Monday, February 17, 2014

A Homework "Demo" - Dragons Assignment

I'm trying more "process" intensive projects/homework assignments this semester - cause it's always the part students seem to skip on. I'm not sure why. I love the exploration steps. Often it's more fun that the "finish".
Dragon Thumbnails.
The primary assignment was to focus on a "viking youth" - but I wanted to explore the dragon companion a bit. If I had more time myself I would have done more - and my marker was dying....hate it when that happens....
The first step is always to study the source material - so I used the Dragons "art of" book - so at least few sketches. Focus on construction/structure to get a sense of the shape library other artist use.

Next several exploratory sketches - I have a general idea in mind already. But still exploring. 
Then to the actual silhouettes. I use a modified approach to silhouette thumbnails these days - probably due to Photoshop. Use a light to medium gray instead of the typical black - then go back over with a black prismacolor pencil to sketch in additions. This is just one way to do figurative thumbnails - plain black silhouettes are not wrong. I just find this approach now more fun.
Then onto the "finished" or "tie-down" sketch of the "hero" pose. Typically a 3/4 pose as it allows us to see depth. And I really try to avoid the straight 3/4 pose you see all the time. The pose, even if it is an explanatory drawing - should hopefully convey the attitude of the character. The straight 3/4 pose is fine (especially when doing an orthographic or traditional turnaround - makes life easier), but this is just sexier.
I was going to do turnarounds more often - but trouble is then students tend to stiffen up, and miss what is usually more exciting - the story moment. I still do turnaround for some assignments but some time should be spent also thinking about the character "doing" something. I always got that in storyboarding - "give your character business to do".

This is far from perfect as assignment. I should push the exploration a bit more. I am failing in my "trap" of the sexy gal. My only excuse is time, and when under the gun - I go for what I know. Hopefully it gives people a better idea though of what to do.