Archive for the ‘Media and Techniques’ Category

Storyboards are graphic organisers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualising a film, animation or interactive media sequence.

The storyboarding process, in the form it is known today, was developed at the Walt Disney Studio during the early 1930s.

A film storyboard is essentially a large comic of the film or some section of the film produced beforehand to help those involved visualize the scenes and find potential problems before they occur. Often storyboards include arrows or instructions that indicate movement. In creating a film, a storyboard provides a visual layout of events as they are to be seen through the camera lens. And in the case of interactive media, it is the layout and sequence in which the user or viewer sees the content or information. In the storyboarding process, most technical details involved in crafting a film or interactive media project can be efficiently described either in picture, or in additional text.

In animation the storyboarding stage may be followed by simplified mock-ups called “animatics” to give a better idea of how the scene will look and feel with motion and timing. At its simplest, an animatic is a series of still images edited together and displayed in sequence with a rough dialogue and/or rough sound track added to the sequence of still images (usually taken from a storyboard) to test whether the sound and images are working effectively together.

Some writers have used storyboard type drawings (albeit rather sketchy) for their scripting of comic books, often indicating staging of figures, backgrounds and balloon placement with instructions to the artist as needed often scribbled in the margins and the dialogue/captions indicated.

As I will have to develop the skills necessary to create storyboards if I am to follow a career in the field of concept art, I initally wanted to create a storyboard for a sequence of scenes from my story “In Memorium”  In order to familiarise myself with storyboarding further, I purchased a book from the Walt Disney Studios Archive Series, entitled “STORY”

This beautiful book  lavishly showcases the most brilliant story artwork created by Disney artisits such as Bill Peet, Don DaGradi, Joe Rinaldi, Roy Williams, Ub Iwerks, Burny Mattison, and Vance Gerry for such films as Steamboat Willie and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Alice in Wonderland and 101 Dalmatians, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Some of the storyboards from the book are shown below:

I found this book to be stunning and inspirational, and it inspired me to work on a storyboarding sequence for the scenes I would be portraying in my comic book pages for In Memorium:

Below are some of the storyboards I produced for In Memorium:

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I initally thought designing something as simple as a business card would be easy … until I began researching all the ways a business card can be designed. The important features of a business card are that it needs to be eye-catching, memorable and say something about what or who it is advertising …. after all, it is essentially a marketing device. It also needs to convey clear contact information such as name, website, email address, phone number etc.

The business card should ideally be small enough to fit in a wallet or purse, so the dimensions tend to be fairly standard, although beyond that there are many unusual and unique examples of business cards out there, which use different materials, shapes and other design features. Die-Cut business cards  use shape to say something about what or who they are advertising … these are particularly effective. Different materials can be used to produce business cards, the material often reflecting the business which is being marketed eg: metal, wood, perspex, fabric. Some designers move away from the traditional style business card totally.

Some of the most distinctive business cards I encountered on my research are shown below:

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One of my initial ideas which I worked on in my sketch book was depicting the signs of the traditional zodiac through female figures, but after researching both the traditional and the celtic representations of horoscopes and zodiac signs I decided to move away from the traditional zodiac and produce my own unique illustrations for zodiac signs which are an interconnected combination of the celtic birth signs, the celtic tree zodiac and the traditional zodiac for the different astrological periods ( although the dates did not correspond totally and I had to allow some overlapping ).
I produced a series of rough sketches for each of these, and then selected one to illustrate graphically. I chose to graphically illustrate the sign which represented my own birthdate, the Cwn Annan, the Ash tree and Pisces. I chose to keep the design simple, and to use just a few colours to keep the design dramatic and eye-catching.

Initial sketch of the dog and the fish to represent the cwn annan and pisces

The same sketch, produced using Photoshop, and coloured with two shades of purple. A background of Ash leaves was incorporated into the design to represent the celtic tree zodiac.

The finished illustration with the addition of the colour for the dog and the fish.

Overall I was happy with the finished product as I felt it effectively represented the idea I was trying to convey, the inter-related and connected nature of astrology. The simplicity and strength of the design was what I was aiming for, and I feel that this would work well as a series of astrological symbols in a magazine. I also feel that by moving away from the traditional zodiac my illustration is an original and unique interpretation of the horoscope theme.

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One of our first projects for year 2 is to produce a series of artists books or altered books based on the theme of “Flying”. To gain inspiration for this style of art I purchased a book entitled ” Altered Books Workshop” by Bev Brazelton.

What is an Altered Book?

Basically it can be described as an art form in which an existing book is transformed into a new work of art … the book becomes the canvas.  Altered book pages are created using many varied techniques such as collage, decoupage, glazing, stamping, printing, embellishing, stitching, stenciling, making windows, doors and apertures etc etc.  The following pages show Bev Brazelton’s use of a collaging technique:


What is an Artist’s Book?

Basically this is again an art work which is in the form of a book, though the format of the book may be different from a tradional idea of a book. It can take the form of loose sheets, fold-outs, concertinas,  scrolls or whatever the artist’s creativity produces.  An example of an artist’s book is “Alice” by Claire Kennedy

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I also tried my hand at embossing some of my printing plates. Embossing involves pressing damp paper onto the printing plate and putting it through the press. An impression of he print then is transferred top the paper. The following photograph shows my attempt at using this technique:

My Embossed Landscape.

I like the way this turned out as it shows the different textures and layers of the landscape well and creates an abstract image of rolling fields and hills.

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We were required to look at Collograph printing, and produce our own collograph print.

Collograph: A collograph is a collage of tactile and relief textures on a backing board which when inked and painted will exaggerate the relief and transmit it to the paper, creating a rich varied surface, with different tones and shadowing caused by the differential inking on the different textures.

I looked at artists who had produced work using the collograph technique, and once again I was drawn to landscapes. An artist whose work I particularly like is PIP CARPENTER, who is an artist and printmaker who works a lot with collographs.


Some of Pip Carpenter’s work:

“Fields of Blue”

” Evening Scarlet”

“Lincolnshire Edge II”

I particularly like these because of once again the depth of the landscapes and the textures and colours. Pip Carpenter makes her collographs on location and then adds extra colour work to the printed image. The result is vibrant yet muted tones which are very striking.

For my own first experimental attempt at collograph I decided to stick to something simple. I made a small collograph plate and added textured paper, cardboard, foam, lace and string to create texture. This was then inked and printed:

Although this is a very simple and experimental attempt at a collograph, it was interesting to see how the different textures appeared on the final print.

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Having been inspired by the landscape linocut prints of Ian Phillips and Isabel de Bohun Lockyer I decided to try and create an abstract landscape print of my own using relief collage printing and monoprinting.

1. Relief Collage Print: I initally made a low-relief collage using strips of cardboard, fabric, string, netting, foam etc to represent different textured layers in a landscape.

This  plate was then inked and paper laid over it, and the paper and plate were put through the press.

The paper was then peeled off to reveal the image of the finished print:

As this was my first ever attempt at a relief collage print I am quite happy at the way it turned out. I think it represents an abstract landscape and the different layers and textures are clearly visible.

2. Monoprint:

My intention here was to create an abstract landscape using the monoprint technique:

Firstly the plate was inked.

Then areas of ink were removed:

The paper was placed over the plate and put through the press once, which produced this print:

and then a second press produced this image:

Overall I am really pleased with the way these turned out. I like the abstract, almost mystical feel to the landscapes.

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