Looking Back at Things Behind The Sun

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I’m not sure if there’s much I can add on to the post I did in December on what I actually think of the actual content (found here). It did improve my conference in my drawing ability and that I can draw in a number of different styles. One thing I do think this project helped with is the development of my own sense of style with my work in a subject (this can be seen within projects like the Penguin Book Cover for In Cold Blood) and I did manage to start to work with white space within the illustrations (just not the last one I did as I overworked that). This is something I have started to get better at in the second year in general as I am becoming more aware that the space around an element can be more beneficial to a design as it brings in the attention to what is important when communicating the message and does not overwhelm the viewer.

Selection of postcards I’ve collected in level 5

I did create the postcards at a later date as to when I initially finished the project I was sick to death of images of the sea and landscape (but mainly the sea). But then I ordered a batch of prints (in February/March) and then I had more ideas of what I could do with the images then them just being nice pictures I put online or in a photo album. I wanted there to be some sort of use for them and that’s how I came up with postcards. I always like to buy a postcard (or a few) when I visit somewhere (I have several from the Berlin trip in the second project for the field module) these span from amusing, just photos, to artwork. I wanted to create something current as the subject of the images could quite easily become stuffy and dull. I tried to do this with type and colour.

If I was to do this project again I would start off with more of a direction of what the final outcome would be rather than just doing. Do not get me wrong, as I discussed in the first overview blog post, I did enjoy creating, developing my drawing and photography skills. I needed a reason to be doing it. I always have needed a reason to learn how to use certain things for example in college I had no clue how to use photoshop but then in a self-directed project, I deiced I wanted to learn so I made it so my outcome would need to be compleated using Photoshop. This working towards a final thing has always been my motivation and especially one that is useful or serves a purpose.

Other Blog posts from things behind the sun:-

Field- Things Under the Sun in Refelection

I really enjoyed this project and found that I have developed my information gathering techniques immensely. I found that I was put out of my comfort zone quite a bit in many ways. One of these being I’m used to having a brief to work from this giving me a set of preselection of constraints and having an aim of what the final outcome is going to be. This project basically had free range to develop the information in any way that we wanted to (yes in graphics we get to interpret the brief in the way we want but still with the end in sight) I did enjoy this but coming into the last week and a bit I found that I was finding it difficult to do any work because I was wanting to add text and create some sort of communicative piece of information but I wasn’t to sure what I wanted to say and I didn’t want to fall back into what I normally do (what was easy).

Another way I was put out of my comfort zone was braising the elements in Pembrokeshire while working on the ‘100 drawings’ exercise. The rain on the second day lead me to doing the drawing hurried and quickly which makes some of them unrecognisable. The hole excise got me excited about drawing again as I was trying to get the basic out lines and shapes of the landscape. This lead to a more interesting way of communicating the landscape in a more illustrative way. I found that I felt more positive about the work I was doing in this project general after looking back at the drawings I did in Pembrokeshire and treating this as a hand drawn illustration project as I was getting overwhelmed with the possibilities as I felt stuck in print and there was only so much I could do with it in the short space of the time.

When I was looking at my drawings (from both the Pembrokeshire and the Neath Valley/Port Talbot trips) I thought that developing thesen into print was the more natural way of going with the lines I had used. I was excited to get back into the print room. The first print technique I explored was monoprint I was working negatively which I find much more interesting as I like the mystery that the bigger blocks of black and working positively I sometimes (not always) just looks like a crap line drawing. I found that in one print I used a lot of pattern to make up the image of the print, this made it seem that there was life on the mountain even though there was little. This idea just pulled me more towards the information I collected in Pembrokeshire.

The second printing technique I explored was dry point. I am not too keen on this technique as it tends to make my wrist hurt (from when I broke it in first year) and that I don’t think the outcome for a linear illustration is worth the effort as it is achievable if drawn using different weights of fineliner. I also struggled with the scaling up of the image and the layering of the tissue paper I was trying to use negative space to create a feel of the vastness of the landscape itself but it just ended up looking half finished instead.

This project it was the first time I had picked a camera in a long time. I found that this was a positive experience, I enjoyed being able to capture light and shadow effectively. I have always liked the instant capturing of an image that pointing a dslr at a scene, this is because it gives you a risk free way of taking a lot of different of shots and angles. I love how it can capture the rich colours, shadows and textures the landscapes have to offer.

I wanted to add something to the illustrations that I created when I applied a technique I have used previously just on text. This was the layering of the same image in different colours and slightly off and overlapping to create a sort of glitchy design. I tried to limit the colours I used by sticking the the two main colour processing types: RGB (red, green and blue, together make black) which is the colours of light that can make any screen colour that you see projected or on a computer and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and key- which is black) which is the colours of ink used in the printing process for commercial and home printers.

I then combined this technique and creating an image out of a surface pattern together to create a lively piece that looks like it is full of life. It has a psychedelic feel to it as it is a bit trippy and the colours combined give it more of an another dimension to it. I do think that the blue is an extremely overpowering.Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 00.28.30.png

Over all I think this project has had a positive effect on how I have been working in my subject. I have brought the patterns  into the illustration on design on my lastest design. I also think I quite often get stuck and isolated in my discipline (sat in the graphics studio picking at the space between a t and a h) and field manages to bring me out of this and allows me to try other things I wouldn’t of otherwise have had a go at.


Things Under The Sun- Colour Layering

I wanted to add something to the drawings and photographs that where collected on the trips as when they where just left by themselves. I brought them into Adobe Photoshop and played about with splitting and layering the colours so that they where slightly off to try and create a trippy glitchy design. I wanted to try and not over complicate things by trying to stick to CMYK and RGB which are the two most commonly used colour processing types in graphic design (a bit like primary colours when using paint) they can create basically every colour that the human eye can see. Each colour has a CMYK and a RGB have codes attached to them which can be seen on screen and CMYK when printed can be compared to a chart (normally on strips) to see if that colour links up. RGB, which stands for red, green and blue (together they make black) which is the colours of light that are shown on screen. Then  CMYK, which is the colours cyan, magenta, yellow and key (which is more commonly know as black) are the colours of ink used in the printing process for commercial and home printers.


Doing this experiment with the drawings really have added another depth to the pieces and created more of something that the view would look twice than just a couple of nice drawing.


Things Under the Sun- Conextual Sources

In this project I have looked at a number of illustrators and designers to take inspiration from. On the trip to Pembrokeshire we were asked to take a book out from the library; I took out Nigel Peake’s book “Maps,” I was initially drawn to the graphic and informative way he had approached the landscapes he was representing. Peaks combined a mixture of lines, colour, hand written type and symbols to create a new approach to maps. What drew me to the piece even further was the way he used the lines to create a pattern which in turn made a sense of space.
I also like how the book itself was small (possibly pocket size) so you could even carry it around as it was actually a map, even though using the book as a map may be quite confusing for the audience. It reminded me more of a small piece of ephemera (this was confirmed further when I went to order myself a copy and it was a whopping one hundred and seventy six pounds), that the whole book was a piece of art. Of course the pages where pieces of illustration in there own right but together they came and created something that was more impressive than them alone.

Double page spread from Nigel Peake’s “Maps”

Looking at more of Peake’s work I grew to like his use of line and pattern more and more. In his piece sheds he manages to create a series of quirky buildings (sheds suggested by the title) the lines give each shed the feeling of a sense that it is made up of wooden panels (each line indicating the side of the panels). This is also part of a similar publication to “Maps” the format does not seem to connect to the subject matter as well as it does with “Maps.” This leads me to thinking that the format wasn’t intentional to be carried around like a map that it was just part of a series together as long with his publication “Bridges”.

Sheds by Nigel Peake


The way Peak used lines is similar to Peter Saville’s use of line in the Joy Division’s 1979 album cover for “Unknown Pleasures.” This was based on a diagram taken from the Cambridge of Astronomy (1977 edition) of the signal from the first ever pulser (a early stage in the formation of a black hole) observed. This creates what looks like a mysterious mountain range of white lines onto a black background. (Link to video of Saville talking about this design)

Looking at more of Saville’s record sleeve designs I like that overlapping print of the three/four CMYK printing process colours on the New Order record “Total from Joy Division to New Order”. CMYK is basically the colours that are used in the most common commercial printing process. The colours are cyan (a bright blue), magenta (a pinky red), yellow and key (black which is not even considered a colour because it is more of the absence of colour- all light absorbed whereas white is when no light is) and with these you can make practically every colour. I like the idea in the design that they have been stripped back to the separate parts and then they are coming back together again to create something new (says something about the band at this moment in time, after the death of Ian Curtis’s). I just find the layering and overlapping interesting and something I would like to explore.



Things Behind the Sun- Pembrokeshire Trip

As part of this project for the field module, we started with a trip to Pembrokeshire (West Wales). We stayed in the Pwll Deri YHA, the hostel was very remote and set up a cliff. The views were stunning, with a clear horizon that was not obstructed by land.

This was the first time I had ever used one of the Universities Canon camera’s. This was a much easier way of capturing information and the wonder and expanse of the landscape than drawing (especially when it was cold and raining). Also the photographs were able to capture the strong and the subtle colours that my fineline sketches where unable to as I was confined to the one thickness and colour.

I found the hundred drawings, over the three days of the trip, quite a difficult task. I ended up only completing around 70 of the drawings. Some of the drawings where messy and I now can’t tell what exactly they were meant to be of and they were completed in matter of a few seconds. And others where neat (which isn’t necessarily a good thing). With quite a few of them I tried just use the littlest amount of lines as possible, these are some of my favorite of the selection from the trip as they leave a lot of white negative space to show the vast size and isolation of the location we were staying at. By the end I was getting sick of drawing and it was more of the same, because there’s only so much rock and cliff you can draw before wanting to stick needles in your eyes.15271530_10209826576733070_1583736705_o  When we came back to uni and in turn, to the fine art studio we collected all our drawings together and then categorised them into our own sections. My own personal categories where: humans in the landscape,  man-made in the landscape, plants, landscape as a whole and rocks. I found this useful as I was able to look at what I could focus more on.