Saturday, May 24, 2014

A lesson in “Hand Written” fonts

I had an interview for a summer internship yesterday, and got some great advice on the font choice used on one of my portfolio pieces.

For my final project for a design class, I chose to do an ad for my favorite pair of sandals. Since hand drawing at least part of the ad was a required element, I had the idea to create the ad around a woman who likes to hike, and likes to write and draw in her art journal. Nearly all of the text for the ad was written in the journal, and I chose a font called “Segoe Script” (shown in left sample below) because it looked like hand writing, and would give the casual feeling I was trying to achieve in the advertisement.
The problem with using a font to represent handwriting, is that it’s a little too perfect. Escpecially for large amounts of text with repeating letters, it’s quite obvious that it was typed on the computer. It’s usually better if you want to represent handwriting to actually write it out by hand (right sample).

I’m much happier with this project now that I’ve made this change. The images I created are all black and white drawings which I scanned into Photoshop. I used the Brush tool and the Mixer Brush tool to “paint” the images in Photoshop. This was the first time I used the Mixer Brush tool, and I found it to be alot like blending two colors of wet paint together with a brush.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade

A couple of weekends ago I went to the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade in Castro Valley so Camilla could hand out tote bags and flyers for her school. I went with my camera to take lots of photos and get inspiration for a final project for my Photoshop class. I got frustrated trying to put many photos together to represent parade and community and not just the rodeo. My initial efforts looked very cluttered and busy, and didn’t have any focus.

Going back to planning stage, I decided I could make an effective poster with just words. I picked a simple background drawing, and then focused on how to arrange the words for good visual impact. The parade has been around for over 90 years, so I had the idea to make a vintage looking sign. I gave it further character by placing a photo of some old boards you might find on an old ranch (actually my backyard fence) behind the image, and then blending the two with many layers.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Inspire Oakland Billboard

I was excited to find out last night that my billboard design for ODALC’s Inspire Oakland program won 2nd place. You can expect to see it on a billboard soon.

For my design, I decided to focus on the view from Arrowhead Marsh located in Martin Luther King Jr. Park near the Oakland Airport. I imagined viewing the distant skyline from the air. Some artistic license was used in bringing the buildings much closer.

Watercolor was used to paint the view in a stylized way with bright hues, and I allowed the distant downtown to blend into the bay and marshland below. I created a second painting of my hand lettered text, and the two paintings were brought together in Photoshop.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Anthropomorphic Sketches

Yes, the backpack drawing from last week is meant to represent Minnie Pearl. I was trying to think of a celebrity who had a recognizable personality beyond a character they portrayed. It seems Minnie Pearl was nearly always in character. If you know anything about her, I suppose the price tag was a huge clue.

This week we drew sketched Anthropomorphic objects. It was fun to look at objects and figure out what kind of human characterics I could give them. As soon as I sketched a foot on the heel of a pump, the top of the heel resembled a hip. I call this a “barefoot” shoe, since the shoe isn’t wearing a shoe.

Putting a face on the head of hammer seemed like an obvious choice. He looks angry. Maybe because his nose gets sore when he’s working.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Some Sketches

I have been sketching this weekend for school projects. (Ignore the lines down the middle of each. All were done on very large paper which has been folded and had to be scanned in parts.)

Here is what you would see if you were me looking down at yourself sketching.

A backpack designed to show the character of a famous celebrity. Can you guess who? I’ll give an answer in my next post.

A scarf designed to represent my own personality.

And a tattoo  which is also meant to represent my personality (although I can’t ever imagine getting a tattoo). This one stumped me until I thought about taking similar elements from the scarf and wrapping it around my arm, then it came fairly easy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Oakland Watercolor Painting

This is a new watercolor which I am using as the main image in a graphic arts assignment. I am working with it in photoshop to combine it with lettering I hand painted on a separate sheet.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Going Bananas Revisited

I used parts of my last quilt in a Photoshop collage for my Photoshop class.

I began with a photo I took in Garin Park up in the Hayward hills. A hand drawn door was “painted” in Photoshop which opens into an alternate universe where quilted monkeys are trying to reach the bananas. The open door has drawn the quilted alligators out from hiding. The squirrel and the sky behind the monkeys are public domain photos I found online. And the sunbeams coming out from the door are a vector illustration I drew in Illustrator.

It was fun combining these different styles into a new project.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Going Bananas

This was a final project for my design class last semester. It’s purpose is to illustrate the word “cooperation”. The monkeys are cooperating to get bananas which are being guarded by an alligator. I want to add more quilting in the background, but I don’t know when I will find the time right now.

I am currently using it again in parts in a photo montage for my Photoshop class.

I have linked up to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Talking Typefaces

The purpose of this project is to show how type can communicate just by the typeface chosen. This typeface is called Petal Glyph, although I think it looks more like leaves than petals. It’s interesting how you can stylize a letter this much, and yet it’s still legible.
I had originally thought I would fill the letters with a photo with Adobe Illustrator, and add a drop shadow, but decided to make it literally dimensional. The letters are cut out of white foamcore leaving letter shaped windows which are mounted a quarter inch away from a solid piece of paper painted with watercolor.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Personality of Typefaces

This hand lettering project for my design class took many thumbnails and rough revisions before I painted the final projected. Hopefully the final project says something about my personality, since that was a major point of the assignment.

When I get some extra time I plan to create a vector version from the final version which I can use on my website and resume.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spiral & Leafy Shapes

This small quilt has changed a lot since it began. It’s beginnings can be seen two posts back on January 26. I think the design part of this quilt is done. I just need to finish the edge. I’m clueless what to name this, or if it shall remain “Untitled”. Any suggestions? I had spirals and leafy shapes in mind when I created it.

With the heavy quilting and paint, it is hardly noticeable that the areas of color are made up from tiny scraps, but up close, it adds to the layered look.

I have linked up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Green Eyed Monster

I am taking another semester of graphic arts classes this semester. I will show some of my finished projects.

For this Photoshop assignment, we could only use photos supplied by the instructor, and told to cut and paste fruits and veggies to create a “Veggie Guy.” I tried to have a little fun with mine. Here he is running away from a fork which is made from a Photoshopped parsnip.

A book dust jacket created for a different class:

For the front of the book, we could only use the word “Typography.” I repeated the word over and over to form a background texture. I ran into difficulties getting the look I wanted in Illustrator and InDesign, but finally got the look I was after using Photoshop. By using a gradient to color the text and a different gradient for the background I able to create a subtle texture which adds interest by fading in and out.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Bird from LeeAnna

A little bird came all the way from Maryland last week. LeeAnna Paylor  made this little quilt for me in exchange for a set of my coffee cup coasters. He is hanging now over my sewing area and reminding me of my new blog friend and encouraging me to be creative.

At the CQFA meeting a couple of weekends ago, we did a project together inspired by Susan Carlson’s technique of creating pictures from tiny scraps of fabric. My project is quickly taking a detour from the original concept and going it’s own way.

Transparent paint used to stencil across the fabric scraps ended up much darker than I had planned, so I added scraps of yellow organza over much of the paint to tone it down. I didn’t like how the black tulle I had was dulling the yellow down, so I am using a sheet of transparent water soluble stabilizer to hold everything together until it is quilted. Then it will probably get another layer of paint.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sun Printed Spirals

I tried using paper stencils to sun print spirals and tree shapes onto fabric. Did my first color both outside and inside with a 150W bulb. I actually got better results from doing it inside, plus I didn’t have to deal with any breezes blowing the paper stencils away.

Some interesting results happened by layering a green paint and stencils over the yellow, but the results are too subtle for what I want. I tried to order soy wax to use as a resist. Am waiting now since it is out of stock. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Playing with Shapes

A few months ago at our CQFA meeting we did a shape exchange. Each of us cut two shapes, and exchanged one of our shapes with another member with, the thought that each of would make a quilt incorporating both our shape and our exchange partners shape. I exchanged my tree shape with Sonja who cut a spiral.

Christmas break gave me some spare time to think about actually doing something with my shapes. I think I am going to do some sun printing and maybe some stamping in layers. I tried the idea out in Illustrator today. This also allowed me to test some colors. I think I will go forward with this project and start painting some fabric.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Coffee Cup Coasters

Here are the results of my silk screening project. I gave some sets like these away for Christmas presents before I took any photos. Then I made another set for myself plus a few extras. I have lots of leftover prints which I thought I would give away to quilter friends.

I decided I liked the prints better on fabrics which were printed with an allover large scale print. I only had a couple of small upholstery samples, so off to the fabric store for some printed canvas.

Not all of the words showed up well do to the problems I had developing the screen, and a few of the details have been lost from my design. But overall, I think it was a successful project and a good learning experience. I may opt to cut stencils or get thermofax stencils made for future screening projects.

Go to Off the Wall Friday to see what others have been up to this week. There are some great things up there already.