In order to develop my work I began by conducting research into artists/ illustrators who have created work in a form which I am incorporating into my own work. I am incorporating the shape of a sea urchin (therefore I want to look at an artist who has studied urchins in the past), I am also going to illustrate facts regarding sea life/ sea urchins (therefore I want to look at an artist who illustrates facts in a captivating way), and finally I want to experiment with merging traditional and digital media together, by using traditional colour and digital detail (therefore I want to look at an artist who also incorporates this layering technique into their work to discover the outcome).
The three artists I found were Enst Haeckel (Urchins), Mike Lowery (Facts) and Stephanie Wunderlich (Layering of medias).
These artists were perfect help for my project as I had grand inspiration from Mike Lowery’s word art/ presentation of the facts and highly appreciated the outcome of Stephanie Wunderlich’s combination of traditional and digital media, which made me even more motivated to begin the experimental stages.
I found the artist Ernst Haeckel through recommendation from a fellow artist who happens to be a fan of Haeckel’s work and managed to recall Haeckel illustrating Sea Urchins. This allowed me to begin my research with prior knowledge about the artist.
I found the artist Stephanie Wunderlich through inspiration from the Audience workshop prior to this post. Within the workshop we briefly discussed layering and collages, and one artist mentioned as example was Stephanie Wunderlich. I was inspired by the idea of combining traditional and digital medias as I appreciate both medias equally, and this would allow me to further explore beyond the boundaries of what I already know about the two medias.
I happened to have prior knowledge of Mike Lowery’s art as I happened to find him on Pinterest a year or so back, and followed him since, as he does a daily post of a fact he learns each day. I have always been quite the fan of Lowery so wanted to include his work in my research.
After conducting research I began experimenting with possible ways to create the traditional colour layer I need to begin the project.
I had already decided upon the colour scheme I would like. As the urchin is going to be highly detailed/ complicated, I want the illustrations to be interesting, yet simple to allow the facts to not be drowned out by the model, and easy to understand. Therefore I would keep the colour scheme simple. I wanted the colour scheme to start out blue, and eventually change into a different colour to signify the movement of the urchin spike within Catherine Mohr’s body from her finger, to her pelvis. Although, I would also use the appropriate colours to display emotion/ events unfolding throughout the illustrations. For example red to signify danger or anger, blue to signify calmness, sadness or neutral grounds and orange to signify joy, fascination, determination, and success.
To begin, I tested multiple medias with the colour blue, as I want it to be the initial colour of my illustrations as the story begins in a calm manner.
I decided that I liked the outcome of ink and water, as the patterns the splash of the ink created resembled that of a Sea Urchin. I then played with this to make multiple colour backgrounds, as I also worked out that if I needed to change the colour of a background, I could do so during the digital drawing process, by altering the hue of the image.
I also designed the 3D Urchin itself to illustrate how it would work, and how it would look.
I began by some rough sketches/ ideas and developed them until I found a presentation scheme/ design/ function that I liked. This design is shown below.
I also did a drawing on the software called SketchUp to get a 3D Render of how I would like the end product to be displayed.
I then went on to officially design my product in SketchUp and Blender as I like the idea of having the object made out of the 3D Print material, made of starch which biodegrades given the right conditions within a couple months, also making it good for the environment and showing how to protect sea life.
The finished 3D design was as follows:
This is the body of the Urchin, with the holes/ dips in which will be where the Sea Urchin Spines are inserted, if given enough time will also be 3D printed. Otherwise I will create it out of paper on order to get the successful spike look and also have the spike being hollow to allow the insertion of the illustration/ scroll.