Saturday, November 18, 2017

Final Children's book thumbnails and character designs due...

Your final children's book thumbnail drawings and character designs will be due on November 27th. At this time you should have exactly what page you are going to be designing for selected and be refining which thumbnail was the best. Your character design should also be finished at this point. 

There are so many ways to approach your design as every day we have discussed a fresh approach to improving our work. 

Thumbnails are to test the possibility of an idea. If it doesn't work you have only spent 5 minutes on the concept. You move on and create again. 

They are also the blueprint to your success as they will guide you to when produce your larger image. 

Remember to use the rule of thirds. Just as grammar guides the rules of composing our written language, there are artistic principles that guide our visual language. 

Push your boundaries, we can always learn a trick to make us better, but you first must discover what it is that you would like to do. Let your imagination run wild. Have fun! If you are not willing to do this... then your audience won't have fun either. 

Our job is to make the ordinary extraordinary!

Your imagination is the director! Your skills are the special effects department. If there is something you can't figure out how to do simply ask or look it up. There are resources everywhere. 

We want something to transcend our boring everyday lives.

Empower yourself and again most importantly have fun! The more you care the more your audience will too.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Don't Be Scared...Hands and stick figures


Don't be scared!

If you can draw stick figures great! We've been learning on how to use stick figures to create complex forms. One of the hardest forms for young artists to draw is the hand, and feet can be tough too. 

No one likes being called out for being afraid but a lot of young artists hide the hands because they are scared to draw them. However, look at how wonderfully they convey the story!

We look to faces and hands to tell us if someone is dangerous or friendly. We look at hands to evaluate what people's intentions are.  We use hands to express emotion. 

Hands are a critical part of the story! Don't be a bad story teller. Here are some tutorials on how to draw hands.

Again don't be scared hands can be fun!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Will Terry

This week we are studying Will Terry and how to create interesting character design. We also are discussing how our environment helps shape our characters. Though sometimes its our characters that directly impact their environment (See Image below.)

We will also be discussing how to transform the ordinary to the extraordinary. Many of our favorite stories, movies, and television shows are retellings of older stories. What makes the new ones compelling is that we have better context to them. This means we can relate to the newer version of the story better. This can be a result of reinventing the artistic style or modernizing the characters, or both. Terry's characters have an energy to them that is charismatic and engaging. What this does is make the viewer want to be a part of their character's journey. 

The gesture is critical in selling the emotional state of the character and drama in the image. If there isn't good gesture in the image then the will appear lifeless. What makes Terry's image here so compelling is nearly everyone can relate to the actions of the character. The gesture here is not only believable, but punches up the storytelling. 

Good character design should have a voice. It should be easy to imagine what that character would sound like. There are two amazing things happening with Terry's image below. First, what an awesome incorporation of a character that has a disability. Disabilities are a part of life. This creates a not only a more interesting character design, but believability. The disability in real life is a huge asset in the design because it automatically makes this character more compelling. Second, the overbite has a sound familiarity that gives context to the audience to the sound of the character. The glasses give a nice assist in selling that sound narrowing the possibilities for the audience's interpretation.

When you combine all the elements Terry is utilizing you get into dynamic children's book images. That are exciting and fun. Remember at one point children's books were the video games, movies with special effects, television shows of their day, Terry captures that excitement with solid design skills. For example, look at how he incorporates diagonals to create energy.

This picture is exciting!

Practice character design by do a master study of this drawing...

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Introduction into Children's Book Illustration

Storytelling has been critical sense the dawn of human existence. That sharing of stories from one generation to the next is how we have come to understand what we are now. While our lives are ever evolving we look to the stories of the past to understand the present. We tell our children fables, myths, and stories to protect them, and make them wiser. The hope is that the stories will inform our children's' choices so they will make better ones. 

An important reason children's books were so significant besides teaching important lessons, or being many children's first exposure to reading, is that they were a primary form of entertainment. There was a time when there was no Netflix. Read that Netflix. There was no TV, radio, iPhone, movies or video games. Books were a primary source of information (no Google back then sorry.) Furthermore, books were a primary source of entertainment. Arthur Rackham may be children's books most important illustrators whose influence is still felt to this day.

Children's books took children on journeys to places they couldn't travel to because of either cost or danger.

The special effects we crave in modern entertainment were found during those times in the amazing art of these wondrous books. 

These books explored danger like modern films do. Of course, the biggest differences is while modern film is limited to it's monetary budgets, the only budget of illustration is the imagination.

Personal reflection and lifestyle beyond what the reader was accustomed to was explored.

The realm of magic and fairies came to life in these books.

Personification of the creatures the authors described would come to life in the art so the reader could relate to what was occurring in the story.

The art was beautiful.

Rackham would illustrate such important stories such as Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass as well countless other famous tales.

His work would go on to influence famous modern movie directors such as Guillermo Del Toro who directed Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Pacific Rim.  Other modern film franchises such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit would be heavily influenced by Rackham too. 

Harry Potter's Goblins from Gringotts's Bank.

The Lord of the Rings...

So we will journey through these books to understand the root of commercial arts as a form of entertainment and enlightenment.