Key Steps in Illustration: Assignment 2, Pt. 5 (Final)

I continued to work on the composition. As indicated in previous posts (here and here), I feel that the circle composition works best to draw in the viewer’s eye. So I decided to go for this one. I wanted to put more attention on the fruits, so I increased them somewhat compared to earlier version.

Also, I wanted to have a similar look and feel for the Shop Display. My idea was that the fictional Timmon’s high-quality supermarket would use these shop displays for every season, and perhaps even print them on packaging for their own range. Therefore I wanted to have a similar composition for both the summer and the autumn version.

That’s why I used the same background (circle shape and typography), and only changed the colour to match each season. I went for a fresh green tone for summer, also to reflect that the produce is healthy and high-quality. For autumn, I decided on a orange tone, that is a bit more tone-down compared to earlier attempts that had a more bright yellow background. Also, I decided to go for a tone-in-tone approach for the background, and not for a white background. I felt it was to harsh to look at, and kind of broke the harmony of the work.

A quick note on the typography. I decided to have the supermarket’s range in a more traditional type with seriffs, to convey the good quality and reliabilty in their products. The writing “fruits & vegetables” are in contrast more playful and modern, with a hand-writing font to convey a notion of freshness.

I did a few edits on photoshop, mainly adjusting the brightness and contrast for the vegetables to create the following final versions:

shop display autumn vegetables
Assignment 2: Shop Display – Autumn
shop display summer vegetables
Assignment 2: Shop Display – Summer


Key Learnings: 

  • First of all, I did enjoy working on this assignment, also to combine illustrations done on paper with Photoshop. I realise that I have to improve my Photoshop skills. I know the basics, and I for me it’s a learning by doing process. Whenever I’m stuck I try to find tutorials on how to do a certain effect or how to use a tool that I need. However, it’s not yet as fluid as I like. So one of the things I’m taking away from this assignment is to set some time asside to practise my Photoshop skills.
  • For several reasons, I couldn’t work on this assignment continously, so I had to leave it several times and go back to it later. Sometimes I felt uninspired to come up with a interesting composition, for instance. On the one hand, this had an advantage that I could think about composition, or go through other ideas I had before working on it again. On the other hand, it felt like I had to drag this assignment on for much longer than necessary. For the next assignment, I aim to add some “unforseen” events in the timeline, so that I can still have a little buffer for finalising the assignment in one go, e.g. on one weekend, rather than having to go back to it a week or two later.
  • For the first time, I reached out to my fellow OCA students for feedback, and took their comments when finalizing the work. I found this helpful, especially when I couldn’t decide which composition works better. Sometimes I feel than when you work on one piece for too long, you don’t see anything anymore. You don’t notice mistakes, or what works better. People from the outside on the other hand see your work for the first time, and can instantly say what they like better because they are not attached to the work the same way.
  • When starting the assignment, I did quite a bit research to get some background information before actually start working with the illustrations. I think it makes sense to take a look at what is out there first, and then get an idea what I could do myself, either in a similar way, or in a different approach.
  • During the second part of “Key Steps in Illustrations”, I tried to review some other artists (here, here or here). Part of my tutor’s feedback from my first assignment was that I should look at other illustrators and note what I like about their work and why. While I’m not doing this extensively yet, I’m planning to also set aside some time for this, and do it more often. I already have a list of artists that I plan on looking at more thoroughly.
  • I also worked my way through the various exercises, some of them I enjoyed more than others. I guess that is normal. I believe they helped my to understand this assignment better, especially the ones that asked to work on objective and subjective illustrations. I personally enjoy working a bit more abstract, so working on a more natural and objective style, is a good exercise for me because I hadn’t done this in a long time.
  • I also tried to work on some small personal projects, and have a sketchbook asside from the one for the course. I mainly worked on patterns, plants, and a travel journal, as well as some other things that I haven’t yet posted here. I enjoyed also to draw some smaller pieces that had nothing to do with the coursework because I was able to work in my own style and only doodle without nothing particular in mind.
  • One thing that I haven’t yet done is use many books for the coursework research, mainly because I find it difficult to get hold of the books. The library opening hours are a bit challenging for me because of the working hours. However, I’ll be going into town later today and get some illustration/Arts books for inspiration.


All related posts for Assignment 2 can be found here:

Assignment 2 – Part 1

Assignment 2 – Part 2

Assignment 2 – Part 3

Assignment 2 – Part 4

Assignment 2 – Part 5 (Final) – current post


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