Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blustery Day Worksheet Roughs

This is a color rough for a worksheet I'm working on. I'm still deciding if I will finish it in Photoshop or Illustrator. I'm thinking Illustrator. I need to expand the vector portion of my portfolio. Plus this will probably look good in bright colors on the little boy.
There's still some design things that need to be worked out. I think the wind from left to right and then up to down can be integrated better. I think the purplish sky areas can be limited to the upper portion of the image and the bottom purple stuff can be combined with the already existing snow border. I'll probably jack up the size of the hat to give it more weight. The type should be a bit plainer and easier to read. I'm still not very satisfied with some of my color choices. But we'll see how things go as I transition to finals. Enjoy till then!!


Jennifer Bower said...

Hey, Wilson! I really enjoyed this honest post about the process. Great to see how other artists push their work to greater heights! Thanks for sharing.

Edrian Thomidis said...

I'm sure you'll work out the areas you are not happy with. I think it's great!!!!

Mighty Kwan said...

Thanks Jennifer and Edrian! Hopefully I can work everything out! Thanks for the support!

Jolle said...

Hi Wilson,
Long time no write!
I really like where this is going, epecially the layout, but here's a few pointers to consider (or not ;))

- The kid looks like he's falling instead of running, like he tripped. Mostly due to his front foot resting on the tip instead of being planted on the ground to some degree;
- Flip the hat horizontally: it looks more natural that way. It just reads better as the 'closed' side of the hat is towards the 'closed' side of the page. It reads more from left to right;
- You could get more playful with the scarf, you now have twinning in the two parts. Besides, the wind is blowing the other way, right?


Mighty Kwan said...

Jolle!!! You know I'll always more than consider your input!

Point A- Awesome catch, I'll adjust the front front! Are there any books you would recommend that have helped you with body language and increased your ability to find things like that?

Point B-You know I had the hat that way initially. Then flipped it, largely because I wasn't sure if I wanted to carry the viewer off the page, or trap them in. I'm not sure if there is a hard rule about this, but since this is an activity sheet and not a children's book. You are probably right and it is more important to keep the reader on this page rather than subliminally coax them to turn the page! Great call!

Point C-I hate you so much Jolle!! LOL! What an awesome catch! Of course the scarf should be blowing the other way! Goodness, I can't believe I missed that! But could you elaborate on what twinning is for me please?

Thanks so much for stopping by Jolle! I'm salivating for a website or blog from ya! You must be pretty busy! How have you been and what are you up to? Hope all is well!

As always your insight is masterful!! Also, has anyone ever told you that you kind of look like Robert Pattinson? ;)

Jolle said...

Hi Wilson,

Glad to hear the pointers were helpful!
Robert Pattinson? :D That one's new for me! *lol* Well, the ladies seem to like him, so that's good :P

It's been a very busy year for me, doing mostly non-drawing stuff… Too bad really, but hey, a man's gotta eat, right? I still haven't had the time, courage or focus to dive into illustrating. Working on something interesting for my own fun though, lots of illustration there. And yes, my website. Reeeeally need to get that one in gear now, finally!

Part of what's been keeping me busy is my studies at Animation Mentor. One of the most interesting things I've learned there is the usefulness of shooting reference. I always felt like that cheating a bit, even though some of my illustration heroes do the same. Through Animation Mentor -where we had do shoot reference- I've learned that it's okay to do so, and boy, it certainly helps getting some nice details in your work. We shoot video reference (because it's animation) and I feel that that's more interesting for illustration as well. Scrubbing through the reference you get to see little things in your movement that you simply can't imagine from memory. The idea there ofcourse is that you really get into the character, but that's part of the fun!

So, that's a tip for learning body language: you get to act out and feel poses and movement, and you get to look back at it. In motion, I think that really matters. An illustration is ofcourse a single 'frame', but it matters to understand the motion before and after that moment. In the end, you're not drawing a pose, you're capturing movement in a single drawing.

All this is possible without reference, if you don't have a camera handy (I just use my phone) or don't have time, or are just sketching. The idea then is to go over the motion in your head, tracking all of the bodyparts, feeling the motion, the muscle tension, the weight etc.

The basis for all this is being present in the moment when you sketch. I know all too well how easy it is to do your sketching without too much thinking. I mean, it's sketching right, you just play around the paper a bit. Wrong. That's doodling :) Sketching should be a very cognitive act, it takes concentration and focus, and thought. I can't say for certain if you doodle more than you sketch (to put it that way) but I think you might be. See if you can put more thought in your sketching next time. Don't put down a single line without verifying in your head if that is the line you want to put there and why. Things like the scarf being blown in the wrong direction signifies you need to be more present when you draw. I really think that should be your drawing mantra: be present. You'll notice improvements on the very next drawing you practice it on!

As for the 'twinning' I mentioned regarding the scarf, I'm not even sure if that is a term used for what I mean to say, which is that both ends of the scarf are exactly alike, the exact same curve. Perhaps one could be a bit more straight, or even have a contrasting curve in it. The longer one might be a bit more swirly, of twist, making parts of the scarf turned thinner. No need to go crazy with it, but a little bit of variation between the two.

As always, hope this makes sense and is helpful. I've babbled on as per usual, but keep the two lines I put in bold in mind and see if you can use them in your next work. Looking forward to seeing more, kudos to you for following your passion and sharing with us!


Jolle said...

Come to think of it... Get these two books, HIGHLY recommended:

Drawn to Life - Book 1
Drawn to Life - Book 2


Mighty Kwan said...

Thank you so much Jolle!!

Yes, now the twinning makes sense! I have corrected for that in the b/w version. The type is still kicking my butt!!

I have added the books you recommended to my Amazon list. Hopefully Santa will be kind!

I also identify a lot with what you are saying about doodling versus sketching. I think when I draw I go more for how something feels than how accurate or purposeful it may be. I think that's a hindrance. The thing you said that stands out the most is to be purposeful and intentional about every stroke and line I make. It's about truly being a student of your craft and elevating what you do from just being fun.

I want to improve with every image I do and that means I have to study and learn constantly! School never ends for us! Which is a good thing. It means that we can only improve the further we go along in our careers!

Thanks again Jolle, your input means the world to me! Don't be a stranger!