Day 10 – Friday, September 14, 2012

Another week of study and work over! Let’s wrap things up.

What have I done this week and what have I learned from that?

  • I read through Leo Sandbergs book Imagine: Creating Art for Entertainment, which consisted of a lot of valuable information on the process of drawing and all its elements. Amongst those were; how a flat shape is given depth/form (2D to 3D) through shading and lighting, how lighting works (light-shadow-bounce light), color theory and the different ways colors can be combined (i.e. complementary colors, triad color schemes, analogous color schemes etc.), the theory of of light temperature in shading (for example, as Leo mentions in the book, warm lights give cold shadows and vice versa), an example step-by-step process of going from rough sketch to final, colored piece, color moodboards for stories, tempo of visual storytelling and probably some other things I forgot. Most of the things I just mentioned are the most important ones, I gathered. Some of these things I knew about, some I didn’t, all the information in the book was still very valuable. Even though I won’t be going into making concept art for an entire storyline, it’s still good to know that a lot of thought and care can be applied by making timelines with colors for the script and the like.
    I’ve touched upon some of the aforementioned subjects and replicated their ideas in my own, quick art studies. They can be seen in some of the previous posts of the workbook.
  • I’ve learned that it is important to be as general as possible, but still very clear in your description of your planned learning process for courses as free as the ones I’m having right now. This applies to question formulation, reflection upon what is learned and documentation of the process. In being clear with what I’m seeking to learn, more people can take part of my observations and it’ll be easier for my tutors to grade my result for the courses.
  • I’ve also learned, sort of by accident, that when you’re drawing with a digital tablet (such as a Wacom Intuos that I’m using), one of the most important tools during the process, especially when drawing outlines or such, is to have confidence. Confidence in the strokes with the pen across the tablet makes for much greater lines than trying to carefully, slowly draw the outlines in order to get the right shape. Drawing with quicker strokes does often take several tries, but it ultimately makes for a much better result in general. If I have the time next week, I’ll try to demonstrate this in a similar manner to the study drawings I did before.
  • Reference pictures, moodboards (sets of pictures that you feel capture the mood or style that you’re trying to achieve) and some personalized Photoshop brushes (experiment with them!) also make for a much better result and a smoother process. This might seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating because it is a very valuable tool!
  • As I mentioned before, some of the things I learned from Leo Sandbergs book, I replicated in my own art studies. I found this very effective for improving my learning, as I got a break from reading while I, at the same time, applied the things I just read about practically. As such, I made sure that I learned how to do things instead of just reading about them and assuming that I learned from it.
  • Last, but not least, planning is valuable, even though it can be boring to write documents. I’m going to make up a process plan for my practical exercises that I’ll begin proper next week. The plan isn’t set in stone yet, but it’ll go something like this;
    • Make up an assignment/a commission for something to draw. For example: Imaginary Company A wants some concepts for monsters that they can use in their dungeon crawler game.
    • Look up reference and inspirational pictures.
    • Determine what method to use. For instance, for drawing a set of monsters, a good method would be to make small thumbnail silhouettes for the general shape, then work from those to make more refined sketches. The method/process will be detailed more specifically with each assignment/commission.
    • Write descriptions of the concepts/sketches. See further down for why this is important.
    • Make the sketches. That sums it up, draw away!
    • If necessary, make short descriptions to go along with the sketches.
    • Finally, present the descriptions (textual) versus the sketches to people (classmates and such) and ask them which one they like better. By doing this, I can evaluate which communicates my ideas better; my purely textual descriptions or my concept art pieces.
    • Present the results, either on here or during the examination phase of the block.

That’ll be all for this weeks reflection. I always manage to write a whole lot more than I anticipate. See ya next week!

Marcus out.