28 January 2014

illustration process - Lowlve edition

I always love to see posts where other illustrators show the process they go through till they get to the finished product.
That's why I decided to document the - let's say - analogical - part of my last illustration mini series.

When I first started this "illustrator journey", three years ago, the first thing I drew were owls. It was part of a college work and it was because of those owls that my teacher told me I could invest in illustrations and I thought "well, maybe I can..."
Oddly enough, ever since then I never drew owls again. Until now.
I wanted to create something people would find lovely and yet fun. It had to be owls.

But in this illustrations the lettering was just as important as the illustration itself so I spent a lot of time trying to create something that I liked which was hard as I'm still not that confortable with lettering.

As you can see from the image above, one of the most difficult parts to write was "OF" I learned that I don't really like those letters together.

After this, I scanned these sheets and moved on to the digital part of the work.

Here is the finished product.

19 January 2014

Hyperactivitypography from A to Z - book review

As I told you before, lettering is something I really want to invest in this year. With that in mind I decided I needed new books on the subject, and any reason is a good one to buy books, right?
A few days ago, as I was searching through Amazon and Book Depository, I somehow laid my eyes on this beauty and I experienced love at first sight. I ordered it the same day and counted the days till it arrived (13 days).
I decided to present it to you because it deserves all the recognition it can get.

I can say that Hyperactivitypography from A to Z is an exercise book that at a first look may seem targeted for children buy is in fact a great tool for typography beginners as it takes a serious and clever yet fun look at this very complex subject.

My love began with the cover, pretty colour put together beautifully and the cutest characters interacting with the title.
In terms of dimension, the book is a little smaller than I was expecting (16cm x 21cm / 196 pages), I thought it was a big table book and was very pleased to discover it fit my bag perfectly, which makes perfect sense since it's an exercise book.

The book is filled with typography themed jokes that are funny and clever. I was browsing through it and found myself smiling, which trust me, as never happened before while reading about typography.

Before you start reading there are two pages with instructions on how to use the book, the supplies you need (pen, ruler, scissors...) and there's also a typometer - a ruler to measure fonts - and a ruler to measure line spacing. To me, these are more like a curious addition than a helpful tool, as I will not cut them out.

The book is divided into 28 chapters - 26 themes where each name starts with one letter of the alphabet, another one with the answers to the exercises and a final one to practice what you learn.

The next images are from different chapters. 
One of the details that I love is the colour palette used. The book is printed with only 5 colours (cream, pink, blue, green and orange) and each chapter uses only three of them, and the scheme changes in each chapter.

To me, the most difficult exercises are the ones where you need to writes the names of the fonts used in the text which tells me I need to work on that.
Have you seen Mr. Garamond up there? Definitely one of my favorite details on the book are the illustrations of the typographers!

One last thing you might be asking is "how can you write on such a lovely piece?" and the answer is I'm not, how could I? It was never my intention.

So, that's it! Are you buying it already?

12 January 2014

Experimenting with letters

Design (including illustration) was not always my first interest, actually it's a rather recent thing and as it always happens, there are still a lot of things to learn.

Lettering is one of those things so I decided that another goal I want to achieve this year is to start training my lettering skills, which are close to none.

To achieve this I needed new pens - any reason is a good reason to buy new pens.
I decided to buy Micron Fineliners, there was not much thought in the decision, I realized a bunch of people use these pens for this purpose, even Sean McCabe and if Sean McCabe uses them, they're probably good.

So I bought them last friday and had to start experimenting. These pictures show my first try, I know it's not perfect but I think it looks nice and it was a great exercise.

7 January 2014

Monthly Calendar

Other of my New Year resolutions (besides restart blogging) was to create a monthly calendar that I could use in my phone.

For you to have an idea of how much of a procrastinator I am let me tell you that every year for a long time, I think "this year I'm going to create my own calendar" and this comes from the time I thought I was, or was going to be, a photographer, and wanted to do one with my photos. So this has been happening for at least four or five years. It's always a project in January that is forgotten by February and that I only remember by the end of december when it is to late.
This time it's going to be different, there's this blog to remind me of that.

So this year I decided to create a monthly calendar where I only have to create one month at a time, which helps take the pressure off.
It's not supposed to be the greatest calendar ever, my main goals are:

  • commiting to it and not giving up; 
  • experimenting things I don't normally do;
  • trainning hand lettering.

So, without further ado, here's January:

I started with a sketch on paper and then moved on to photoshop. Usually I prefer coloring in Illustrator as I work a lot faster with it.
The lettering is something I'm not happy with but will keep trying.

In the end, I was pretty happy with the result. So happy that I posted an image of it in instagram, maybe someone else would like it too as their wallpaper?  And to my surprise some people were actually interested so here it is. I tried to make it for the most common models but I believe they will fit other sizes if you resize it?

Also, out of curiosity, here's the sketch.

To a new start


This is, i believe, the third time I try to revive this blog and this time it's for good (isn't it always?)
Truth is everytime I stop blogging for a long time, I miss it and since the year is just starting, I decided to start fresh, deleting all my previous posts.

So, here we go.