This year I've been fortunate enough to be asked back to Spoke Art's Hayao Miyazaki tribute show. After contributing my Spirited Away piece back in February, the show is moving to New York for a weekend pop-up shop and I decided to create something brand new.
It wasn't hard to go through and choose to illustrate my second favourite film in his filmography, Howl's Moving Castle. My favourite scenes from the film included the giant castle wandering the lands of the fictional European-style world, I had always wondered about the adventures of Howl we didn't see on-screen and this was the perfect way to explore that.
As always, the print was created entirely in Photoshop, even the initial sketch and colour studies. I knew I wanted the colour palette and composition to be reminiscent of vintage National Park posters, which are my biggest inspiration and would perfectly convey the vast landscapes shown in the film. I tried out a few palettes (shown above) but it's tough to create a poster for a Miyazaki film without referencing the brilliant watercolours chosen for his background art, so the final piece was a stylised version of that.
As this was created for a tribute show, I had to make sure every detail of the iconic castle was accounted for, especially if hundreds of Miyazaki fans were going to be in attendance. I didn't want the piece to stray too far away from the film visually, as well as my own personal style, so a good balance was needed to accomplish this. I was also trying out a new technique by only using the default circle brush on Photoshop, no layering modes, textures or additional brushes were used in order to create the screen-printed style I originally set out for.