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Monday, 2 April 2012

Little White Lies brief

It's been a long time since my little post but I'm trying to catch up with my regular job and creating some work as well - hard work it is though! :-) Anyway, at the moment I have few projects going on, some of them kind of done already, some of them is still work in progress. One of the ones I have done already was the competition for The Little White Lies magazine. The brief was to create an original cover for Little White Lies Magazine , depicting the main character of one of their five favourite films in 2011: Drive, Black Swan, Tree of Life, Super 8 or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Now they would let us to use our own imagination considering the background but choosing one of the main character was still the basics of the image. I decided to go for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, simply because I am a huge fan of Gary Oldman and I just loved the film. It felt like it's so different to what you get to see in cinemas nowadays and its atmosphere was like from a different decade.
I knew I was heading for simple style, nothing overcomplicated, too busy.
But what I had to work out first was the position of Gary Oldman's portrait - simply because of this random logo the Little White Lies magazine uses. Its a round logo in the middle of the page on top. I have to say it's not the easiest one to work with and I'm sure they are fully aware of that.
So I started with little thumbs drawn on Wacom tablet in Photoshop, mainly to save a time, I didn't want to spend too much time on trying to get Gary Oldman's likeness right, I rather just knew how the face is going to fit in.

Once I knew where to place this portrait without having it too interrupted by the annoying logo, I could carry on with simple linework. As I said before I wasn't going for some sort of digital painting or watercolours, as I wanted to keep it raw and simple.
This is what I started with: pencil drawing scanned in, adjusted levels so I could get nice white background and crisp fine lines. Later on I realized I needed to add few more blocks of colour separated by additional fine lines, just to make the effect of light coming on to the face work better. Following are colour versions I tried before I was happy with the result and also some playing around with layers was included.
The background was created by adding an Enigma Code, it helped as an initial ide, but through the further research I had to change that as the Enigma wasn't up to date with the era from the film was meant to be from. Colours were meant to be simle, quite limited range of them, yet I can't really explaint why I decided to choose these shades of blue and red. I tried various versions, some of them including the original black outlines, some of them without them. But as I said, that was only the work in progress from which I moved on towards the next versions.

After all ( and because of the tight deadline ) this was the final version. In the end I dropped the "blue" versions and came back to more life-like one. The feel of the colours was meant to be suited for the period of time the story was from, however somehow I managed to mess up RGB contra CMYK versions and when I submitted it it sort of turned out to be way too yellow-ish and rather a colour of poo. Oh well, I can only learn from my own mistakes and get better next time.

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