Experimenting with Different Traditional Art Techniques (I)

One of the things I was hoping to gain from my MA was the chance to be able to experiment with different art techniques (either digital or traditional). I wanted to try out different ways to represent a concept and investigate which techniques may be the most appropriate to convey atmosphere. I now believe that any technique is fit for the task so long as it is used well. However mastering the art of watercolor painting or digital drawing, demands a lot of work and patience. Therefore, while undertaking the practical part of my project, I am trying out different ways to render a drawing, or sketch a scenery, in an attempt to improve my technical skills and compare the results. Perhaps certain art mediums may be more appropriate to illustrate concepts for a particular film genre? I intend to look into this.

 

Different Techniques 150dpi

 

Over the past years, I have been drawing more and more with colour pencils. I found out not too long ago the amazing results one could achieve with this medium if used with care. I have done several color pencil drawings for my project which have been posted earlier on my blog (Donkey Skin portrait and the Mad King Design). I have also experimented with digital drawing on a graphic tablet and have been very pleased with the results (see the character designs for Donkey Skin and the Fairy Godmother). However I wish to try and develop my skills in drawing landscapes rather than characters in this particular medium, as I believe the results can be very effective in conveying atmosphere for a visual or concept art.

There are also other ways of using colour pencils in a drawing to make it different. In fact, I then tried to draw on coloured paper.

 

Streets of Jerusalem

 

(These drawings are an integral part of my project and in a future post, I shall explain exactly what they are and how they have helped in imagining the possible set designs).

This drawing made with colour pencils on coloured paper, represents an early concept of an 11th/ 12th century street in Jerusalem. The documentation for that time period is hard to come by. The idea is to try and adapt a fairy tale to the Historic genre. And for this, I have chosen to change the setting entirely as well as the time period. Therefore Donkey Skin would be set in the Middle East with the crusades as a historic background. This will be discussed further in the future (I had to do quite a lot of research and thinking before coming up with this idea).

I then experimented making a sketch of another possible street of 12th century Jerusalem, in watercolor, however the result was quite unexpected. I am not very familiar with this medium but I hope to explore it further in future drawings or sketches.Street of Jerusalem Watercolour

I must admit, I added a bit of colour pencils to complete the final drawing.

The colours are quite bright, and although the blue/ green is supposed to represent shadow, it might need to be more subtle for the picture to be more realistic. Then again, I’m looking for a way to convey atmosphere. Perhaps, in order to paint a very lively representation of Jerusalem for the historic adaptation, this colour scheme would be entirely appropriate for the set designs. However if the adaptation is supposed to be made darker, with war and violence, then the whole film would probably have a filter to make to colours less saturated.

 

Donkey Skin Watercolour

 

This painting was actually done before the previous one. The idea was to experiment with watercolor on something I was more comfortable drawing: portraits. Character drawings and portraits are easier for me to draw than landscapes, and that is one of the reasons why this MA is a wonderful opportunity to develop these drawing skills. I was trying to convey the idea of light and atmosphere by using a colour palette that is not truthful to the real colours of the subject. I was hoping to make the painting work even though everyone knows people aren’t blue. I am quite satisfied with this, as I feel that, at first sight, the colour scheme does not shock. However, I did add some colour pencil at the end for the finishing touch.

The portrait is supposed to represent the princess: her youth and beauty (although beauty if subjective) yet mature character that gains in wisdom through the experiences she has in the tale.

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