After my group tutorial with Ian I was able to get feedback from my initial design on how I could push it further. Ian an my peers brought up some good points to how it could be improved, which I agreed with throughly after seeing it printed, the design didn’t have as much depth as I had first hoped. It was suggested that I work on the belt, working to create more depth and deep lines to create a stronger senses of shadows and highlights.
I started using water colours on top of the belt drawing with created a bigger depth of colour that before I wasn’t able to achieve with colouring pencils, bringing the image to life rather than disappearing into the background which I know notice as a fault in my first draft. It is noticeable from the images below how this was able to make the picture a lot richer than before, it also brought in a nice painterly element to the images which helps to reflect Willys love for painting throughout the story.
It was also important for the improvement of my design to work on the background. On my current design, the water droplets which I included to represent the repetition of the theme of rain that is mentioned, seemed to be confusing, my peers were confused to why they were relevant and they seemed to be floating against the solid blue background, making a confusing contrast In styles.
I thought back to my original penguin design last year which I was super proud of, which I created my own backgrounds using water colours to create gradients and texture. this is something that I thought worked really well and gave me an opportunity to play with media that I don’t normally use.
I began by playing with charcoal in an attempt to emulate the smokey skyline of ww2 London. Although this seemed to work well against a white background, when I began to bring elements such as the belt back into the design, the overall image became too messy and distracting. It also became an issue of merging the blurred outline into the painted background – as you can tell from the images below this just didn’t work!
As I thought more about the background of the current design, I also began to feel that it was too dull so experimented with the colour green, this is in references to the green field of the country side which willy spent his days happy, in contrast to the belt which is reference to the hardships the faces in London.
As I continued to play around with the background I still struggled for it work harmoniously together, as I went back to the drawing board to think about how I can push the design I toyed with my initial aim which was to reflect Willys innocence and child-like creativity that is paramount throughout the book. I decided to rethink and remove myself from the idea of a digital outcome and began to work with collage instead in hope that this child creativity would be shown. I explored painting backgrounds and layering the cut out of my belt painting on top. This created some shadows and textures that I was unable to achieve on photoshop.
I decided on a green background for the final design, the earthy tones of the belt helped to complimented the green background well. The end result looks hand made which is what I wanted to achieve and I think it works well for this particular design. Using my hand rendered type on top really pulled it together. I am happy to where it has got to at this point and believe it is ready for the penguin submission. If I had an opportunity to push this further I would work on the legibility of the text on the back of the design, however having faffed with it a lot so far, I think its best I leave it and return to it when I have a moment to spare as I need to prioritise some other projects moving forward.