Lately I’ve been quite busy with new projects.
Which is fantastic. However, often a pitfall of too much work for a designer is a depletion of resources, namely creative resources. When I feel that I need a boost of creative juice (as in Dr. Suess juice, if you are catching my wave here……~~~~) I put aside the mouse and computer screen and pick up my sketch book and pencil.
A quick aside here for small business owners: When you are looking to hire a graphic and web designer, ask to see their sketch book. There are plenty of “designers” out there who know how to run Photoshop or build a site using WordPress or Joomla templates, but they cannot draw. Artist, creator, designer; these are all simple words that describe a person who learned to draw, continues to draw and uses these skills in their current title of graphic designer, web designer, artist, illustrator. Sure, your cousin Joe knows how to Photoshop clip art; but can he draw??
Anyway; n’uff said…
Back to my project:
I need to come up with an imaginary world where my clients characters will live and play on the web site that I am building for him. Yep, I’m using Joomla for the framework. Why? Too many great reasons to list here. Mostly, I am offering this CMS to my clients simply because I hear over and over again how they want to have control over their website once it is done. My own web site; www.cahproductionz.com is created purely from code, using div’s and css to control the “modules” of the site. It probably took me more than 100 hours to complete from start to finish. I can offer this type of web site to my clients, but it would be expensive. And when they want to change something, it will be expensive and they need me to do the work. So, after researching many popular CMS systems I decided upon Joomla. Joomla is easy to understand (great for when I train my clients how to make simple changes); its open source which means upgrades and fixes are readily available to me and my clients as needed; there are many great free templates available that can be manipulated to achieve unique results; it works seamlessly with Google Analytics and SEO and I can create multiple “looks” for my clients which they can turn on and off as needed.
Okay, so I wandered off topic again.
The imaginary world of Wally Goggle:
I took the idea of the photograph; added the mountain range and transferred the sketch to a canvas board.
The photo of my photo is actually the photo on my computer screen. I had forgotten about this picture. The sunset is pretty intense. I love the colours and the contrast of the water, rocks and sky.
This is the first stage after drawing the sketch onto the canvas and filling in the sky with paint. The characters of Wally Goggle World were created by artist Andrew Winning. The actual idea of the characters, their names, stories and personalities are the brain-child of Robert Kelly. Andrew’s style is very illustrative; so using paint and styling the background with bright colours and pencil-like gradients seems to fit the style of the characters.
This is stage two: I added the water. When I paint, I usually work from the background forwards. This is the most common method; as it naturally layers the background, middle ground and foreground on top of each other; creating depth. I had to really be conscious of my colour choices. My instinct is always to use naturally occurring colours in my artwork, as my leanings are to natural landscape painting and wildlife drawing. But since this is for a children’s site I needed to use bright colours. So I took a gander at some Dr. Suess work before I started to paint. I love his stuff. If you ever get the chance to see his artwork don’t pass it up. Its is something special.
Stage 4 and 5 added the foreground pink rocks. The next stage is to add some foliage to the foreground. You will have to visit the Wally Goggle World web site later to see the finished product. This project will likely take a few months to unfold completely. I’m hoping to have 80% of the site finished by the end of this month, November.