I honestly just realized that I never ended up sharing the piece I made for Light Grey Art Lab’s Message In A Bottle show! Oops! I’m the worst!
I was automatically invited to participate in the Message In A Bottle show because I attended the Resolve To Make workshop with Kali Ciesemier, so I really tried to take the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and experiment. The concept of the show itself–creating an illustration with some hidden meaning or story that would make the viewer look twice–already pushed me into uncomfortable waters. My pieces are usually pretty decorative rather than conceptual, so I knew I wanted to try a scene with a clear setting that tried to tell a story.
I went with a mischievous teen girl building a secret in her bedroom and used references from different movies to allude to what she might be working on… any ideas?? :)
During the workshop, Kali introduced us to the process of informal subdivision. In short, you divide your composition with a horizontal line, then a vertical, then draw a diagonal through their intersection point. You continue to divide the space up with lines through intersection points and finally use the tangled web as guidelines for your sketch! This is a way to force you to mix up the way you think about compositions and a fun little challenge.
We were all lucky enough to watch Kali’s work process and during her demonstration, she said she usually will sketch, finalize, and clean up her drawing in black and white and add color last. This really interested me because you can really work out your value scale before you even think about color. I feel like that’s something I often struggle with. I worry so much about getting the colors right as I’m drawing, it distracts from the drawing process and things end up muddy.
So these were my goals with this illustration:
- Try informal subdivision to guide my composition
- Finalize drawing in black and white first, add colors last
- Focus on creating a clear warm vs cool color scheme
- Flesh out a background and atmosphere
So really, I accomplished all my goals and I’m proud of myself, but I’m not super duper thrilled with the final piece. There are parts I really love, but I mostly wish I was able to think of a cooler concept/story. That’s certainly my weakness!
I have a lot of art-related goals for 2013. I hope to experiment more, grow as an illustrator, and build a stronger, more professional portfolio. Goals! I’m afraid to share too much about them and jinx myself or look naive, but I’ll probably share a little recap before 2014. :)