Final Evaluation

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This is my final piece for unit 86. The theme for this project was “complexity”. For this project I wanted to create a illustrative piece. I choose to do this because I previously created a illustrative piece of work and I enjoyed the process. I also want to better myself on illustrator and photoshop. A new thing I learned during this process was how to use a wacom tablet. I have never used one before so I learnt through youtube tutorials and blogs. This method of using a tablet is how I created most of the piece of work.

You can see how my research has effected and influenced my work. you can see looking at my work artists like Smithe and Ian Jepson have heavily influenced my finally piece. I took their styles and combined the two into a style that fitted my own. What really helped me in this project was the experiments, because I had never used a wacom tablet before these gave me a chance to get comfortable with it and use it confidently. When researching the brain I was able to gave a greater understanding than I did before. The more research I done the more I realised that I made the right decision in making a illustrate piece about the brain because it is one of the most complicated structures in our universe.

I am happy with how my final piece turned out. Firstly I am happy with how I approached the theme of complexity and how I was able to visually communicate this through my work. Through research I came up with a visual style that I think suited the work the best. You can see this through my mark making and how I applied shadows. I like the colour scheme and I have thought about what colours should go where. I made the choice not to use black and white to go with the saying  “the world isn’t black and white” to go with the theme of how everything is more complex than we think.

Some things I would change about my piece of work is I would add more detail to the metal boxes and add more wires and buttons to show more this interoperation of how are brains are these complex mechanical machines. I would also try and add highlights to some bits of the work by using the yellow or the peach colours.

Over all I am really happy with my final piece and think I have approach the theme in a unique way. I am happy with all the creative decisions I made. I am also glad that through this project I now have a better understanding on how to create pieces of work in photoshop and illustrator, and that through this I can now use a drawing tablet and use them well and effectively.




With my finally image sketched out I scanned and the brought it into illustrator so I can begin to create my final piece.

In illustrator I used the Pen tool and the Anchor point tool to create the outline from the drawing I had scanned in. When creating this piece I wanted to keep everything tidy, clean and easy to find so if I needed to change anything I could easily find the layer with that specific part on. For the start I just used my mouse as it was the simplest and quickest way to make thesis curved lines. When I finished the outline and looked at it I didn’t like it. I wanted more of a handmade, sketch look to it like in Ian Jepson’s work, so I decide to start over in photoshop and use the wacom tablet as my experiments shown that i will achieve the look I want through this.

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I brought the sketch into photoshop where I added a few more details onto the sketch, just so what direction the hair will go in and what some shadows will look like. I then created a brush that would give me the effect I wanted. I choose a round point pen as this gives it more of a hand drawn feel, unlike a ‘hard round 30’ brush which would give it a more mechanical feel.

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I created a outline of my drawing from the sketch. I am really impressed with how it turned out. I like the fact that the lines aren’t perfectly straight and some lines are thicker  than others. I also added details in that weren’t in my original sketch. From the wires to the buttons, I did this to give it that more robotic, mechanical look.

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The next step for me was adding shadows to my drawing. The shadow are really important because it give the image some greater detail and depth to it. With the shadows I want to add them in like they do it comic books. I really like this style and new it would work with my design. I had perviously looked at work by Charles Burns and thought his style would work well with my work.Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 17.59.33.png

I also kept everything on separate layers so I could go back and edit certain bits if I needed to.

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Next was choosing a colour palette I had already decided on not using black or white thats why I choose a dark green when making the outline and shadows. i wanted a basic colour palette that would compliment each other. I have also been looking at work by other people and seeing what colours they used.Colour Pallete.jpg

I am really happy with the colours I have chosen. I think the peach and the red will work well for the face and hair, and the blue and yellow will work well for the mechanical parts of the drawing.

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I am happy with how my piece looks but I don’t like it on the white background I think it will look better with a coloured background. The shape of my piece goes off to the left to make it more structural I think a shape or a pattern behind it will bring the piece together nicely.

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I really like the circle shape behind the image I think it brings the image together more. It adds some structure to image, and makes it look more cohesive.

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When I was choosing a back ground colour I tried the colours that I had used on my image but it didn’t work it was to overbearing. So I started to play around with different colours, it was hard to find a colour that went with the 5 colours so I choses to do something thats off white. I choses the off white yellow colour (fdfecd) because it went with all the different colours and complimented the skin colour.

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While creating this image I was keeping all my layers organised and in folders. This was really helpful when going back and editing bits of the image.

The Brain

Brain Research

I decided to do research into how are brains work and how complex they really are. I had a basic knowledge on how complex they but doing research I realised how perplexing they are. Through research I found that science has yet to fully understand the brain and what it does. We have a basic knowledge but its all surface level and theres so much we yet to understand.

Underneath are links to sites I used in trying to get a greater understand the are brain.

How brain works 

Brain Structures and their Functions

How complex the brain is

Definition of imagination – the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality.


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Work Direction

I have already previously decided that I was doing an illustrative piece of work. With the theme being complex I wanted to do a complex ideas rather than a complex piece of work. When I was fist getting ideas down I was more drawn to the human body and what complex creatures we are. Specifically I wanted to look at the brain. I wanted to look at how the brain works and what different parts of the brain do. I also think it would be interesting to do a piece on the conscience because its something we all have yet it varies to different extremes in each individual.

The artist Smithe has already done a variation of my idea in his work so I will have to make sure that while a take some techniques that he uses that are works look completely different.

For the look of my piece I don’t want to use to many colours as i think it wouldn’t look good with the detail i want to put into the drawing. I want the black to create the finer details like what they do in comic books.


Assignment Brief 

The brain is Earths most complex biological structure. There is still much about the brain that we have yet to understand. The brain controls all functions of our body and mind. The complexity of the brain is not just on a biological and structural level, however, it is also the multi-layered personalities and nuances that makes us individuals. The brain is composed of three parts, the brain stem, cerebellum and cerebrum. We receive information through are 5 senses sight, smell, touch,taste and sound. Are minds are also separated into 3 different parts conscious mind, the subconscious mind, and the unconscious mind. People have compared the brain to a machine as each part has a specific job.

I want to use this idea of complexity in the brain to expand my conceptual design and illustrative skills by producing a large format piece of work. I want to create a illustrative poster that showcases how complex are brains are. Throughout experiments and other illustrative projects the final piece of work must only have a maximum of 5 colours (not including a background colour if needed). The piece must also be suitable for online and print

My poster is going to be seen by the general public on the street and online so it has to be suitable for all ages and have no gender target.


Some things to consider are that because the poster is made for print so the resolution will have to be at 300 dpi. I also must use all my own imagery when drawing. Another thing to consider is the maximum of 5 colours and how is best to use them.

Experiment 3

For this experiment I wanted to add more detail like Ian jepson does in his work. Jepson adds shadows and highlights in his work like Charles Burns with theses lines at the end of the shapes. I tried to do this on the clouds and add detail to them. I used photoshop for this. I created my own brush tool again. I found out that photoshop isn’t the best software  to be adding these details in. This is because they are so small the when you zoom in the image pixelates. Illustrator would be a better software to use because when you zoom in the image doesn’t pixelate and i could add smaller details.

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Experiment 2

Copying style of a artist

I found this artist called Ian Jepson while researching. I really like this type of illustration, as it looks more like a painting than something very digital. I like the marks he makes and how he adds shadows and highlights with them marks. With this experiment I am attempting to copy his style of work. I did my last experiment in photoshop so this time I am going to work in Illustrator.


I found this video of how Jepson creates his work. This helped a lot as I seen how he goes from sketching to putting the final details in.



The first thing I done was use the wacom tablet to sketch out the face. I wanted to try and create an illustrator without it though and learn another method. So I used the pen tool and the curvature tool to create this piece. First I just done basic outlines of each part of the sketch (hat/hair/face).


I went in and added some shadows on the hat to form the shape of it. I done this by using the curvature tool and just creating shapes with it and then going in and editing them to make them look like shadows. I then done the same thing with the letters. I then copied and pasted and changed it to a yellow colour with the black text acting as the shadow. I was also looking at some pop art images and at Jepson work I added a blue shape to the hair. I then added points onto the shape and made curves and points with them.


I didn’t really have an idea for the face and since this is an experiment and is not my final piece i just added sunglasses to the image. I done this by using the shape tool for the glass. For the light reflection I used the curvature tool again and added points to create the curves.


This is what the image turned out like at the end of the experiment. In this experiment I grew a greater understanding of illustrator and how to use the tools on it. For my next experiment I am going to learn how to add details just like Jepson does in his work.


Experiment 1

Experiment 1

I have never used a Wacom tablet before this project so I wanted to get a clear idea of how the tablet works. I watched this beginners video on the tablet just to get more of a understanding on the controls of the tablet and pen.

Tracing an image

This was my first go at tracing a drawing I had done. I was still getting use to the pen and how to draw on the tablet. I didn’t use the “pressure” feature as I was confident enough with the tablet. I am happy with how my first attempt turned out but it could be better. Some of the lines are shaky but I could tell I was getting better at handing the pen as i went along. The one brush size doesn’t give the drawing any character or depth to it and it looks boring.

octo plain

This video was about creating a brush with pen pressure in Adobe Illustrator. After watching this video I was able to create my own brush and this helped me a lot with how my drawing turned out.

octo brush

With this brush I was able to create thicker and smaller lines, this gave the drawing more character and is visually better than my first attempted. I was also able to create some shadows with the brush on the tentacles. I also use the rubber to create smoother lines. This helped when I was making some of the bigger lines for the shadows.

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As this was my first experiment I just wanted to learn how to do a basic solid colour with a brush tool. It showed me how to work with different layers and how to stay in the lines with the tablet. She showed me its okay to be messy and that you go in and clean everything up and edit things later.
octo step 2



This video showed me how to colour like the other video, but it also showed me a technique if I wanted to add some shadows into the colour. It showed that I add another layer on top of the coloured layer, set it to multiply and it will give you the colour but darker so you don’t have to go through and look for the right match. This is what the octopus when i shaded some parts on it. It does give the drawing more depth to it and is a good easy and quick trick to shading.

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This experiment has gave me the basic knowledge on how to use and Wacom tablet and pen. In this experiment I learned how to set up the Wacom tablet, how to create my own brush, how to use the pressure feature and a basic knowledge in how to colour with a brush tool. This was a successful experiment and am happy with how it turned out.


1. Gabz Grzegorz ( )

The thing that caught my attention about Grzegorz work was his double exposure illustrations, they are really well done and interesting to look at. Although the movie posters and really original they are execution really well and the composition is done well. You can also see how much time and planning these pieces. I think his best work is the “The Terminator” poster with them flames coming in front and behind the main image. Although they are just a solid red colour it gives the illustration life and movement to it.

Interview with Gabz Grezegorz – ( ) –  This interview with Grezegorz was very informative because it showed me his design process and how he comes up with ideas. It was also good to see where he gets inspiration from and what sites he uses for it. This interview also showed closes ups of his work and this helped me with understanding how he creates shadows and highlights. This technique is something that I could bring into my own work.

Gabz Grzegorz

2. John Vogl ( )

This style of illustration really interested me because it looks like a wood cut. I find it fascinating to look at because you have all these unique marks creating shadows and highlights.John Vogl

3. Ian Jepson ( )

This style of work catches my attention more than Grzegorz’s work yet there is less colours and less detail. There is just something more organic and handmade about the marks, they make the piece more interesting to look at. I like how he does use that many colours either and he will go in with the black to add these details. Looking at his work I think there are some good elements that I would like to carry out into my find work.

Interview with Ian Jepson – ( ) – I found this interview with Jepson interesting because you see his creative process. You see how Jepson starts off with a very simple thumbnail to then create a final piece. Once again the video of him working is really interesting because I get to see how he creates these marks that make his drawing so much more interesting and visually pleasing to look at.

Ian Jepson

4. Rafa Alvarez ( )

There is something about Alvarez’s work that interest me. It could be the horror feeling his work brings. In Alvarez’s work his colour palette is something new and different, with the brighter red used to outline the seats where artist would normally use black is striking. I like the marks he makes there interesting to look at. In the first picture to depict smoke he just use these simple blue lines with no fill colour and it works. I think his style of work would be interesting to incorporate with my own style and see what that would bring out.Rafa Alvarez

5. Smithe ( )

The thing that drew me to this work is how complicated and intriguing the drawing is. I like the composition from the detailed illustration to the plain background it makes the illustration stand out even more. I like the mark making smith does to create shadows and highlights its like how they print money. Like most the other artist he doesn’t use that many colours, which is a good thing because it would just complicated it more and it would be a headache to look at. The thing he and most other artist do is use black to create shadows and marks.