My main problem with the previous “comic page” way of introducing the main characters for the magazine had been my weakness in creating backgrounds. I struggle to create backgrounds that look as though the character belongs within them, and often I feel my characters end up looking “tacked on” to the background.
I also felt though that my work for the magazine lacked the “handmade” feel that I felt both of my group’s other members work achieved. I wanted this magazine, although we each had different styles, to work well together; and despite my main illustrations being in my primary medium, sketched then scanned into a computer then coloured graphically, I felt I could create a more “hand made” texture with the backgrounds to my images.
I first began by tea staining cartridge paper and leaving it to dry; I then added coffee to stain it further, to try and give the paper an “aged” look. I then used my stencils and “distress” ink to create cogs on the paper. Cogs are one of the codes of Steampunk, and also it ties in with the magazine’s main title, “Clockwork Express”.
Knowing I wanted to add a sort of “hand written” note on the image, I ripped up parcel paper, crumpled the edges then added more distress ink to age it and stuck it onto the paper. I also added a few other elements, such as tiny bits of watches and metal cogs. I then scanned it all into the computer, and added it as a background to the image which was being used as the magazine’s first page after the cover.
I really feel this worked a lot better then my previous comic page for the magazine, and retained the “hand made” element I wanted. So, I decided that most of the pages after that I created were to have a portion of “hand made” background. I scanned in various objects, wallpaper, tea stained paper and aged parcel paper to make my backgrounds.