For this Chinese New Years, I wanted to take a shot at making my own version of a graphic hat captured the year of the rooster.
A quick look revealed a lot of designs that were very stylistic or that only hinted at the rooster partially. I decided that I wanted to attempt something that utilized the whole number as part of the rooster while retaining the legibility of the numbers.
A quick initial investigation on the form revealed to me where I would like the numbers to be and I then began to bring the numbers back to a more legible state.
Attempting to keep the numbers in a printed font like state proved difficult as the blockiness conflicted with he angles I wanted for the rooster (the upwards angle of the head and neck and of the tail). I ended up deciding to angle the numbers slightly up at each end to accommodate this.
Then it was onwards to the calligraphy. Ink is a very punishing medium; without layers and undo buttons, a single mistake on a later stroke can make an entire image trash. On the other hand, this means that you get a lot of practice, and by the final draft, every stroke is very familiar to you.
As I started, I still needed to play with thickness and dryness of the brush.
With a bit of workshopping with my friend Dan Lin (https://aeveis.tumblr.com/), here is my final version below.