After all the playing about, I’ve selected a set of 4 images to work with.
First problem > I find that through the general process of messing about with all the elements of the final image, the final workable output gradually shrinks, so what started as a carefully setup A3 @ 300 dpi gradually shrinks to A5 by the time I’ve finished with it. This happened to all my samples, apart from the 2nd one. My image files are full of layers and layers and layers and I guess that’s the electronic equivalent of over-mixing paints and ending up with everything sludge brown. Anyway.
Second problem > printing test samples on a knackered inkjet printer produced some nasty results, particularly with the yellow in the greens, and too much heavy density in everything. Areas of flat colour are not easy.
Third problem > I worked with the black and green version (bottom left hand pic) to try and make it more technically acceptable at A3 size. Not wanting to replace the source files and rebuild the whole thing again I attempted a couple of inexpert quick fixes to smooth off the jumper and the heart, and crisp up the purple text, and of course the results (2nd of the 2 pics) were really incoherent and horrible. The original version I quite like in it’s own quirky way, and actually as a screen print it would work at that size, also if it was printed onto a rough texture like cotton or old cardboard boxes.
For the final version I chose the top right ‘green is the colour’ pic, replaced the background image with a better quality version, and turned down the opacity on all the colours as far as I could go, so I could print something that was a) light, b) avoided flat areas of colour and c) that was interesting enough to stick up on the wall. This is the final result:
Thinking about getting the dimensions to match up to the spec, decided to play with the shape… like the last one…
I wanted to explore the colours – chosen colour, it’s complementary, black and white – physically as well as electronically, so played around with System 3 acrylics and inks as well as Colourlovers and the Colour Scheme Designer tools. And learnt this… opacity is a key. Working between physical and electronic – transparent mediums are easier. Working with ink is easiest, because they are transparent, and both work in layers. And using the colours out of the pots, without mixing them any more, is a useful way of not getting weighed down in complexity. Working with acrylics (as paint rather than washes) is on a different planet altogether, especially the more opaque colours – chrome based green features heavily here. Makes for an interesting contrast, and probably going off at a tangent, but would be interesting to do more here. Also noticed, below, the green is way off what it’s supposed to be.
The Colour Scheme Designer tool produced a workable palette of greens and purples to play around with.
Playing around in Gimp. Noted that I’m playing around with background colours – and the difficulty of avoiding creep towards brighter colours – emerald and magenta pink, like the soft and muted end of the palette. Came up with a strategy of just using layers of the mid-range green and purple, black and white, and varying the opacity and the stacking of the layers to get the colours I wanted. The most muted colours were the most interesting to explore, and noted harmony between using complementaries. Was this going to make it difficult to get a dynamic looking poster, without being able to zap it up with a nice jarring pink??
ColourLovers palettes on the left and bottom left in the picture above.