Saturday, January 11, 2014

Piggy banks stage 1, roughing out the designs

When I started out making these gifts, I had no previous plan or even a rough visual in mind.

All I knew was the personality/preferences of the two mothers-to-be, and the gender of one baby.

There were two major design 'problems' to work with:

1) The shape of the pig is in no way symmetrical. Even the location of the coin slot isn't centred in any meaningful position. Because of this, there were a lot of things I wanted to do that seemed great in theory, but just didn't look good when you actually laid it out on the piece.

2) Almost any design on the back of the pig... ended up looking comically like a piggy anus. While this was... amusing, it also resulted in discarding many ideas.

I spent a full two days looking through books and roughing out sketches (using a black micron pen) on the surface of the porcelain pigs before I finally decided on a lotus design for the girl baby (hereafter known as Lotus Pig), and a gender-neutral Chinese influenced design for the baby I didn't know the gender of (hereafter known as Sleepy Pig).

I didn't take many pictures because most of the designs were wiped clean before they looked even remotely usable.

You can see I was playing with both pig designs in this, one sleepy eye and one cute/feminine eye, and I was toying around with more of an Arabesque look on the top, and a sharper design on the bottom.
One thing I also played around with was either creating a band-like design that wrapped around the whole piece (which I ended up with), or more of a point of interest design, like this, which is more traditional for European porcelain painting.

The tops of this one was where I started meandering from Arabic into Chinese influences, and decided it worked better overall, even if this particular design was scrapped.

The Lotus Pig was the one that came together first, and in the initial design stage proved more difficult than the Sleepy Pig, but Sleepy Pig ended up more problematic in other ways. You can see I was already partially roughing out a template at this stage, but you'll notice I still had a 8-point lotus instead of the 10-point lotus which was the final design. The 8-point just really didn't look as good, but I was hesitant to 'do the math' required to make a 10-point lotus.

Here was the semi-final roughed-out Lotus Pig design just before I started making templates. I really liked the cute eyes.

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