Sunday, June 27, 2010

Illustration Friday - Satellite

Last week's word, 'Paisley' left lots of room for interpretation and a chance to explore pattern and color. This week, the word challenge was 'Satellite,' and I have to admit that I wasn't too excited when I opened my email and discovered it was the choice for the week. Nevertheless, I decided to go for it. At first, I bounced back and forth between two ideas - an outer space scene filled with satellites, and a more metaphorical scene depicting a beautiful flower being orbited by insects that circled the flower like little satellites. I think my second idea certainly has potential for a fun and colorful illustration, but I guess I just wasn't energized enough to pursue it (I think I will file that idea away though), so I went with my first, more obvious idea - a depiction of satellites in outer space. Since I've been working a lot with patterns lately, I decided to see what I could do with an outer space themed pattern.

I did a few sketches of satellites in my sketchbook and then went to my computer where I started trying to come up with an appropriate outer space background.  I tried lots of variations and had a difficult time coming up with something that I was happy with.  I started off with a very dark color scheme which I gradually developed into something much lighter.




I started adding some additional colors that I had planned to develop into gas clouds or nebulas, but they just never seemed to look right. I was getting frustrated fast.



Next I tried to see what would happen if I put the image through a posterize filter.  











After that I began to blend the colors, and to lighten them.











Then I decided to duplicate the layer a couple of times.  I tried some different layer blending modes, gave the whole thing a more overall blue color and then added some star-like growth patterns.  By this time, I was definitely getting closer to the image I had in my mind.





After lightening it even more, I finally had something I was happy with.

Here is the image after I started to do some freehand sketching of my satellites over the finished background.  Before starting to draw I had turned on the 'Define Pattern' mode so that anytime a line went off the edge, it would reappear on the opposite side of the drawing and would thus line up properly when tiled.  This of course, slowed down my pen a lot, which was frustrating. As you may notice, I originally had an extra satellite in the image, but I decided to take it out after doing a test of how the pattern looked when tiled.  The extra satellite, since it was a vertical object, tended to create a vertical stripe when the image was repeated so I decided to remove it.

Here is the final painted image after I removed the extra satellite.  You can see what the image looks like tiled as a pattern at the top of this post. 
Thanks for reading this, I hope you found it interesting.

5 comments:

  1. Nice pattern and design Vincent! Thanks for letting us in on your thought and creative process. This would have been a cool design for bed sheets when I was a kid. I would have loved it!!

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  2. awesome! and I love look at how you have done it :)

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  3. VERY interesting! Thanks!

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  4. I love watching how people make things. Thanks so much for sharing! As a fan of Illustration Friday, I'm sure you've seen her, but just in case... http://danidraws.com/blog/ Dani is amazing and she often posts videos of her screen as she draws in photoshop. Keep on making fun work Vincent!

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  5. This is awesome. I really like the final outcome!

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