Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Process, Part 2

Part 1 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.
Part 5 here.

The first thing you need in order to create a piece of art is an idea! Right now I'm working on a drawing for a Halloween themed art show in my hometown of Charleston, WV. I wanted to make a piece that pays tribute to one of our state's urban legend creatures, the Mothman! I'll talk more about him later, but if you want to know the full story behind the Mothman sightings in WV just do a quick Google search.

The scene I had in mind was the Mothman being lured down a street by a giant light bulb on the top of an electrician's truck, and a girl in the back of the truck ready to blast him away with a shotgun. I pictured it being in the style of an old horror movie poster, complete with the title in a stereotypically creepy font.

This was the first drawing I did to get an idea of the Mothman's proportions and pose, as well as a small thumbnail of the scene itself. Not really anything too exciting. The Mothman isn't known to have a definitive appearance outside of being big and having wings and glowing red eyes, so I decided to have some fun with designing him in my own style.

This was a drawing to help me nail down the truck and the girl standing in the back, making sure I got her pose the way I wanted it.

And here's the sketch where I combined the two and made sure they fit together in a way that made sense and had good composition. It looks like a mess, I know, but I promise I know what's going on here! I probably would have done a better job if I had known I was going to be showing these off, but in a way it's good that you get to see just how sloppy some of this stuff can be.

Here's my final pencil drawing of the Mothman. These drawings just serve as a framework for the final digital piece, so they don't have to look all that great as you can see.

The girl in the back of the truck...

...and the truck itself. You may be noticing that I drew all the elements of this piece separately. This is a normal practice for me because I find it gives me more freedom when drawing the characters. For example, lets say I've drawn the Mothman and I'm starting to draw the girl on the same piece of paper, but I notice that her head is going to block a part of the Mothman's body that I want to be visible, like his hand. This might cause me to scale back her proportions in a way that compromises her design, which will ultimately make me unhappy with that part of the drawing. Drawing everything separately makes me feel like I'm free to play with the design and proportion of the characters as much as I want.

Finally, I scan all the drawings in and composite them together in Photoshop to make the scene I envisioned. I've also used Photoshop to draw in some background elements so that I know it will fit around the characters and do what I want it to. That brings us to tomorrow's topic, which will be backgrounds!

*A quick afterthought:

I feel like I should also mention that whenever I do a drawing I do lots of research and look at as many reference photos as I can. Obviously the Mothman above looks nothing like an actual moth, but I still looked at many photos of real moths for inspiration, as well as photos of old trucks and shotguns. You never find photos of things in the exact position you're looking for, but to me that's the whole point; to get an idea of the shapes objects can make and try to understand them rather than just copying a photo. In the age of Google Images there's just no reason not to do research!

1 comment:

dylanio21 said...

I love this series of blogs.
They're really informative.
It inspires me to make a new comic page!