Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Improbable Event

For this illustration, depict an event that could occur, but is so incredibly improbable that it hasn’t and never will. This is not a fantasy piece, which would allow you to depict the impossible. It’s just really, really improbable.

To begin developing your ideas, make a list of ten objects you like, five objects you hate, and five objects you think are interesting. Then, list ten environments you like, five you hate, and five you find interesting. Finally, list ten activities you like, five you hate, and five you find interesting. Now, start matching up objects, locations, and actions. See if any of them make an interesting and improbable combination (for instance, “sailboat,” “stairwell,” and “surgery.”). Develop your ideas further in a series 40 thumbnail sketches. Consider the Molly Bang Principles of Composition when composing your thumbnails.

When you have completed the thumbnails, choose the piece you would most like to do, and collect photo reference for all the elements you will need to accurately draw your image. Do not collect reference until you have finished all of your thumbnails, as photographs have a tendency to overrule your own pictorial ideas. Collect multiple images of each object you need reference for. This may include images tangentially related to the objects/locations/activities you begin with. For the above example, one might collect pictures of sailboats, sail rigging, buoys, nautical flags, lighthouses, stairways, newel posts, rugs, interior decorating, surgeons, surgical implements, and roller skates.

The final piece will be executed in ink, using optical grays. “Optical Gray” refers to the use of hatching, cross-hatching, stippling, and scribbling to create apparent value tines, but without mixing or watering the ink to create actual washes of gray. It is recommended that you collect a wide variety of mark-making tools, including nibs, brushes, and even sharpened sticks or cotton swabs.

9.15 Still Life with Monster critiqued. In-class: Ink demo

9.19 In-Class: Ink still life

9.21 Improbable Event research and sketches due.

9.26 Full-sized pencil sketch of Improbable Event due. In-Class: begin ink finish of Improbable Event.

9.28 In-Class: Work day

10.5 Improbable Event due, critiqued.

Dimensions of Final:
- 11” x 15”
- Mounted on matte board, with a 2” border on each side (matte board will be 15” x 19”)
- Flapped, with an image tag on the back

A sheet of Bristol Board
Tracing paper, heavier stock paper for flap
Nib pens
Assortment of brushes: watercolor, sables, bamboo, etc.
Anything else you want to dip in ink and make marks with!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Illustrator Research Project

Image Research: Research each of the listed artists. Collect five of their images in your sketchbook and record who they were, when they worked, and what sort of work they did.

Aubrey Beardsley
Honore Daumier
Albrecht Durer
Gustav Dore
Charles Dana Gibson
William Hogarth
Winslow Homer
Rockwell Kent
Heinrich Kley
Kathe Kollwitz
Winsor McKay
J.C. Leyendecker
Thomas Nast
Rose O’Neil
Howard Pyle
T. S. Sullivant
John Tenniel
N.C. Wyeth

Image Research Due: 10.19

Research Paper: Choose the artist who interests you most and research them for your presentation. At least five sources must be cited in your bibliography. Use at least three non-internet sources. The oversized reference section at the Benjamin L Hooks Central Library is a good source. Write a 2000 word paper about the artist: who they were, who their influences were, what their art training was like, when they worked, what sort of work they did, what sort of techniques they used and lastly, describe their impact on their peers.

The final paper must be emailed to me at before the start of class on 11.21.

Presentation: Prepare a 10 to 15-minute PowerPoint presentation based on your paper. It should include at least twenty images of your artist’s work, and at least five of an artist who influenced your artist. You may also wish to include images that establish the time and place in which your artist worked.

A few tips:
Do not read directly from your paper during your presentation. Speak from your personal knowledge and rely less on reading cards. Speak clearly, slowly and with enough volume to carry your voice across the room. Maintain eye contact with your audience and try not to fidget. Most importantly, remember to breathe!

Paper due 11.21.

Presentation due 11.30

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Zoosday Part Deux

We'll be drawing at the zoo again tomorrow, Friday the 9th at 12:30. Weather should be much nicer. Meet out front of the main gate, near the big concrete animals.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Remember that we'll be sketching at the zoo tomorrow! Friday the 2nd, at 3pm til they kick us out. Let's meet right outside the front gate, near the giant concrete animals. It will be kind of hot, so it would be a good idea to bring some water. Bring whatever you're comfortable sketching with, but I'd suggest using your litho crayon or something analogous to it.

This drawing is from James Gurney's blog. Remember what we covered in class on Monday-- quickly put in forms, establish volume, and determine relationships between anchor points. Check and double check proportions! Block in general values and THEN start refining with detail.