My Final Piece: End Product and Presentation

I created my final piece primarily on photoshop; adding textures I had created with gouache paint into places such as the background and on the globe to help add interest to the piece. I created it on a canvas that was two times larger than I needed it to be in order to preserve the resolution if anything went awry in the file, and to ensure that the image would retain a lot of information and clarity when scaled down.

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When I completed the landscape I flattened the image and opened it as a new file, adding ruler lines alongside the template I had created for the cover. I used these rulers to act as guidelines for where I was placing text; using the original Ready Player One book cover as a reference for what text I placed, and where I placed it.

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After spending some time looking for the perfect fonts, I finally settled on the ones seen on the cover above. I wanted the type to match the landscape I had created, so I picked out a fuschia pink and a baby blue to use alongside black and white. Originally I used a yellow exclusively to color the text, but decided that it didn’t quite fit the theme I was after.

I used black drop-shadows on every piece of type to ensure it was legible, as I was worried about using two colours that feature frequently in the background clashing against a similar colour and becoming un-readable. After asking for second opinions from my peers and lecturers about my choice of type, I made some final tweaks and prepared my piece for print.

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I was unable to present my work how I had originally hoped to upon a plinth, so I had to adapt to the situation and compromise. I had my book cover printed on an A2 sheet and cut it down to size on the guillotine. I then folded it around the hardback book very carefully until it was secure, and placed it open with the spine facing outwards. I presented it in front of a Macbook which showed an image of the landscape itself, alongside my information and my artist’s statement (shown in the bottom right-hand corner).

 

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Development of my Final Piece

During the creation of my final piece, my artwork underwent several variations and changes. I created a GIF to showcase the development and progression of my piece, alongside the decisions made to alter and change some bits along the way.

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As shown in the GIF, I started with a blank canvas (double the size of the print I needed) and drew a horizon line and two vanishing points. I then drew two roads branching off the vanishing points, ensuring that they crossed near the middle of where the front cover would be.

I then drew in my buildings, colour-coding them so that the lines and perspectives were easier to keep track of, before merging the layers and making them black.

From there I began adding in my details – patterns on buildings, street lamps, lines on the roads, floating buildings, the lines for the red velvet rope, amongst many other things.

After that, I blocked in colours on the ground, on the road, and added a gouache painting to fill the sky. I also blocked in the colours of the buildings and the streetlamps, altering them as I went to give the impression of close buildings being more saturated, and other buildings becoming less saturated and lighter as they grew further away.

Following that, I painted in zebra crossing lines, the staircase, the red velvet rope, the light from the street lamps, and some neon lights to a few buildings. I also corrected some of my colours in the piece to make it appear more put-together, and to fix some of the lighting. I followed the colour correction by adding gradients to the buildings, the ground, and the Globe to give them some more perspective.

[Not Pictured] At this point I attempted to add in a crowd of people around the Globe, and draw in some flying cars in the sky. However, I felt like this really overcrowded the piece and decided against including any people in the final. My main goal of the project was to create the landscape that Cline was describing in Ready Player One, so I left any trace of living people, NPC’s and Cars out of the scene. It is entirely the buildings, the roads, the night sky and the lights.

As I began colouring the piece I decided I wanted to leave it line-art free, however, having so many dark colours together in one place made the piece look extremely muddled. After a few rough experiments, I decided to completely recreate the line art over the top of the colour in a light purple to break apart the dark shapes and add some more definition. I set this line art layer to the Hard Light setting and lowered the opacity so that it did not appear too harsh.

From there I added more details to my buildings; adding more neon lights and windows and small details to add more interest to the piece. I also added a glow around each neon light so that the piece didn’t look so flat – I wanted it to look more dimensional. I adjusted gradients, colours, and shapes until I was happy with the final product.

When I finished my piece I added some final touches – some rays of light, some floating dots of light (both white and in colour), some extra darkened areas and lightened areas, and some patches of additional colour.