This experiment explored different visual styles for full bleed or splash pages. These pages have different functions within the story, but all should have impact. They are an opportunity to create images using a different visual approach and I saw them as an opportunity to showcase a range of different visual styles and techniques.
Within the seven frame mezcal storyboard sequence there were three full page illustrations to experiment with.
The three pages in the sequence were:
- Page 1 – Cityscape and house exterior (this replaced the image of Dennis sitting)
- Page 3 – Dennis in his studio
- Page 7 – Explosion
I don’t know what visual style to use for splash pages, or whether the idea of making them distinctly different from standard content pages will work.
I will learn what visual approaches work by creating each page in a different visual style and combining them into the design mock-up.
I will be able to identify one visual style that will work alongside/compliment the interior content pages.
Variation 1: Page 1 – Cityscape and house exterior
These two panels replace the original full page image of Dennis sitting in a chair. I made this change at the point I created the design mock-up, because I felt I needed an establishing shot to move from the previous section in the story to this new location.
The action takes place in Margarita’s house at night time, so the establishing shots go from a wide angle city scape to house exterior. This leads the reader into the next panel where action takes place inside the house.
The images were created digitally using a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop. The images were created from photographic reference using a deliberately limited colour palette.
Each image took approximately 4-hours to make, and although this is quite costly in time, the purpose of them is to make a strong impact on the reader so there is less need to load subsequent panels with lots of background drawing. So it’s probably a good investment.
Variation 2: Page 3 – Dennis in his studio
Variation 2 was painted with drawing ink. Tone was added digitally.
The different elements of the image came from the storyboard and I thumbnailed different combinations to arrive at a final composition.
The image was painted at A2 size directly from storyboard reference i.e. it was not painted on top of any rough sketches.
I was disappointed with the result because I’d intended it to be very loose but ended up with quite a ‘realistic’ and tight representation, so there’s not really enough difference between the full page splash and one of the internal pages.
Variation 3: Page 7 – Explosion
The third variation is the climax of the sequence.
For this I worked at approx. A3 and drew heavily on the storyboard thumbnail.
I created a further thumbnail to design/incorporate sound effects.
I don’t think this image works in terms of the text/image combination or use of fountain pen.
It feels incongruent when viewed alongside the other pages.
What I learned
- Using the splash page idea as a way to establish a scene is a good storytelling technique.
- The three pages are not creative or expansive enough to represent the range of my visual styles.
What I’ll do next
This experiment was only partially successful and there is more design and development work needed to fully address the problem statement.
The three images will be incorporated into the design mock-up.
List of illustrations
Figure 1 – Hadfield, Hugh (2022) Establishing cityscape and house exterior shots created digitally [Digital] In possession of: The author
Figure 2 – Hadfield, Hugh (2022) Pencil thumbnails for composition [Pencil drawing] In possession of: The author
Figure 3 – Hadfield, Hugh (2022) Dennis in studio artwork with tone added digitally [Painting] In possession of: The author
Figure 4 – Hadfield, Hugh (2022) Explosion panel from the storyboard [Mural board] In possession of: The author
Figure 5 – Hadfield, Hugh (2022) Thumbnail for composition [Fountain pen] In possession of: The author
Figure 6 – Hadfield, Hugh (2022) Page 7 explosion artwork [Fountain pen In possession of: The author