Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Watercolor - Bride of Frankenstein (2nd place winner!)

I entered a classic monster character design contest 2 months ago. (Like Frankenstein, Dracula, etc) The winners were just announced today, and I won second place! The contest was a "learning" contest. Contestants were encouraged to show process, not just a final piece. During the process period, drawings were critiqued and guided by both contestants and judges. You had to do a model sheet of the character with an action pose. Rad Sechrist was one of the judges, (but was later replaced) and he generously donated his time doing draw-overs and corrections, as you will see in this post.

The final piece:
The model sheet:

The process sketches:

I like to start with a story in my head. I wanted the Bride to be running away from a mirror in terror, so I wanted to make sure I could draw a character as if she had just looked at something frightening and running away. I wanted to make the pose have dynamic curves. I also knew that most entries were going to be dark and scary. I wanted to be the different one, drawing something cute and colorful.
The judge encouraged me to watch the path of action and make sure that her body parts are flowing in that direction. He gave me a mini-lesson, as shown here:

So I listened, but I believed I could push the curve harder:
But was encouraged to think otherwise because at this point ribs could look missing :), here is the judges' draw over:
With the pose fleshed out, I did some variations on the character, and posted it for further critiques:
One of the critiques was that I was jumping the gun on the shape of the characters without exhausting more possibilities. In other words, I think, "thumbnail" more.
Which is what I did. I generally do not thumbnail, and I know many artists swear by it. I am really not psyched about doing little silhouettes. Eric Goldberg openly confesses to not thumb-nailing, so I am in good company. However, he IS Eric Goldberg *worship*, so he's allowed to break the rules. I suppose since so many experts out there swear by it, I really ought to listen. That's what makes them the expert, right?

I picked a few of my favorite silhouettes and did some more designs.
I ended up with the costume of the first drawing, the hair of the last one.

I did do color keys in Photoshop, but for the life of me I can't find the files to show you! Painting white was the biggest challenge. You want to add some color temperature shifts in there for interest but not lose the color's identity.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post. I had fun drawing and painting, and I'm glad I won 2nd place. I think I get a t-shirt. :) But really, the learning experience was what I was after.

Oh! One last awesome news. Yesterday, I became a citizen of the United States of America. I am so happy!!!



Anonymous said...

I think this is a great post Tiffanny.I wish you could tell us a little bit more about how you deal with colour and watercolours process, love your sketchbook.

Paul Richards said...

Hey my fellow Amuuuuricun!

I think my favorite choice with this is how you've given her hair the peacock feather treatment. Just something novel I'm not used to seeing with bride of Frankenstein stuff. Congrats on both fronts!