Friday, January 21, 2011

Creating Worlds, Week 1: Kryptonite

So I'm taking this course called "Creating Worlds," and it teaches just that- how to make your worlds and spaces more real, as imaginery as they might be. And when I say real, it means not only visually, but emotionally speaking as well. You can feel the space, be in that space, and really believe that space exists.

We started with a basic perspective overview, because if your picture isn't making spatial sense, then it is harder for the viewer to believe in it. This is up to a certain point, however. Not every piece of art is perspectively perfect. But one must know the rules by heart, and truly understand them, in order to break them effectively. (You can brush up on yours with these books: "Basic Perspective Drawing" by John Montegue, "Perspective Made Easy" by Ernest Norling, and there is a section in "Creative Illustration" by Andrew Loomis too.)

So our first week's homework was to make two drawings of spaces that exist in our inner world, one in One Point perspective, and one in Two (or three) Point perspective. Over the years, I've had quite a bit of experience doing perspective drawings. I've never particularly enjoyed doing them, but have found them easy enough, and so did them without complaint. So I thought our homework would be a piece of cake! Haha! Ha! Ha. Heh...

Audience, it is now time for you to meet my new friend, my Artistic Kryptonite: Perspective in a Made Up World.

Don't get me wrong now- I can still draw perspective in a real world situation, with real things that actually exist. But when it comes to having a particular composition in my head, and putting that down on paper, then asking me where my vanishing points are, and if this table would look better at that angle...

It was hard! I drew, re-drew, traced, cut and pasted. And I got super frustrated with myself. After all these years, (well I'm still young, but I thought the years I spent in college must have accounted for something at least...) how could I still be struggling with silly perspective?!?!

But then I realized that it doesn't matter if I can pull the information I needed out from my brain. I can use that brain to construct something to use as a reference! Drawing from life is never cheating, it is a very useful (and lifesaving) tool.

Things got a lot easier after that! I wasn't able to come up with fully complete drawings because I ran out of time. But I know I will finish them, if not by the end of this course, but definitely in the future, because each composition is one I will be using in three of my stories! Sneaky, huh?

The original composition in my mind's eye.

This is how it would REALLY look. Yes, the sheep lost both his ears.
(We don't like to talk about it.)
Ahh, a nice messy graphite drawing!

Except I can't stand smudgey graphite, so onto the blue pencil.
I'm going to clean this up and then go over it in pencil.

Bungee Bunny's house.

This scene will happen in the story.
There goes my pics going sideways again. *sigh*

Our instructor helps me get a better idea what I'm doing by drawing some ovals.

I'm trying to get a better idea of the space my characters are in.

This is where I start getting super frustrated. It isn't the view I want to see!

but THIS is!

SO much better! Should have done that first...

The actual composition I was looking for, with correct perspective!
Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011.
I'm not posting the third image because it is nothing but a scrubby little thumbnail, times three. But you'll get to see it eventually.

The most encouraging thing we learned was that our instructor had struggled in just the same way each of us did for this project, and he promised us the more we practice, the easier it gets. So there is hope for me yet!

Next Week: Emotional Design, and shape psychology! Read "Picture This" by Molly Bang.

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting. I know how much I've struggled with that, too... So great to see and share your process!