Layers | Cristian Gutierrez

Page 48 from Lynda Barry’s graphic novel, “What It Is.”

Page 54 from Gene Luen Yang graphic novel, “American Born Chinese.”

Throughout Linda Barry’s graphic novel she uses the technique cut and paste to create results that give some sort of meaning. In this particular image, the author created a collage to achieve a single viewpoint with the use of unrelated materials that in the end come together as one. To create the collage that is composed of many layers the author used typography, photographs, cutouts of illustrations and drawings. The illustrations include both abstract and literal shapes. Although the page is very crowded the use of layers helps each individual piece stand out, Lynda Barry was able to do this because the collage creates a high contrast between each piece.

Unlike Linda Barry’s graphic novel, Yang’s work has a more realistic professional image. His work is not actually composed of different physical cutouts, but it does seem to use layers to create what we see. Working with this image on illustrator or Photoshop, in order to create a depth of field vibe where the clouds are behind the house and the house is behind the trees, the most ideal way is to use layers. If the author completed every single illustration, the way to create what we see, each illustration must be a separate layer, which would allow the author to simply put whatever layer, under another layer to create the illusion of depth of field.


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