Friday, 30 November 2012

Short Pose Studies.

This week at life drawing the model switched between 30 second, 2 minute, 5 minute, and 30 minute pose sessions.

I'd drawn 5 minute poses before, but I'd never actually drawn at this rate, so my first drawings are very unfinished because I didn't realise quite how short 30 seconds actually was.

But as I progressed through the class I got a better grasp on the situation, and began adopting quick, "swooshy" pencil strokes which allowed me to convey the pose of the model, as opposed to focusing on little details.

This was probably the most helpful and fruitful life drawing class I've ever taken part in, because I could see a clear improvement from before and after.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Character Sketches.

Got my sketch on this morning. Messing around with incorporating basic shapes into character designs again.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Long Pose Studies.

Here are my sketches from this week's life drawing. The model assumed one pose for the entire 2 hour duration, which gave me the chance to do studies on specific parts of the anatomy. Apologies for the last one, it sort of went wrong. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Ethnography/ Ethnogenesis Research Illustration.

So I've been reading up on Ethnography and Ethnogenesis over the past week or so. Ethnography is one of the qualitative methods I've been highly drawn to recently. Mainly because it explores the idea of Ethnogenesis. This is increasingly interesting to me as I explore the adaptation of humans for my illustration designs.

I particularly like this paragraph which I found here.

"But if that is so, then many isolated peoples, considered to be at 'early' stages of civilization, with an extremely low level of technique, are the final and not the initial phases of ethnogenesis. Such, for example, are the pygmies of the tropical forests of Africa, the aborigines of Australia, the palaeoasiatic ethnoi of Siberia, the Tierra del Fuegans, and the mountain people of the Pamirs. The degree of adaptation to the natural conditions is so high that it enables them to maintain their existence as part of the biocoenosis, without resorting to improvement of tools and weapons. But this system of relationships with natural and ethnic surroundings puts a limitation on growth of population. That is particularly noticeable in New Guinea where the Papuan youth, until recently, was not given the right to have a child until he had brought in the head of a man from a neighbouring tribe, having learned his name, because the number of names was strictly limited. In that way the Papuans maintained their balance with the natural resources of the area they inhabited. That was drive close to the zero level. In other respects they do not yield place to dynamic peoples." - (Lev Gumilev.)

This highlights interesting points about certain races and cultures, which are affected by the climate, altitude, etc. which surrounds them. These things are key in visual adaptation, as the designs for, say, a tribe which live on huts hanging on the side of steep mountains, and have done for thousands of years), will presumably be completely contrast to a group of settlers living underground in some futuristic dystopian city.

Tonight's assignment was to imagine a basic idea for a tribe, or people, and do some development sketches for the characters, animals, foliage, houses, etc. of said tribe.

I thought of a tribe who are constantly under attack from a neighbouring village, the villages reside in an insanely vast, hot planet. The planets' climate and ecology echo's Africa's Savannah plains.

I figured the characters would be clad in somewhat bright colours most of the time to be recognisable amongst the tribespeople as a local and therefore, non-threat. This idea came from the "Oroma" tribe of Kenya.

The "Oroma" people are well-known for their vibrant clothing.

I also wanted to experiment with foliage and building designs for this imaginary tribe. However, I've never really had much experience designing either. So I sort of adapted sketches from The Skillful Huntsman to fill up space until I have researched this further.

To make the idea more exciting I played around with the idea of the hunting methods of The Kazakhs of Mongolia. They take advantage of the vast open plains which surround them, and hunt using their heavily-trained Hunting Eagles.

So I thought it would be interesting if the tribespeople had some sort of arrangement with another race. From that I imagined a flying species, which are of comparable intelligence to humans, but lack the fighting ability, and struggle to catch prey in the unforgiving and distance scape of the desert.

The idea of the two of them having an agreement was sounding good. So I thought perhaps the sky civilisation provide scouting members who's job is to constantly soar overhead on the watch for oncoming attacks to the people. In return the people provide a safe house for the sky species within the confounds of their town.

Here is the conceptual artwork I have drawn up so far.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Self Critique and Explanation.

WHY? Why does the painting look like this?

click to enlarge.
Ok, let's give this a go.

I'm going to assume that you haven't seen this painting before, although I'm sure the majority reading this have. So sorry to post the same piece again. But I need to reflect on it.

So the painting was inspired by painters from the Dutch Golden Age, (the 17th century), Pieter Claesz and Harmen Steenwijck. 

The lyrics that inspired the painting were from a song by Fleet Foxes. 

"Through the forest, down to your grave. 
Where the birds wait, and the tall grasses wave."

Because I wanted to create an image which dealt with the mortality and the passions and joys of life. I instantly thought of those two painters. 

Those named in particular were famous for using composition and lighting, amongst other principles, to symbolise the idea of life and death. 

Steenwijck's composition can be understood through diagonals.

This composition allows a contrast symbolising Life & Death. (Light and Dark).
Now the idea behind the location of the painting is quite the contrast. The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker was the main inspiration. When I heard the lyrics for the first time I was reminded of the location of a grave on Windfall Island. It sits atop a hill, which acts almost as a branch from the island itself, as if it's reaching out to the sea. I always loved this image in the game, and thought it would make for a cool adaptation for these lyrics. Here's a screen capture to show you what I'm referring to.

The location struck me as very poetic.


As for the artistic nature, the painting leaves a lot to be desired. 

Having just read a nifty "How to critique your own work" article, I decided to pick apart the painting. 

1. Looks flat, simple brush strokes haven't been used properly. Detracts from the smooth, pleasantness of the sky.

2. Learn how to actually paint clouds. Next.

3. Out of place clouds, that were never taken any further. Actually prefer these little wispy clouds to the looming dark ones I ended up using.

4. See No. 2.

5. The reflection on the water is boring. Sky almost blends into sea. The sun's reflection in the sea probably wouldn't look like that at all.

6. Make my own grass brush next time. The repetitiveness of this brush is painful to look at.

7. I normally paint rock better than this. I think I was confused wether to make it look like dirt or rock. I guess it's not too bad.

Thanks for reading,
I promise never to post that painting again.

Ok, bye.

iPad Finger Sketches.

Some quick character sketches done using Autodesk's Sketchbook Pro.

First Critique.

Despite my critique presentation being almost entirely practical, I received a lot of welcomed compliments on my work from Brian, Ryan & Lynn.

 I didn't record the feedback, but I did manage to quickly take note afterwards on the trusty iPad. 

What to improve on.

The "Why?" of my work. 

This was the resounding feeling in the air throughout the majority of the feedback.

I'm very guilty of getting to carried away when creating that I often forget to document or analyse decisions along the way, a least on a conscious level. I guess I've always been a bit of an introvert that way. And that doesn't help when you have relatively lengthy proposals and papers to write regularly. 

So as a suggestion from Ryan, I'm going to assess one of my previous original paintings and discuss the goods and the bads. Lynn suggested circling areas on the painting itself and writing about these specific parts which may or may not work, and what I can learn from this. (So basically a self-review).

 I actually saw this process done somewhere else recently, but unfortunately I can't remember where. So that's my task for today. 

Vehicle and Weapon design. 

I, perhaps foolishly, included a picture of some Star Wars vehicle concept art in my slideshow. 

Now I'm not, or at least hope I'm not, one of those people who draws the same thing repeatedly and tries to convince themselves that it's "relevant to my studies". 

However, I now realise that by including this picture, people naturally assumed something like: 

"Oh, he's going to do a bunch of Star Wars inspired vehicles and learn nothing. What's the point?!"

And I would have thought the same. However, it was purely just to say "here's an example of vehicle design for a film." 

If I need to design these, I'll be aiming to design fresh and interesting vehicles and weapons. I wil be developing with task in mind, not Star Wars or any other original world visual styles. 

The Positive.

Most of the practical work I've been doing has been studies of existing work by industry professionals. I like to do this because I often pick up on where new artists have perhaps received inspiration from the old masters. 

Bobby Chiu's work echo's the warmth of late art legend Norman Rockwell

This reasoning seemed to gain a few nods of agreement from my piers and tutors. So hopefully that was interesting so some people.

What's Next?

  • Research Proposal. 
  • Theories which resonate my questions. 
  • Comparing the design process between Animation and Games.
  • Analyse my own work. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Interview with Kenneth Anderson.

Yesterday, freelance artist, Kenneth Anderson, was nice enough to grant a structured interview.

Despite going in with a list of specific questions, Anderson would often pick up on something from these and a whole new area of conversation would stem from that, which made the interview much more interesting.

I guess you could say it was an informal structured interview? 

Regardless, I received a lot of personal information about his career, his journey (so far), and also where he finds his inspiration. Which was obviously enormously helpful to someone like myself, hoping to make it out there in the big ol' world not too long from now. 

Anderson often gathers inspiration walking his dog. 

Thankfully, about 5 minutes in I remembered to begin recording. I always forget to record things, so I'm glad this one time I actually remembered - even if it was belated. 

One of the main things we got talking about were other professional concept artists/illustrators/fine artists that we were interested in. I managed to find out a whole bunch of artists who I had barely researched or sometimes even heard of, but were informed these were "must-knows" in the industry. So that was a big step in research direction.

One of the ideas this brought to light for me, from that meeting was the idea of comparing concept artists from the 60's/70's, and examining the styles, the influences, and really just the whole purpose of the concept art then, compared to the concept artists of today.

Bobby Chiu is part of Imaginism Studios Inc.

Imaginism Concept Art

So that'll give me a tonne of arts to look into for a while.

Also, after my previous post about my adaptation of song lyrics to art, I've decided it's time to begin experimenting with interpretation and using different styles of approach when drawing. 

So I guess I'm going to find a short description of a story world, (there's tonnes online), and draw up several adaptations of the same description and explain the decisions of the art created. 

'til next time.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Illustration and Music 1.2

So yeah, this post is just an add-on to the previous one. 

Here is the finished interpretation of the aforementioned lyrics. Few things I don't like about it. Those can be fixed once I get better. 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Illustration and Music.

Ok, incase you don't know exactly what illustration is...

Well, The Free Dictionary describes illustration as a

"pictorial matter used to explain or decorate a text."

So this illustration is created through my interpretation of the song:

"Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" by Fleet Foxes.

Not the entire song, per say, but one specific lyric which grips me every time I listen.

"Through the forest
Down to your grave,
Where the birds wait,
And the tall grasses wave"

So as you can see I haven't exactly finished the painting quite yet. I have my layout and I have my colours blocked in. I think the sunset harmonises with the message of the illustration and harmonizes well with the composition.

I'll hopefully be finished the painting by next week, because I have a lot of other things to do.

Also need to do another presentation for Crit week. So hopefully get some helpful feedback this time round also!

Tonight's Study. And Next Steps!

Hello again. 

I've decided to start doing some more environment studies again. So before I get back into that swing of things, here's one I quickly did tonight to loosen up. 

This is based on a painting by another artist, who you can find here on tumblr. So I thought I would just state that. 

So that was a nice little exercise. 

Also, I've set a few tasks to do for the next week. Which are paramount, and WILL BE DONE.

 You have permission to steal my milk money if I don't. 

  • Literature Review blocked out. 
  • Different painting every night. 
  • Write up analysis of two films and explore and compare their concept designs and overall adaptations. 
  • Have a good ol' Starbucks observational drawing jam. Let me know if you want to come along. (It's less creepy when you're not alone.)