Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some period dress

Found by Luke! Thanks Luke!

Keep researching and piecing together accurate reference for Monday.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sinbad the Sailor

For the next assignment, you will illustrate a story from the One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. This story will be executed in scratchboard. The size is 10”x15”, either landscape or portrait, and should be measured out in the middle of a larger sheet of scratchboard—do not work at the edge of your board.

List 3 events in the story of Sinbad that would be interesting to depict. Write a stream of consciousness statement of each, summarizing what is happening at the moment you wish to illustrate. Try to understand the back-story and motivation of each of the players involved, even if this means you need to invent this information. What is Sinbad feeling at that moment? What are the other people feeling? Why are they doing what they’re doing? How would you feel if placed in that situation/Has there ever been a time when you have encountered something analogous to this event, however tenuous the connection? Even though you are illustrating a pre-existing story, it can and should be informed by your personal experience, and even become a vehicle to tell your own story.

After writing the 3 statements, begin drawing thumbnails of the chosen moments. Prepare at least 15 thumbnails for each moment. Consider the overall emotional tone of each moment, and how you can communicate that with the composition, as you did with the Card Suit project. Consider the emotional state of the characters, and how that will inform their body language, as you did with the Pantomime project.

Research the history of the Arabian Nights, and Sir Richard Burton’s translation, in particular. Because they result from an oral tradition that circulated for centuries, there is timelessness to the stories. But, in order to illustrate them properly, you must root them in a specific time an place, so that you know what people will be dressed in, and what their environments will look like. Based on your research, determine a place and time for your depiction of the voyages of Sinbad. Research the culture that Sinbad comes from (is he Muslim, or Sikh? Arab or Persian? Or something else entirely?). Write a 500-word summary of your research and conclusions, and email these to me at Collect as much visual reference as you can for your chosen period. Collect at least 5 images of period-appropriate male clothing, 5 of female clothing (costume history books are a great resource), 5 of buildings, 5 landscapes of that part of the world, and images of ships, animals, weapons, furniture, and whatever else you might need for your illustration.

Take your 3 most successful thumbnails (these may or may not be from the same moment), and draw a 7.5”x11” compositional study for each. Your 35+ thumbnails, 500-word research summary, visual references, and 3 comps are due 10/19. Remember that complete and on-time research and sketches are a significant part of your final product grade.

Based on feedback in class, do a full-size, refined, 10” x 15” pencil sketch in preparation for transfer to your scratchboard.

During the next class, we will have a figure in costume for posed reference. Bring materials for drawing the figure, the larger the better. Also bring cameras if you choose. I will bring mine for use as well..

10/12- Mid-Term. Pantomime critiqued and turned in. In-class: Scratchboard studies.
10/19- Illustrator Research due. Story sketches and research due. In-class: figure drawing with costume
10/26- Full-sized pencil sketch
11.9- Finals due, critique

Large and small sheets of scratchboard
Scratching tools
Tracing paper
White chalk for transfer

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Remember to bring scratchboard to class next Monday, 10.10. We'll be experimenting with it on a still life.


In class, on 9/28, watch the selected materials from Martha Graham's A Dancer's World. Look for expressive body language, and sketch in your notebook. How much information can be expressed with nothing more than the human figure?

Select 4 of the emotions listed below:

Acceptance; Ambivalence; Apathy; Anxiety; Compassion; Confusion; Curiosity; Despair; Disgust; Doubt; Ecstasy; Envy; Embarrassment; Forgiveness; Frustration; Guilt; Gratitude; Grief; Hope; Horror; Homesickness; Loneliness; Love; Pity; Pride; Regret; Remorse; Shame; Suffering.

Your assignment is to convey these emotions solely through body language. This will require the assistance of one friend, peer, family member, class crush, or paid persons to act as a model for you. Working with your model, develop body language that clearly conveys your chosen emotional states. Refer to your in-class sketching for ideas. The poses you develop may or may not be wholly naturalistic; they may be exaggerated. You may costume your model however you wish, but the model must remain in the same outfit for all 4 emotions—no changing costumes to reflect the emotion being depicted. Draw your model from life. You may take photo-reference, as well, but only as secondary resource to your live-model drawings.

From these sketches, develop 4 images, each 7"x10", of the human figure, expressing your chosen emotions. You may use either litho crayon or ink on white paper. Choose either quality drawing paper or smooth Bristol board depending on your choice of media. The drawings should contain the figure only: no props, no background. Mount the four drawings 2 x 2 on mat board with 1” in between each drawing, and with a 2” border. Label the four emotions depicted on the back of your mat board.

The four drawings are due for critique on Wednesday, 10.12.

Dimensions of Final:

(4) 7” x 10” drawings.
Mounted on matte board with 1” in between drawings and a 2” border on each side (final mat size will be 19” x 25”)
Flapped, with an image tag on the back, as well as the corresponding emotions.


• Smooth Bristol board or quality drawing paper (like Rives BFK)
• Tracing paper, heavier stock paper for flap
• Litho Crayon or Ink, with brushes and nib pen.