Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Brief Thought About Character and Setting

We were discussing on Google+ recently about how much setting serves to establish character in a story, or just how important setting is.  

Setting in a lot of ways has to do with how your characters react to things, rather than the things themselves, which isn't to say that character alone determines setting, so much as voice determines setting. And voice doesn't have to be the literal voice of the protagonist or omniscient narrator , but an overall feeling of coherency. Character and setting flow naturally together in a consistent way when the voice is consistent.

Sometimes you change narrators in a story to tell the story from a different perspective, but if you also change your underlying voice, you change the readers perception of both setting and character. It's a change in tone. it's Huckleberry Finn vs. Tom Sawyer. You're taking the reader out of one world, and putting them into another. But if there's an underlying voice throughout the narrative, a consistent vocabulary and tone, you can change point of view without breaking the illusion of a consistent environment, an objective world that exists and continues to exist outside of the individual character's perceptions.

Edit: of course both approaches can be equally useful, but the question you want to ask yourself is: is it purposeful?  Is changing voice going to add something meaningful to the story?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kid Drawing for Work in Progress

THis is a kid drawing for a Christmas card. I'll probably post the full image in the next day or two. I'm pretty happy with it so far.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Art of Dmitry Sandzhiev

I know next to nothing about Dmitry Sandzhiev, but someone posted his work on Google+ and I was able to find some excellent examples of it online. This is the image that first caught my eye:

I'll let the rest speak for themselves:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

More Wednesday Figure Drawings

We had a great model last night, a retired physics and music professor who did some really fun short poses. The first two are longer poses, the the last one is one of his dramatic poses.

A 20 minute pose:

A long pose:

A 5 minute pose:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winter City, Work in Progress

This is the background for this years Christmas card. I went with a looser approach to the perspective--when the perspective isn't quite so dead on, there's a much more organic feel. This is how I'd like to approach perspective in the future. I think it has a lot more character this way.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Girl and Lantern Finish, Harvest Moon changes

Here's a new image, another image for the portfolio. I wanted to do another night scene, and I was inspired by an image by George Tooker of people holding lanterns. I'm particularly happy with the texture of satin on the woman's dress.

I still might do more to this one. I used a little more wash and dry brush in the earlier stages of the image as I have with other recent pieces, allowing me to generate an overall more painted look. 

Here's a revised version of my "Harvest Moon" image based on suggestions from my new rep, Abigail Samoun of Red Fox Literary (you can see the original version, here).

Abigail suggested that I get rid of the fireflies, since they were a little ambiguous. It wasn't clear exactly what they were, which is something I had already suspected. She also suggested I darken the background and add a glow around the scene, and put a little more color and modeling on the faces. And lastly, she suggested that I add highlights to the fur to make it look softer and more like fur, to contrast with the kids.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cherry Blossom Silhouettes

Here are some silhouettes I did for a background for a new image. The trick with silhouettes is to treat them just as you would any other drawing--a generalized or abbreviated silhouette will be noticeably unconvincing. The trick with trees in particular is to avoid repetitive patterns. Even though the bows and limbs of certain varieties of trees have a unique growth pattern, each branch and leaf is unique. The more cookie cutter you draw them, the less real they'll seem, so it's important, even when drawing trees from your imagination, to be conscious of keeping the leaves and limbs diverse.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Girl with Lantern

Here's an inked image for an illustration in progress. I should have the completed image done by the end of the week!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Woman in a Japanese Kimono

My posts have been a little more infrequent--I've been so busy making pictures I haven't had a chance to post them. Here's part of a work in progress, a woman in a Kimono.

Also I should say that the earlier post, admittedly, isn't really a pegasus, it's a centaur, but eventually it will have wings, so it will be a little bit of both.