I think it lost something from the drawing to the final piece that I liked. Not everything. But something.
The pro is, I feel like it shows my admiration for tattoo style lettering. Even the initial drawings appeared incised since I was using a really hard pencil (less smudging, but more hard lines in the paper). I loved the process too. I kept copying and tracing, adjusting the original and going back and forth between them all to get something that I really wanted. In black and white, it looked really cool to me.
The cons, in the end, since I planned to give this one to a family member…not so sure it’s going to fly. On whose wall would something that looks like this live? And therein lies the sting. There’s definitely a difference between fine art and illustration/lettering/design. In all of art, there are audiences. When I made a painting, I’d put it up and if someone wanted to buy it, they’d just buy it. I didn’t know them from a can of paint. And, I don’t believe I ever worried about who my audience was going to be. I made something I wanted to make. Even better someone appreciated it enough to buy it. End of story. Now, making something for someone I know personally-or even if I were to think of the idea of making for others in general, there’s a consideration to how it looks that does have to be considered. That’s interesting.
So, I tried softening the hardness of it down with color.
Not so sure that worked out. It’s obvious I’m going to have to come up with a different way to make these letters, while keeping what I like about them.
In the end, I felt that I’d have to do something else so I may as well play a little more with this. It still has a lot of good things about it that I liked. For one, I finished another piece and I learned a lot while doing it. Secondly, making fire happen with just line and color isn’t as easy as it is with being able to render something with shading. I’m sure there’s a way to add texture to do some of that for me, but since I don’t know all the ins and outs of that yet, I am still keeping things fairly simple. I saw some examples on the web of how folks usually made fire in three colors after I had already planned my drawing. Note to self: research is important. According to most of the illustrations I found, I think my colors would be out of order. But that was okay for me this time around. I think it gives off the idea of being ablaze. Besides, it’s one thing to take inspiration from others. But I don’t want to find myself really duplicating their work. It’s best to be in the fight for something authentic I think. So, these problems I’m raising are still okay to have in that respect. I also realized I’m going to have to work really hard at symmetry in lettering. Or maybe balance of symmetry and asymmetry. I’m really attracted to asymmetry, but it doesn’t always work out in these projects. I find myself trying to adjust for something that feels like it wants to be symmetric and it just gets more complicated than it has to be. That stuff really has to be planned well. Well, you live and you learn.
As I said before, I figured I’d play around with it a little more before hitting delete. So, since it reminded me a lot of a beer label or tattoo or something, I put a black textured background behind it and used a free downloadable brush I found from the web on top of it all.
Yeah, well, still need more practice in that area. Learning to believably texture something is going to send me back to that Illustrator/Photoshop manual. Time to start chapter two.
Good thing it’s summertime.