Monthly Archives: February 2009

under the stars

this is the third piece of my senior thesis- the poster for Stars.

it ended up being my favourite of the four pieces, i think, because it was the smoothest sailing, and is my favourite colour scheme.  so i think that’s how it weaseled it’s way up to the first place spot.  although- there is still a warm spot for the first piece and how much work i put into that type.

first, the initial thumbnail sketch and revised sketch:


big changes right?  yeah, i’m not sure what was going on with the first one (i kind of hated this piece during the sketching phase) but once i redid it a couple of times i started to like it more.

now with value and color:


and then i moved right along to the final:


and yeah- this one was really a breeze compared to the others.  but i don’t think that’s the only reason i like it so much- i really am pleased with how it came out.  this was one of those rare cases where clarity came in the crunch, and things just fell into place.


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continuing the reveal of my senior thesis projects is the poster for feist.

this piece was so awful to do- i’m glad it turned out as well as it did.

bear with me, this will be a long post as i take you through the whole process in order to stress the importance of good preliminary sketches and planning.  i’m glad that my lesson learned didn’t affect my ability to finish all four on time.  (did i mention i was actually done a few days early?  unheard of!)

so initially it was just that i had chosen such an awkward angle that sketching proved to be very difficult- as is evidenced by the quality of my earlier sketches and color study:


and i never did get adequate reference since it’s basically an anitomically impossible pose.   (the first of many annoying problems during the process of this piece)   i ended up having to redraw the main figure after the final full size lineart was critted (this is before):


awkward, right?  i know.  so she was almost completely overhauled, and this is what i turned in before winterbreak:


the only reason i’m posting this version is because of how much more amazing the final version looks by comparison.

the first important crit for this piece was that i had to redo the lineart to match how i had done it for the first piece.  it was a completely experimental process involving frosted mylar and watercolor pencils- but it really stuck with ralph and he insisted i do everything that way from now on.  (post-ely the method hasn’t lasted very long, it’s pretty time consuming- but i’ll keep it around for special occasions).

it’s also  important to note at this point that the video card in my laptop up and dies (literally moments before i had planned to back-up my files- another lesson learned the heart-attack way).   fortunately for me, my files were easily recovered, unfortunately my laptop was sent out to apple and i lost all of my swatches and presets, and was banished to the uncalibrated studio computer.  which was only available to me during open school hours (which is super inconvenient when i work until 10pm all weekend).

not to whine (because i know several students worked that way the entire semester) but having to do 3 of 4 elys on the schools computers was extremely frustrating.

in spite of all that- i finished, it’s done, and i’m still very proud:


we all had problems, some more than others, but congratulations to everyone who finished on time.

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senior thesis

now that the first milestone due date is imminent i feel pretty comfortable posting these in their “finished” state.

the elys have been printed, matted, and i am so relieved.  i know there will be changes and reprints, and even if they don’t make me, i will probably reprint at least one for my own satisfaction.

it’s just very weird to me that this thing that was once so out of reach is suddenly kind of over.  i thought i would never finish, let alone with time to spare.

granted, i did spend almost 60 hours straight in front of computer screen (which i’m sure has done some kind of irreparable damage to my already poor vision, not to mention my brain), but it’s done.  i did it.  i am finally a little proud of myself.

anyway, enough self-reflection.

here is a tight sketch and value study for ely #1:


it’s “tight”, but still pretty far off from the final.  i was looking to post more of a transition from thumbnail to sketch, to tight sketch- but i guess the really early sketches never made it to the scanner.

and as you can see in the sketch i was so lost on the type- but by the final things were beginning to fall into place:


i’m in love with the band name (out of all the elys, that is the part i am most proud of), but i’m a little ambivalent towards the rest of the type.  but by the last one, i was really pleased with all of the type- so, while i’m really happy with this one, i consider it to be the jumping off point for the type on later pieces.

tomorrow, ely #2!

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