(Part 3/Working it out/Creating mock-ups)
Exercise – Making a Mock-up
It has taken me a while to actually understand the brief for this exercise. I now believe the idea is to design an alternative cover for a book. At first I assumed it would have to be a plain book with no existing cover but that does not seem to be the case.
I have chosen a book from our bookshelves which has a photograph currently on the cover. I propose to use one of my paintings to replace that photograph as is suggested in the brief.
The book is about hiking I the UK and about using long and short named trails and ‘recognised long-distance walking routes’.
It is compiled by the Long Distance Walkers Association and is an update of the UK Trailwalker’s Handbook.
The existing painting I intend to use for this book is one I did as part of a series of posters about activities in our local area (The Yorkshire Dales) for display in a local cafe/restaurant and is on permanent display there.
It is in the style of of 1950’s/60’s children’s book crossed with the traditional railway posters, as required by the client (Knight Stainforth Caravan site). It shows two hikers with full back packs walking past the essential official style signpost in Yorkshire Dales Countryside.
Above are some of the stages in the production of this poster. Left is a photomontage using 3 or 4 photos to create a composition. Centre, the photomontage is digitally altered to enhance distance and depth, and a signpost is added. Right, a grid covers the A3 picture to assist with the transference of the image by hand to a canvas 1m x 1.5m. This is very helpful when scaling fromA4 up to a canvas twice the size of A0.
Because I have immediate access to a desk top computer and a bank of photos I have tended to use a quick photo montage process, instead of sketching, prior to painting my pictures. This means I can do minute changes to the composition in seconds rather than having to redraw a further thumbnail. It also means I can observe and assess the colour combinations from the conception of the idea. The figures, foreground, middle ground, background sky, signpost etc will all have been adjusted many times before reaching the above positions.
I propose to do this exercise digitally although I will obviously print out the ‘finished item’ on thick glossy photopaper for assessment. The brief for this book was probably, ‘ a photograph/picture illustrating the delights of trail walking in the UK. Walkers on a path in a recognisable part of the country (here the Lake District by the look of it), would be desirable and good weather would be essential’ Text would have been provided and is actually very minimal.
Because the painting was done to accommodate a text title at the top that space can easily be used for the book title. The other information could be placed in a poster style box at the bottom as in my poster or slotted into the image, maybe beneath the title. However, I think that would make the design ‘top heavy’.
The designers of the original cover altered the background colour to accommodate the title. However, I doubt whether that was part of the brief.
On version 1 left, I have retained the poster format of my original painting and substituted the text. I have moved the heading left to avoid the top of Penyghent. However, on version 2 right, I have allowed the text to go over the edge of the mountain.
I have chosen font type to go with the ‘vintage’ feel of the picture in both cases. I have colourmatched the rucksack for the text on the left and the blue jacket for the text on the right. The finished effect reminds me of a Rupert Annual from the 1950’s.
My Reflections on Part 3 of this course
I enjoyed the creative opportunities offered in this part of the course. It was good to be doing some more practical work. The exercise on Reading an image gave me the chance to practice my analytical skills similar to a ‘close reading’ exercise. I interpreted what I saw in a personal way (as must any critic) and feel I was able to express my judgements, thoughts, knowledge and understanding, with regard to the image provided, showing professional knowledge and understanding. I did not really like the picture but do admire many of Mark Oliver’s illustrations for children (assuming it is the same person). The simplicity of the Jonathon Williams picture I liked very much – the clarity and unambiguity of his style in general appeals to me.
Research and idea development
I have given detailed information on the development of my ideas in several of the exercises. I have many thousands of photos in my archives and spent a long time finding a suitable image to perform the Image development exercise. I looked for unusual aspects and words which were not likely to be commonly used in this context. My verbal explanation of the task is comprehensive and ends with the questions posed by the finished image. Idea development and visual communication skills are also evident in the ‘directions to my house’ exercise for which I created a wall chart suitable for a primary school.
The Client visuals exercise gave opportunity to address both research and development, I extended research done on a previous course and looked at the subject from a new angle by having to consider why the paintings were created rather then how.
Visual and technical skills
I have demonstrated technical skills throughout this section of the course using different media for different tasks to show my various abilities – pencil sketching, pencil/ink drawing, painting/coloured pencils and computer techniques. The Viewpoints exercise shows a variety of approaches to the subject.
I have communicated ideas in my Learning Log both verbally and visually in the exercises I have completed. The design of a CD cover is an example of this.
In the assignment I considered the period when Jazz was at its most popular and used that as inspiration for my final poster. That was also an occasion when development of an idea took over and superceded what was going to be my final image.
I have shown my ability to critically analyse my work and improve it or further develop the ideas to create a better image particularly in the Viewpoint exercise and in the assignment.
I have tried to produce work which demonstrates inventiveness and original thought and taken some of the exercises beyond the obvious to a more interesting conclusion.
I noted comments on assignment 2 and taken them on board. In the ‘project visual’ I have included a dozen thumbnails of the workshop some of them done from memory. The recommended reference book is on my Christmas list so I should have that soon.
Banksy, Wall and Piece, Century, London, 2006
Cole B and Surack R, Railway Posters 1923-1947, Lawrence King, London 1992
Ed, The Art Book, Phaidon, London 1994
Hall A, Illustration, Lawrence King, London, 2011
Heller S & Weidemann J, Ed. 100 Illustrators, Taschen, Cologne, 2005
Hyland a, Ed. The Picture Book, Lawrence King, London, 2010
Male A, Illustratio, Bloomsbury, London, 2017
Robinson M and Ormiston R, Art Deco, Flame Tree, London 2008
Rothenstein J (Ed) , Henri Toulouse Lautrec, Knowledge, London, 1965