Monday, August 31, 2009

Fahrenheit 451

I recently read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and thought it would be fun to work on a cover for the book. I decided early on that I wanted to letterpress the title and author's name into my illustration. When we bought our letterpress we also acquired over 100 cases of lead type with a lot of it being from the 1950's.

That older style seemed appropriate for the book, and letterpressing the type instead of placing it digitally was a good challenge (you can see in the photo below that I had the D placed the wrong way, thankfully I caught that in the proofing stage).

The title of the book was placed with 48 point Kabel and the author's name was placed with a type I haven't identified yet (if you know the name, please contact me!). Of our 100-and-some type cases there are probably half of them that aren't properly labeled.

After roughing out some thumbnails on cheap sketchbook paper I chose a composition, enlarged it to the size I was going to paint it, and penciled it in with more detail (below). I then took that drawing and traced it onto watercolor paper using a light box. I've only recently started using a light box and it's made life much easier.

It's a handmade box, so it gets a bit toasty on the surface but it works wonders for transferring drawings.

There are more book covers to come in the next little while, including something by Steinbeck I'm working on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pastoral Field with Birds

Here is another drawing from the series of black and white pieces I've been working on for the letterpress. Another image inspired by Northern Ontario, it turned out to be a great piece for a wedding announcement when I combined it with my bird drawing from a couple posts back.

I have another couple of paintings on the go with cattails in them (coming soon). There's something about them that makes them fun to draw.

Above is a photo of the final letterpressed announcement, a two color job, printed by Papillon Press. Send an email to: contact [at] if you are interested in custom illustrated letterpress invitations or other printing needs.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deer in the Woods

Here's another drawing I worked on recently for some letterpress stationery. Living in Northern Ontario is really having an affect on my subject matter.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Two Birds

These two birds are part of a larger design I worked on recently for a custom letterpress wedding invitation.
Drawing for the letterpress has been great as it's given me the opportunity to really get back to straight black and white work. I have a few more drawings for letterpress work I've done that I'll post soon.