Barrel Rider (or, a New Textural Experiment)

abm creative new ad xristopher blandBarrel Rider, of course, is one of the names Bilbo Baggins used to describe himself to the great fire serpent Smaug in The Hobbit. So why did I rip off the name to describe today’s experiment in textural effect? Well, the word barrel is an obvious fit. A few days ago while rummaging about my large canopied garage at Rosewood, I stopped to admire an antique wooden barrel I’d salvaged some years previous and had been using as a sawhorse. Brushing away the sawdust, I realized I’d never taken any photos of its ancient, textured grain and rusted steel bands, and quickly remedied that. Back in the studio, I retrieved another texture I’d come to love—a close-up shot of scratched and hammer-dented steel—and began playing around with layers and opacities for a new ABM band-graphics ad I’d been meaning to create. Setting the overall finished backdrop to dark tones to contrast inset text and artwork, I found the effect resonated almost sinisterly, and as the words barrel and sinister came together in my head, it really wasn’t a tremendous leap to that scene from Peter Jackson’s second chapter of The Hobbit where Bilbo is nervously chatting with Smaug in an effort not to become lunch.

textures side by sideThe original textures.


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