Saturday, January 5, 2019

Thumbnails

Hey everyone, I've gotten a couple of questions about thumbnails and wanted to make a slightly more detailed explanation into what I'm thinking about when I'm creating thumbnails.

The Graphic Design
Arguably the most important part of the thumbnail process is finding a strong overall design.  This is a balance or harmony of shapes and values.  Before any details, an appealing organization of shapes and values is what I'm going for.  The whole reason of doing the sketches at thumbnail size is to have better visual control over this.  It keeps us from getting into detail too soon.



These thumbnails go a bit further with some detail, but you can see that they each have a strong graphic design at a small scale.  I know that each of these will work on a design level.  This phase will eventually become somewhat intuitive and you'll be able to have the Graphic Design mentality as you start your thumbnails.

The Staging
Here is where I start thinking about the elements of the image: Perspective, camera angle, size relationships, foreground-middle ground-background, and placement of the elements.  I try and stick to my initial graphic design as much as possible. 

Often times I group the Graphic Design phase with this one.  I know what the image needs based on an idea or assignment and I organize the elements into a strong graphic design as I explore different possibilities through thumbnailing.

The Value Break-up
The thumbnails above have a rough value break-up but I want to be a little more clear with how I'm going to organize values. I try and focus on just 3 values: Light, middle, and dark.  There is a great chapter in "The Famous Artist Course" that goes into detail about this.  I highly recommend reading through that, if you can find it.  You want to find ways to bring attention to your focus by controlling your values.  Contrast is one of the best ways to get the viewer to look where you want them to.  I will often place a light value behind a dark figure or a dark value behind a light figure if I want that figure to stand out.

There are different combinations and value ratios you can play with:
Light on top of Middle on top of Dark
Dark on top of Light on top of Middle
Middle on top of Dark on top of Light  (thumbnail B below)
Dark on top of Middle on top of Light  (thumbnail A, C, and E below)
Light on top of Dark on top of Middle  (thumbnail D below)
etc.




Color
Adding color can be a great way of getting a better feel for the mood and give your AD a better idea of your intentions for the final piece.  There are hundreds of great color combinations.  Most combinations have already been invented so I'm mainly looking for color harmonies that will best support the emotion I'm trying to evoke in the image.
The color sketches above go a little beyond the thumbnail tag.  However, both of these started out like the thumbnails above.  Thumbnails are just for me, a chance to explore as many variations as possible in a short amount of time. This is what I would give my AD for approval to move to a final.  There is enough detail and color information there to let the AD make any comments or approve to move onto final.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Rough Itinerary for the Watts Illustration Bootcamp

Monday, Jan 7th
• 10am – Introduction, Go over student sketches
• 11am – Open Studio
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 3pm – Erik Demo
• 4pm – Open Studio
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm Figure Workshop (run by Brian)

Tuesday, Jan 8th
• 10am – Studio Opens
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 3pm – Lucas Lecture: Working as a Freelance Illustrator
• 4pm – Open Studio
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm Figure Workshop

Wednesday, Jan 9th
• 10am – Studio Opens
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 3pm – Cynthia Demo
• 4pm – Open Studio
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm Figure Workshop

Thursday, Jan 10th
• 10am – Studio Opens
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 3pm – Erik Lecture
• 4pm – Open Studio
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm Figure Workshop

Friday, Jan 11th
• 10am – Studio Opens
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 3pm – Lucas Demo
• 4pm – Open Studio
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm Figure Workshop

Saturday, Jan 12th
• 10am – Studio Opens
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 3pm – Cynthia Lecture
• 4pm – Final Critiques


Monday, December 17, 2018

2019 Preliminary Critiques

Hey all, In the interest of getting a head start on the workshop we are going to offer some preliminary critiques for those who are interested.  To have your comp work critiqued just follow this process.  1) set up a blog just for this project 2) write a post containing a brief description of your chosen project and the images you wish critiqued. 3) post a link to your blog in the comment section of this post. Good luck!

Monday, December 3, 2018

2019 Boot Camp Introduction

Introduction

Hey everyone,
Welcome to the official blog of the Watts Atelier Illustration Bootcamp!  In the posts to come we will be introducing you to and giving you a glimpse into the processes of our three instructors, Cynthia Sheppard, Lucas Graciano, E. M. Gist .  We also posted your three assignment options below, and are open for any questions you may have.

Those of you who have already signed up we look forward to getting to know you over the next few weeks, and finally meeting you in person at the workshop.
Feel free to checkout any of the previous posts, but with the exception of the assignments below they are from the last three year's workshops.

2019 Boot Camp Descriptions

Bootcamp Assignment Options

Hey all,
If you are already signed up for the bootcamp (or just want to play along at home) choose at least one of the sample assignments listed below, and try to come in to the first day of the bootcamp with as much of the following ready for critique as you possibly can.  The more prepared you are the better chance you will have to complete the project in the six days we have together.  This being said, we understand that people are coming from a variety of experience level, so work to your comfort level and we will be there to guide you in taking your work to the next level.  Please try to have thumbnail (rough) sketches, reference photos, and a tighter sketch ready to go.  Along with your preferred painting surface and materials.

Project Descriptions


option 1
Art Title: Inspiring Angel (sample MtG illustration)
Color: White legendary creature 
Location: Against an open daytime sky Action: Show us a female angel wearing gleaming metal armor of your design. She flies through the air raising a sword in one hand, and a flowing white banner in the other, as though inspiring us to charge into battle. Mood: Dramatic, awe-inspiring. Focus: The angel Notes: No halos or real-world religious symbols, please.
 The goal here is to create an image that has good story telling, strong mood, and will read well on a 2 inch card. 
Best format would be 16 by 22 horizontal.

option 2
Art Title: Dragon Battle in the Skies

Illustrate a scene where two dragon riders do battle in the skies over an open landscape. The dragons and riders should each feel as if they belong to different clans. Maybe one rider reflects a more scavenger appearance and the other more civilized. The dragons should echo the archetype of the rider. For example- if you have a big brute character, the dragon should also have characteristics of being brutish. The focus should be on the battle of the dragon and riders. This can be done in either portrait or landscape format. (2:3 ratio)


option 3
Art Title: Battle Royale
A large group of "heroes" of mixed gender and ethnicity engage in battle against an equally large group of villains (no stock figures, I want to see a variety of body and character types).  I will leave this fairly open as the main thrust is to compose a multi figure illustration.  This could be super heroes vs.villains,  knights vs. orcs/goblins, space marines vs. aliens, make it your own, and make it fun
Best format 14 x 22 vertical




Saturday, December 30, 2017

2018 Boot Camp Schedule

Tuesday 2nd
10am - Introduction/ Critiques on Sketches
11am-1pm - Get everyone set up and working
1pm - 2:30 - LUNCH
3pm -4pm - Lucas Demo
4pm-5:30pm - Studio Time
5:30-7pm - DINNER
7pm-10pm - Figure Workshop (figure demonstration Erik Gist)

Wednesday 3rd
9am - Doors Open
11am - 12pm - Erik Demo
12pm-1pm - Studio Time
1pm-2:30pm - LUNCH
3pm - 4pm - Tyler lecture
4pm-5:30pm - Studio Time
5:30-7pm - DINNER
7pm-10pm - Figure Workshop

Thursday 4th
9am - Doors Open
11am - 12pm - Lucas Lecture
12pm-1pm - Studio Time
1pm-2:30pm - LUNCH
3pm - 4pm - Mike Demo
4pm-5:30pm - Studio Time
5:30-7pm - DINNER
7pm-10pm - Figure Workshop

Friday 5th
9am - Doors Open
11am - 12pm - Erik Lecture
12pm-1pm - Studio Time
1pm-2:30pm - LUNCH
3pm - 4pm - Tyler Demo
4pm-5:30pm - Studio Time
5:30-7pm - DINNER
7pm-10pm - Figure Workshop

Saturday 6th
9am 1pm -Doors Open
1pm-2:30pm - LUNCH
3pm - 4pm - Mike Lecture
4pm-5:30pm - Studio Time
5:30-7pm DINNER
7pm-10pm - Figur Workshop

Sunday 7th
10am 1pm - Doors Open
1pm-2:30pm - LUNCH
2:30pm - 5:30pm - Studio Time/ Last Critques

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2018 Preliminary Critiques

2017 Preliminary Critiques

Hey all, In the interest of getting a head start on the workshop we are going to offer some preliminary critiques for those who are interested.  To have your comp work critiqued just follow this process.  1) set up a blog just for this project 2) write a post containing a brief description of your chosen project and the images you wish critiqued. 3) post a link to your blog in the comment section of this post. Good luck!