Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Nobrow 5 - Repeat Pattern and Process

Nobrow 5 debuted at 'Pick Me Up' London last week and is now available from the Nobrow website. The theme of the issue is 'A Few Of My Favourite Things' which needed to be worked into a repeat pattern using 3 regular pantone spot colours and 1 gold metallic pantone. Blimey! It was bloody tricky but the results were worth it. The cover of the issue is by Micah Lidberg and inside features work from Bjorn Lie, Nick White, Meg Hunt, Matthew The Horse, Jon Boam, Rob Hunter, Nishant Choksi and many, many more.

I thought it might be interesting to run you through each spot colour layer for my piece. It was made up of a grid of monster and robot faces. Here is the original sketch that I retraced with a pencil, ruler and compass on my light box. Everything I do is hand drawn. I don't use vectors.
The first pantone is yellow and I used the colour at 100%, 70% and a 40%.
The highest opacity that I used the blue at was 85% due to a conversation with Rob Hunter about how dark the blue will print compared to how it appears on the computer screen. Rob had a pantone chart and the difference from screen to printed paper was quite significant. Losing the 15% knocked some of the intensity out which worked out for the best.
Next up is red. It's really more of a pinky red than a deep red. By crossing it over with the yellow, the pinkish red gets boosted to a strong red. I think I only used the red at a maximum of 90% and a minimum of 20%.
Here we have the pinkish red and yellow crossing over and making a strong red. It was fun to work out the areas to leave pink so that the image didn't appear too flat and boring. You always wanna give a bit of 'Shazam!'
The blue and yellow create a green and the different shades of green are made by using different opacities of each spot colour.
Here is the blue and red crossing over without the yellow. These two colours create a purplish secondary colour that highlights the dark areas of the image.
For the gold spot colour to work at its best, it should not be over-layed or under-layed. Industrial litho printing is very, very accurate so I just cut the shapes to fit directly into the spaces. Here is an example of what it looks like without the other colours.
Here is the finished illustration. It really made my brain blocks hurt but I feel very happy with the final result.
Here is a photo of it in the latest issue. My digital camera is very old and very rubbish so this probably isn't the best representation of the printed article which is why you should go and buy it. It smells great too.
Hope this was helpful. Toodles. x

21 comments:

Adam Hayes said...

Bloody.Nice.Work.

BETOWERS said...

Just perfect!!

your work is very inspiring :)

regards from Spain!

Ben Newman said...

Thanks, Adam. See ya soon I hope.

Marius Illustration said...

Truly awesome! One of my favourite spreads in Nobrow 5

Jimmy said...

Dizzying and beautiful.

Jimmy

Sophie said...

Wow! This must have taken a lot of brain power! It's really interesting to see your process. Brilliant stuff.

Philip Morgan said...

How do you stop your head from exploding? Top stuff.

Shane said...

Great to have a bit of a 'masterclass' on your process..

Great piece! any chance it'll be printed up as a large format anytime?

Ben Newman said...

Thanks, folks. It actually melted my brain to the point where basic motor functions were a strain but I got there in the end.

@Shane - it will possibly be available as wrapping paper in the not too distant future.

thingsandstuff said...

Wow...totally amazing....I'm going to make this issue the first one i buy! :-D

Ben Newman said...

Do it! You won't regret it.

melissa klotz said...

my head hurts just thinking about this! but it looks so awesome! great job :)

Melissa DeSilva DeCunha said...

Just checked out your work vie twitter. One word AWESOME! and I have not even seen your entire portfolio. In case you're interested - check out the indian style of painting - Madhubani. Your style is along the same lines....

Nancy Muller said...

I found this post fascinating, thanks for the peek into your process!

miriambutters said...

thanks! you provided me with a fascinating ten minutes of procrastination :D

Harper said...

Excellent work!

Anonymous said...

Great insight and great work! Bravo.

By the way, do you do up all your layer's in Illustrator?

Drake Brodahl (pumml) said...

Very tricky stuff, Ben! Love the piece!

rom said...

that's really inspireing, and thank you for explaining techs - it is really atmospheric (in russian i would say nishtyak^^)
I've just decided to make leather bag and thinking about how to paint it, the fact i saw it occas(s)ionally today is a good luck)
Whats interesting, could you please explain the process after you scaned your painting? i mean that seems like every peace is an object, and it's good to color white space but how about lines? Did you paint it again on computer after scanning, or just worked hard with eraser? or is there some program or plug in that turnes handpainted lines into graphic objects in computer?

Mademoiselle said...

Amazing work. Just fantastic. Elite London escorts

showchicken said...

Hey Ben,

How did you manage the different levels of opacity in photoshop?

-multiple layers of the same pantone at different opacities?
-wing it all on the same layer?
-clever masking?