Fireflies - student project


This course was a nice nudge for me to try out the Olly Moss Firewatch art style. Love the simple colors, textures, and layers. This is my first piece in this style. Kudos to Ryan for being a great teacher and, at least to me, demystifying this style of art.

Fireflies - image 1 - student project

Step 1: Sketching & Scanning

Draw and scan trees and land. I even included the watch tower :) Not sure if I would be using it, or if I should just rebuild things with Illustrator shapes and such. Might keep this a straight up landscape and no man-made structures. See the little comp in the top right? Keeping it vague, even to me, that's how I roll–it's all about the happy accidents.

Fireflies - image 2 - student project

Step 2: Adobe Capture 

My above sketched trees are awful and dense, and turned into garbage on the image trace. I really need to make better sketches if I want to have a good image trace. I'll use them for sure, but I need more variety. I switched to Adobe Capture from my phone to get a few more options. It's much faster to scribble out trees with a sharpie and capture them with a phone directly to Illustrator. No image tracing needed. 

Fireflies - image 3 - student project

Step 3: Color Inspiration

I'm motivated and inspired by color, so at this point I looked around the Adobe Color site until I found something that spoke to me; an evening red sunset, and a dark greenish foreground. I picked about 10 colors in between with a nice harmony. The Firewatch style is typically around 10-12 colors. This is what I wound up with:

Fireflies - image 4 - student project

Step 4: Comp Exploration 

Explored some land placements, compositions, and color variations. Noodled around with the idea of water and other things. At this point I'm really digging the overall style and will be doing more using this process. 

Fireflies - image 5 - student project

Step 5: Poster Title

I decided to do a simple title and logo mark. The stars really reminded me of fireflies, so I worked this up to incorporate into the title design. 

Fireflies - image 6 - student project

Final Steps: 

Here is the poster in various states of texturing, from un-textured to full-on.

Fireflies - image 7 - student project

Fireflies - image 8 - student project

Fireflies - image 9 - student project

Final Result:

How it might look on the wall.

Fireflies - image 10 - student project

If you want to see how it all came together and learn a bit about my process and tips & tricks making my poster, you can watch the recorded video on the Adobe Twitch creative channel: Official Adobe Channel on Twitch

Thanks everyone and especially Ryan for this course!

Matt Benson

UI/UX Creative & Developer