Saturday, June 25, 2011

IMC Day 3 and 4

The first of the guest lectures on Monday were fantastic. We saw Peter de Seve, Mo Willems. De Seve has been one of my favorite illustrators for a long time. He gave an inspiring presentation at CCA several years ago, and since then I've been of his work and sense of humor. Willems, on the other hand, was new to me. I had seen one or two of his books on the shelf, but never felt compelled to pick one up. Aside from also having a great sense of humor, he has a mastery of storytelling, and shared a handful of tips and techniques for effectively pacing a story with color, text and composition.

I was able to squeeze in a photoshoot with the help of Mike Maung who sat to the left of me in the first floor studio. He posed as the dragonist priest, and I posed for the acolytes. The lights had already been broken down from the previous night's photoshoot, so we did our best with the interior lights in the auditorium. They had just enough intensity to give me some good shadows and highlights. Unfortunately, my camera was set to shoot at low resolution. The lack of a proper long lens also resulted in some distortions on some of the reference.

The next step was to create a composite of the dragon sketch and the photo reference. At this point, I was debating as to whether or not I should just mount and paint over the digital composite, or spend time drawing it again in graphite, and then fixing and mounting that drawing to my board. I opted for tracing the general contours from the composite on design vellum, and then transferring the lines to my illustration board after its layer of gesso was dry.

Drew Baker was kind enough to make his printer available to us during the week, so I was able to print a sheet of roughly quarter-sized grayscale versions of the composite, and a few sheets of reference images. I had a tough time deciding on a palette for the figures in the foreground. Should it be monochromatic, or should I separate them from the background with color? I met my goal of getting to the painting phase by Wednesday, but still had a few questions about how to proceed.

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