Friday, September 2, 2011

Directed Studies Week 1

I am conducting a Directed Studies course in Illustration with a local art student and yesterday marked the first day of the fall semester. I got things rolling with a drawing demonstration and took him through an entire drawing, start to finish. I gave him the option to choose from a couple of different options and the idea of a bipedal reptilian monster was picked. I got started on some silhouettes first...

Monster silhouettes!

I quickly got as many of these on the paper trying out different shapes, forms and arrangements looking for something interesting. I let the student pick and we went with (1). I pointed out that some of the smallest and less defined, (2) & (3), to me at least offered a very interesting starting point. I also took this opportunity to talk about planning ahead and fully working up your ideas before moving onto a finished piece. Using (4) I pointed out the sudden difference it made when I added big feet to this silhouette. It suddenly became less threatening and to me looks like it is wearing clown shoes. While working on your silhouettes is the right time to figure these types of issue out... not while you are finishing up an illustration.

As I mentioned (1) was picked as the silhouette to move forward with so that is what I did. Since I could not spare the time to electronically enlarge the silhouette so I did it by hand. I made sure to have my animal books out in front of me and before I started on my sketching I made sure to flip through the pages to find interesting lizards and crocodiles. Understanding the differences between 'silly' and 'scary' animals is very important skill to have. While a frog is amazingly cool and offers tons of important reference cues it is not scary. An alligator on the other hand offers lots and lots of scary reference cues. Time passes and the drawing comes together...

Bipedal reptile monster!
© 2011 Christopher Burdett

From start to finish it was just over three hours of work while talking and explaining the entire process. After the fact I of course thought it would have been neat to capture images of the drawing as it developed... of well. Next time maybe. Here is a side by side comparison of the silhouette and final drawing, you can see the changes that began the moment I sketched out the silhouette by hand. The overall gesture and form is still there though.

Silhouette and drawing comparison.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

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