Sketchbook

Its become apparent to me that I don’t post nearly as often as I’d like to. I’ve narrowed this problem down to the fact that I have falsely high standards about the work I want other people to see.

Recently I have been taking some of the sketches I do and colouring them in quickly. These are sketches that would otherwise sit in sketchbooks for eternity never seeing the light of day or seen by human eyes other than my own.

These are pictures I would not normally want anyone to see because I don’t consider them finished and/or particularly well drawn, but after adding a bit of quick colour I find I can be just as proud of these sketches as something that would take me 6+ hours

so hence forth I will post any sketches and conceptual work I do, they will be tagged as “sketchbook”. This will improve the frequency of my posts and should show a more varied style of working.

Images will follow, I don’t like mixing too much text with images in posts, I prefer an image with a smallish caption rather than an essay with an Illustration.

I have been taking it easy for the past month, I just finished my degree and graduated university. I’ve not really been drawing much apart from the odd doodle on scraps of paper on my desk, I’ve enjoyed not doing anything.

But my time of rest is approaching its end, I have many things that I want to accomplish:

  • I will be altering my website in the next few weeks, I want to alter the way in which the projects are listed and make it easier to use. The web version of my last project (Dreambox) is still somewhat unfinished and needs finishing. I want to redo all the art and background images of my site and fix an expanding menus problem I was having which meant I had to remove expanding menus, I want expanding menus.
  • I will be undertaking some new personal illustration projects that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Simple projects like a “drawing a day” project , some book cover redesigns and video game based art.
  • I will be making some short animations. I just want to make very short sequences with a focus on smooth animation and movement. I’ve toyed with it in the past but I’ve not pushed it nearly as far as I’d like to. I also want to focus on making some GIFS, I want the outcome of these to be illustrations that move rather than animations, like a drawing of a girl whose hair blows in the wind, like pictures in wizard newspapers rather than animations.
  • I have been working on ideas for video games for a long time but with no real intent to make one. I will however be trying my hand at making some basic flash based games. I used to have an episode every 2 or 3 months and decide that I wanted to learn c++, flash or java, but I’ve realised that for now it is not worth my time learning a programming language. I will be using existing game engines and creation software and focus on the art direction and game design elements. Anything I make will be made available on my website.

I will be doing other things too, but I needed to break this blog post drought that has been plaguing my page for a month and a half. 

Also its become nearly impossible to do any work in my current “studio space”, luckily one of my girlfriends brothers ,whom we live with, is moving out within the next month or so and I will be turning his room into an office/studio. I will no doubt post pictures of this when I’m settled in, and start drawing properly again.

Living like this is unproductive.

One Month Later

Ive not posted anything in a month, I have been quite busy though.

The first thing that has kept me from posting is that I now have an allotment. I waited 3 years to get one so I had to go and meet the man and sort all that out. So far I’ve done some digging, made a wooden compost bin and decided I want to dig a pond.

In addition to that I also had a talk to give for Uni about my work. That went quite well but required a few late nights in preparation. 

Thirdly and probably most time demanding was that I got the opportunity to work on a brief with a design studio in Chester. This was very good as I got payed to draw for the first time (second if you count the time I got paid £40 to paint gold letters on a pet shop in Birkdale village).

Also, days before my seminar was due to happen, I decided to use a “power uninstaller” to remove loads of unused stuff from my PC. to cut a long story short I deleted more than just old files, part of my registry was deleted and I couldn’t log in. My brother in law managed to fix it days before I had to do my talk.

Since my last post I’ve also read Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban and goblet of fire. I’m currently up to chapter thirteen of order of the phoenix in my attempt to read all the books before the last film comes out. I’m sick of walking out of the cinema whilst everyone complains about how inaccurate the films are to the books and not being able to moan about it myself.

Lastly, Chrome has dethroned Opera as my browser of choice and I learnt my dog likes to ride in a wheelbarrow whilst Suzanne pushes him around.

PROJECT

My Illustrated panorama project is coming along slowly. I am at the stage where I’m drawing the final pieces which then need to be coloured. This is hampered by the fact that its very warm and sunny and I want to prance around in the grass outside. After they are coloured I’ll use Pano2vr to make them into interactive panormas, this is the plan Ive always had, however…

After having 2 “crossover tutorials” with different tutors, I have finally decided that I am not going to be making an arcade cabinet to house my final piece. I am now going to acquire a projector and hopefully a darkened room. The final outcome will be more immersive and hopefully have more of an impact. It will be interacted with through an XBOX360 controller placed on a plinth.

Above is an example of how I’ve been laying out the scenes I’m drawing in Photoshop, I use this as a reference whilst I draw on my A1 paper/grid setup. One of my tutors questioned why I’m drawing something rough in Photoshop then hand drawing it, only to take it back to Photoshop to colour, and why didn’t I just do it all in Photoshop? The answer is; I like hand drawn, I think it looks nicer than when I draw with a tablet.

I think the number of illustrated panoramas I’ll end up with will be around 10. I’m aiming for 10.

The absolute final day that everything must be left for assessment after which nothing can be altered is 31st may. I aim to get the drawing portion of this done by the end of next week.

To do:

  • Finish 10+ panoramic illustrations
  • Scan them
  • Colour them
  • Pano2vr them and add sound
  • Organise display of all this
  • Avoid buying Portal2- this will jeopardise everything.

Theres only so much planning I can do, then I’m just going to make them

This project is, in most areas, going well (the above pie-chart accurately depicting my time).

Ive managed to find most of the dreams Ive ever written down, dreams Ive had but not written down are coming back to my memory and Ive done some drawings of all of the above. Its not that I’m changing my mind, but, I am beginning to think that basing the project solely on dreams will not give me enough good ideas to draw from and in some areas feels forced, it also gives to much of a narrative for the panoramas to follow. Looking back on my shop illustration I can see a certain level of added creativity, that shop was an idea in my mind that I then decided to draw. Its interesting that I imagined it then drew it. 

I want to include thoughts and daydreams. A thought is like a dream you have when your awake, I don’t want the entire project to be based on only my dreams I had when asleep, I feel it will be an all round more interesting project if thoughts and day dreams are included. I will continue to keep a dream journal, the act of doing so has already improved my dream recollection, I’m able to remember my dreams almost every morning now. I will continue to draw dreams that are interesting and would translate well into panoramas. I will also now include thoughts, not every thought I have though, the best way I can describe it is as follows:

If a game designer was asked to make a level they would think of its appearance and then make it, In the same way an architect would design a room. I have thoughts in my head and I’m sure everyone else does, that are fully formed scenes. I had no conscious involvement in creating some of these spaces but they floated into my brain. I’m not trying to make this sound like Ive discovered thinking, I’m just trying to look at day dreams and thoughts in a different way.

Some of what I’m discussing could be considered memories, I often dream of the house I grew up in and can still see it in my head, I think it would be interesting to record how I see my room in my head, It doesn’t exist any more, the only copy of it is inside my brain, it interesting to me that I could draw it and show it to other people. With this example made I can then explain other thoughts like: how I see a room that doesn’t exist, like the way I want my living room when I own a house.

Its quite difficult for someone like me who is still only on the third harry potter book, to properly communicate what I feel is a quite complicated approach to everyday thinking. In some sense I want the final panoramas to be images of what would be seen if the viewer was able to go inside my brain. These are the “rooms” they would be able to see:

  • How I remember a scene/room that I can no longer access
  • How I see a scene/room that does not exist
  • How I remember a dream scene/room that happened in my mind

MOST IMPORTANTLY 

Although I am building up alot of parameters my work must fall into at the end of it all I don’t want to have an “idea”. I want to have a set of nicely drawn and coloured pieces of interactive illustration, It is important that they have some sort of point but the most important thing to me is that they look nice. When using their eyes to view them I want the viewer to think “thats nice”.