Assignment 4: Magazine Illustration

For this assignment I had to choose from four options, these were to be used for a magazine, the options were lost, disaster, discovery and guilty secret.

These had to be drawn from still life, I could select any items I wanted to work with. I chose to go with guilty secret. I worked up a spider diagram and highlighted in red what visual elements I could use.

I had a bit of a problem, I wanted to use a skull but did not have access to one to either work from or photograph.  I looked up the definition of still life.

A still life is defined as a collection of inanimate objects arranged together in a specific way.

As the subject matter was unobtainable I put together a photo montage, this still seemed to fit within the still life parameter.
The skull represented something horrific or evil, maybe even a death or murder. For the secret aspect I felt  a “shushing” finger would represent this perfectly, signaling for someone not to speak. I very nearly didn’t add the blood drips, it’s quite macabre but it did bring a sinister element
and it really helped sell the narrative.
I wanted to use a rough texture in the background, I see this a lot in magazine articles. The hand I chose to keep flat to break up the red, for the skull I used a lot of fine lines, outlining the main areas in a thicker line.
When using colour I wanted something quite abstract and very dynamic. Red could be the colour of guilt, for example “they were caught red handed”  I wanted to use that as the main hue,  I didn’t want to use an absolute black and white for the ends of my tonal value, so I opted for a very dark red and light grey for my pallette.

Here is the artwork mocked up on a magazine, I was really happy with the way this turned out. The textures worked well, and the flat areas of the hand against the textured background offered nice contrast, the line work also worked well offering some subtlety.