I’ve been reading through the ’60s “Famous Artist Course” as well as watching illustrator demos on the Visual Literacy Program. I feel like I’ve learned a lot lately and have added some “things to keep in mind” to my “things to keep in mind while drawing” list. many of these are “obvious” and get said over and over again. but sometimes, it just takes hearing it ONE more time before it clicks and really makes a difference. There are a lot, but here are jusr some of the new ones that I’ve been trying to apply…which is easier said than done.
- Think in big shapes first. This one is hard for me. I need to start developing thumbnails that reflect this idea. Design with shapes. Gary Kelley is GREAT at shape. Tagged along with this sorta goes the idea of strong silhouette. for instant, powerful reads, the image will be most effectively designed if i consider my large groups of values.
-Not every image needs a full value range. and not everything in an image needs dramatic value range. applying a simpler value structure to my big shapes will better help me design and image and create better focal points. Again, another difficult one for me.
-Detail can kill you. guys like mignola and Al Hirschfeld and alex toth got this nailed. describing things in as few marks as necessary (again, silhouette comes in here). ? put detail where you need it to reinforce focal points, but leave it out where it doesnt matter.
-Use saturation wisely. im’ a sucker for super-saturated images, so this one is tricky for me.
-Make a confident mark and LEAVE IT ALONE. it’s better to be slightly wrong, but made confidently than to have meticulously slaved over, indecisive lines that try to be perfect.
-embrace the medium. let digital look digital. dont try to make digital look like watercolor. just use watercolor. dont try to make inks look like vector art. let them be inks.
-Trust your instincts and embrace failure. there isn’t necessarily a “right’ way to do things. you can’t please everyone. George Pratt often says something along the lines of: if you aren’t screwing up, you aren’t doing it right.
-Every part of an illustration matters. think about how every piece is impacting the drawing. pay attention to every part and resolve it appropriately.
-You can’t save a poor drawing. you can polish a good drawing in a billion different ways. but if the foundation stinks, style can’t save it.
These sound so easy, and right now it's more of a checklist in my mind, but I'm hoping it becomes more intuition as I practice. John English recommends thumbnails to be 3 values, no line so it's really shape design. I've only played around and it's already so helpful to establish a good read.
Any other ideas?