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Bird in Flight

I've been waiting for an excuse to use George's teaching on an actual client project. So here goes: 

While I can't tell you what this is actually but I can say that the decision to create a bird in flight is agreed on. Now for the tricky part: What bird and what form? Living in New Zealand where the majority of our animals are birds (you know we have no native mammals?) there are not many to chose from, especially as the popular ones are on logos left right and centre (I'm looking at you Mr Kiwi, Mrs Tui and Cheeky Fantail?).

:: BIRD 1 ::

This lovely little bird is like lightning. It's pretty hard to source a decent image of it in flight. I found the image below that gave me some ideas about what forms it makes in the air. From there I found some other birds of similar size and stated the tracing process. The sketch to the right is one of my first traces before I found my rhythm.  Followed by the refined form.

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VERDICT: While I adore her she is too cute for the brand I am working on so it's back to the drawing board.

:: BIRD 2 ::

To add more sophistication to the form I decided to find an image that has symetry and if possible include some negative space. If George has taught me anything it's that negative space, done well, rocks. This photos (left) feels like it's heading in the right direction, but it's not going to be easy to do the tracing approach as the image is at an angle. So a quick jump into Photoshop to fix it so I can stay true to the course.

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The wings are too pointy and the form that I wasn't happy with any of the forms I was drawing. I need to work on making the shape mroe elegant and if possible bring out the eyes as they do define the bird. By now I have a fair idea what I need to focus on so I'm jumping into Illustrator where I can speed through iterations digitally while keeping things symetrical.

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VERDICT: I'm very happy with this bird now. I dropped the eyes (as they kept making it look too sinister) and widened the tail and softened the curves of the wings. Having the head in negative space stops the mark being too heavy and add more interest I think. I've still got to the work on the colour palette but that's for another day.

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