|Hah! Dig the way I used the attached ribbon bookmark to|
hang the sketchbook so I can rest my forearm on the drawing board!
Gives me much better stability.
Then recently I was working my way through a storyboard artist's sketchbook on Conceptart. He's done many big sci-fi/fantasy and various other kinds of movies, including the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the third Riddick movie and many more. I looked at some of his storyboard pages for Riddick, and it's exactly how they shot it as far as I can tell (without checking shot by shot). He definitely set the mood and determined camera placement and pose etc for the majority of the shots*. It's really amazing to think about, how one guy sitting at a desk drawing as fast as he can determines so much of the visual element for an entire movie.
* Or maybe that's already mostly done in the shooting script, and he's mainly putting the descriptions into visual form? Not sure, and it probably varies from project to project.
I was really struck by something he said in his sketchbook at one point - as a storyboard artist he said you need to often do something like 30 to 45 images in an 8 hour day. I broke it down - I think I used 40 for convenience's sake, and it works out to about an image every 10 minutes!! Yegods!!! I suppose it helps that he has a script to work from with each shot set up already, that gives him something to work with for each image, so he doesn't have to come up with something entirely from scratch every time. But still, it's mind boggling - to sit there all day long and crank out images so fast, and each one needs to communicate story and mood and other information and needs to work well. I think this trumps a comic book artist who needs to finish 2 pages a day pencilled or inked, or one pencilled and one inked (that's if he inks his own work like Dave Sim does - if not then cut the workload in half).
Of course storyboard images are much looser and less detailed than comic book drawings. They're mostly about conveying information relating to the story, and don't need to be polished and detailed for viewing by the final audience (that's what the movie is going to be - the storyboard is just a visual development stage).
Ballpoint pens have been giving me fits, clogging up and needing to be scribble-cleared every few seconds, so I'm switching over to Copics. I don't expect to get 45 pictures done - that's something to work up to - but I will try to fill several sketchbook pages. I've done some already and I find the hard part is when I finish one image - I get this feeling of accomplishment and I want to take a break. And breaks have a way of stretching out and becoming done-for-the-day if you're not really careful. I think I'm going to move back and forth between loose images and more detailed ones, and between single standalone figures and figures in an environment. If I do this for even just a few days I expect to get a lot stronger. My goals are to improve on drawing the figure from imagination and adding anatomy, and at giving them some decent gesture and pose.
Ok, dinner is done, my obligations for the day taken care of - I'm setting up the clampeasel and going back in..
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Man, this is HARD!! I don't know the figure or its parts well enough to rapidly sketch it in weird poses and from unaccustomed angles. I should use this as impetus to do studies from these kind of angles. I think the weird upright format is also throwing me for a loop. Plus I'm not working from a script like a storyboard or comic book artist would be, instead I'm just trying to instantly think up ideas, which means I come up with terrible hasty concepts and haven't thought about them for more than half a second before I start scribbling. Bad form!! Interestingly (to me anyway) I ended up doing most drawing with the Tombows, and in that environment the Copic lines just don't show up - they're too thin. Oh well cool - less pens means less choices and faster drawing.
Dive in head first, ready or not! This is how you really learn.
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|Drew these last night, added shading and some thicker lines today|
Oh, and you know what I'm also learning here? How to do thumbnails. One of the primary skills any artist needs.