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

J'adore Montréal

I love Montréal, though I always seem to end up spending long periods of time at the airport (through no fault of the airport itself). However, since this is the first time I've had internet all week I'm extremely happy for the opportunity (also, the bar I'm at makes good whiskey sours). I've been in town for five days at a hotel very near both Centre-Ville and the Old City. I had to stay at a major hotel because I was at a conference, which is too bad, but it was a great location nonetheless. If you've never been to Montréal, you should, but stay at a small local hotel or B&B. These are some of the pictures I've taken in the past few days. I've got a quite few more that I'm going to make into lino prints as well, if I ever get home. The photo above is one of those 'You know you're in Montréal when...' moments (I got cheese in my registration package. I love Québec!), thanks to their much more European attitude to, well, most things. You can bring your own wine to restaurants and things of that sort. I hate wine, but they have a few excellent breweries here, so I'm well satisfied. 

 I got in a little early and got to play tourist in the Old City. I did loads of shopping as well because the city is full of great boutiques by local designers, but those shops weren't quite as pretty.

This statue based on Robert Indiana's LOVE was outside a hotel in the Old City and I snapped a few shots because it looks pretty cool on film.

Just outside Notre Dame Cathedral.

Well who doesn't? 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wedding Photos!

I think I may be getting hang of this photography business. Or at least I'm taking enough photos that some of them are turning out alright. Here are a few from the wedding I was just in. I've got loads more, but we'll save all the cute little blonde cousins for when I make pastels out of the photos. I'l probably do a few drawings out of these too, so there's plenty to come!

Friday, June 10, 2011

T-shirt designs: Zeppelin rides.

I spent the last couple of days working on this t-shirt for no particular reason other than to try it out. For the non-geeks out there it's based on the sci-fi trope that parallel universes always seem to have zeppelins. This was a fun project because I got to pull out my Retro Graphics book and mimic art deco travel posters, which I love. It was also a way for me to experiment with vectors in Photoshop, which I'm finally getting a hang of. I also enjoyed having to limit my colour palette to six colours (for printing), which made me get creative with the design, and learn to do halftones for the gradients. I think this would be kind of cool on an orange shirt, which is why it's pictured on that background, but there are probably a lot of colours that would work well. Now to find a good place to publish this!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jabberwocky - Trials and layout

I've been playing around with what the text would look like for Jabberwocky, and here are a couple of the thumbnails I've come up with. I experimented with the size, spacing, and font in the red picture. I want the strangeness of mixing up font elements, but I'm also going to orient the words strangely: upside-down, sideways etc. I want to keep the letters packed in like that, and may even remove the spacing between words, because it makes the text look more like a design element and, again, makes it stranger. 

I'm going to work in a couple spots where the text is in negative as well. The black areas, including the dense text, will contrast in the final book with the parts that have no or little writing, especially given the maze book shape I've chosen.

I've made a three mini books on scrap paper to work out the layout. It looks pretty cool when it's all folded up!

A photo of the other side of the book. I like it a little better with less colour, so I may cut down on the amount of Jabberwock illustrating the pages, or maybe use less colour (I have it in yellow and green right now).

 This is the layout when it's not folded up. I accidentally grabbed an orange pencil instead of red, but it looks OK anyway. That's going to be a stand-out panel with 'O frabjous day' on it.

From the other side. The blanks are where the last verse, the repeat of the first will be. I am actually going to reuse the lino cut from the first verse because the layout works a second time, which is a piece of good favour I'm going to take full advantage of.. I'm just too lazy to draw it twice.

Between the additional research from the last post, and all these drawings, I've done about 9 more hours on this book.