In going forward I want to think more about how I use photoshop to colour my images. Applying gradients and outer glows can sometimes make the image look too digitised. In contrast, my development sketches for these illustrations are very rough and organic (you can find these on my instagram account izzys_illustration). In my final major I would like to incorporate more of the raw energy and spontaneity that is present in my sketches, as much as the coloured versions. This may mean, being less exact with my line work and the colouration of layers. However, this unit has enabled me to enjoy creating deep sea spaces, as well as testing colour palettes for bioluminescent sea creatures.
Deep Sea Jellyfish- This was one of the first line drawings that I created for this project. I enjoyed the perspective of the original image so I though that I would edit and colour it to create something new.
Deep sea seahorse- This image is based upon the birth of baby seahorses, very cute!
During their embryonic stage, baby seahorses look very alien. To incorporate this strange and beautiful element I made the seahorse's pouch transparent so as to emphasise the jelly-like quality of their membranes. Initially this image didn't have the fish swimming around the image, but the seahorse alone looked too static compared to my other images. When underwater, every element of the ocean moves with the currents, so I like to maintain energy and fluidity within my images.
Angler fish- The most sinister looking creatures of the deep sea. The male angler fish latches onto the female for reproduction. The male secretes enzymes that fuse his jaw to her body, and there he will live of of her like a parasite, feeding from her nutrients, until spawning has taken place. If the male fails to find a female, he will starve and die.
I kept the dark background in this image as it emphasises the grotesque elements of the anglerfish. Originally I incorporated elements of the spawning taking place, including development of fish embryos. However, the aesthetics of the image became very chaotic and hard to read. In the final major I will perhaps work on new ways of introducing these elements.
Anemone Hermit Crab- They adorn their shells with anemones so as to protect themselves from predators. In return, the anemones feed from the crab's leftover meals, as well as receiving easy transportation around the ocean floor. Symbiosis is amazing.
The strange alien-like creatures within the floating purple bubbles depict the different stages of a crab's lifecycle. It is both beautiful and a little freaky!
Moonlight Jellyfish- Based on the food chain of a deep sea jellyfish. They are as beautiful and graceful by nature as they are deadly.
A close up of a recoloured version that i'm working on. I have increased the lightness and vivacity of the colours.
In these images I selected dark backgrounds to reflect the illusive atmosphere of the deep sea. I created colour palettes based upon photographs of bioluminescent deep sea creatures so as to capture the natural elements that exist within deep sea ecosystems. I think that these illustrations are successful in conjuring an atmosphere that reflects the title of my project 'ecological utopia and dystopia'. The contrast between darkness and light illuminates and shadows the many beautiful yet disturbing and alien aspects of nature. Initially, I was working on these images to hand in for my pre-major project, however, after receiving feedback from my tutors, I decided to keep pushing the imagery further. In my newest images I have created more of contrast between the sea creatures and their surroundings so that they stand out more, as well as creating a bit more variation between the colours.
At this stage I was still torn between the coloured illustrations and the black and white. Whilst the black and white versions have a satisfying simplicity and a contemporary aesthetic, they lack the perspective of depth and bioluminescent colour that is presented in the coloured versions.