I forgot about mushrooms when I did my second hand research last week, I did berries, fruit, nuts, acorns, even structures, but I think the mushrooms just slipped my mind. What reminded me was finding a mushroom in the garden so I photographed this then went onto Unsplash to find some other images of them that I could draw from.
I do not really know anything about mushrooms, but I think they are quite interesting and it would be cool to learn about the different types of them that you could encounter in the wild.
I really like the variety in the images I found on Unsplash as I think it looks at a huge range of species that I think will be great for research and drawing.
As a couple of weeks pass, I am finding more and more that things in the garden are changing. Things are growing and blooming, which is great for extra photos as I see them.
The Iris plants by the pond came out in the last week, very bright and vibrant flowers with an unusual shape and pattern to them.
The wild strawberry plants a month ago looked like weeds, they were growing out of the paving and I nearly removed them, but now today the little strawberries have started to be more noticeable and there is actually quite a lot of them. Something I suppose will not last too long as I am sure birds and things will eat them before they have a chance to be fully ripe.
Finally, these two dragonflies landed right next to me by the pond, after months of skulking around ponds looking for them in my last module and not really getting a successful image. Finally, a week after my deadline for Consultancy, I had the chance to get a close up picture of a couple of them. The same day I also encountered a monster dragonfly, I couldn’t get close to it, not that I wanted to anyway with the size of it!
My website is done! I’ll post about it tomorrow with some screenshots, the website was on the checklist of things to do to get the business cards done too, as I did not want to print them without a website address on them. I also did the logo a few weeks ago and refined this until I really liked it as I would not want to print them and decide on a small change to the logo. While business cards are part of the press packs, they would also be really useful for my little hair accessories that I sell as they would just look like a more professional package than my little handmade labels.
I have some sample packs of things ordered too so I can get the right feel of them, some of them have some interesting finishes on them and choosing this could be a step up in the quality depending on the prices of it.
I started on Visaprint and found that there were so many options for the business cards such as premium papers and shapes, I thought maybe start at the basic and see what else looks nice, maybe a figure of 100 will be good to look at throughout as it should keep a good guide on price then.
Using the most basic settings here with standard corners puts the price of 100 at £21.59, adding premium paper puts the price up another ten pound ish, and rounded corners by another 7-8 pound again.
Looking again at the range here shows some of the starting prices for the different business cards. This shows the various prices for 100 by paper quality and shape:
Spot UV: 37.59
Rounded Corner: 32.39
Folded 250: 38.38
Then looking again the quality and finishes here there is a number of different effects. I assume too that these starting prices are just for these, so if a couple were to be combined it would go up again.
Ultra Thick: 75.57
Textured Uncoated: 32.39
Natural Uncoated: 32.39
Recycled Matte: 37.78
So I would probably just go for a standard one on Visaprint to keep the costs down for the first lot of them, maybe changing papers or something then when I have time to actually see them in person.
So I found these samples that I ordered which do display prices on the side, although they do seem to be very high numbers for the prices. The prices do seem very good for these but I think I will go on the website and see what 100 are, as the larger numbers can be a little misleading and the word from means there are a range of options to chose from, that price being the cheapest.
So I designed a business card here, made from 400gsm silk paper, with a matt finish on both sides and round corners, which came up as £17 for the 100 which I think is quite good and a little cheaper than Visaprint and even adding the extra features onto it. It is important to see though that the price sometimes does not change for the quanitites, for example I found that 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 cards all cost the same prices so it is important to see what you can get for your money.
I found the sample packet for the Printed.com options, which had a handy list of all these things that they can print, which is useful for creating an actual presspack when I come to it as I would also need postcards and A5 flyers with my CV on it as well.
The business cards were shown like this with their details on them, just without pricing which I think is something useful to know when you are choosing a favourite in that moment.
Shown here there are a number of options for the cards, standard ones, foiled ones, white ink and spot UV, all of which give an extra bit of interest but it does immediately put the price up a bit.
Again I chose my options here that would be realistic but not pure simple cards, I chose a 400gsm silk paper with printing on both sides in colour and a matte laminate on one side with rounded corners. For the 100 cards it comes out at 16.30 which again is not a bad price for the added features.
Finally I also had a sample pack for Moo, I also went on their website to look for the prices. Shown here again there are a few different options immediately, original, cotton, super and luxe, all going up in price a little.
The pack included a couple of different shapes on the business cards, I do like the soft touch cards especially but they do usually cost a little more. Looking on the website there was around a 28 pound price tag for the set of 100, without any added features, although there was only really rounded corners which added a few pound onto the price right here.
Again not a lot of customisation that was easy to see with Banner Buzz, and 16.74 for the 100 went up quite quickly for double sided printing for example.
I tried a website called Instant Print where I found 100 basic cards were 17 pound which I think is good, but it went up to 24 with the rounded edges which I am starting to really like. I ave also ordered a sample pack of these to have a look at them before I decide.
I tried a 100 pack here that is double sided on 400gsm silk paper, with rounded edges and velvet laminated, which I think would be quite extreme but they would feel very nice. I will check if this can be ordered as a sample pack first I think but for 20.95 with those added features I do not think this is bad.
I tried a quote with this site and it very quickly started adding up the price with thinner paper than everywhere else too it actually became the most expensive.
Again the price went up very quickly here with small extras, so probably not an option for me personally.
I will reach out to some local printers and see what their prices are as well, so I think this will give me an idea of prices in my local area. I think my best options to look into are probably Banana Print, Printed.com or Mixam would be better options for me to look into more.
At the bottom of my garden we have a small field, only an acre which is enough to have a few grazing sheep to keep the grass down. I do not go in the field very often, it’s pretty much the only place on my property where neighbours could see me and the garden being overgrown and full of plants is more interesting.
I have been around the garden quite a few times, taking photos, looking for and collecting leaves to print with, and looking for signs of hedgehogs and setting up my camera. Then I thought about the field’s hedgerows, there are two quite grown sides so i thought it was worth a few minutes wander to see if there was anything interesting there.
So here you can see the two hedgerows with a variety of different shapes trees and leaves along it, and my new friends who decided to follow me!
I found a good range of plants, from the usual oak trees and shrubs, to the odd holly bush, a foxglove and some interesting looking leaves. I tried to capture all the photos like they could be a motif, so using the last few inches of a branch with the flowering ends to them that would look good as a motif.
I also found this mystery plant last week, growing out of a pit where we dump concrete waste until it gets covered over in the future, but I noticed this quite large and unusual plant growing out of it. It had a very thick stem in the middle with these large leaves coming off of it, and when I went to pull a leaf off of it to print with, I found out there were spikes on the underside of it. I send images of it to my nan, who is a long-time gardener and grower, she made a few suggestions but could not identify it easily. I send it to a groupchat of my friends last night and luckily one of their mothers works in the National Trust, and identified it as a teasel. Teasels usually grow thistle type flowers out of the top, so without this it is hard to identify. Teasels are good for feeding some small birds, such as goldfinches, when they do flower, so I think this is definitely worth keeping!
Using some of my research photos, I created a few initial drawing pages based on the first hand images I put together.
To start I wanted to use one of my favourite media, I thought this would help me work on form and shape and encourage me to produce something really nice first, to get me excited about the project. I think if I just went straight into acrylic paints, or lino, something I am not as practiced in, I may feel discouraged with the results if they do not turn as well as I think these pages did.
I like the use of the patterns in the leaves, I think they work quite well because of the range of patterns used. Some of the lines in the leaves too are placed to show a bend or a sense of depth to the leaf, this works better when the leaf is folded or something as it then has two layers to it.
I decided to experiment on watercolour, as it is quite a soft media that can produce some nice results. Combining this with the fineliner pens too is nice because it then produces this more graphic representation of the subject, which I think works well. I think some things here look better than others. I think working in a realistic watercolour style is difficult and something I need to work on more as I do not think the results of this worked as well as it could have.
I took a couple of my printed research photos here and decided to work directly from these on the double page spread, I worked using the colour scheme I wanted to work in with these bright watercolour paints and fineliner. I think these designs have worked well but I need to expand a little more, I think coloured pencils would be a nice next step to try a sense of realism then moving into more exciting experiments, such as bleach and lino, as I find interesting motifs within my research pictures and carry on trying them out in various techniques.
Living in the countryside has its perks, one of which being the large garden we have, full of a variety of different plants, trees and even wildlife. I spent some time walking around slowly, down every hedgerow and round every tree, seeing what different plants I could find that I had not seen before, that would suit my research.
My garden provided a lot of different varieties of plants and flowers as well, and plenty of blossom on the tress, it is a good time to be taking photos now I think especially with the good weather as well. I plan to use these in my book to create some interesting experiments from it.
Bringing my research back up to the present, with the current restrictions I cannot go far, but what I do regularly is go to a local farm to collect eggs from the box outside the gate, so I took some photos here and on the way back.
I found a good variety of plants on the roadside, a number of different wild flowers and plants, all of which are very different and I think would look good as motifs in the patterns. I think this is something that would work well especially with the ferns and larger leaves. These will be good reference photos to use for some mark-making in my sketchbook.
Before restrictions on movements started, I did actually attend a few research trips at different times in the year, having thought about this module for a couple of years, always knowing this was the theme I was going to do.
I took a trip to Aberaeron last year, and I kept the idea in mind that I may be looking into Puffins when I went, and took some research photos for this. Now that I am not doing the Puffin or other coastal creatures, these photos will probably not help me too much right now, but the possibility of expanding the collection is still there now.
I went with a few friends, we went crabbing and paddling, and also climbed the rocks a fair way out during low tide to see dolphins, and where the rocks were usually covered in water, the algae and growth on them was nice and I thought would make good research for texture.
The range of texture on the different rocks was so vast literally just on the same beach, I thought this was interesting and the photos came out quite clear and well.
I even managed to catch a few crabs, one of the smaller ones here seen in my hand, they remind me too much of spiders to touch the bigger ones, with the added risk that they do actually pinch with their claws. This small one was calm and just settled in my hand, allowing me to get some nice photos of it, something here I suspect was in the Puffin food group.
Brecon Beacons Lake
I stopped by the side of this lake in my car, I always drive past and never really stop because it can be quite a busy road. I only took a few photos but I thought this was interesting enough as a landscape. I like the bush and the grass in the bottom two images, I thought these were quite good research pictures to work from.
I always used to holiday in Cardigan nearly every year, it is not that far from Aberaeron but it has a farm park, beaches, and a lot of walks. I went up for the day with my boyfriend to meet my family who were on holidays there, so we spent some time taking a few photos as well.
We visited quite a few places through the day and got some photos in each place, I would have probably spent more time in Cenarth by the river getting exactly what kind of photos I wanted of the close up flora there.
I walked past this giftshop in Cenarth and took a couple of photos of some things that caught my eye there. These cushions featured a couple of animals that I was also looking at, which I think have turned out very cute and suitable for a gift for someone. The slogans are quite clever but not really something I would be going for in my own work.
Near where I was working, I knew there was a lake which I had been to before. With my friend from fashion design staying for a few days, I wanted to show her the best of what my countryside home had to offer, being from Bristol this was a big change of scene for her. I knew she wanted a woodland theme for her children’s wear collection and as I was toying with the ideas of insects and wildlife for my own third year projects this is something we could work on together.
We went to the lake on a very hot day, I loved the walk around it seeing all the lily pads on the edges of the lake, we also saw a number of dragonflies in a few different colours.
The photos I managed to get were very inspiring, I loved the shape and the colours in the lily pads, especially the ones that were dying and turning funny colours. The contrast of the bright green against the dark water was interesting, but where the sun was hitting the water in the shallows gave it an interesting orange quality which I thought was really textural and inspiring. Where I was capturing photos from on top of a platform, the lily pads were obviously further away and smaller, which I think creates an interesting pattern in itself because it is random.