Archive for April, 2010

Tricksy Fox Shiraz

April 29, 2010

Love a good Shiraz me. And I am a sucker for a nice looking wine label. I will buy a wine based on its packaging every time!! This is the latest project – Tricksy Fox Shiraz… I will be posting a stage or 2 as I go so subscribe and get updated as I post!

Here I am just putting in the basic shapes and adding some shading to get the feel for how my fox will develop in the early stages…….things could change drastically so keep in touch!


psychadelic “Eat more fruit” poster

April 28, 2010

Just finished this today. I had alot of fun experimenting with over-saturated colours. I really wanted to go for a totally un-subtle feel since the whole idea revolves around encouraging children to eat more fruit, so the more colourful and “sweet” the better. The characters were a good way to let loose on the screen and keep loose and quick in the development. I aimed to make each character distinct and too get the strongest possible sense of personality in as quick a time as possible. I must say, doing this has reminded me how easy Photoshop makes it to work from scratch on an idea.

I added the black border to set off the colours and provide a poster-like border to contain the image in.

Eat More Fruit poster in progress

April 12, 2010

Chipping away at a new poster at the moment. The background was very busy with lots of colour and tonal changes, but fun to do because I could base it all on simple shapes and work freely straight onto the screen in playing with the arrangement. It needed to be BUSY and BURSTING with fruit, rather than considered and composed, so I enjoyed that bit. Now I am in the process of adding in the children in the foreground. I am after different poses and personalities eating fruit in different ways, so this part is taking a little longer to sketch out and render. The details in each figure need to be enough to make them stand out against the wild background.

You can see from the screenshot how I am starting with playful little doodles/sketches to find figures I am happy with. The boy is final and I have enough in line for the girl to know where she is going, so I have started setting down the basic shapes that will make her up.

I will post the final in a day or so. You can subscribe to the blog if the stuff interests you and feel free to email or post a question or comment regarding using Photoshop or about illustration in general.

Stage 15

April 1, 2010

And here is the final. Phew! I made the Tiki wording a bit bigger (you can group all the layers of an object into one folder and then convert it to an editable Smart Object, which is superb for doing things like this that are made up of numerous layers.

I then added “Lounge Grooves” in a slightly tighter, colder and more “techy’ style to give some slickness to my cd cover to contrast nicely with the Tiki wording.

Click on the image to see it bigger – I uploaded a bigger version here for you to see it proper like!

For those of you visiting here for the first time, you need to click back to older posts at the bottom to see how this image started out as a doodle in Photoshop. I have included thoughts abut my creative process and some tips about using Photoshop to create your images. I hope you will find something inspiring in here! Leave a comment letting me know if there was anything helpful to you!

Stage 14

April 1, 2010

Sampling the yellow colour from the bamboo, I add some dimensionality to the Tiki word. I want it to stand out from the other works and be a powerful title for my jungle lounge compilation album!

Stage 13

April 1, 2010

There! Using a combination of copied shapes filled with that blue and the Gaussian Blur filter (and judicious use of the Opacity slider), the idol is now emanating an hypnotic power over you and you cannot resist the temptation to book a flight to the Thai Jungle armed with numerous compilations of club tunes on your ipod…..

Stage 12

April 1, 2010

The addition of the spiral geometric shape on the forehead made the idol face work ok. You can see that I then added some other small touches, which when you see the final result I hope you’ll agree help really make the image work. The red cigarette end is the only colour that stands out from the general palette. I though it would really add a bit of attitude and attention to his face and character. The rising smoke trail just adds to the sense of a dense, layered tropical night in Groovetown!!

The idol head needed something else too….

Stage 11

April 1, 2010

Using basic geometric shapes I created a face, hair and eyes. I then used shaped selections drawn with the Polygonal Lasso Tool to create a mask for painting in nose and eventually mouth shadows. I went with a square hair since I was now thinking of a stone-carved idol face.

Stage 10

April 1, 2010

I thought the front of the dais needed something…..something Tiki or “mad priesty” for the club “emblem”. I thought of a mad native/cannibal face but then ended up doodling a face that said more “evil stone idol face” a la Tomb Raider or Indy. Once I had the basic idea in my head from doodling in a new layer, I went with it for the colour scheme and the angular feel I ended up with. Check out the next stage to see!

Stage 9

April 1, 2010

And here is the big change! I suddenly wondered what it would be like to have the bluey, almost ultra violet toning over the background and the DJ, so I did this:

Added a new layer above all the layers I wanted to include in the colour effect.

Filled the layer with the blue I wanted.

Changed the Blending Mode of this filled layer to Hue. The result was what I had imagined in terms of the DJ character suddenly really being a part of the night and the atmosphere – like he was orchestrating the whole evening. The background of leaves and jungle shapes really come alive and work well as a ground for his lighter and almost luminous figure.

I decided to leave the dais and the turntables unaffected by the overlaid blue, since like this they seemed to get a new, vital presence in the image and really give more a sense of depth due to the contrast. Now, I loved the image. It had gotten to a point I had not imagined initially and that is the point where, for me, it took on a life of its own: the point where the unexpected occurred. THIS IS FOR ME THE WHOLE POINT AND PURPOSE OF NOT BEING COMPLETELY CONFINED BY A PERCEIVED PLAN. Always have an element of “fast and loose” in your work and you will find rewards. For me, if I had not forced myself to start with a straight, unstable doodle on the blank screen, the image making process would have started under too much control.

Note the highlights on the leaves and the turntables. These give the spotlight beams more presence as they are now more “real” in the sense that they cast their own light. To render these on the leaves, I simply loaded each leaf shape as a selection and painted away on an overlying transparent layer within the selection. I always use a new layer even for painted highlighting, since then I can easily change the colour or delete the layer later.