Watercolour Cards

It’s birthday season! As a summer baby, I’ve always associated June/July/August with birthdays. So I decided to paint some cards and get them printed out ready for upcoming birthdays. I’m super happy with them!

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I did some illustrations and lettering on hot pressed watercolour paper and then scanned them into Photoshop and then Illustrator. The real revelation when doing this was that I really liked doing the hand lettering for the text, I had no idea writing the word ‘happy’ over and over could actually make you happy (cheesy). I also LOVE this colour scheme, so bright and fruity (can I use that as an adjective?)

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I printed the cards onto cardstock, scored and folded them. (I plan on sending them in some funky orange envelopes)

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^ Let’s party!
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^Happy Birthday!

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I added a bit on the back with my name and this blog (woo!) just to get into practice doing some personal branding. I really love the way these two designs turned out and I would love one day to be able to sell little cards like this at a craft fair or something         *dreams* . Ah one day.

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Summer Sketches

Last summer I had to keep a people watching sketchbook as part of the summer project for Foundation and, although I quite enjoyed the process, I learned that I am decidedly terrible at drawing people. So this summer, I thought I would indulge myself and draw what I really wanted to be drawing all along: leaves, flowers, landscapes, objects and buildings (basically nothing with a face). All of these are drawn from life.

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^The garden path.

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^Our raspberry bush. I spent way too long eating the raspberries instead of drawing.

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I’ve also been using my beloved watercolours more this summer. I tend to use a waterbrush thing (yes, that’s the technical term) instead of a jar of water and some paintbrushes, because I find it much more portable.

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^This one escapes the no people rule because NO FACE

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I’m determined to keep up with this sketchbook over the summer and try to draw some of the things I see and get up to. (Hopefully I’ll draw some more interesting things than the washing line…)

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Illustration development

I’ve been doing some more sketches for the illustrative part of the brand identity. I feel pretty sure that I want to use the banana motif to tie in with the name so that’s what I’ve been developing. I have mainly been doing little drawings with a 0.25mm fine liner because I quite like the way it looks. I don’t want the drawings to be too realistic because I want to have the illustrations be simple enough to print and stamp. While I’ve been drawing, I have been particularly liking the use of bright colours for the bananas although I wonder if this stops them looking like bananas?

Looking back at the sketches I’ve done I’m thinking that perhaps the bright coloured illustrations might not fit in with the ‘organic, natural and sustainable’ aesthetic that I wanted to portray. I think that as long as I use the colours in moderation then I’ll probably be okay but I must make sure that when I am doing the final designs for the menu etc. that I am striking a balance between bright, fun and contemporary and natural and simple. IMG_7878

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^ Some sketches of both the illustrations and some more logo development. For the logo, I like the design in the bottom right hand corner. I will test this out on the computer with different fonts.

IMG_7881 I like this pattern made with simple banana illustrations – it is similar to some of my early ideas about illustrations. I think that this could work well with screen printing as the banana shapes could be printed easily with block colour using the paper stencil method and then the detail could be put in using the UV method. This would allow me to do prints easily in different colours.

One of the problems with screen printing is that i’ve not done it before and so I would need to have a tutor with me while I set up so that I know what i’m doing. I tried to book a workshop with Elaine to try it out but she said that unless I was definitely using a screen print as my final piece or I was a fashion/textiles student then I would have to pay and since it is an expensive process I thought I would give that a miss. Instead, I spoke to some of my peers who have done it before and got them to show me some of the results so I could see the outcome. I also asked Elaine to talk me through the process so I feel like I have a basic understanding of the steps involved.

If at all possible I would really like to pursue the idea of doing a screen print- either on a poster series or a t-shirt, or both.

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Illustrations and patterns

I have been starting to think about the illustration element of the branding that I would like to include. I started by making this Pinterest board to find some examples of ways bananas have been illustrated etc. I then went ahead and did some sketches of bananas in a selection of materials. I tried watercolour, oil pastel, ink and coloured pencil.

IMG_7816I like the way watercolour and fine-liner looks and I have used it a lot in previous projects however I would like to be able to screen print or stamp the logo/illustrations and so block colour would work better for this.  I initially struggled to draw the bananas in a way that made them look realistic but also stylised- I don’t want to have to have a very complicated or detailed drawing because it would be harder to print.

My next step was to consider the way the illustrations might be used when applied and I think that using them as some kind of background or pattern would be a fun way to incorporate them into the branding.

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After some experimentation and playing around I developed this simple pattern (below). I could create a repeating pattern from this that could be used on the business cards, t-shirt and menu. It could also be developed into a poster. I would like to take this further and see if I could screen print the design because I think it would lend itself well to that technique. Also I could switch up the colours – I will do some more experimentation. I could take just one banana from the design and use it as a kind of secondary visual logo to go alongside the textual logo. I will need to refine the exact design of the banana but I would definitely like to take this forward.
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