Saturday, 18 December 2010

Competition Brief - Final Image (for now)

I haven't posted anything about my James and The Giant Peach cover for a while because I've been getting on with it in my sketchbook and creating the final image. I have annotated my sketchbook to show the progression of the image, but I would like to make a blog post to express my thoughts as well.

I was struggling to create an idea for the cover, I was a bit daunted by the amount of text that had to be on the front cover and so I spent a lot of time looking at examples of text (some of which I have posted on here, others are in my sketchbook). I came across some beautiful illuminated letters (posted earlier on my blog) and these along with a chat with my tutors inspired the decision to do my own illustrated letter forms. Making the letters into characters from the story seemed to solve the problems of having a lot of text on the page and having an image that encapsulated the story. I started tracing some letters and making them into the insects from the story and seeing how they worked out. Some of them were easy such as making the earthworm into an S, others a little more difficult and forced, however on the whole they seemed to be working out.

After some more chats and external input I realised that I needed to break away from the font that was the basis of the characters, both to make them more visually appealing and to make them use the space available in a more effective way. So I hit the sketchbook and marked out the size of the format, to give me a better idea of exactly what space I had available, and experimented with fitting these insect/letters into the format in a more visually dynamic way. After a few versions the image really seemed to be coming together and I proportionally enlarged my format on the photocopier so that I could fit in more detail. I then penciled in the characters and finalised them with a fine-liner. I was able to include the fine line work with its pattern and textural qualities in the drawing and I think it is really working for me at the moment. Doing the whole cover simply with pen and pencil has boosted my confidence in terms of drawing and also in dealing with letter forms, and has actually made me want to use them again in my work somehow.

I made the decision to make the background orange and reverse the line-work out in white as I thought the bright colour would be very apt for this lively children's story and also it would be visually interesting to have the line-work reversed out in white.

N.B - The reason I entitled this post with the suffix "for now" is because the deadline from Penguin for this image is not until June so there is quite likely to be some changes made by that time, just small refinements.

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