Friday, May 1, 2009

Ward Theatre Poster Project

Wow, I haven't been here for a while! Anyway, let's move on.

For one of my illustration assignments, we were asked to design a poster for a Ward Theatre production. Ward Theatre is, or WAS, Jamaica's version of Broadway. The annual pantomimes were normally held there but, unfortunately, the grand old theatre has fallen into disrepair. The pantomimes are currently held at another theatre that's closer to the theatre-going public, but I decided to use the current pantomime production for the year and redesign its poster for this project. The pantomime is called "Runner Boy".

My first attempt at the project was rushed, safe and bland. I won't even show it here. I was lucky enough to get a chance to redo it and I did a series of sketches for that purpose.

I call this my 'brain fart' sketch. It's the first sketch in the process and it was basically done to get the main ideas down - 'Runner Boy' in his country clothes and bare feet among more traditional track and field atheletes. Long before I finished, I considered this sketch to be rather uninteresting but I continued nonetheless. It's all a part of the process after all.

This second sketch was an attempt at more dynamism. I tried some foreshortening, although it's quite unsucessful here, and I maintained the idea of concealing his face as I had with the prior sketch and with the prior attempt at the project. The hills in the background reference his origins (i.e. a country boy from the town of Yam Hill). Liked it better than the first, but it still felt a little weak - as if he was out for his morning run and not a country boy called to participate in a city sporting event as the play's summary indicated.

A little better with the foreshortening, but not anything to write home about. I included two traditional runners in the background, with the barefoot Runner Boy beating them by a mile. The placement of the figures cost me the hills in the background, and also left me with an empty space to the lower left. Another trip to the sketch paper was in order.

I finally have a sketch that I'm almost satisfied with! I say 'almost satisfied' because I'd like the opinions from the viewing public before I start on the final. I changed the placement of the figures, which allowed me to reintroduce the hills (which will be faint in the background so as not to subtract from the other two runners), and gave Runner Boy himself a more dynamic angle and a more pronounced position in the foreground. I'm considering moving the title a bit lower and more to the left so as to give more balance, and the play information will occupy the space below that.

Any suggestions before I start the main piece?