Friday, January 10, 2014

Book Carving Creations: The Road to Oz...All that Glitters IS Gold!

     For this project, we were required to create a book carving that related to a theme.  The theme I chose was simplicity.  I started by researching and brainstorming some ideas that would look nice carved out.  I thought about doing scenes from different popular Disney princess stories, and that sort of left me with a silhouette idea.  I found a reference picture based off of The Wizard of Oz, and I used interesting shapes from that, such as the two types of vines in my sketches.  I knew that I wanted to do a yellow brick road, I just needed the Emerald City for it to lead to.  Well, I didn't know how to draw that or how good it would look carved.  But one day, I was in the band room and I saw an award (it was probably from a Disney World competition) that had a simple illustration of a castle. I took a picture of that and created a similar castle for my book.  As I worked on my thumbnails, I switched around the compositions and finally ended up with a final drawing for the book.  I created a clear idea what I would do, coloring each different layer and deciding on the thicknesses so I would know what to do after I finished each one.  Since the castle and idea was simple, I felt I needed something complicated to throw into the design.  Seeing that curved lines and small spaces are more of a challenge to carve with an x-acto knife, I knew that the vines would take time and precision.  Once I started carving, I found out that it was, indeed, very difficult to carve the small spaces.  The thing that annoyed me the most was that the knife would only carve through one to two pages at a time, leaving only a vague outline for the next pages.  Therefore I was against making layers that were more than six or seven pages thick because it took so much time to proceed.  I ended up making a bunch of mistakes with the cutting, but I either ripped the pages out or taped them back together!  By the time I got to the more simpler background it was easier to do thicker layers, but the whole process was very time consuming.  A risk I took was doing those vines because they were so small and thin, always ripping.  They also became a challenge when I was adding color.  I started with colored pencil, and I couldn't get the vines dark enough because I didn't have anything to press down against.  After I used colored pencils, I didn't like the look so I tried water color.  That also did not seem dark enough to get the right feel across so I used acrylics.  After I started, I had too much green in it so I painted the castle pink to separate it from the other cool colors.  I then added glitter to make a yellow brick road and glitter paint for highlights and extra SPARKLES!!!  Overall, I am happy with my final product.  To improve it, I would do a better coloring job and I would have incorporated the theme on the cover.  Unfortunately I was pressed for time but I am happy that the time was well spent!