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 email@example.com. 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
White chalk for transfer