Live painting online. Come check it out! Come watch! http://ow.ly/DVIiW
…indeed, ’tis come, my friends, to talk of many things…
Alright, peeps, it’s time to finally start opening up about this project I’ve worked on for the last four and a half years. We finished the writing of it back in May. (And yes, it took a while. But it was worth it. I think you’ll love it.)
It’s for kids ages 8-12, roughly 30,000 words (relatively short), and I plan on illustrating it as heavily as possible!
(So great to be back on my home turf of illustration. Writing was a totally new experience. But I’m grateful to have the basics under my belt, and we’ll be doing more stories as time goes on.)
The novel is about a young spider. You’ll find out more over the next few months.
Today I finished putting together the 3D model photo reference for the book cover. Check it out!
This is the first 3D model I’ve done in well over a decade, and the second one in my life. All I have to say is, WOW, now that I know how to do it, creating photo reference is dramatically easier.
There’s still a number of things that I’d rather do with live photo reference for now—such as moss and texture.
Watch it live!
The book cover painting is happening live via my account at livestream.com throughout the next ten or fifteen days. Either tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll break out the paint brush.
Final sketchbook update for now.
Sketchbook update continued…
Sketchbook updates this week. Enjoy!
Remember that Deep Sea RV Trailer?
Yesterday you saw the drawing of the man moseying along through the depths of the ocean via his deep-sea RV trailer.
The fun thing is that, if you’ve been following along with my class posts, now you know how I did the drawing. Let me put it all together for you…
Shapes in Storytelling
One thing I love about working with a silhouette from the outset is that it gives me an opportunity to focus on the two most important aspects right off: the underlying concept and the overall design.
The idea at the beginning was to create an underwater place to live—I chose a cottage.
For a couple of hours I just sketched up dozens of ideas. Most of the sketches were downright failures, but a few were worth exploring.
Somewhere along the lines I got hooked on the idea of having the underwater cottage be mobile.
And then I liked the idea of having it pulled by a school of jelly fish. Why not?
Developing the idea
Of course, any self-respecting underwater mobile cottage must have a bubbling chimney on its back.
And it also must be driven by a pleasant cheeky old man.
Here’s our final silhouette:
Just like we did with the Shapely Plants, it’s time to put some white on top of those black silhouettes, and see if we can’t further develop the shape.
In my UVU class we’ve taken to calling these drawings “WOTs,” short for “white-on-tops.”
From the WOTs image higher up above in the post, I chose the WOT on the lower left. Take a look here and see if you can find the few changes I made between the WOT and the final.
What do you think—is there one of those other WOTs that you also would like to have seen? And what are your thoughts in general? Let me know in the comments!
Come travel with me in the deep blue sea…
♪♫ Ber-de-ber-de-berr ♫♪
(Click image for larger)
Taking another look at shapes that evoke emotion
I love this exercise, and I would love to do it as often as I can. It embraces the core of visual storytelling.
Alas, we could only take time in our class to do it once more for practice.
Just like last time, go ahead and guess in the comments section below. I’ll include the answers in the next blog post.
(Remember, as an audience member, you cannot guess wrong. It’s up to me as the artist to try to find the right way of describing an emotion to you via shapes. So put me to the test!)
Also, let me know which ones are your favorites!
Here we are, emotional shapes revisited…
What to do with those emotional shapes?
Now that we’re telling stories with nothing but shapes, how do we use it in design?
In my UVU concept art class what we did next was to create eight new abstract shapes that we really like, purely in the design sense.
We took those eight shapes and mixed them together to create two different plants.
From the outset we understood that the plants would be nonsensical—that was part of the fun.
But, as you see when you look through the next few pictures, we didn’t just stop there.
Once we had those plants designed, we used them as a base for drawing more designs within the black silhouettes—this time with a white pen drawn over the black.
This is a way for artists to plan out the smaller shapes that reside within the design.
Take a look below, see if you can pick out the building-block shapes above with the final results.
And, as promised, here are the answers from the last blog post:
1 & 2: Centered
3 & 4: Vigorous
6 & 7: Vulnerable
8 & 9: Hatred
10 & 11: Panic
How did you do? Let me know in the comments section how close I came to capturing those emotions for you.
Abstract emotional shapes from my UVU Concept Art Class.
All in all, this is a really fun activity.
This assignment I thought up as an opportunity to use shapes—in their purest sense—to create emotion and stories. Shapes are the building blocks of all solid design, so by cutting out the narrative element of shapes—that is, not worrying about making the shapes resemble anything we might recognize—it’s easier to focus on just making stuff that’s neat, no matter the context.
We started with a list of a dozens of different human emotions—such as pain, fear, melancholy, etc.—and then together we came up with shapes that we felt described those emotions.
We all brought these emotional shapes to class to show to each other, and everyone made guesses as to which emotion each shape was supposed to evoke. If everyone guessed the correct emotion, then the creator of the shape knew s/he was on the right track.
Here are a few from my attempts from the first pass at this exercise.
Can you guess the emotions? Let me know what you think in the comments.
(I’ll post the answers with my next blog post)