The Drought. Used to be Rockwell before I dragged it through a hedge backwards. Think this looks bad, you should see the other guy.

The Drought. Used to be Rockwell before I dragged it through a hedge backwards. Think this looks bad, you should see the other guy.

A (bad) dream of water.

A (bad) dream of water.

We visited this place recently. It’s called Chain Bridge Honey Farm, in Northumberland. It was great, all kinds of old odds and ends there apart from the actual bees. But this old bee house thing caught our eye on the way round. Interesting, with a touch of Wes Anderson about it. Do bees live inside th… Hey, wait a minute, what’s that in the right attic wind… Oh, now that is a bit…

When the solution is simple, God is answering.

I don’t have faith and distrust organised religion, but I am a confirmed and devout member of the church of simple.

OK, done. Done.

OK, done. Done.

Sorry for the silence, I haven’t been tip top at all. I’ve been tinkering with this Drowned World lettering, because that’s what I do and I wasn’t completely happy with it before. Am I completely happy now? Am I ever? I tried using the 3D tools in Photoshop but it was a sledgehammer to crack a peanut. Also it was too realistic. I don’t want realism! Vanishing point perspective, pah. So I did it my way. I’m quite pleased with the tweaked shape of the Ws, which puts me in mind of Strangman’s alligator pack for some reason. Teeth, I suppose.

Is this one, if you’ll pardon the pun, floating your boat? Does it look more drowned?

Is this one, if you’ll pardon the pun, floating your boat? Does it look more drowned?

The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard.

I admire and also get spooked by Ballard’s writing style, which is often dispassionate and haunting at the same time. I tried to recreate this in the play between the landscape and the lettering. I also wanted to make reference to Ballard’s interest in surrealist painting through the smeared background, which is inspired by Yves Tanguy. I’m no painter, but I’m pleased with it.

During the afternoon and evening Hardman would sit in the open doorway, watching the distant sun through the mists. In the intervals between the storms its rain-washed beams lit his green-tinged skin with a strange intense glow. He failed to remember Kerans, and addressed him simply as ‘Soldier’, sometimes rousing himself from his torpor to issue a series of disconnected orders for the morrow.

Increasingly, Kerans felt that Hardman’s real personality was now submerged deep within his mind, and that his external behaviour and responses were merely pallid reflections of this, overlayed by his delirium and exposure symptoms. Kerans guessed that his sight had been lost about a month earlier, and that he had crawled instinctively to the higher ground supporting the ruin. From there he could best perceive the sun, the sole entity now strong enough to impinge its image upon his fading retinas.

The Drowned World. I have been working on the lettering, swapping Helvetica Neue to trusty old Rockwell, and trying to improve the legibility. That involved a cheat, but I’m not too disturbed by it. The kerning could do with some attention though.

The Drowned World. I have been working on the lettering, swapping Helvetica Neue to trusty old Rockwell, and trying to improve the legibility. That involved a cheat, but I’m not too disturbed by it. The kerning could do with some attention though.

It nearly works. If only the R didn’t look so much like a B.

It nearly works. If only the R didn’t look so much like a B.

Doings, thinkings, drawings, startings, stoppings. In other words, the process blog for Greg Stedman Illustration

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