Sunday, June 13, 2010


I really don't think I've gone through so many thumbnails as I have in my life and yet somehow I still finished ahead of time.

Week 2 of IA and Gary Kelley's been here for the past week helping us with the project he assigned: Blue. Vague as you can get, right? 

Wordlist. Initially, there were a lot of ideas I needed to weed through, but I found that I wanted to do something related to folktales/Chinese culture. Also fossegrims sounded pretty awesome.

During the first crit, we needed to have three thumbnails, and I chose to do one for the fossegrim, Duanwu Festival, and Pan's Labyrinth, all of which I ended up scrapping because I wasn't nearly as interested.

During Gary Kelley's presentation, I doodled some more and randomly doodled a dragon head, which I actually found really cool, hilariously mostly because I liked the way the ear turned out. :x


About 10 pages of thumbnails later, I came up with two general ideas. One was more design-based and focused on the dragon as a symbol in Chinese culture and their association with water; additionally, the color blue is also associated with immortality/rebirth and spring. The second was more narrative involving zongzi, which is rice and other stuffing wrapped in bamboo eaten during the Duanwu Festival. One version of the story of how they came about is that people would drop rice into the river to placate a dragon that lived in there. 

Gary suggested I go with the first idea, partially because the narrative was a bit of a stretch for "blue." Plus I got to work with pattern 8DDD

First rough sketch. The shape of the dragon is working, but the waves and flowers weren't integrating enough.

A few more ideas. I considered cropping the dragon really close like on the left, but Gary shot that one down, lawl.

Final sketch! 
I knew from the beginning I wanted to work with cut paper, but I decided I wanted to try a new technique outside of the usual layering to make a scene. Thanks to Kristen, I was led to Patrick Gannon's blog, and looking through there, I found this artist Tim Budden, whose work is absolutely amazing and a jumping point of this project. 

I forget what paper this actually is (banana paper, I think?), but yeah. Projected the sketch onto this and began the inevitable cutting process.

WOO. FOUR HOURS LATER. Due to some poor pre-planning on my part, I didn't realize that the image wouldn't stand on its own if I just hung it up. Additionally, I wasn't totally satisifed with just that desaturated blue color. I wanted to add a bit of blue green and cream. SOLUTION: undercolors :D

I'm pretty sure the gluing process took just as long if not longer than cutting the pieces out. But tada! :D I'm pretty pleased with it, though I'm definitely going to have to try out some new things with this approach.


  1. Ohh I like it. I wish you had a higher quality pic of the final though. ;)

    The colors definitely help with hierarchy since the line weights are very similar.

  2. I love seeing process like this. Way to do an epic-cut-out piece from a very vague theme!

  3. Well this is confusing, now isn't it?

  4. this was so badass! love it, girl.