It's been a busy month in the studio for Beck and I. I have been creating a wide range of conceptual drawings to illustrate the various animal categories, while Beck has been like a mad scientist experimenting with chemicals and other fun stuff...
My task will be relatively straight forward (in theory): 'create animal designs for each of the 14 categories' but I really want to push myself to create some fine work for this project by applying the full drafting process.
I typically begin by finding some inspiration and creating sketches or texture trials. I use toned paper because it's easier to visualize the image as a printed engraved image for some reason. I then refine each image down to a well thought-out and executed engraving. There is no eraser with engraving, so it is important to ensure the planning phase is meticulous before moving into the 'fun part' of engraving. I know from experience (the hard way) that rushing into the engraving stage is not a good idea. One of the early images I created was 2cm too wide due to printing out my outline without triple checking the printer settings! Lesson learned.
This is my preferred approach. You learn so much about the shapes, tones, and forms by completing a detailed drawing first.
Beck has been extremely busy trialing book binding designs. There are infinite options with materials, folding, layers etc. You are in for a real treat when it comes together. For the back of the pages, Beck wants to use marbling for some and possible Cyanotype for others. It's just fascinating! Check out the images.
Marbling and Cyanotypes
That's about all for this month, but In case you missed the last entry and are wondering 'What is the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge?' Essentially it is a fictional list of classifications for the animal kingdom. However there is a twist. This system is not a straight forward 'Mammals, Reptiles etc. like we are familiar with. No, this list divides the kingdom into possibly the most bizarre and intrigueing set of categories.
Check out the official blog for the project here
Some more conceptual drawings.
Have a great day.