Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Catching up 2: Florence & The Machine Illustration - the process

I always really like the chance to see how someone else's illustration develops through to the final piece, so with that in mind I thought I'd put up some of the prep work for my Florence and the Machine / Secret 7" illustration of her single   'Only If For A Night'  - it got through the selection process to the London exhibition on Record Store Day ... the final choices were made by Florence and the band, which is quite a thrilling thought! 

When I'm illustrating a song (or poetry) I find it helps to write out the lyrics, or certain lines that seem to have potential. I deliberately write quite slowly so that images and ideas can form and reform in my mind. I have to say that even after doing this, I was still a little too confused about what was happening. Even the title sent my brain into knots:


Ideas of a meeting between a powerful female being with another vulnerable one, or other selves, were forming. Something with symmetry but also Chagall-like maybe:



By chance some Mucha paintings that I had been thinking of for something else  ages before fell out of my sketchbook at just the right time; I sketched up and adapted a couple of ideas that might suit the Florence lyrics:




Ready to start the 'real' thing, I painted as far as this, using Inktense crayons and metallic acrylic paint:


There was an effect that I really wanted to achieve in the left hand figures dress ... photographer Paulina Surys had taken the photograph below for Inbar Spector's Autumn 2011 collection and it captivated me; I think because it had something of the reflections in old smoky mirrors, with those hints of the extra dimensions that are present in everything:



The next stages were all done digitally - I found a background from a scrap of experimentation I had done a couple of years ago (in fact trying to do monotypes, with little success, but I liked this bit). I scanned it and made it the background:


Then I 'pulled in' the Florence figures. Everything else was added digitally, but still painstakingly, especially as I was (am) still such a learner when it comes to Photoshop. This is the final illustration:



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