Designing a Stranger Things Fan poster

Hey Stranger! Thanks for reading my blog! This is my first blog post here at Medium, and generally the first time im written about my design progress. It’s not gonna be a long in-depth description (maybe another time), but I hope you, whoever you are, can get something valuable out of this blog.

After watching Stranger Things, I couldn’t get my head out of it. The story, the 80’s and of course Mike, Eleven and the rest of the gang had got me completely stuck to it.

And because of that, I began drawing the characters and events of the story. At the end, I agreed with myself that I wanted to design a poster.
I’m not the very best to finish a piece of artwork, and I often stops and leaves it unfinished after a few hours. Its a stupid habit, that needed to go.

Research and inspiration
Before I start anything that has something to do with a pen and paper, I begin with researching and finding inspiration. I often start the process with finding different images, in this case, from the show, of specific events or locations that I’ve got connected to, but also other pictures, that express a certain color, feeling or composition. I think it’s great practice, not immediately begin sketching. Of course, there are exceptions, if you have a clear vision of where to go, it may not be that necessary, but I often find it useful to create a solid foundation of inspiration, that you can build further on and create ideas based on.

Sketching
When I feel I’m ready and full of information, I begin the sketching phase. This is a fairly simple process, nothing fancy. I find out which elements that need to be told and the composition of them, perspective, and how the negative space can be used in a clever way.

I tend to sketch traditionally, which actually isn’t the most efficience way to progress fast, but I like to mix traditional (just do it in photoshop, duh) and digital in my process.

Cutting off loose ends
At this point, I got a trash can full of crumpled paper and a handfull of good sketches, which can be imported to photoshop. From here, the first thing I do is to find out which colors to use. When finding a color palette, I normally go to Adobe Color and import the palette directly in my Library, but when that is not enough I uses ColorSchemeDesigner. If you don’t know it, it’s worth checking out: http://colorschemedesigner.com/csd-3.5/ — It got some great features.

I’ve selected three sketches which have been roughly colored, that sets a starting point. I often tend to go into details to early,(not this time!) please don’t do the same, the beautifully crafted rock on the button left corner of the canvas can wait to be made. It’s okay. Let it go. Now. Please, move on.

After the roughly coloring process, I selected the sketch I saw most potential in and began to clean it up and separate stuff into different layers.

From here on out, I constantly optimizing, checking the perspective, again and again for each time I add or remove anything. I reviewed colors, do they give meaning? Is they to light or dark and so on.

The final result
My drawing process is fairly simple. In this case, I only used a single brush with a rough edge, (the brush is made by Jan Ditlev, an amazing danish artist, check out his work here: http://janditlev.com/ and download his brush park here: https://gumroad.com/ditlev) a bunch of layers, adjustment layers, masks, and the lasso tool.

The biggest challenge in the developing of the poster was that I constantly needed to take the perspective into account, which is one of my Achilles heels, but in the final artwork shown at the bottom, I think the result got pretty decent.

That was all I got. I hope you like my final poster and I hope you liked my short description of the process behind it and that it maybe/maybe not, was helpful to you. C&C is always welcome!

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