For this project I used the letter J so the viewer could have one object to focus in on instead of multiple letters to go through, and that the letter J is the most interesting letter out of all the letters in my name. J is never soft, it has some kind of hardness to it. That is why the edges are well defined on the letter, because of the hardness of J.
A few of the items that i like that were used in this piece were bats, being used in the corner which I wish they were more consistent, I should have made a stencil of one bat and traced it. However the color for the bats turned out well, not being so dark that it detracts from the rest of the border, and not being so light that it wouldn’t be recognized as a bat. Secondly the fire which is well done, seeming like medieval drawings of fire having the many intricate spikes on the flame, many smalls ones, a few big ones, and some pieces that are broken off to show the fire going into the air.
The color purple was something I wanted to be prevalent throughout the image. I painted purple triangles onto the border of the image itself to give contrast to the bright yellow, and gave the border of the J the purple swatch that was pre painted.
This went through extensive hours of tweaking and refining. Mainly messing with color balance and levels for the border to make sure it had the right definition to make the piece feel it has aged.
The background and the pupil of the eyes are made digitally. I didn’t want the same effect for the stars in the background because stars are not all the same. Some are brighter, some are dim and can get lost. The blue swirls in the background was to give it some interest instead of keeping it a plain black background, but not overcomplicating it with multiple patterns and layers of shapes.
The flames and the interconnected lines are colored with images, not just for color but to give it a form of texture. The line with the dots is of a bag of apples, and the line with the zig zag is of the carpet in my bedroom. The flames are from my futon. It isn’t a hard red color, it is more of an orange, soft red color. It also makes the flames pop out, but it doesn’t make them feel disconnected from the J.
The border of the J, the iris of the eye, and the piece in the middle circle are all from my previously painted swatches.
It is heavily designed after the book of Kells, with the repetitive patterns on the sides of the frame and inside the intertwined lines of the J. Overall it has an archaic look to it. With exception to the bats, the image feels old. It seems faded away, and the colors match with the limited colors the Book of Kells contains.
Through this project I learned that inking your material is much better, and overall nicer to look at, than just leaving it as a pencil drawing. The lines are more defined and it is easier to see.
I am very proud of this piece. It turned out as I had envisioned, flows very well, seems as though it was in the Book of Kells, incorporated things I like, and overall had very few errors. I still have some problems with it like the digital imagery seeming to pop off the image as if it is above the outside frame, and the levels on the frame could have been better, but it the image as a whole fits together well, and so far my best piece yet.