19 January 2010

Spring Cards: Preliminary Design

I started working on my spring card designs today. I need to pick up some stuff in Halifax next week, and I want to be able to send at least one new card to film while I'm there. Ideally I'd like to send as many as I can fit on an 11 x 17 inch film, but we'll see how much I can get done.

My plan is to do a series of cards featuring Nova Scotia wildlife. I'm starting with birds, since they're around me every day, and they're a popular subject. Despite the fact that it's the middle of winter and my bird feeders are crowded, birds still evoke spring. Anyway, I hope to eventually do four different birds, four plants, and four animals, and maybe expand from there. I originally thought six was a good number, but I have these plastic card sleeves that allow for the customer to see four different designs without having to remove any of them, so four seems to make more sense to start with. Maybe, come to think of it, I should try to do one each of bird, plant (or berry, or flower), tree and animal, to begin with. Or maybe I can do colour themes: bluejay, blueberry, bluebell (are those local?), blue . . . spruce? Heh.

Anyway. Bluejay is the first design I'm tackling, because I have some good photos of my own neighbours to work from. I'll do each card as two plates: one black, and one colour. It limits the design somewhat, but it's not cost effective to do more than two colours for most cards. Obviously, I'll print the bluejay in black and blue.

Here I'm working out where each colour will go. The bluejay is the perfect bird for a two colour print, because they're blue and black and white. Well, OK, and grey, but I can represent that as the white of the paper with some cross-hatching. The branch, being less important, will just be in black.

Next, I'll make two separate drawings from this design and scan them. I'll write more about that later, as I finish each stage and have something to show. I think I'll keep the images fairly lose and sketchy. I have a tendency to try to be too perfect, but I think in this case less formal will be more interesting. Maybe. We shall see.

I've been thinking hard about what other birds to do. If I base them on my own surroundings, I'll probably choose either downy or hairy woodpecker (they're so similar that there's no point in doing both) in black and red, and chickadee in black and beige. But I should probably also remind myself that spring will bring other birds, some of them perhaps more iconic of the province. Which reminds me, I really ought to see what the provincial bird is.

Ah! Osprey. That's cool. I can do him in black and brown. Now, I need to tweak that jay's tail a little bit, and maybe give him more of a standy-uppy crest.


moreidlethoughts said...

Hi! Saw your comment on the group blog (Book Art Object)and note that you're one of Carol's cyber friends.
I've had a quick look through your blog and will make more time for it later.
Right now, I have to tear more paper for some repeats of smudged prints...

Niko said...

Hey! Nice of you to stop by. I try to blog mostly about printmaking and bookbinding, but I blather on about all sorts of weird stuff.