Thursday, October 27, 2011

Story Game: Week 4

I had limited time with the tablet so these came out pretty rough.  I wanted to try more of a dynamic chase scene.  I need to practice drawing water more too lol...

Link to this week's photo

Left Handed Sacrum Drawing

I was challenged to draw a sacrum with my left hand in class the other day (which is my non-dominant hand).  Even though my pen control was pretty stiff, the results were pretty staggering since I was still able to project my knowledge of the sacrum down on paper and it came out to be one of my better drawings for the day.  It's an incredible reinforcement that drawing isn't so much about hand-eye coordination, but it's about what you already know/intellectually understand about the subject and interpreting it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Story Game: Week 3

I'm a little late with posting these, but losing that Wacom pen was pretty inconvenient.  Anyhoot, I started boarding these last week and finished the last three today.  I've been training myself to stay looser and I can really tell the difference... the first two boards are a bit on the rigid side.  At least we got to keep the Halloween theme =u=

Link to this week's photo

Sunday, October 23, 2011


With Uncharted 3 coming out, I revisited the art book and cutscenes for the second game.  I don't consider myself that much into shooter games, but I really got hooked by the awesome character-driven story mixed with the epic dynamics and set pieces of summer blockbuster/popcorn films (which are my favorite).  I remembered that there was this one cutscene of the genocidal antagonist that really showed how damn intimidating he was.  After watching that scene, I got hooked all over again and watched the game's next 50min+ worth of cutscenes.

What a good bad guy.

As I was watching, I thought back to some of the character sections in the art book and realized that what made them so engaging and fun to watch is that the creators really integrated this incredibly fleshed out history into all the characters - their backstories are hinted at, but are also very dictatived, through what they each say and how they react to certain situations.  The artbook (along with an Eric Goldberg interview on supporting characters) also taught me how some characters essentially act like mirrors to bring out aspects and traits of other characters (more often than not the protagonist).  All of this, combined with the spot on acting, delivered some great chemistry.

When the last cutscene ended... I'm not sure how to describe it, but you know that sweeping feeling you get after finishing an amazing book or an incredible movie?  Whatever it was, I totally had it.  It was just such a great reminder as to why I wanted to do animation and storytelling in the first place - to really take an audience on a ride through performance and give them that exact same feeling.  What made everything in Uncharted so damn engaging is that the characters' history, design, and so forth, were researched and very thought through.  I've been writing more in my sketch book lately and have been more contemplative into everything I draw (more than ever before), so I feel I'm on the right track to getting there one day...

Started experimenting with color in my sketches.  Just bought some new color Copic markers but they're really saturated and I was aiming for more of a harmony between the browns and red.

Digital idealization(?) - the problem could be solved by either decreasing the shirt's saturation or increasing the saturation on her skin, but it looses that popping contrast

PS- I think I had to generalize a lot of these thoughts I wrote down here... I want to go into so much more detail (character design , specific lines of dialogue that really reflect the aforementioned history/personalities, reactions, etc) but I'm such a bad/slow writer that I don't think I can string it all together... I'm much more verbal.  I suppose this will have to do for now.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Story Game: Week 2

For some very odd reason, I lost my wacom pen right after I did my last story game... I was just moving stuff back into my room from the living room and it randomly disappeared, so now I have to rent one out.

But that still doesn't stop me from doing another story game!  I think we'll do a few more halloween-inspired boards.  These took longer than I hoped, but they came out a bit nicer than I thought they would since I needed to go the extra mile to add more value/contrast to emphasize the nighttime and glow of the tv.  I've also been trying to do a good chunk of pre-planning for these, thinking a bit more about character design, composition, and staging to get appealing images from simpler board drawings.  The kid was originally supposed to be a lot chubbier too, but I that kind of got thrown out the window since I decided to have him hiding underneath a blanket at the last minute to help emphasize his fright.  Here's the link to this weeks photo.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Approaches, ego, fear, and misc thoughts

I think one of the things that really frustrated me throughout the past couple of years is that I had never found a work technique/method that clicked with me.  Even though I felt that I had this killer ambition to draw, I could never grasp why I was struggling so damn much just to get an idea down on paper with stuff like figure drawing (especially when I was already practicing it fairly often).  I believe in part it had to do not just with training my hand/eye coordination, but also that I was approaching drawing in a manner that doesn't work for me... but I believe now I know why.

I needed to realize that when I draw, I am projecting my understanding of the subject down onto paper.  Drawing is an incredible mental activity that my mind needs to mellow into, so whenever I would try to draw for a really limited amount of time under pressure (e.g. on a break at work, a really short train ride, etc), it would be increasingly frustrating - not just because I would get cut off right when I'm in the process of reaching my creative groove, but also because I would leave with yet another an ugly drawing.

In addition, I learned that I cannot learn anatomy by just figure drawing;  I needed (and still need) to study bones & muscles and study them enough so that I will have an intellectualized idea of their shape and placement when I go figure drawing.  Long story short: figure drawing should be a test of my knowledge of the human body since the model's interior will be invisible to me (at least without those intellectualized ideas)

Studying the sacrum 3-dimensionally... these drawings are actually from a very unique approach that I want to elaborate on a separate post later on....
Result of the implementation of very basic ideas in the heat of figure drawing

By applying all of the above, drawing has become not just a lot more enjoyable, but also a lot more natural than it has been before.  As a result, I feel myself becoming a lot more satisfied with what I've been sketching out.  Then again, I feel like there's too much content-ness going on here, and I've been more and more hesitant to draw in my sketchbooks for fear that might I fuck up one of the best drawing streaks I've had, since... maybe ever.  In addition, I'm also going to apply to CalArts where turning in a sketchbook is part of the application, so I have this really bad habit of trying to make my sketchbook drawings look perfect.  I keep forgetting sketchbooks are our domains to fuck up...

Even though it's not perfect by any means, I think all the basic ingredients to depict a "storytelling" drawing are here by having a decent composition (rule of thirds), and implementing a bit of a dynamic foreground, mid-ground, and background (well, dynamic for a sketchbook, anyway).

Aaand I just want to leave with one more thought.  I've still been reading Walt Stanchfield's Drawn to Life and I really love the analogy of comparing the rhythm in playing music to drawing.  When playing music, you have to think of a few notes ahead of ones you are already playing.  If you focus on each individual note as you are playing them, your rhythm will become jarred.  I usually keep this in mind when I go figure/gesture drawing by not trying to perfect the shape of something (e.g. the head - I just try to get down an idea of it's shape and position and how it correlates to the rest of the body in terms of movement and basic connectivity).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Story Game: Week 1

Another neat exercise I picked up from Ringling where we take a random photo and make a storyboard of the next 5 shots as if it were paused film.  I introduced the idea to the animation workshop I help run, so it'll be interesting to see what everyone comes up with.  Here's the link to the photo we chose:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Figurative Illustration Workshop

Had the chance to do a neat costumed-figure drawing workshop run by Mr. Aaron Miller.  It was especially challenging with the large volume of clothing and I didn't finish the long pose drawing (definitely not perfect), but it was still a ton of fun.  Next month is zombie-themed!