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Exercise 7 – 1950s Illustration

The brief asked for an illustration with a woman sitting in a chair in a room that reflected the 1950s typical style and would be used to demonstrate to a teenager what life was life then.

From this brief I interpreted that decor, colour, style, technology and quirky would be key words that needed to be reflected in the image.  Teenage audiences may not be aware of the type of technology available then, particularly in relation to music and television.  I also wanted to show the style of women in this era, to contrast with the style of today.  Lastly I wanted to include common patterns in the image along with a reference to the last part of the decade when looking to space and space designs influenced the style of interiors.

These images were sourced through http://www.gettyimages.com and google.ie.

The above images were used for a sample board for the type of style I wanted to try and achieve in my illustration.  A cartoon likeness and a sense of style and fun.  The aim was to keep the image light, energetic and colourful with a playful edge to it.

My spider diagram explored the words attached to the 1950s decade while my sketches were aimed at capturing a lightness to a character using strong shapes.  The room sketches were done in colour pencil and brush pen, but the finish didn’t come out as expected so a digital illustration was experimented with.

image of atomic wallpaper sourced at  http://wl.static.fotolia.com/jpg/00/54/51/02/400_F_54510249_V1zilTLwofAuItzjRB6Yuf3pMr1tPvTl.jpg

The first image was with basic shapes and layout.  The second included furniture and a background pattern while the final image added a pale layer of a rocket and science icon with a layer effect over it.  The saturation was adjusted to give a stronger colour and the mix of effects on the layer gave a more interesting blend to the layers overall.

The final image definitely has a 1950s feel and contains some information about this decade.  Is it enough?  I think a simple window and curtain design floating on the left above the sofa would have helped solidify the image better.  Maybe some light fittings from the original sketches would have worked.  The pattern is a little strong so maybe bringing the opacity down on it would help too.

test2The objective was met but the image falls short simply because it looks a little sparse.  Perhaps a simpler approach would have been to sketch using the right pencil and paper and then use the software for a colour finish.  Using Ai is fun, but having very little experience with it means that I limit my image considerably when depending on creating the individual elements in the image.  Using an artboard and creating them is fun though and I hope to get better at it.

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