Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Witches Now and Then
Here is the finished product of my bakery witch. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out and will probably use it for a Halloween mailer!
Now to risk embarrassment. Here is my first illustration mailer ever from 7 years ago, 2003...my Senior year in College. I am displaying it to point out just a few of the things I have learned since then. I still have so much to learn and so much to work on, there is still a long way for me to go, but looking back I am pleased to say that I've improved quite a bit.
Composition. I have learned much about composition. I had a problem with composition in College. I didn't get it. Rule number one. Don't center everything in the middle of the composition. It's just not interesting. My teachers were trying to tell me this at the time, but I didn't listen. There have been little gems of things others have told me along the way that really caught on, such as: "You need a foreground, middle ground and backgroud." Or, "Use diagonals."
Sometimes less is more. Can you see how I carefully painted every single stone on the ground in a very OCD style? This made it very tedious to paint at times. This painting took a very very long time to finish. I have learned to work a lot faster and that sometimes leaving a few things out and not painting in every single detail actually looks a lot better.
Style. I have learned a lot about stylization and drawing simply from practicing and making an effort to learn. It's funny to think back and remember that my portfolio didn't contain one painting of a child in it when I graduated. Why? Because I didn't know how to stylize children, and I was too afraid to try.
I am slowly learning about color. That not being so bold works a lot better in many situations. I am also starting to learn more about texture and utilize it more. I think texture adds a lot to a painting.
Where have I learned all this from since I'm not in school any more? First of all, about three years ago, I started a critique group of other artist friends. I think we all help each other so much have a fresh view on our art, learn new techniques, and feel enthusiastic about creating more. To all other illustrators, I highly recommend finding your own critique groups out there. I also have learned loads from going to conferences. Other illustrators and art directors have a lot of insights on what is marketable and what is not. What I have learned is that it is important to be humble and let others tell you how you can improve your art.