Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Process is Key!!! Part One

You can't build a solid house without a good set of blueprints. I push the importance of following the process and making as little 'repetitive' work as possible. At the same time I am not of the camp that goes overboard with gimmicks. For example, while gridding off a picture then transferring the grid to enable near duplicate rendering isn't as impressive as just following basic drawing rules to draw a reference picture or item. Sure you can do it sometimes but doing this all of the time will only diminish an artist's skill.

The following is a method that I like to use SOMETIMES to refine drawings and is a good way for someone to build their drawing skills...along with some Photoshop goodness thrown in.

I came across a book during an illustration class (around 2003) that was a collection of creatures designed by the artist. What a great reason to make a book...just to push your imagination. So I started dabbling in this exercise in creativity. Again, during this time I was learning Photoshop coloring techniques and the product continues to be one of my favorite computer illustrations.

The first thing I did was a gesture drawing. I can never express enough the importance of 'learning' to do gesture drawings. Many students stumble at this process because it is not only new, but really pushes the 'eye to hand without thinking' side of the brain. But gesture drawings help teach one to 'see', to keep proportions correct, work out visual problems such as perspective and foreshortening, and add some life to a drawing that could end up too 'manufactured'. Plus a good gesture drawing is a nice piece of art on its own!

After the gesture drawing I will lay down a piece of tracing paper over the gesture and break it into shapes (or I might do this off to the side without the tracing paper depending on what I am trying to accomplish). You can even break the item into shapes over the gesture using a different colored pen or pencil.

Next I will lay a piece of tracing paper over the 'shapes'and start to refine the drawing into something more 'real'.

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