Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The King and Queen of Hearts

Here's my February post, I've always wanted to do my own version of the King and Queen of Hearts, and here was the perfect opportunity. All the details took me longer than I thought! If you want to see more pics, head on over to my blog or flickr.


So, John Quinn asked a great question in the comments for this post that I will try to answer here. He noted that he'd like to read more about the design decisions we make for these posts based on Leo's teachings. Excellent idea, don't know why we didn't do it before. :)
Ok, so here goes with my thought process based on what I learned from Leo Monahan. Whenever I approach a design I always ask myself the same things: are there enough variety/size of shapes, is there a point of interest, are all my colors/textures integrated well, if there is line work- is there variety of thick and thin, is the spacing of the elements interesting, is it interesting overall to look at, and how well does it solve the design question? In the case of these plush, I wanted to make sure that each plush was an interesting overall shape, and that there were obvious as well as subtle heart references throughout the pieces. For both King and Queen I used a fabric that had a million tiny pink hearts printed all over it for their "skin". In the case of the King, I made his mustache curl into subtly warped heart shapes, and used a heart shape within his belt buckle. With the Queen, her hair makes a heart shape on each side, her nose is a heart shape, etc. There was also the "royalty" aspect of this project that had to come across as well. I used a rich red velvet for their robes, and gold trim to reinforce the idea of wealth, status. I new from day one that the Queen needed a ruffled collar- a nod at Elizabethan times. I also wanted to incorporate the color purple- symbolic for royalty- without taking away from the red palette. I used a purple shade for the Queen's eyes, and a lighter one for the King's nose. Another aspect of Leo's teachings, and the one that pops into my head whenever I get to figuring out color is the squint test. If i squint my eyes and the color disappears into the other colors, (usually not what I'm going for) then I need to keep working on it until it doesn't. I also try to remember not to keep things even everywhere- which is why the Queen has 1 heart on one side of her robe, and 2 on the other, and her arms are in different positions. As for the King- if you notice he has more shirt space on the left side of his robe than on the right, and has 2 different heart buttons, and his ears aren't in exactly the same place. I also felt that I needed to balance the white hearts on the robes-so they didn't just distract the eye- with white accents elsewhere: their collars, and white in the Queen's crown. (brighter red accents in the King's crown to incorporate the robe color.)
Hope that gives you a better idea John! :D


Jeff Harter said...

Cute Leanna! You have an entire product line!

Leeanna Butcher said...

Thanks Jeff, they were a ton of fun to make- I hope to add more of the card suits eventually. :)

John T. Quinn 3rd said...

these are great Leeanna. i love your attention to detail.

is this blog for students of Leo Monahan? Are you employing specific design principles learned n his class? I wish you would share more of the thought process behind the work.

Jeff Harter said...

Not to speak for Leeanna, but I think everyone here is from Leo's class, no? But it's also a celebration of that class. Do you want to participate, John? Also think it's a great idea to talk about the precess.

Leeanna Butcher said...

thanks John- great idea to share process based on our learning! I'm editing the post now to share my thoughts.