Process: A Review!
There are a lot of different ways to go about reviewing my own work, and the project as a whole.
There’s the individual pictures: how would you improve a single picture? change its composition? its story moment? or just the details? (here’s one quick paintover. but for most I don’t know how I would improve them.)
There’s the pictures overall: do I like them? am I proud of them? would I willingly point people to this project as a representation of my ability? (I don’t know.)
There’s the project as a learning process: overall did the pictures improve? (I don’t know.) are there specific things you learned that you may not if you hadn’t done the project: yes. so that’s where we’re going to focus.
The 5 pictures that taught me the most:
1. The picture that started it all… Experimenting with different tools, different limitations etc is super useful and valuable. Time spent on composition is usually well spent.
2. Aka just stick at it… This project could nearly have been over before it really began. But this picture really taught me that once you’ve got your idea set (a suburb! aerial view!) you can figure out how to make it work afterward. (And when things get too tricky/fiddly - just work around it (add clouds!) instead of giving up on the whole thing.)
3. Perspective, learning the ropes… Okay so I had already gained a passing familiarity with CSP’s perspective tools from the picture above, but I still wasn’t confident enough to set up a complex scene (sloped ground, walls at different angles, circles!). I used a (self taken) photo reference of Assisi to help me create a basic layout and ensure that I was getting the perspective approximately right…
4. Props! Props… Okay so I’d been getting better at exterior settings, and I’d been desperately trying to make my pictures feel more /finished/ by ensuring the backgrounds looked well-populated with props, rather than bare. This was a big encouraging step forwards for me in that department. Also this picture really taught me the value of a good underdrawing (draw! the! characters! faces! in! the! underdrawing!) but I maybe still need to learn that lesson again and again…
5. More perspective… I had to redo this sketch a bunch of times. I spent an absurdly long amount of time just trying to figure out how I could convey both a low viewpoint, and a deep room. It was unsettling, because I felt like I had a handle on setting up simple rooms in perspective, from any viewpoint. But clearly I didn’t. All the same, that time spent messing around and making mistakes is useful. I know more now than I did before.
Any regrets? I wish I had been more certain in my interpretation of Harry from the beginning. I wish I had drawn him a hundred times, created a pose sheet and an expression sheet, and drawn his head from every conceivable angle. I know that would have taken time, but over and over again I was frustrated by how uncomfortable I felt drawing Harry. I also think I would have included him in a few more pictures if I’d been more comfortable drawing him.
- This was a big project and I think that was good for the time, but I want to work on shorter projects for a little while.
- I want to improve in my people-drawing skills, always.
- I feel confident my composition skills for places and people existing within those spaces, but not so confident in my composition skills for people interacting. So I think this is like comic blocking or something? Anyway, composition in which people are central features, especially when there are multiple people.
- Light and shadow: I feel I’m pretty inconsistent with this, some of my pictures are great, others dodgy and I think it’s because I don’t have a lot of technical knowledge here so I’m just making it up. So: improve on that.
Overall: there were benefits so yay :)
EDIT: Oh right, also, like, other people enjoyed it, which is super cool. This was a very self-focussed post but I am really glad to be able to create things that make other people smile - it's a pretty amazing thing to have happen :)