Update: Noscope September has been launched.
Continuing the relatively modest success of last months “Open House”, I once again invite you to criticize my work while I am doing it.
Every month I present 5 illustrations in my Installments section. This “Open House” thread will serve as an option for you to comment on the particular illustrations I am working on. It serves as valuable feedback and makes the whole process much more interesting for me.
I will be working on the pieces for until the 31st of August. Until then comments are open.
Theme & Idea
The theme for September is at the moment rather vague. I want it all to be fairly straight forward and simple—not take up too much time. Thus I will be working with some pictures I took at a trip to Sweden recently. The visual style will be a mix of a movie poster I saw at a cafe in Copenhagen, and the style from the intro to Six Feet Under.
The result I’ll be aiming for is a combination of the faux raster marks from the movie poster (damned if I can remember the movie title), and the aesthetic, monochromatic colors, textures, blur and lighting from Six Feet Under (here’s an example). The colors are all earthy, greenish and turquoise. Turquoise in specific is a color I find to be very hard to work with, and as such the choice of colors is also an attempt at furthering my skills in that direction.
In order to provide up a complete Noscope serving, the following must be done:
- Image 1
- Image 2
- Image 3
- Image 4
- Image 5
- Choose name
- Choose song
- Choose header image
- Design background and borders for installments
- Upload and test
- Write newsletter
- Write journal entry
The first image is always the most difficult in the process, because it has to define the visual style of the rest of the images.
I started out with a photo that had some lighting I liked. I added raster-like textures by painting shades of grey, then applying the Color Halftone filter (
Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone). If one sets all 4 screen angles to the same number, it’ll produce a uniform effect.
While fairly satisfied with this interim piece, I wanted to make it lighter, and have a sort of border.
… the result was not entirely satisfactory, and still needs work. I’m hoping for a mix of the two above images.
After tweaking fixing and adjusting colors and border, I’m finally satisfied with the result. I added a scratched number in the bottom left, because I think it looks cool.
For the second image, I want to build and improve on what went well in image 1. In my opinion, this is the colors, the texture and the rasters. I will definately want to add more rasters to this one.
I’m a sucker for reds lately. I’ll be adding lots of texture now.
After the interim picture, I noticed the colors were just a tad too saturated and not earthy enough to fit with the first picture in the series, so I downplayed the red a bit. I’m fairly satisfied, but open to suggestions of course.
It was initially my mission to go turquoise, but I failed miserably in doing so with image 2, so I’m going to try again. This picture will need a lot of work, also because the original one had a fair amount of motion blur.
While certainly better than the interim version, I’m not entirely satisfied with this piece. I am, however, out of ideas as to what to do with it, so I’ll let it rest here for a while. It might possibly just end up the final version, I don’t know yet.
There. Much better. Not the best of the images, in my opinion, but definately good enough. Now on to image 4.
I like the motiv of the tree, and like that it’s so light. It will be a challenge though, considering light images are among my weaknesses. I hope to extend the grass in the front of the picture.
The reconstruction of the grass in front and the trees on the left and right went much better than expected, and a stalemate with the colors was pretty much solved by a fluke of yellow. I’m fairly satisfied and moving on.
Based on feedback, I have adjusted the “yellow corners”. The final result is much nicer.
I’m not sure I like the photo, and I certainly don’t like the colors, but conflict is good. Sometimes.
I think I kinda wimped out on this one. When I don’t like the motive or colors, I tend to go with the colors I’m strong with, and just over saturate and paint the image. The end result came out just fine, but it was definately the cowards way out. Ideally I’d have gone light and easy on the image, added less color, etc. Oh well.
It’s always strange, when having done 5 images on a common theme, to look at the final pieces and compare them to what was in my minds eye. It never fails—the image in my minds eye slowly disappears with each image being created. When they’re all done, I have no memory left of what I wanted to create. The only thing remaining, is a feeling of whether I hit the target or not.
This time, I didn’t. I seem to remember wanting to use the raster dots in a different way—but I can’t put my finger on what. I think I got caught up in textures and colors.
With that said, I am satisfied in the end result. Many of the pictures are much lighter than I usually make them, and it definately has a sensation of “old” to it. Furthermore, I managed to use some colors I haven’t used in a long time—the very turquoise spectrum I set out to use.
The music I chose definately defined the whole mood. One can only do so much with colors and textures to achieve an atmosphere—and then upon adding music, it can change everything just like that. Specifically, there were two tracks I chose between. One would have given the images a mystic, strange almost post-apocalyptic feel. The other one (which I ended up choosing), would give the sensation of fond but also sad memories of the past—but definately a lighter tone.
The music I can pick from is composed (and lyrics written and performed) by the painfully talented Kate. It’s such a humbling experience to add music to my graphics, if I’m satisfied with the pictures, it is nothing until the music is added. If I am disappointed and not too happy with my graphics, the music will make it all work. It brings me to my knees, because no matter how hard I try, I never seem to be able to match up graphics with music. The music is timeless and trancends everything I create. For allowing me to use her music, I am forever grateful.
The music for this month is called Gelid, and the track is available on the Aqua Path CD, which you can order, or download for 10 USD (plus shipping) directly at www.theaquapath.com. For that, you get 60 minutes of ambient music, including another favourite of mine, Sea Glass. Trust me, it’s worth it.
I chose the name “Frozen”, from the song, Gelid. In addition, it fit well with the images—some of them were cold, they all had icy like textures, and they were all pictures frozen in time.