Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blocks and Guardians

Perspective is one of those skills that any one who wants to be a good artist has to understand. I, for the most part, understand this idea. I know about 1-point, 2-point, even the tricky but potentially really cool 3-point perspectives. I can draw little models using it, horizon line and vanishing points and all. That said, actually applying it is another thing entirely. I have a hard time sighting and measuring objects, and these are important when you're doing small objects. Perspective is in play, but not as "strongly" as larger scenes (IMO), but if you don't get the measuring and sighting right relative to the objects in the image, it can be just as bad as getting the actual perspective wrong. Case in point, these two pages I did of drawings of small wood blocks.

In the future, I plan to do more such drawings, but use larger objects. They're easier to sight than 2in. wide blocks.

The concept class sim is back in business after a break of a few weeks. This time around we're working on characters, and we're exploring them with archetypes and silhouettes. Why silhouettes? Well, silhouettes help the artist concentrate on the large picture and to make a character read well. You want the audience to be able to read or recognize the character through his/her/its silhouette alone. The perfect example of this would be Disney's Aladdin; everyone has a distinct shape, and you can tell in an instant from their silhouette alone if this is the Genie, Jafar, or Jasmine.

For the exercise, so far, I'm doing a guardian archetype. Because my world is Asian influenced, steam tech and magic filled, I wanted to draw on the mythology and bestiaries of Asia and China. I also wanted them to be potentially larger than life, practically embodiments of the world the characters live in. I drew upon the Four Chinese constellations with the dragon, tortoise (which is actually a tortoise AND snake), vermillion bird/phoenix, and tiger. I also thought of a large fish, a bipedal tortoise, a kilin/kirin, and a tengu. I have room for six more, so I'm going to do some more research do come up with a few more.

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