: How to make this hand-colored drawing even more fancier? I wanted my son to color some brain template. I will put this into front of my thesis (on visualization of diffusion MRI tractrography
I wanted my son to color some brain template. I will put this into front of my thesis (on visualization of diffusion MRI tractrography data of the human brain), as book cover. How can I put this in even fancier context? Employing some shadows? Where? I just want to look this a bit more professional embedded, without altering it too much. Thanks for your suggestions and ideas.
I have the outline as separate image:
The coloring is not science related and totally fun
I want to preserve sketchyness
Message: The reasons why I want to put this on top of my thesis are twofold. On the first side: Everyone can do science. Science is fun, creative and unexpected.
On the other side: I want to devote this work to my son, which missed me a lot during these days of writing it.
Thanks to all suggestions. What do you think about this?
Edit 3: Originally I scanned it like this. The neon colors were due to How I tried to remove paper background...
I think I need to rescan it with proper coloring, as this example is cut off on top...
Don't scrap the coloring outside the lines, I think that's important otherwise it looks chopped out of context. But I'd lose some of the random marks that exist only outside the brain.
Color is important; think about splitting it into color groups and using Hue/Saturation/Value adjustments. A lot of our perception of an image comes from color. I'd cut anything neon or garish and go for something more muted. Also tint the yellows orangier to establish more contrast from the white.
Don't frame it; I think the frame should be the size and balance of the cover or PDF or whatever. Let's assume 8.5 x 11.
Avoid cheezy shadowing or cutout effects. They might look good if you don't have experience in looking at lots of graphics, but if you have seen lots of them, they detract more than they add.
UPDATE: After your revised update, I see Math Jr. was actually on the right track about the color. :-) As it came on wrinkled paper I thought it might be useful to consider if going along that kind of thinking could look a bit less flat. There's lots of options, my point is more about working in the spirit of the material/motif instead of fighting it...
Remove the black parts of the image with photoshop (best cut them out). Then apply some blur filter and something making the colors cleaner, maybe even shine like the design in Tron. Then either add all on a black background and add the brain image in white above it or just overlay the black brain image again, although grey could look better. In such cases I usually contact a designer and let him/her do the clicking.
Imagine this image, but instead of thin border lines you have filled areas. So anything your son has drawn is in strong colors, brain lines are white and background is black.
Before I say anything else, I want to say that I am touched by your gesture to literally include your son and I think your son would be, too, and regardless of how you eventually decide to present his coloring.
That said, I like your 3rd Edit idea a lot and I decided to run with it and produced my own mockup of a full cover to help explain my thoughts.
1) I like the illustrated brain as it is including all the color streaks on the outside of the outline.
The body - much less the brain - is not always so 'orderly'; a bit of chaos (the color streaks) helps to literally illustrate this point.
For this reason, I left the wayward color streaks in on my idea and simply used the whole picture of the illustrated brain - minus the white background.
I also liked the idea of drop-shadowing to help make the brain illustration stand out more so I incorporated it into my mockup as well.
2) I like the idea of blending in fun with science.
In the case of your thesis in particular, I kept thinking about brain waves and grids and similar things and so I came up with the idea of using grey (according to my color theory class, grey is supposed to be a good color to help promote creativity) backgrounds with subtle patterning.
The main grey background has a grid-like patterning and the grey background behind the brain has an organic bubble and DNA-like patterning.
Grids are more 'clinical' feeling; DNA and bubbles are more 'organic'.
3) If possible in your thesis cover (or maybe elsewhere), a credit to your son for the coloring of the illustration would be a way to 'immortalize' his inclusion into your thesis.
An extension of this idea is: After you get your thesis printed, print him out his own copy, too, and have both of you sign it.
In my mockup as an example, I indicated a credit to the person responsible for the illustration of the brain.
You will have to forgive my immensely crude mockup, but just trying demonstrate some ideas:
Edit: since you added that this will be a hommage to your son, remember the old saying: everything looks good in a frame. This is true; and you could stylize it:
I'm going to play off of Phil Perry's excellent suggestion. Leave the art alone! For two reasons:
(Sentimental reason): It's your child! You can't ruin their masterpiece!
(Professional reason): When you commission art or illustration, you have to trust the artist. You give them the brief, and then let them do their thing! After all, you supposedly hired them because of their talent.
That said, that doesn't mean you can't do more with the cover...certainly to more, but emphasize the great rawness of the artist's work rather than disguise it. Example:
(Sample frame located here: depositphotos.com/2200129/stock-photo-Two-hollow-gilded-frames.html )
Leave it be, that is, if your child colored a bit outside the lines, that's fine. You might clean up the free-floating dark marks below the brain, as they are a bit distracting. The charm of the picture is that it's by a child, so don't try to keep it all "adult within the lines". Keep some white separation between the picture and any text or other illustration.
I can't put my finger on why, but I think it would look better with clean outlines around the brain like so:
I think it helps to convey the message that whilst it looks primitive it has been chosen for a reason and has been professionally touched up.
I could also make a pretentious statement like the artist has chosen to stay within the overall boundaries creating a stark contrast to the rest of the image.
If you would like to know how best to get rid of the colouring around the image, please comment below this post and we can point you to some existing questions and resources that will help you to do this.
On the point made by Phil Perry, I agree that you shouldn't try too hard to make it perfectly clean all around the outside. It also reminds me of Roald Dahl books and Quentin Blake's beautiful illustrations where there are just tiny bits here and there that he colours outside of the lines. I would not consider Quentin Blake's style to be "adult within the lines" even though he almost always does stay within the lines.
I think there is already a lot of contrast going on here:
Black and white vs. color
Sharp precise lines vs. well... not so precise lines :-)
Semantically, science/serious vs. childhood/fun
What is the message you want to communicate with this though? Are the colors located in meaningful places of the brain?
I think if you add more to this, you will make it less professional. Pick a very legible serif or sans-serif to go with this and a nice quality of paper. You might want to play with how to frame the brain in the page. Reuse the colors of the drawing for elements like titles, bullets, etc.
I wouldn't go much further or it might get chaotic. If you really want to add to this, you could make the drawing look like it was cut out of the paper, leaving a white outline all around it, putting a light shadow on this and then using a solid color background.
I place for the inspiration some examples from shutterstock:
Clean clear type, plenty of white space.
Place on table, single window bright overcast day, handful of crayons scattered photo from 60egrees above, depth of field. Full bleed to edges of page, white type