WIP Wednesday | Devil's Craft
Welcome back to another entry on the SunKing Designs blog. This time around, I wanted to provide a look at a design that has been sitting, incomplete, for at least 6 years in my sketchbook. I think its safe to say that many artist start projects that typically wind up unfinished for even longer periods should they get distracted by other prospects both exciting and more time consuming. However, it might be a bit more rare for anyone to revisit an old design without completely revising it, but since there were no "glaring" issues regarding the initial portrait, I elected to maintain most of the original design since I thought it would be a waste otherwise.
Originally, the client requested a logo for their craft beer brand, "Holy Craft". At the time, I was working together with a friend specializing in Advertising, so I must give him credit for suggesting the image of a priest. You can see the reference photo collected via Pinterest to the right. I think the recommendation was well suited for the brand, but I concluded that plastering a random priest on a label would be a bit too "on-the-nose" and thus not very creative. Since priest are supposed to follow their faith diligently, associating the imagery with alcohol is adversely impious. I think this contradiction makes the design more appealing. So, after some discussions, I suggested we "darken" the tone of the portrait by sharpening the bone structure around the cheeks, elongate the nose, and protrude the eyebrow ridge. This naturally allowed me to increase the age of the model through his hair and adjust features in the face such as the lips, eyes, and forehead. This is certainly an occasion where the devil is in the details, since I went as far as to extrude the ears to replicate a more sinister expression. To dramatize the features even further, I implied subtle burns along the shadowed portions of his face just to add a bit more uneasiness to priest's character. Overall, I think the portrait was a success, but since the project was abandoned before we could address the typography the logo failed to be much more than a character portrait.
Fast forward years later, the acute imbalances in my original render became much more obvious with fresher eyes and accumulated experience. For the sake of the blog, I mirrored the image above and highlighted key points of interest.
1. The left hemisphere of the skull was out of perspective. This makes the forehead appear larger and flatter than it should be. Since the cranium is a round object, portions furthest from the viewer should turn back into space accordingly.
2. Though details in anatomy become more unclear in shadowy areas, I darkened the area around the cheek so much that the skull starts to lose form; again becoming too flat.
3. I think the unfurling parchment style "text box" was both cliché and off-center, so that too was nixed. You can tell from its absence that the entirety of the logo would be leaning to far left should I have left it. To further acknowledge this imbalance, I went ahead and highlighted the space around the head with red and green. Green being the most ideal proportion of space compared to areas in red.
After editing these areas, I selected a bold, gothic, san-serif font that featured a more contemporary style resulting in the final image below. Using the in-program measurement system, I was able to find the correct proportions of the composition from the typography to the portrait.
By this point I decided to change the name of the brand since the project was no longer being pursued by the original client(hence the name "Devils Craft"). Yet, I was still unsatisfied with this simple monochromatic rendering and opted to add a splash of red to push the design into more "ominous" territory. Since the Devil is commonly associated with red, I was inspired to replicate the effect of blood splashing across the entirety of the design. If you look carefully, you'll notice some of this red coloring has stained the color of the priest, effectively bringing the design to a finished state.
What do you think? I'm pleased to finally release this piece after such a long period of time. Its a shame that this design couldn't have been used for an actual product but perhaps I will get the opportunity to design a new beer label in the future. What would you like to see me design next? A coffee logo? Perhaps a fruit juice product? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and don't forget to like and share this post!
Until next time,