Sunday, 15 May 2011

B-Movie poster #1 - Death Spore

'Allo!

Lack of update caused by irregular sleeping pattern, life upheaval and logo design which I can't show. Just so you know.

Never mind excuses, though. I have a little something to show you. As a part of my ongoing efforts to diversify my skill set and not just rely on vector graphics, my new project is a series of B-movie posters (fake ones based on silly titles I think up, you understand) which I'm creating using traditional methods. That is to say, I'm using Photoshop, but at least the motor skills are traditional. In the spirit of "showing your working out" from school, I thought I'd update the old bloggerooski with the various stages of the process of the first piece in the series, 'Death Spore'!

After a few thumbnails with a number of different compositions (sorry, didn't scan them...) I settled on the image of a typical white American suburban couple in the 1950s preparing for a horrific experience in their own home. I quickly roughed out the poster on typo-detail paper with a thick chisel-head marker and a technical pen.
Happy enough with this, I looked into the kind of colours and styles used by movie poster artists back in the days of yore. There was a lot of vivid yellow, for some reason. I loved the gaudiness of the palette. Seriously, look into it. It's a lost art. My first pass was pretty much what I ended up with, with a few minor exceptions.
Okay. It's got some energy to it (in all honesty, I think the final image lost a little of the energy but that's par for the course) and now it's time to tighten up the figures. For the first time in a long time, I actually hand-drew the foreground figures and scanned it. As it was A3 and I have an A4 scanner, I had to scan in two chunks and mess around aligning them. Scanning sucks... 
Anyway, I put it into Illustrator and added the text.
Where's the titular Death Spore, you ask? Why, I decided to construct the monstrosity using a photo collage of various objects. I don't think spores look inherently threatening, and the 50s monster was often plant-based or hairy/scaly/slimy, so I needed to use elements of different things. This is a squid, cabbage, cauliflower and limpets all smooshed together (and posterized! Yay for cheap effects!).
That's the basic structure of the fella. I just needed to make him spore-like. At this point, I put all of the elements together and digitally painted the whole thing. I'm actually really happy with it. Obviously, it could be improved as any art could, but this is where I leave it. The jewelery on the wife looked a bit too fiddly so I left it out, except for the ring (in case you were wondering). Excuse the watermark, but as I'm going to be selling the prints of these posters in the near future, I'd like to retain some semblance of ownership in the meantime.

Hope you enjoyed this little insight into the process. See you all later!


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