Tuesday, 19 March 2013

My dark tower...

 We were lucky this weekend to be invited to join artist Tina Mammoser on a stay near Whitby. We only live up the road but working from home, it's somehow so much harder to organise time away so we jumped at the opportunity. On Sunday, we braved the weather to go explore Saltwick Bay, at one end of which stands the impressive Black Nab, which I naturally made a beeline for...

Black rock formation on a bed of shale, sillhouetted against a cloudy sky - what more could a goth artist ask for ? Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, we dicovered that close by lie the remains of the Admiral Von Tromp which ran aground in 1976 under mysterious circumstances.
 Many people have obviously taken amazing photographs of the rich landscape there and I'm not going to pretend I've achieved anything of the sort but the great thing about being an artist is... it doesn't matter :) I've picked these three to start working on and I'll do more editing to bring out the reflections on the rock but for quick snaps taken on the hoof, I'm really rather pleased. I'll definitely be going back but I can see the potential for charcoal drawings in these so I'm just going to get on with it.

You can remind me I said that.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Making my dream a reality

 Here in the studio it's grow-your-own-monster time again. Stephen is ready for his next drawing which means digging out all my original reference materials and sourcing any additional bits I might be needing. The first drawing I did of him was my usual side on shot with no background. These are like the studies of animals and plants in journals, giving a clear view of the whole thing.

 From there, it's about bringing him to life so everyone can see him the way I do- moving about, doing his own thing.... 

 Happily, this time I have a scale model of Stephen to help me figure out things like perspective and play with light sources. All of my monsters start out life in my red sketchbook.

 Once I've got an idea of who I'm drawing and what they're up to, I look up all of the bits of anatomy I'm going to need to make sure that what I'm doing is actually possible - one of my main rules is that each creature must function. They may have supernatural aspects such as Stephens' ability to misdirect but that's no excuse for my being sloppy and getting his shoulders in the wrong place :)

With my current drawing, I started by using my original layout for him which is a simple straight line drawing to scale of all the important bits- head, torso, limbs. Using the photo of my model in a similar position, I made adjustments for our imaginary camera angle. Then it's starting with his skeleton to position everything correctly.

That's important because that affects what muscles are working and so the surface appearance. The muscles are noted on an additional layer then the outline of that becomes my blueprint for the final drawing.

It's in the final version that the whole thing is skinned over and things like wrinkles, veins and hair are added to make it real. I'll be posting the progress of that final image as I go so you can watch him come out of my imagination and into our world :)