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Techniques

I want to make art, not just photos. Also, I aspire to make travel posters look like, somewhere between a cartoon and a photograph employing styles from other influences, such as old railway posters from the last century.

Without photography, though, this aspiration would not be possible.

Having learnt techniques to enhance a photograph such as, a long exposure to show light trails at dusk or using a polariser to see through water to reveal the rocks under the surface, I can emulate that in the Illustration to give a photographic feel. 

Elements

This image shows the Lake District poster with all its elements broken into their component parts


Creating Posters

Shapes and Colours 

Making these posters is, as you can imagine, not straight forward, some are easier than others to do, some never reach the end and remain unfinished, there is no 'click a button and put some words on it' option! There are resources out there that do that, but that is cheap. My approach is to hand craft these posters in Adobe Illustrator, sometimes falling at the first hurdle.


What I've found is that simplicity is key, and that even applies when doing something complicated but without the photograph for direct inspiration, I mean, the colour palette and composition, these posters don't work. Or at least, I am not good enough to make them work without them. 


The idea is to collect the different elements of the photo and put them into workable streams so that they can be changed if necessary, not doing so will make the task of working with layers unmanageable. This method ensures that the elements can still work together as you build this multi layered picture. For example, if there is to be some mist between two mountains then allow your mist layer to sit between those two layers in the software, and that means each mountain has its own layer.


I use Adobe Illustrator to create my work, it has all the tools to allow you to emulate what you see, in my case I work from photos and I see shapes, colours, shadows and gradients, that's it!


If you get all of those elements right then you don't need to do anything else, you have your image. The final element to the image is the words and arrangement of the typography in the picture. In my earlier work I tended to place text in the top half of the picture but these days I opt to put it down at the bottom, as I did in the first ever poster I did in 2015. It's not that I didn't like it that way, it's just a way of standardising these poster to show consistency as a set. And finally, the badge. I see this as like the branding of the images, a label, if you like. And yes, directly influenced by railway posters from the last century.