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!
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)
Vine No. 4: Long Distance Travel
Part of the series “100 Vines in 100 Days”
Posted on Vine here: http://vncl.co/Q23QPW3SRtb
(GIF animation still isn’t repeatedly playing, so here it is on youtube)
Vine No. 3
Sip Sip Sip Sip Ahhhhhh
This takes a lot more time than I thought! Going to be fun and I’m still going to do it, but I may have to double up some days in order to cover for other days where I won’t have time.
First one’s up!
“A Selkie Goes for a Swim”
A selkie is a legendary creature, originating I believe from Norway. I’ve always wanted to write about and draw them.
She is half human woman, half seal. The majority of the time she lives in the seal in seal form, but every so often she’ll take off her seal skin and come to the beach to sunbathe.
If a man can steal her skin while she is sunbathing she will become his wife.
Selkies reputedly are beautiful and wonderful wives, being agreeable and supportive, and bear children that are blessed with fairy blood.
However, if she should find her skin the call of the ocean will beckon so strongly she won’t be able to resist. Even if she has children, she will still snatch her skin, race to the ocean, and disappear forever.
Posted on Vine here: https://www.vineclient.com/v/cGwvs86zLtb
Simple sketch of our main character
This simple sketch is a drawing of the main character in “Short Cut,” my side project update. I don’t know her name. It’s a short story, and her name never came up. So, for now, she’s just our “girl.”
[As a reminder, this project here is not the one I’ve been creating for the last four years with Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain. That project is still under wraps.]
Also, here’s two of the other characters. The one on bottom is her little brother and the one on top is the face of the villain.
Concerning the layout, the thumbnails are finished. We’ll keep them hidden for awhile longer, as we don’t want to give the story away! But here’s a screen cap:
This April’s SLC Comic Con is coming up, and it looks like I will be in booth O1. Things are still changing around, however. If all goes according to plan, you’ll get to read the full story there!
It’s been really fun having the time to bring everything together these last few weeks. This simple sketch represents the first time I’ve been able to do both writing and drawing together (everything I’ve done on the project with Deseret Book is still in manuscript-mode). That larger manuscript is presently in with editor right now. I’m assuming she’s tearing it to pieces…which is what I hope.
Keep an eye out.
(Oh, and by the way, the store and gallery are going through some maintenance. For now if you’d like to see my finished work just click on the “Painting” and the “Illustration” categories on the left and scroll through.)
For new readers just tuning in: You are invited to participate in this painting! It’s a faerie tank—like a fish tank, but with faeries instead. You don’t need any more information to start. Just look the color study over, gather thoughts, and comment below. To see where this project all began, click here.
After a long stint of radio silence, we’re ready to move forward again!
One note: Starting next week I will be doing live webcasts of my painting process.
For announcements on times and how to view the video of the painting in-process, sign up and ‘like’ my facebook page here:
What are your thoughts?
Here’s a few talking points you might consider:
• Does it look like a fish tank (of faeries)?
• What do you think about the balance of warm areas (yellows, reds, etc.) and cool areas (blues and greens)?
• Do you think we’re ready to start fleshing out the details?