Monday, October 24, 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
In order to gain success we have to push through our fears of failure. As an extended jumpstart we are to draw something we are afraid of. The reason is that as artists, we are creators, who are in control. Your fears can't harm you if you are creating a controlled environment for them. You can even make them silly.
The point is that students are being taught that many of the things we feared when we were small we no longer fear because we learned to gain control of those things in our lives. Such as, if you fear the dark, when you get older you simply turn on the light switch. The light switch we are using in our classes is our minds.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
The hand is one of the most complicated features to draw on the human body. However, the hand is essential to visual story telling. In addition, the mark of an experienced artist is often judged by how they use hands. Hands can seem scary, but they don't have to be.
I have heard the joke a million times, "I do art, but I can draw stick figures." My reply is if you can do stick figures... you can draw. We need to approach the hand as a stick figure drawing. Think of every joint as a circle and the bones connecting the joints as stick figure lines.
Below is a sample of basic hand shapes and anatomy.
Again keep thinking of the hand as basic stick figure shapes and lines.
Male hands tend to be more angular. Think boxes. You should start with male hands because they are more forgiving in regards to making mistakes, and can be easier to draw initially. Start with trying to use the most basic shapes possible.
Note not all fingers are the same size. Look at your own hands. Always look at yourself for reference when you are trying to draw people. Notice that not all your fingers are the same size.
See how you can use stick figure drawing and basic shapes to help you create a complex image. Think of these lines as bones. Everything thing has an inside structure... and an outside structure. When you look at a house you see the outside not the support beams inside the walls. Without that support your house would collapse. So draw your supporting lines and create your "contour" walls around them,
See how the guidelines are used! Use them for yourself and will be surprised how much easier drawing will be and accurate.
The hand simplified.
When you move your hand different position how does the anatomy react? Think of Isaac Newton's 3rd law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Look how the pads of the hands respond to the movement of the fingers.
Find shapes that are familiar to you to assist in your drawing.
As fingers curve when they are extended they also do so when in a fist.
When drawing women's hands start with ovals or ellipses instead of blocks. Women's hand tend to be smaller and more nimble.
Start with circles. Next connect rough contour lines over your stick figure lines. Lastly, refine your outline (contour.)
When grasping objects your fingers tend to overlap.
For more information...
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Creating a good image doesn't have to be blind luck or mystical talent. Just as there are rules in science to explain solar system, such as gravity. there are rules to art that assist our visual universe. But before we get to the rules, let's talk about visual storytelling. Write what you think is happening in the picture below.
The story above could be scary, but it could also be hopeful. Someone could be trying to survive a flood, or they could be in the process of being rescued by a lifeguard. This is a matter of perspective. What is missing is context. How discover the context is by asking the journalistic questions...
Almost every news story answers these questions before going into detail so that the audience will have a clue of what is going on and why they should care. As an artist if you don't know the answers to these questions, then why would your audience care about your work?
Below is a picture by the illustrator Howard Pyle. Pirates never really had to walk the plank, but the were marooned, which is the title of this piece. What I would ask the viewer is how did Pyle use his placement of the Pirate to convey the feeling of forever alone?
When beginning your image you should ask these questions to help answer the journalistic questions for your image. These questions will help you think about what elements should even be in your picture.
OK...now time for the RULE OF THIRDS!!!
Rule of thirds: Note how the horizon falls close to the bottom grid line,
and how the dark areas are in the left third, the overexposed in the right third
Also, the rule of thirds helps us not put the horizon line dead center. A horizon line dead center will be boring and make your audience try to decide what is more important the sky or the city. No one really wants to do that so they just won't appreciate your image as much as they could.
Great, I get the RULE OF THIRDS helps, but how does it work?
What if I don't use it? Then the picture belows happen. It is static, and used it's spacing poorly. The composition is bad because the focus is dead center so all the space around the seagull is unnecessary.
However, there is hope! The rule of thirds can help you solve your problem. Use the grid to your advantage to place your seagull, and your image will come to life.
But what about the 3 bears? Well first we need to talk about hierarchies and focus. Hierarchies are what elements you decide are important for your viewers or audience to focus on.
Chances are your story has more than one element. So we need to prioritize what is important. This will help you decide what to make the largest element in your picture and how to place it. So we call the different sized elements the 3 bears to easily remember that size can emphasize order of importance.
There is a trick to figuring out how to decide what is the Papa, Mama, and baby bears. Simply write a sentence. The first thing you write is usually the Papa bear and so on. Why we do this is that it puts the burden of problem solving on your subconscious versus sitting for hours trying to figure out placement. If the image isn't working simply rewrite the sentence.
Can we see the the Rule of Thirds in action? I thought you would never ask. Here is an image by legendary illustrator John Howe.
This is "Howe" he is using the Rule of Thirds and the Three Bears,