Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mt. Rushmore Gets a Makeover... and Tips for Brainstorming

My last decorative illustration assignment was to create a set of holiday-themed paper product coordinates : a paper placemat and coordinating paper napkin design.

I chose to do a design for the Fourth of July:

Lesson Learned: When brainstorming for a design idea, make a list

For this project, I started by writing down things that I associate with the 4th of July: fireworks, flags, stars, summertime, barbecues, America... then expanded on a few things from that list- summertime: hot, sunny, sunglasses; America: freedom, democracy, presidents, national landmarks... and I eventually ended up with the idea of illustrating the presidents on Mt. Rushmore wearing sunglasses like they were taking part in the sunny backyard BBQ. I never would gotten to this idea if I hadn't written everything out to help guide my thought process.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dungenous Crab... and a Lesson on Color Temperature

For my last big assignment in Adobe Illustrator, I had to create a poster advertising a San Francisco Event. I chose to make a poster for the Fisherman's Wharf Crab Festival. Yum!

Lesson Learned: Color temperature is very important to make objects come forward or recede in an illustration. It took a lot of experimentation before I found the right temperature contrast to make the red checked tablecloth sit behind the red crabs on the table.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Coffee on the Beach... and a Lesson on Saving Your Work

Last week, we learned how to create simple animations using Adobe Illustrator.

I had almost finished a really cool animation of a girl doing yoga on the beach holding a coffee mug, but then I saved it to my flash drive from a school computer, and when I got home the file was gone! So, around 8pm on Wednesday night, I had to start my animation over again (it was due the next morning). I ended up simplifying it a lot so that I could get it re-done in time, and this was the result:

(CLICK HERE to see a full-screen version of the animation.)

Not nearly as cool as the yoga girl would have been, but it works...

Lesson Learned: When you save a file that you have worked on for hours, check and double-check to be sure that you saved it in the right location! My yoga girl animation probably ended up being saved onto the school computer and got deleted that night when the lab techs came around to clear the files from the computers. So sad.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

I created this this simple interactive flash illustration in class today. Just drag your cursor over the name tag on the box and click on it to see the animation.

This was my first attempt at using Adobe Flash- I'm excited to learn more!

If the image isn't loading in blogger,  CLICK HERE. This should open it in another window.

If you still can't see the image, try opening the page in a different browser (Google Chrome works) and make sure you have the free Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer.

Lesson Learned: Don't try to draw in Flash- the illustration tools are no good. Do the drawings in Illustrator and then import them into Flash to animate.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Cute Little Milkmaid... and Composing for Page Turns

Last night, I finished my illustrations for Aesop's fable, "The Milkmaid and her Pail." I was given the text for the story and assigned to create an 8-page rough storyboard and choose 2 pages or spreads to do finished illustrations for.

Here is the full text for the story:

The Milkmaid and her Pail

Patty the Milkmaid was going to market carrying her milk in a pail on her head. As she went along she began calculating what she would do with the money she would get for the milk.

"I'll buy some fowls from Farmer Brown," said she, "and they will lay eggs each morning, which I will sell to the parson's wife. With the money that I get from the sale of these eggs I'll buy myself a dainty frock and a new hat; and when I go to market, won't all the young men come up and speak to me! Polly Shaw will be that jealous; but I don't care. I shall just look at her and toss my head like this. And as she spoke she tossed her head back, the Pail fell off it, and all the milk was spilt. So she had to go home and tell her mother what had occurred.

"Ah, my child," said the mother:

Do not count your eggs before they are hatched.

Here is the finished illustration for the first page of the story:

And a double-page illustration for the climax of the story:

Lesson Learned: When illustrating for a picture book, pay attention to how your page compositions can assist the flow of the story across the pages. 

The composition of my first page illustration leads the viewer's eye down the winding path toward the girl who is walking off of the page, urging the reader to turn the page to see where she is headed. In the two-page spread, I had to come up with a unique solution to illustrate both fantasy and reality in one illustration. As one of my classmates noted, "the girl's dreams are spilled along with the milk."Thanks for stating that so nicely, Martina!