These four new card designs are the result of much head scratching and I’m still not sure they are 100% right.
After pouring over images I have tried to select iconic images of the following actors in their cinematic heyday: Gregory Peck; Marlon Brando; Cary Grant and Rock Hudson.
Initially I’d attempted to find really rare images but then thought because of the process I intended on using it would be better if they were more instantly recognisable. [This is where I’m not sure my printmaking has been totally successful… more on that later]
I sketched their outlines onto paper and then created a printing block using compressed foam (like the kind you get on the bottom of a supermarket pizza). Its a method of printmaking that I’ve used before with children aged 11-15 and you can get some beautiful artwork.
This block was used to print out a strong graphic image of each of the actors. Once these series of about 5 or 6 prints of each actor was dried I selected what I felt to be the most successful (in terms of balance of tone) and I went on to photograph and play with the colour hue and saturation in Adobe Photoshop Elements v.9 (I’ve updated from v.2!) eventually deciding on adding some colour and texture from a mixed media painting to the figures to give them more emphasis and editing out a lot of the background grain.
I then matched my actors to my personal favourite quotes given by them in interviews… it was hard to choose as many were hilarious! I struggled a bit to find a quote from Marlon Brando I felt someone might wish to send as a greeting card so instead picked a line from his character in ‘The Wild One’.
“Tough times don’t last, tough people do, remember?” Gregory Peck
A good quote to life your spirits.
“Someone asked me once what my philosophy of life was, and I said some crazy thing. I should have said, how the hell do I know?” Rock Hudson
I chuckled so I hope others will too?
“When people tell you how young you look, they are telling you how old you are” Cary Grant
Good for a significant birthday… or any birthday really!
“What are you rebelling against Johnny?” “Whaddaya got?” Marlon Brando as Johnny in The Wild Ones.
Reflects the global feeling?
I think the strengths of these portrait images are stylised and different to what else is available in this genre of greeting card, they also reflect my interest in line drawing.
However I think that the simple method of printing meants that I couldn’t get the clarity or finesse of line that would help people more instantly recognise these movie stars. Fingers crossed people like them… but I’m sure I’ll revisit these subjects in portraiture again.
BTW I love Cary Grant… or at least the roles he plays in his films! x
UPDATE: very quickly got some feedback of a fellow artist that they weren’t keen on these and could only recognize Cary Grant. To which I replied, “I sort of know they are only vague but that’s what I am not sure if I like or not because maybe they just stand for a man of that period or just even a ‘generic’ man. In which case I probably want to scrap the quotes” mmm more head scratching!
If you enjoyed this post you might like the following posts and pages on my blog
Developing workshops for 11-15 year olds based on local contemporary Artists and Designers because “it shows examples of different mediums and styles of portraits”
Artists Books Course at Creative Cohesion Sunderland With Theresa Easton, The Conclusion because “it shows examples of a different printmaking process”
Cards because “it showcases a wide range of my card designs”