Sunday, 24 February 2013

New O'Messy Life single pt.2

Had some people ask me over the last couple of years how I colour on Photoshop, so here goes.

1) Scan in at 1200dpi
2) Open in PS and use Image > Adjustments > Threshold tool
3) Reduce image size to 300dpi
4) Go to Channels tab and make a copy of the "Blue" channel
5) Go to Image > Adjustments > Invert
6) Use the "marching ants" tool to select the inks
7) Create a new layer
8) Paint bucket black into the selected area
9) Clear the background layer
10) Create a layer between the background and the inks to colour on

This is my tried and tested method, and exactly what I did for the O'Messy Life cover. I use a Wacom tablet and a whole bunch of Polygon lasso tool when colouring on that intermediate layer and it's a much messier business than it appears when you remove the inks layer from above:

In many ways, however, it actually looks much softer and easier on the eye than when my clumsy line work is slapped over it. Never the less, this is the finished product! More when I start work on the back cover.

Monday, 18 February 2013

New O'Messy Life single pt.1

Hello all,

I have a big news dump on the way, but for now here's what I'm tinkering with at the moment. I heard some rough mixes of some great new songs by O'Messy Life, that they'll be releasing on Tiny Lights pretty soon. This time, the external platform they've chosen to use for these deeply internal songs is the space shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986. I'm once again privileged to be asked to design the artwork for this release. Number one fan boy, right here.

Lead singer David Littlefair had some pretty specific ideas in mind to begin with, but I meddled with them a little bit and with our powers combined we've came up with what I think will be a really neat design. It's been a much more involved conceptual process this time around, and we've drawn from this amalgam of reference material to come up with the image.

 Stock photo found online.
 Incredible illustration by Rebecca Mock.
 Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by Hans Bol.
 Photo of Challenger explosion found on the internet.

While the tragedy was worldwide and almost other-worldly in scale and coverage, we wanted to get at the sense of loss on a personal, domestic level. The obvious reason for this was that musically, the band are exploring personal ideas, using the disaster as a parallel/metaphorical narrative throughout. Here are some design process shots: