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Thrones of Birds

OK, here I go. My first course on Skillshare!

Birds of Thrones


This comes at a time when I’m looking to re-ignite my creative juices, and explore some new work and life options. I’m feeling pretty rusty, but just starting on this course is quite exciting. I haven’t done anything like this in... years! And I’m very much interested in the whole process outlined in the lesson plan. When I was first learning color theory, it was before all the technology that's available today. And while I work on the computer every day, in the studio of an advertising agency, I've been managing more than creating for many years. Time to turn things around a bit! I’m trying very hard not to be intimidated by the other amazing work I’ve seen posted!

I started with the notion of Birds and their differing personalities, and how that could correspond to an emotional personality.
I’m a bit of a bird nut, so this seemed like a good place for me to begin. I feed wild birds and see them interacting daily. And there is one particular hummingbird that sparked this whole direction. He's a Fierce protector of his realm, which is my backyard! Surveying his territory from the topmost branch of a birch tree, and chasing off any interlopers with great vigor.


As I thought about different types of birds and the personality traits I could apply to each, I started thinking about the emotions that might be connected to the personality image I had of these different birds. I started my Mind Map, exploring what each type of bird might represent.

I narrowed it down to four birds: Hummingbird, Bluebird, Sparrow and Crow. These four birds could conveyed these feelings for me: Boldness/Confidence, Hope/Happiness, Contentment/Community and Eny/Jealousy

As I thought about these different birds, and especially my ferocious little hummingbird, the idea evolved and I thought of each type of bird existing in a different "Kingdom". Which quickly took me to Game of Thrones!! (Another familiar territory for me.) As I explored my Mind Map of the birds and their characteristics, I decided to work with the idea of their individual Shields, or “Family Crests”, or maybe wreath.

Next I did some scapping on the web, looking for images that made me "feel" these emotions at first glance, and pulled it all together in Pinterest.

I also collected images of the different birds, and styles of illustration that I liked. I gathered my favorites of each into groups, by bird.

The Hummingbird: Bold/Confident/Fierce

The Bluebird: Happiness/Hopeful/Optimistic

The Sparrow: Contentment/Community

The Crow: Envy/Jealousy/Hatred

Now that I had these groups of images that were conveying the sorts of feelings I connected with each bird, I started to work on the color palettes.

First I went to the Adobe Kuler site, where I could start to pull some palettes from the actual images I'd collected.

Then I used the Interaction template to map out each emotion, thinking about where I'd need a Primary and Secondary of certain colors within the palettes. For example, on the birds themselves, I'll need a dark and lighter hue of the same color to create some depth and highlight.

The Hummingbird: Bold/Confident/Fierce

The Bluebird: Happiness/Hopeful/Optimistic

The Crow: Envy/Jealousy/Hatred

The Sparrow: Contentment/Community

I'm sure I'll have to make some adjustments once I get rolling with the final illustrations.

Here are my initial sketches of the birds using the wreath as a base, with the thought they will ultimately sit on a shield shape.

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