Saturday, 28 August 2010

Draw Serge

Here's a portrait of Serge Gainsbourg I created for Jonathan Edwards' wonderful Draw Serge! blog. It's an immense honour to be featured at the blog as I have been a Gainsbourg fan for many a year now and never tire of listening to his music.
The figure itself is taken from this photograph which was drawn and coloured in photoshop. The lettering (all Gainsbourg compositions) is all hand-drawn. I thought that it would be interesting to show the various stages behind the creation of the text jacket.
I decided that it would be too labour intensive to use my Bamboo tablet to draw the text. So I printed the basic shape of the jacket onto A4 and the traced the outline on to layout paper. I added the lettering quite loosely and then began to ink.
It quickly became apparent that working at A4 was very restrictive, even with a 0.25 pen and my choice of using layout paper was a mistake as it soaked up the ink. You can see, in the bottom left hand corner, an ever growing list of song titles that I was dissatisfied with and had noted for later retouching. Despite these problems I soldiered on as I wanted to take a break from the computer and try and tackle a project with pen & paper.
My eagerness to include all of my favorite songs led to the very squashed text on the shoulders of the jacket, making the whole thing look uneven. To eliminate this I would have to go into photoshop and reconstruct the layout. This turned out to be immensely liberating and the final jacket, after intensive copying, pasting, re-sizing and re-touching and a lot of re-drawn text, is very different to the pen version above.

Overall a very enjoyable project with some important lessons to be learnt along the way. Add to that the fact that I worked exclusively to a Gainsbourg soundtrack I'm already hatching ideas for my next Draw Serge submission.

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