I was almost finished with painting the first story of my book. I needed ideas for what was to come next. I have never been a very linear person, and valid ideas often came to me at unexpected times. So... I was watching this bad TV show while doodling away. And this sketch came up out of the blue. And that was it. I knew this image already was telling me more than there was to see and that something was hidden behind it: a story, my next story!
I realised that if more stories were to come I needed to organise myself and make a mini book of thumbnails to describe in short what everything could look like at a glance. I knew already that each story was going to be made of seven plates, so I looked for what could the other six plates of this new story look like. Seven is a good number, it is musically sound, visually dynamic, it is neither square nor round, and it seems easy to develop a scene in seven shots. With time my little grid book filled itself with more ideas and half-lit visions.
My thumbnails were up, and it was now time to dig deeper into the story.
I knew more or less what each plate should be about, I needed now to get a clear vision of them in order. Somehow I knew this story was to be about the synchronicity of events that are happening on a beach. Each plate would show a different angle at what was going on there at a single moment.
As I was discovering more about this story that I called "Meanwhile", I came through technical questions and limitations. I needed to begin to study some details of which I wasn't quite sure how they should look like.
But because I am impatient by nature, I wanted to see and draw a version of each plate at its final scale. Getting bogged down in details can be a desperation and slow you down if not kill your momentum. I needed to give myself something that would renew my aspiration to see this project through. With the knowledge I had gathered so far I refined each image while focusing on its structural components, enough to see at that stage how images play against each other. It was very refreshing to then see the complete story. It gave me further ideas about which painting technique to use to complete the final version, but more on this topic in an other post.
Hands were a recurrent motif in the story. I needed to better understand how to draw them. It was time to get back to studying the form and get methodical about it. I decided to dedicate my morning studies to hands only and so for a week. I downloaded free samples of the 360 anatomy collection and began drawing from well photographed and 3D rendered hands.
Captivated but still unsatisfied, I knew that simply drawing from a photograph would not give me the tools to be able to create my own hands when needed. I needed to go under the skin. I needed to understand the structure, the relationship of parts, the principles behind the form. It was time to bring about my theory books and dig into Michael Hampton and Gottfried Bammes methods.
Things were getting serious. I realised there was so much to learn I had no idea about. I guess every single subject can be a bottomless well of discoveries and lessons about nature.
This is my last sketch to date on the topic. The one I call the terminator hand. There is much to say about why it actually looks like that. But I am not going to bother any longer anyone who took the time to read this post that far.
I want now to better study every major motif present in this story. Not only to reach a better end result, but also to learn from it and understand better why things are looking the way they are, so I can build up my visual library, in order to grow further my visual storytelling skills and freedom.
Next weeks study subjects will be beaches, ruins, skys and silhouettes. After I am done with that, I will go back to the beginning and reassess my initial storyboard. Once a second version of the storyboard is complete I will finally be able to paint this thing!
Thank you and see you next Sunday for another episode of Trail of colour.