Unit 1: Sketchbook Cover


For my first task I have decided to create a sketchbook cover based on visional recording. I choose a minimal amount of images, which represented my interests but also related to the unit.

While creating my cover made sure it had to be readable and include information such as my name and the unit title. I searched a variety of artists such as Agnes Cecile and Guy Dunning that introduces facial features in attempt to reflect vision and what we see wit our eyes.

Step By Step;

  1. Firstly, I created an A4 size canvas on Photoshop. I used this particular program because it would allow me to use a variety of effects that would compliment images, which I would soon place over the background.

I took an image of the night sky, which would convey my interests in Astronomy and would make an excellent texture due to the tones of blue that would brighten my cover.

  1. After I had found a background, I searched for another and found a treasure map. I thought the darken aurora around the map would make a pleasant; overall shadow.

I chose an image of a map; since the texture would give a papery appearance I did this by overlaying an image on top of the layer behind.

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  1. Most of my cover images were digitally manipulated through Photoshop. This can be found on the upper right of the program above the layers where there is a dropdown arrow showing a variety of different effects you can use. Here I have chosen the effect ‘’screen’’ which allows the background below to come through, to bring a starry pastel colour that blends in satisfactorily with the map. I also changed the opacity of the image so it wouldn’t take too much attention when placing my images above it.

With the ‘’Eraser Background’’ tool, which can be found under the drop down arrow of the ‘’Eraser’’ I removed the outline of the countries, which would allow the background beneath to be shown more clearly. I found this appearance to be suitable for a background and would compliment with the images I had chosen to use.

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  1. With my background almost completed, I considered altering with the brightness and exposure levels to add more tones I thought were appealing and would work well for a cover. I decided to make the brightness darker as it exposed more of the map and gave a burning colour affect. This would also allow me to add images on without them having to compete for the attention of the viewer.


  1. Marion Bolognesi, Guy Denning and Kris Tate would be the artists I would choose to include on my cover. Theirs works vary in tones and vibrancy and would show the variety of Artists I am interested in.

There are several reasons why I have incorporated their artwork into my designs, but mostly because, their selection of different medias and use of paint that is selected within their compositions.

Marion Bolognesi, a Watercolour Artist uses soft tones of green, blues and purples within her creations. It inspired me to use it for my cover due to it matching accordingly with the tone of my background cover.

I also realised the lower face appears to resemble a skull, something I have already been researching within my work and decided to use it based on this reflection.

Guy Denning’s work differs to the other two artists I have chosen due to the darker colours he has used within his works. The compositions are drawn on newspaper and are influenced on political issues, which are seen within the news.

Due to my map texture I used for my cover, I decided to be influenced by his newspaper design and overlay one of his artworks. His work also draws the viewer in with his selection of colour. The tones are rather dismal, murky and reflect a depressing atmosphere within his work that I admire. I thought this would work well being multiplied on my cover to reflect a Monoprint appearance.

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Kris Tate’s artwork is inspired among the modern design that for her includes manipulating images of mostly animals on a series of patterns most influenced by Aztec culture.

The vibrancy of the harsh shapes and beautiful bright colours contrast against the naive looking, dark bear that tilts its head upwards as though a story is unraveling around the animal. This image would be pleasant to include, as I like the variety of shapes involved within the work.


  1. I positioned the three images I had decided to use carefully, thinking where they should be placed. Some had to be resized larger or smaller depending on the original size of the image and did not want the quality of it to be pixelated, as that would give a unprofessional appearance and would not be presentable.

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With the effects I had mentioned previously, I used filters such as ‘’Darken’’, ‘’Hard Light’’ and ‘’Multiply’’ which all entwined pleasantly with each other without causing too much of a clash in colour or a problem to view the final outcome. This would allow me to add text without it being difficult to read.

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  1. Viewing the image, I still wasn’t satisfied with the outcome and decided to add ‘’strikes’’ of colour that would create a more ‘’edgier’’ appearance and something interesting to look at that contrasts with the more colder tones of the cover.

I also used the Lasso tool to cut around the eyes so I could brighten them. The eyes are known to be the center of the soul; therefore I found it suitable to make them more vivid so it engages the viewers’ attention when they look at the cover. The eyes represent the visional journey and what they have witnessed which I found appropriate to include for the unit. I thought it enhanced the attention and brings a striking vibrancy to my cover with the tweaks I have included.

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  1. The final touches of my cover were simple, however I found improved the appearance drastically. I used a ‘’camera lens’’ to use as a circular border to write the information I had to include.

In which I also added the ‘’Hard Light’’ effect to create a darker transparent image that brought back colours of bright violets and blues. I decided white text would be suitable as it was the most readable. My name was used in a different larger font to bring importance to my name, as that would be the primary thing a viewer will want to know to gain a general overview of myself.

I had to be considerate towards the use of text, as I wanted it to compliment, but stand out attractively. Using a ‘’grungy’’ appearing text, I thought that matched well with the rough textures of my cover as well as the work of Guy Denning to represent my name.

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Overall, I am pleased with my cover, as it reflects not only the Artists who inspire me with their creations, but incorporate well with the theme of Visional Recording.

I learned a variety of skills while creating this such as overlaying images and experimenting with a large quantity of effects on Photoshop that could either compliment the work or deteriorate it.

During my experimentation, I learned that some effects on Photoshop compliment depending on the colours that have been used for the design. My general favourite effects are Hard Light, Darken and Multiply as they turn the image transparent; however also give a Monoprint appearance.

There is a selection of ideas I could have changed to benefit the quality and presentation of my cover such as including more tones or images relating to Visional Recording such as cameras etc. However I am pleased with the final product and believe I was successful with presenting the upcoming topic of Visual Recording.


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