Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fruit Alphabet Exchange Spoiler - Part 1

I've signed on for the Four Oceans Press Fruit Alphabet Exchange, and selected Q, for quince. I started off being pretty literal with my idea for the print:

It was a bit of a play on the word "quince" ("fifteen" in Spanish; fifteen is a multiple of five, and five is a distinguishing characteristic of plants in the rose family) - there are five stages of the quince in the sketch - seed, flower, early fruit, ripening fruit, rotting fruit, with five seeds in the rotting fruit. The wasp is just to emphasize the concept of decay (plus I thought it would add an element of interest to the design). This image was based on a botanical illustration from the 19th century by Franz Eugene Köhler:

Not bad, but not quite yet what I was wanting. I started looking for other Q things:

QuinceFleur de LisQuilt

(OK, so for those of you wondering "but fleur de lis doesn't start with a Q!", it's the symbol of Quebec, so there!), and came up with this sketch:

Now is the fun part. I started to use just about every image editing software tool loaded onto my computer (obtained via various digital camera, printer and scanner purchases over the years), and figured out what I wanted to do using TechSmith's SnagIt Editor for this:

Printed it, scribbled on it with pencil for this:

Scanned again & made monochrome:

Then I graduated to GIMP for this next one:

And then the final:
It's not that I couldn't have used GIMP from the beginning, but I'm just learning the software and don't have an actual, hold-in-the-hands user manual (...yet! I just pre-ordered the new Beginning GIMP manual from Amazon yesterday and I am anxiously anticipating its arrival hopefully in early January). I was frustrating myself at the beginning of this process with what to do in GIMP, so abandoned it for more tried-and-true software until I ran up against complexities I couldn't handle otherwise. I am excited about learning GIMP, because I've got lots of ideas I'd like to experiment with using the software. So I managed to learn a couple of things doing this little sketch; but it's a very sophisitcated piece of software, so there is a lot more to be discovered!

Now, this is just the working sketch. I still have some tweaks to do, but what do you think?


Tracey said...

I love it, queen, quince, quill, question...and of course fleur de lis (but I love this symbol whether it is the sybmbol of Quebec or not ;)) who thought you could cram so many q words into such a small print so seemlessly! I like how you have done the reflected side like a playing card as well, very clever.

Unknown said...

Thanks Tracey! I had a lot of fun with the design.