I recently started up a group sketchblog, Monster Monday. As the title suggests, the idea is to create artwork of a new monster every Monday.
Monster Monday was inspired by other group sketchblogs such as Illustration Friday and Sugar Frosted Goodness, which I have participated in in the past. As opposed to a weekly generated theme, I wanted to work on something that I naturally loved to draw, and also have an ongoing theme. I know I get caught up in the day-to-day work and having to work on a new weekly theme while challenging, also resulted in my not participating on those sites.
I wanted to create something that had a regular theme of something that I already liked to draw. Monsters. Monsters by their nature inspire creativity since they don’t exist. You can make whatever you want. For me, it was about making the weekly project fun and as pressure-free as possible.
Sometimes (and probably most of the time) merely seeing how an effect is achieved will offer no clues as to what it’s like to create that effect for yourself. Copying or mimicking the effect can help, but those moments where it works within your own artwork should be explored the moment they happen.
When these chance moments appear, when you have that ‘a ha!’ moment, be sure to dig deeper. I’ll share with you a recent ‘eureka’ moment I had while working on a t-shirt illustration project for a client.
Primary, secondary, tertiary, complimentary, analagous, brightness, hue, value, saturation, tints, shades… do these words mean anything to you? They should.
A post by cartoonist Matt Glover points out ColorFAQ – very basic web guide to color theory. It got me poking around on the internet for some other sites with some more depth on the subject. Sometimes I forget how much I use color theory every single day, it’s just something that sometimes goes on autopilot and is an easy topic to forget to recommend to others.
Find out what those cryptic “2B”, “HB”, “6H” and the rest really mean. Knowing the difference, having a full set of pencils with all the grades in the range is a must. This is the way to lay down very thick, dark blacks in your drawings as well as fine, light grays. It’s all in the blackness and hardness my friends.
We’ve all been there – tight deadline, or too many projects at once, or even good ol’ fashioned procrastination. Whatever the cause, you need to finish something and the ideas (and graphite) just aren’t flowing. What to do? Continue reading →