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
Assortment of brushes: watercolor, sables, bamboo, etc.
Anything else you want to dip in ink and make marks with!