14 March 2013

Firelight Lantern Festival

5.5" x 17", ink and digital, 2013

It's almost upon us; Picton's first lantern festival is sure to be an amazing community event with lantern-making workshops already underway. This is the event I was helping to fund with 50% of my sales from my Burning the Midnight Oil painting marathon back in December.

101 ink portraits painted in 100 hours.

When it came time to design the poster for the festival, I had an idea right from the start and, as you can see below, the final image is exactly what I had in mind when I made that doodle last summer. I wanted something bold and eye-catching from a distance (as always) and I wanted to have the lanterns be the key feature, the silhouettes (having low contrast against the background) becoming clearer as you get closer to the poster. Even my placeholder logo is pretty close to the final version. Krista also made some doodles to help me brainstorm some lantern designs to include.

Poster and logo sketches.

With the poster design sketched but mostly in my head, I set about gathering the necessary elements to put it all together. The final poster composition would be digital so I could incorporate text for festival information and the logos of the local business sponsors, but, as usual, I wanted to have a handmade component as well.

I rummaged through my library of people from my days working in architectural illustration and selected a good variety of people walking in profile. I made various changes to them to suit the design and added the lanterns. Once the inked drawings were scanned, I cleaned them up, stitched them together, and coloured it in Photoshop.

Inked drawings.
(spot The Beatles)

Although the poster came to me very quickly, the logo for the festival  went through the usual painstaking process of sketches and revisions, going back and forth between me and Krista (see also the process behind the Small Pond Arts and Puppets Without Borders logos).

Catch the wave.

The theme for this year's festival is water and the theme's dominant colours blue and white. Krista suggested incorporating waves into the logo design, so I started working on waves, planning to make this an overlay element which could be changed if next year's theme is different (while keeping the same lantern design).

That's a bingo!

Satisfied with the lantern shape in the sketch above, I enlarged it and made an inked version (you can see it above, with the inked silhouettes of the people). On this same page is also the final wave design and how it would look on the lantern.

The inked lantern drawing went through the same process as the inked people (scanning, cleaning, fixing, colouring, more fixing).

You can find out more about the Firelight Lantern Festival by clicking the logo above.

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