Monday, 26 January 2015

SIM: Treasured Possession - Reflection

I was a bit too ambitious I think.

Initially I had intended on producing 18 panels.
I got to Panel 9 and realised that wasn't going to happen in the time I had left.
So I cut the narrative short, utilising a memory within a memory.
I'd like to return to this project in the future and finish it off as intended, I probably have enough material to make it into a couple more double spreads really.

I worked from a lot of reference photos when drawing to try and nail down the poses and compositions. I think it helped the over all standard of drawing, but half made me deviate from some of my character design.

Though I think the pencil works on a white page, I'd have liked to have experimented with a watercolour/ink wash of some kind in combination with the pencils. Unfortunately I found that I didn't have time to finish the narrative as well as do this. I think exploring minimal colour and colour contrast with these pencils could be rewarding and it's something I'll explore in the future when returning to the project.

I made some daft errors moving from the planning stage to the refined drawings, which meant rearranging the panels on the template became a bit of a bother. That's something I really want to avoid doing again.

I think there could be some ambiguity with the final panel. I was running out of time and had other work to juggle and wanted to simply relate back to the present by showing a lemon sherbet on my desk. I also was having a bit of fun as the image that is half-finished in the panel would have been the 10th panel in my original planned set of images. A simple edit of prior panels of me sat at a desk, adding in a handful of lemon sherbets, could help strengthen the communication of this final panel.
I think I need a bit of variation in line weight in the panels too, as I was drawing I got carried away doing my own thing and forgot about the techniques of other artists that I wanted to try out. Some of the panels do take this research into account, but not all of them.

SIM: Story Telling - Reflection

This thing.
It looks cool. But I'm not sure if it is of a high quality.
I made some blunders with this one as well, it became a bit of a chore in the end.
I worked from rough pencils in photoshop. I could've just generated the full images by hand, lightboxed the pen and then digitally coloured them.
I decided to go for a funky limited colour palette, but didn't use it with time efficiency in mind. I should have worked with 3 tones of one colour, something that I couldn't be so fussy about what colour goes where and how they look together etc.
I'm not sure if the narrative is clear enough either, I could have deviated from the initial collage a bit more to help with that.

Friday, 16 January 2015

SIM: Part 2: Treasured Possession - Graphite artist research

I've decided to explore producing my comic with final line work in pencil. Here are a few artists I've looked at to see if their practice could inform my drawing.

Elliot Baggot

Crisp, ink-like foreground lines. Background elements made from looser and lighter marks. High contrast between black and white. Texture of shadow changes depending on surface cast upon.

Emily Watkins

Contrast between white space/block colour and heavily textured pencil elements. Accompanied by watercolour/ink.

Raymond Briggs

His book 'The Snowman' was drawn using pencil crayons. Contrast of light and heavy marks.

Lizzy Stewart

Cartoony but with realistic textures - kin of like my own drawing. Nicely accompanied by ink/watercolour. Multiple types of mark making. Contrast between marks, blank space and colour,

Isabelle Arsenault

Light and heavy marks, bold colour.

Catherine Anyango

Dark marks, combination of hard and soft lines. Use of eraser to produce white space an contrast. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Sequential Image Making: Storytelling - Comics

[This was supposed to have been posted a while ago, but has been sat as a draft article for some time]

The first task of the first half of this module involved producing a small comic strip of 6 panels.

Our narrative sequence was influenced by collage resources that we brought in to use and a guideline;
Panel 1: Introduce character  Panel 2: Place character in a setting  Panel 3: Introduce object/character Panels 4 & 5: Character and second character/object interact  Panel 6: Must include the text 'RUN!'

Harking back to the workshops with Rob G Fresson last year, this method is a great way of generating fresh and unique material to work with. However I'm not sure if I benefited from using the collage technique after about halfway through it's completion, as I had gained a general idea of how the story was going to pan out.
Though providing a stylistic influence, n some panels the limitations of my resources felt like they were stunting my use of composition. 

I had vikings on the brain after considering my brief for hallmark cards; so when I used an image of the classic British wrestler Giant Haystacks from a pop-culture magazine, I couldn't help but see some fur-garbed warrior. His dark features led to me creating a homage to the Marvel Comics supporting character Hogun the Grim, who in turn influenced my decision to create a Mongolian character.   

The abundance of space-themed illustrations and sci-fi images led me to set this character in space and introduce a robotic villain. I'm quite fond of Stan Lee's silver-age comics and his cheesy style of alliterative and superfluous narration. I wanted to parody that with my comic.

Visually I took inspiration from some of my sources, the concept artwork for the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica and poster art of ships. I'm a fan of the Transformers series of comics too and wanted to emulate a detailed style of drawing that communicates mechanical parts to go with the space theme.

I had decided that a limited colour palette would suit the style of drawing, inspired by a source image found in panel 3 of a robotic head.
Discussion with one of my tutors lead me to looking at french comic book artists, as he found that the detail of my drawings was reminiscent of them.

Cam Kennedy

Star Wars/200AD artist.
Lurid colour schemes. Bold inks.
I'll take inspiration from this guy with how to colour my space backgrounds. I think working with a bold colour palette will help to empahsise the oddity of my character design.

Jean Giraud/Moebius

Late artist and writer, specialised in sci-fi and fantasy comics, storyboard and concept work.
Generally line-art is heavy in detail rather than weight. Less contrast in colour palette and colours can be more muted. Though this varies piece-by-piece.

Both artists seem to use hand painted colours. It will be interesting to see if block digital colours will produce an effective image or not. Considering reproduction of the image also- will using a limited colour palette hinder the quality of my image also when it hasn't been drawn with those techniques in mind?