Sunday, September 28, 2014

Starting a Pen and Illustration (Part 4)...

 Baseball 1930...

  About three and a half months ago I started this pen and ink illustration.  In the past, I would have been working a full time job and spending only an hour here and there in my 'spare time' working on this artwork. Retirement has it's benefits when it comes to time allocation. I was able to spend more uninterrupted time at the drawing board.

 In an earlier blog,  I mentioned a photo that I had seen and that I'd used for inspiration for my latest piece.  I saw potential in the photo, an opportunity to take it a step further and make it more interesting than it appeared without detracting from the overall look.

(Photograph that that jump started my imagination.)

  I would take a similar approach with the scenes I animated. The objective was to take the scene I was issued and add something to it (plus the scene) to make it more entertaining. Whatever the form of artwork, whether quick sketching, animation, illustration, cartooning, painting or sculpting; to me, the end product is about telling the story and communicating that story in an entertaining way.                                               

Identifying with the moment...

 Let's have some fun for a few minutes and analyze this illustration:

  Most of us have been to a sporting event or some other gathering of a large group of people...Therefore, this can invoke identification with the event.  Also, there's often an emotional response that is both universal and timeless that ties into reminiscing about a past experience.  And finally, we are drawn in to a visual situation we can connect with even if it is a connection only by association.

  We are all individuals and will react differently to the same stimuli.

In my picture below, the action takes place at a baseball game.  Using only body language, I tried to tell each person's story in a unique way.   I hope it draws you in to ask questions and keep you interested in what you see.  Are you asking yourself, 'how would I react in this situation or if I was next to this guy or girl?'  This takes the illustration beyond being just a pretty picture to the realm of entertainment for the eye.  My goal is to execute a piece of artwork that is fun to look at.

(Finished pen and ink illustration)
Visual manipulation also contributes.

  The concessionaire in the white uniform (bottom right) immediately catches your eye. Everyone else is pointing toward the action.  Though he is looking at the action, he is pointing in the opposite direction to a line of light suites leading your eye up to the tree (middle right). Then, you follow it's leaves along the top of the illustration, leading the eye back to the left, pointing down toward the baseball action.

  The action on the baseball field is not the focus of attention. The players in action are drawn small in proportion to what is transpiring around them. Our eyes glance in that direction to see what is motivating the crowd, but we quickly see it is the crowd that our attention is drawn to.  The crowd is telling us where we should be looking, but it is the fans that catch our attention.

Up close and personal...

I have several other aims for this and my other illustrations. One of them is that they must read at a distance and up close.  Additionally, each individual section should be able to stand on it's own.  I have observed people scrutinize these illustrations from a distance, then come closer and closer to see the fine line work, sometimes at nose length:-).

  That is the purpose of the ragged edges around the perimeter of the illustration. To purposely bring the viewer back from the journey of action within the artwork (from a distance) into the reality that it was done by hand, inked line by inked line (up close).

Naming this Illustration...

 I choose simple and to the point names for my illustrations. I will call this "Baseball 1930".
If you think of another name it can go by, I will consider it.

 Let me know by facebook or this blog:-)

  Next step - Get a 600 dpi scan. Then deliver to John Greco's Josephine Press in Santa Monica, CA to have some prints made.

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