Friday, September 4, 2009

Techniques and Approaches

In both Flight and Changelings, I drew with 6B graphite sticks and solid graphite pencils on smooth Bristol paper. I used several different types of erasers –always experimenting with different smudging effects. I began each drawing with faintly drawn marks until I felt I gained control over the composition and developed a strategy for lights and dark. Though I am willing to put in whatever time it takes, I am always on guard not to fuss too much with details. I work towards simplifying the composition to its essential elements. I often draw a closely observed edge and then selectively render a sense of details within and without.

Nearly all of the figures and background objects were drawn from my own photos. I took many, many hundreds of reference photos of houses, walls, street and cats. Lots of cats –laying down, walking, running. Doing cat stuff. I also gathered masks and various Halloween decorations to draw from and for atmosphere. Three of the Changeling drawings are based on photographs by Max Henry. Only a few of the figures and bits of background directly hearken back to images I found on the internet.

I used linear perspective to create most of the houses, fences and streets. Though I went to great lengths to make sure that proportions and perspective lines were consistent, I was more concerned with believability than correctness. Sometimes I would grid an object or figure to keep them in proportion. Most of the skies and trees were only very loosely based on photos or just simply made up. On occasion, I used Photoshop to work out a composition –combining as many as a dozen separate source images. But then again, others drawings were composed without any references -they just popped out of crazytown, my head.