During my first visit to the pet shop to draw the fish, my attention was caught by the lively, brightly coloured budgies they had in the next room. I just had to go back there a second time to draw them.
I not only wanted to capture the vibrant colours, but also their movements and characteristics.
On the same trip to the pet shop, I also made some sketches of the English rabbits.
Brief: Produce illustrations for and create a brand new range of milk packaging aimed at both children and parents.
For my illustrations, I spent a morning at a local livestock market making studies of the dairy cattle being sold. I make sketches while I was there and took photographs to use for colour references later on.
I could not find a typeface that I was happy to use within my milk carton designs, so I designed my own, keeping the buttercup-filled grass theme in mind:
Milk packaging designs to come, once I photograph them!
I set myself the personal brief of capturing the fluidity and movement of fish. I decided to use a local pet shop for reference so I took my sketchbook along to do some studies of their various types of goldfish.
I was also interested to find out how I would illustrate their transparency using my watercolours, so when I got home I added colour to the sketches:
I wanted to recreate the sense of life my initial pet shop drawings had and so it was suggested to me that I work at a very large scale and draw with very fluid lines. I used India ink and a large paintbrush on A1 (ish) sized card to produce new, very large, fish drawings:
I experimented on some of the large scale ones with coloured inks, before altering the black ink lines in Photoshop to add more colour:
I then wanted to see if I could simplify the fishes' design so I restricted myself to only a few lines:
One of the tutors at my university wanted a photograph of my ink-fish obsession for the blog, and got me to lay them out around the studio! You can get a feel for how big each piece actually is! (Click for a bigger view)
After photographing the large ink drawings, I printed them at A4 and A3 and experimented with my watercolours on top of them:
I found that I wanted to add colour to the whole of the image including the black lines, so I used Photoshop to add colour and after scanning in some separate watercolour textures, brought the two elements together:
I was now feeling like I was getting closer to a more polished outcome with my ink designs. I then completed a series of compositions and patterns to show the finished fish designs off:
I played around with other colours too; such as these reds for the moors, but I found they weren't "watery" enough in comparison to their blue versions.