Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Visual Design Week 1 - Moving in with the swans

Okay, so finally I've managed to sort out my scans so I can post my work which I've been slaving over for the past few weeks. To be fair, I haven't really been 'slaving' at all because the work I've been doing has seemed like much less of a chore than any art has for the past couple of years. I'm honestly enjoying it, and even though everything is such a huge learning curve, I feel quite comfortable with where I'm headed already.

My first week of visual design lessons turned out to be a lot less scary than I had anticipated. I wouldn't say I was nervous to start, but I had told myself to prepare to feel like I was producing the work of a two year old in comparison to my fellow classmates, everyone is just THAT good. However, with my first morning taking the form of a relatively familiar life drawing class, I felt rather comfortable and the friendly, positive attitude which filled the air lifted a lot of pressure off my shoulders, and I have only my teacher and the kindness of my class to thank for that.

Furthermore, here it is, the first morning's work -

The first two pages of drawings that you can see above are my quick sketches which were done before we began measuring and spending any considerable time on the studies. I always enjoy the short 2 minute drawings, or the use of continuous line because it stops me worrying about the overall neatness or proportion of the drawing, and lets me literally just draw what I feel like I can see. The two on the left on the second page were done using my left hand, which is not my preferred hand, and so seem to be all over the place and quite messy, however I feel like these really got me thinking hard to try and get my pencil to move where I wanted it to, and overall getting my brain ready to produce some better studies.

The study above is the first where we used measuring to attempt to achieve correct proportion. I don't want to sound crude at all, but it's rather obvious that I've drawn the bum a little too large to fit alongside the back and legs, however I took this mistake and then began to be extra careful and tried to measure even more intently when concerning the 'behind area'.

The study above here is measured out using simple small marks which were then joined together like a dot to dot in order to give a sense of the overall figure. I'm pleased to say I believe the bottom is a slightly better size in this one, thank goodness.

My ten minute timed study above is probably my favourite of the day as I wasn't particularly experienced with drawing seated figures before and I felt the introduction of an object actually helped me measure a little better and I feel the proportions are slightly improved here. I'm not very good with getting the weighting in the body right yet, however I know now that it's something I'm going to have to look into improving. Also, even though it's my favourite, I can't deny the unwanted slight resemblance to Jon Bon Jovi...

This was the last study of the day, and although I felt I improved all the way through the session I don't like this study as much as the one prior to it. The figure was supposed to be leaning against an object, and because of my lack of being able to represent weight it doesn't look as if she's leaning at all. The proportion is relatively okay for my standard at the moment though, but it's still obviously not that good just yet but I'm sure I'll improve with a bit of persistence. Finally, I have also noted that I am indescribably bad at drawing faces which is going to be a wonderful asset when doing character design, brilliant.

As well as my life drawing class, I also went out into the big beautiful world and did a tad of landscape drawing which I have to say is mostly new to me. To be more specific, the lesson focused on one-point perspective, which I have done a few times but mostly incorrectly which didn't fill me with confidence I must say. I was very pleased to find out the chosen subject was the canal just outside my halls which I had been dying to sit along since I arrived. It was all very calm and peaceful, minding my own business, trying to get some thumbnails done before food began to call me, but then the resident swans arrived and I have to say I lost my cool momentarily due to the horror stories I'd heard about them from my city. However, the swans here are super friendly and I'm pretty sure they kept looking over my shoulder so they obviously were loving my drawings. First a happy life drawing class, and now a meet and greet with some cute swans, I was feeling pretty content by this point. Well anyway, enough chit chat, I'll show you some of the thumbnails and then explain what happened regarding my dreadful final piece.

So there they are, my canal studies using the footpath in order to get the correct perspective. Some are more successful than others, and I'm pretty sure some don't have the right perspective altogether but I figured if some are okay then I can just work with those and discard the rest as attempts which taught me what not to do. Oh right, and about the final piece, well to be completely honest I was a bit of a numpty and decided I would go ahead and do whatever type of study I fancied without reading the brief stating to use tonal pencil only. So there I am, thrashing watercolours all over the place and then going over it in colouring pencil and just going a little crazy. Then I proceeded to look at the Game Art facebook and basically realised the lack of colour across the board wasn't just coincidence. So this is why I am currently without a final piece, because the one I have produced is inappropriate and I'm working on my second one to make up for the downfall. Yes yes, I'm a silly sausage, but we all make mistakes right?

Basically, within a week I learnt more about proportion, I can't draw faces for the life of me, swans are nice, how to do one-point perspective, and that I need to hold my horses and actually check specifications. With all that down, I'm excited to see what I can learn as the weeks progress.

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