Words to Draw By

Hello and welcome to the post about my first project of the first term, the one I have for some reason restarted three times and has given me a lot of troubles and still isn’t finished (but is close). So anyway, for this project the aim was to experiment with mark making; using colours, unusual applicants, textures, etc.

In the beginning it was a process of working out marks, with paints, pencil, charcoal. At the first workshop I didn’t bring paint brushes with me so I tried dipping my eraser in watercolour paint and rolled it around which made some interesting marks, dragging it, skidding it, it was actually pretty fun. Well, in hindsight it was fun.

It was pretty difficult to respond to words with a mark which actually seemed to fit it rather than something quite random.

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The next step of the project involved creating characters, 5 out of 5 words that are qualities that apply to them. I mixed around with different qualities internally and such and found that what I’d like to do with the 5 sets of qualities

would be to have a child, a creature, an animal, a man and a woman to balance out the variation of characters.

And then I picked five qualities for each of them, by seeing which would be appropriate for each type of person.

The creature was giggly, fractal, silky, warm and fragile.

The woman was……five qualities I can’t recall without one of the character sheets because I apparently made the mistake of not taking a photo of hers. Oops. Well I’ll correct that in due time.

The child was rolling, convoluted, rude, inappropriate and lollygagging.

The animal was secretive, deliberate, dry, pushing and tightening.

The man was pulling, weird, meticulous, horrified and fanatical.

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So I set about trying to design the characters with relation to the qualities I’d prescribed to them especially the round little boy, the puffy squirrel, paranoid man and the sad tall, untrusting woman. I decided early on that I thought I would like to use blue as a main colour when I made the final story board ish story.

I found it really difficult to think of how to differentiate the marks for each character without bogging things down too much and in general because I thought I wasn’t quite that good at actually thinking of how to do more varied marks. It was really difficult.

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In general I found the project difficult which rather manifested itself nicely in that above was my first attempt at making the story board, then a little book involving chalk pastels and markers and then the most current version which I bound into a book and I am happiest with but isn’t finished. In general I should have swallowed my pride and just finished the first two or done something simpler to hit the deadline instead of flip flopping around with the project.

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I never did quite become happy with any of the mark making processes I used for the characters so in an attempt to become more clear with that aspect I ended up making a small little reference book (accidentally forgot to photograph the woman’s pages) to keep track of what qualities I wanted, although I did end up revamping them while actually going through with the practice of painting/colouring the storyboard-ish pages.

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Below are the roughish script of what happens in the story (fanatical man summons the creature which bursts out from some graffiti he had created honouring his object of fanaticism, the creature notices a house, flies past a tree, disturbs the poor squirrel, peeks into a window with the woman and the boy talking, her getting increasingly agitated and then she kicks him out. She then is sadly looking at photos, squishy pops out surprises her and tried to be all like YOU LOOK LIKE YOU NEED A HUG and she flings him against a wall and breaks down upset. He then slowly turns into the person she wanted to see, dead brother/partner/person of male description and he comforts her and says some more words before squishy goes back to normal.)

Does he come back? Is he squishy? What is squishy? You may never know.

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The storyboard is below, I believe I wrote down some ideas of what I wanted each scene (like the man slowly disappearing once he emerges from squishy and the like), it did help solidify what I wanted but I still had issues with solidifying the character mark making.

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Above is the mark making for the fantical man and squishy, I found it a bit easier to work on the characters while thinking about and experiementing with marks near the end rather than prepraing those marks. Making a bear bones bit of lineart also helped.
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So this was as far as I made it, I have parts of the man cut out so when I applied squishes mark making to him it would jut out a little. The woman herself I had planned to do wispy or dull colours to apply to her emotional state (although I don’t know about the actual marks as of yet, I feel I was close). With the squirrel I think I was going to revise his marks I originally made as some were awfully similar to others (it’s really difficult to differentiate them at times).

I don’t know, its hard to make an accurate opinion over this, I’m happier with the story than I was originally but I think I really should have prioritised and just focused on getting it done instead of fussing over things. But this was probably one of the hardest projects for me and that shows rather thoroughly.

I think I made a lot of mistakes when it came to making the figures or drawing them awkwardly, as well as not necessarily drawing the expressions of the characters consistently across each frame in a way that made sense. The colouring for the first three pages I think I pulled off well, with marks that are pretty different, colours that seem to work well together and hopefully I can get some time to finish the rest the rest of the book.

Edit: This is the rest of the finished book.

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