Monday, April 27, 2015

Illustration Lesson #2

Howdy folks....continuing from my previous post on illustration tips, this week I'm sharing a few words about CONTRAST and EYE DIRECTION. This applies to all image-making whether it be an illustration or a scene in an animated film.

Your viewer's eye will always be drawn to wherever the starkest light/dark contrast is in your image. For black & white drawings this is especially crucial and at its most basic. Your blackest-black and whitest-white should POP off the page wherever you want your viewer to look first. If your drawing has a lot of detail this is especially important, as it really helps to have one central focal point to draw the eye to, and then let it explore the rest of the image from there.

If it's one large character or character face, the eyes are the most important feature to draw in your viewer. For the Wise Ancient Tree I put in the darkest-darks in large patches around his eyes, so they wouldn't let lost in the rest of his detailed face.

Same thing here with Professor Stitch-Wicket in the forest....surrounding him with lots of black in the background makes him pop from the page and not get lost. He is the central focal point of the drawing, so it's important that he be noticed.

Some of the elements around the professor also direct your eye and literally point towards him, for example the white bill of the woodpecker pointing in his direction, echoed around him by the bear's snout, the branch on the log and other animals all pointed towards him.

(Click on these images to see them better...they will grow!)

Try to find ways to frame your character with shapes that will direct the eye towards one central focal point. In this drawing, elements on the Professor's left (the test tube and weighing apparatus) lean in straight and diagonal while elements on the right repeat a curved shape (in the feather, microscope, his hair and shoulder), all leading the eye to the area in the drawing where his eye stares intensely at his scientific work, which is the whole point of this particular moment in the story.

Simply put, ask yourself what one thing this drawing (or shot) needs to communicate to your audience about the story you are telling, and find a way to draw your viewer's eye to that one single point that communicates this with the most clarity.

I hope that helps!

Monday, April 13, 2015

National Poetry Month

In the spirit of April being National Poetry Month, I thought I would share some poetry, and you, dear bloggie reader, can join me!

Go to this album on Facebook or #cheeseforest on Twitter and you will find a series of "Poetry Postcards" which you can share or re-tweet with your poetry-loving companions.

...and speaking further of poetry, check out more excellent resources at StoryWarren and keep an eye out for this film coming to theaters in August.