Currently browsing Posts Tagged “illustration”

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Pay No Attention to the Woman Behind That Selfie

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Another class assignment! Here’s an illustration inspired by a New York Times essay by a woman whose online persona became a real-life façade.

If you spend eight years building a house (no matter how uncomfortable or ugly it may be, no matter how impractical or poorly lit), it becomes nearly impossible to knock it down. That is about how long I put into building my social media presence, into becoming the cool girl I showcase on Instagram and Facebook.

This was a lot of fun, because it was another chance to put planning and problem-solving into action. I had something a little surreal in my head, but no idea how the heck to draw it. I probably did 20 or so little thumbnail sketches trying to figure out angles and shapes that might work. Deciding on colors, which I find harder than drawing, took way more time than I’d like to admit. And, after some feedback in class tonight, I added a few more visual cues to hopefully make anyone familiar with Instagram know that we’re seeing the behind-the-scene angst of a larger-than-life online personality.

Whatever Gets You Through the Day

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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This week’s assignment: read this New York Times article from 1987 and come up with an illustration. It starts with jotting down your own short summary to wrap your mind around what the article is fundamentally about. My take on this article:

Walter Mitty is real–a small but significant portion of the population are happily spending more than half their lives in a fantasy world.

The next step is to fill a page or three with quick idea sketches. The idea is not to create a great drawing, but to come up with a concept or composition that tells a story.

After deciding on this one, I did another series of small sketches to come up with a composition I liked. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, solving problems at the thumbnail stage saves a lot of frustration in the drawing stage. I think I still have a lot to learn about color and contrast, but this approach has really taken most of the pain out of the drawing process.

By the way, I have no idea why my first two illustrations for this class involved the subway. It wasn’t intentional–I’d rather walk any day of the week!

If You See Something, Draw Something

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I’m really enjoying the illustration class that I signed up for on a whim. The instructor is Steve Brodner, a very accomplished illustrator and caricaturist.

That first assignment morphed into a few more pages of thumbnail-sized doodles. Brodner really emphasizes the importance of figuring out all the potential problems of your drawing BEFORE you start working full-size, or with any sort of detail. Figure out which character is most important, and either through size, or contrast, or both, ensure that the viewer’s eye is drawn toward them. And most importantly, ensure that your drawing tells a story. The job of an illustrator is often to literally sum up a magazine or newspaper article in some way.

So my story here is, if you’re someone who likes to draw people, it’s hard to beat the tableau provided by the NYC subway.

Of course, unlike my acrobatic alter ego here, I’m often too self-concious to start sketching people in public. One interesting thing not depicted here is that, as much as people in NY exist in their own bubbles, there’s always that guy that will cross over into yours and ask you a million questions about drawing. I guess that’s another story for another illustration.