Monday, 28 February 2011

Fantasy Art Class Week 5 22/02/11

Thought it was about time I posted some student art.
Not many finished pieces from last week, but good work from Claire, Gavin and Orazio.

Here is a sneak preview of the exercise we will be attacking in the next class. If you can please bring a collection of markers, black is essential and possibly some primary colours (blue, red, yellow, green etc), pencils or pastels will be fine. Also a pentel or tipex correction pen will come in very handy. You can pick them up for about £2 from most stationers. The aim is to finish this piece within a single lesson.

In between having to deal with some mental deadlines and clients who can form the word , BASTARD! (yes, with an exclamation mark) with a vein across their forehead, I managed to fit in this clip so you can prepare yourself for Tuesday nights class. Yes, This is what you will be drawing , in colour. Please  bring a collection of markers, black is essential and possibly some primary colours (blue, red, yellow, green etc), pencils or pastels will be fine. Also a pentel or tipex correction pen will come in very handy. You can pick them up for about £2 from most stationers. The aim is to finish this piece within a single lesson.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Fantasy Art Class Week 4 8th February

For those of you who are planning to colour the exercise for week 3 here is a suggestion of colour pallet and breakdown. This is only a suggestion, I hope you will explore other possibilities of colour scheme. I usually use copic markers for rough colour breakdowns as shown on this post. This is an  example of how I generally colour preliminary  rough sketches.

As I have mentioned many times in class, the main reason for taking some time to produce rough thumbnail sketches and rough colour sketches of your intended final drawing or painting is so you can explore the many possibilities of layout and colour before deciding on your final layout and colour pallet. This will save you a lot of frustration later when you are working on your final piece.

How many of you have had a great idea for a drawing and dashed straight on to the nice quality cartridge paper or watercolour paper or board only to find that you have not plotted your drawing properly and either run out of space, maybe you have not enough room to include the feet or some other part of the drawing or that maybe the colours simply don't work and the whole thing looks a garish mess?

Well, that's why it's good practise to do a few small rough sketches first. Many great fantasy artists use this process. Rough Work (see images below) is crammed full of Frazetta's preliminary sketches that went onto become some of his most iconic work.

The benefits of using rough sketches and thumbnails are:
1.Enabling the artist to develop and refine the drawing before embarking on the final piece
2.Saves on wasted materials as the trial and error process has already been done.
3.Saves of wasted time and frustration when it is realised that though lack of planning the final drawing lacks balanced layout, colour or both.

Below is a breakdown of how I produce a colour rough to determine the colours of the final illustration.

First decide on your colour tones, warm or cold. Here the tones are clearly warm and are all of a similar tone.

Here the flat colour is strengthened by using darker tones to add shading and tone. For this I used a neutral grey 4 marker.

By adding black to the areas that would be in shadow you can give your drawing more impact.

Finally I've added some highlights by simply flicking a bit of white gouache over the areas that I wish to be highlighted. This helps break up the colour and also adds another layer of definition to the image.

You can use markers to colour your final piece and it will still look good. The thing to remember is to keep the ink flowing until you have finished the area you are colouring and try not to press on too hard or the ink will bleed heavily and you will have less control. Also avoiding using heavy cartridge or watercolour paper as these are hard surfaces to lay maker in down  effectively.

If you are using watercolour, I will be giving a breakdown of how to approach this in the next class.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Fantasy Art Class Week 3

Week 3
Thumbnail sketching and speed drawing.
It was good to see that most of you responded well to this weeks exercise.
Fast and loose sketching is a really good way to loosen up before starting a new piece of work.
It is also very helpful in enabling you to decide on the action, pose and physical appearance of your character/creature as well as the composition of your drawing.
I recommend you all keep practising loose sketching as often as you can to develop this skill. I think you will find it will also help develop your figure drawing.

The images below show the stage from thumbnail scribble through to final drawing. The marker thumbnail was only 5 inches tall and drawn in a matter of seconds but enable me to capture the pose of the character and the direction of the action. I worked over the thumbnail to produce a loose construction drawing and then from that, produced the final pencil.

Here is a short clip showing loose sketching. Notice the pencil outline takes less than a minute, the ink sketch in total brings it to two minutes (using the ink pen was purely for clarity as I was using a low pixel camera, otherwise I would have just kept with the pencil), so each sketch should only take one to two minutes if not less.

For Jacqui, Jorge and anyone else who requested it, here is the Frazetta image.
Sorry its not very hi-res, it's the only version I have, which I got from the internet.

For those of you hungry for more Frazetta, I can recommend these books:-

Rough Work

Here are a handful of stages from this weeks figure drawing exercise.
Mose of you got this down so I won't fill a blog with unnecessary words, although as you weren't attending Steph, here are some brief pointers.
The centre line is to gauge the position/balance of drawing a page. Often in fantasy are (or any style of art) females are given a stance which tilts the hips. This serves two purposes. It helps project an attitude or mood of the character and also visually helps define the female from the male. The difference should be obvious but will definitely help those of you who's figure work is not quite there yet with female form.