have to desaturate and they lost color

anonymous asked:

Hey, do you have any tips on how to tell a story in one picture? Do you know of any exercises or anything that I could try? I want to create more intricate and 'deep' pieces, but I feel they always fall flat because I can't convey the story and emotions as I need to

Hi anon

Interesting question! How to convey a story in one pic!

The first thing to do, even before starting to sketch anything, is telling the story to yourself. Who is the main character? Is there any other character? What do they do? How do they interact with the main character(s)? In what environment? What is the mood of the story? Is it something “factual” (like a character falling from a bike for instance) or is it much more of an introspection piece? Picture it in your head. It’s the first step, if you can picture the image in your head, its composition, its mood, its colors, you’ve already done a lot.

Then, when you start laying your idea on the paper/PS canvas, you have to keep in mind the things listed below. To help you understand, I’m gonna use one of my own drawings that you can find HERE, without all the color guidelines. It shows a missing scene from the movie Civil War: Bucky Barnes is on the run, in a small apartment in Bucharest, Romania.

1) The composition and the lighting. When you look at this art, the first thing you notice is Bucky and before you tell me “Yes, but on the other hand, it’s the only character on the pic so it’s obvious!”, I’m gonna tell you: NOPE. Your eyes are attracted to Bucky first (and not to the fridge or something on the foreground) because thanks to the lighting and the composition, he’s the main focus. You are looking where I wanted you to look (*evil laugh*). The main light source is right above his head and the rest of the artwork is in the shadow. The closer you are to Bucky, the lighter the picture is. In addition, I surrounded Bucky with elements that create a kind of circle around him (the cupboards, the fridge, the cushion on the sofa) so you know that he’s the main element. However, this “circle” is suffocating, it’s here to show how small and uncomfortable the apartment is. I created a circle thanks to the lighting and the position of various items but you can also achieve this in your artwork by playing with blurred elements on the foreground or the background. It creates an interesting depth of field. Thanks to this kind of tricks you are telling the viewer what is the main focus of your story but you also set the mood of the picture. I couldn’t see this picture with a bright and flat lighting and or scene happening at daytime for instance, it would have lacked this claustrophobic atmosphere.

2) The colors: the palette is going to set the mood of the picture alongside the shadows and highlights. On this pic, that I consider a sad picture because it’s a moment where Bucky remembers who he is and everything he did in the past, I went for a warm palette but I desaturated it a bit. If the colors were too bright, we would have lost a good part of the sad narrative in the pic. It’s also a subjective choice but I like warm palettes for introspective art.

3) The details hidden in the pic itself: The old wallpaper, the shitty apartment, the rotten walls, etc…it shows that Bucky is not in a happy environment. He’s not in cozy apartment in NYC, he’s not in a luxury hotel room, he’s in an old apartment in Romania, with the bare minimum. He’s still trying to figure out who he is and to gather details about his life (look at the fridge). However, some details are here to tell you about his daily routine and what he is doing: the grocery bag on the foreground with vegetables and fruits is here to show that he’s trying to eat healthily. The food above the fridge are Romanian snack bars so, even if life isn’t 200% great, he seems to enjoy little pleasures like junk food. However, his backpack with a gun right on top of it, is here to let you know that he doesn’t feel secure and that he’s ready to leave at any minute if the circumstances were not in his favor. Same with his clothes: they are convenient clothes (a Henley, a pair jeans, Timerberland/Dr Martens type of shoes), he’s not wearing them to be fashionable. Thanks to fashion and various accessories, you can show a lot about a character, look at this pic of Natasha for instance. She’s wearing Chanel earrings, you have Louboutin shoes and a “Birkin” bag at the back (I let you check the price of these items…). She is a sophisticated and elegant lady, she loves fashion, even the decoration of her apartment tells a story about her.

Thanks to tiny details you can tell a lot about a character: blue circles under the eyes, scars, clothes, messy or sophisticated haircut, etc…Think about that when you draw your characters or even the environment they are in. The devil story is in the details

4) Body language and expression of the characters: Is Bucky smiling? Does he have a cocky attitude? No, what you see here is a guy that is not looking at the camera. He’s exhausted, his shoulders are bent. You can feel he’s lost in his thoughts, which is normal because it’s an introspection piece. It’s also a full body shot: thanks to this way of framing the character and his body language I showed you how alone he is. He looks almost small, vulnerable (and god know Sebastian Stan was buff when he shot this scene). Does it mean that every drawing with a full body shot means that the character is alone and sad? No, of course but this particular framing coupled with a dark lighting, a brown desaturated palette, a character with this precise body language and face expression does. If you don’t know how to express body language properly, I recommend you this link: Body Language: An Artistic Writing Tool

All these elements are important, particularly the composition and the lighting. Remember what an absolute FAIL the “loss.jpg” image was. OMG, “loss.jpg “or how a picture supposed to depict a terrible and sad story (a miscarriage) became the internet’s laughing stock because the artist was unable to convey the right atmosphere. Read about it here, it’s very interesting.

TLDR: You are gonna tell your story through the composition, the lighting, the colors, the setting (a cozy place conveys a different kind of story than a wide open space), all the details in the pic that will show your viewers what kind of characters (or places) we are dealing with, but also the body language of the characters.

If you want more info, you can also read this article called: 18 tips for telling a story through an artwork

Hope it helped! Sorry if it was a bit long :)

you’ll have to pry this ship from my cold dead fingers

i finally got around to finishing this, started it after hlv but then temporarily lost motivation (i think it was rekindled by reading to much hotblood bc if u make jim a bit less homocidal and a bit more dickish and crop the frame above seb’s waist/change his hair they’re just about the same couple omfg)

anyway though??? im still trying to color better, i always tend to make things too desaturated and blend things too much so tryna work around that, hmmf

traumatic experiences tend to linger in every aspect of your life. the complex relationships that you have with every person in your world is marked with the unique space between you two as well as the little echoes of every other interaction you’ve ever had, the lack of or the presence of similarities to other relationships/friendships/what-have-you, and a new balance of energies that you have to negotiate between. the subtleties of human relations keeps me up all night. i don’t rest very easily, no no no. the logical side of me says that i shouldn’t beat myself over the head because of things that i am not yet ready or comfortable to do because of my history of being touched violently, or the ways in which old familial scripts of leaving and that thick blood of heaviness have stayed at my side for so long. i’ve messed up a lot of good things over the past few years because of old ties that i haven’t had the time to properly get over, and it’s getting old. it’s getting awfully old. i’m angry at myself at this strange, foundational fear i have of getting close to other human beings in a way that brings together the physical, emotional, and intellectual aspects. a well-balanced something. i’m not used to things that aren’t heavy and difficult. i’m not used to easiness, and it’s draining. it’s so awfully draining. 

i remember earlier this year, sometime in may, was the first time that i fought back for my body, learned how to say no. kicked this boy in the stomach because he was getting his hands on me no matter how much i told him to stop, and when he called me a mean bitch i yelled back. “i am one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. just don’t you fuck with me.” when i was a kid i was a very spitfire little girl, was moved around enough that i never became attached to anything, knew how to take care of myself in a very instinctual way. never asked for anything but somewhere along the path of growing up, when i moved from the safe haven of my grandpa’s home into the ‘real world,’ i guess, things became muddied. everything that marked my heaviness, marked the weight of me, happened very quickly and all at once and for a long, long span of my time. it made me soft, made me scared to say no, made people hungry for the heart of me, made me disconnect in a very unhealthy and damaging way. 

everyone has their reasons. the stories that shape them. the scripts that they can reenact by heart because it’s so formative to their dialogue, to their way of being. i’ve felt awfully transparent lately, and because of that i need to pull away, need to be on my own for a while. my comfort in strangers, in this site as a platform for my little heart-talks, the way i’m more at ease by myself where there’s wind chimes and open skies and the barista making coffee as my only person i talk to in a day stems very deeply from escapist tendencies, makes new york a good home for me in a way. as a child i spent a lot of time on my own because humans wanted too much, were greedy, made everything very heavy, when all i wanted to do was freeze bowls full of water and flowers, follow baby deer through the woods, pick honeysuckles and get my hands dirty with mud and sticky rice. i fought a lot as a kid. cried a lot. was very, incredibly sensitive to the energies of other people. as a child that sensitivity was incredibly overwhelming, and was absolutely terrifying. i wasn’t properly equipped with the language or the means to justify my madness, to allow myself the freedom to simply be, without what other people wanted of me. for a while, as a coping mechanism to the stress of existing among other humans, i lost that sensitivity. i became incredibly monotone. i became very internal. people saw me kindly, saw me warm and loving, but i was full of this seeping, spilly dark thing that made me small, six feet under my own skin. it scared me. depression was an ugly and comforting friend, and it made my world lackluster, and that was perhaps the worst thing that it did. made me lose the colors. it was so awful, and i thought it would never end, but it did, and oh god am i glad. 

because i’m here now, and although i still feel things very deeply, and although the baby blues are always around the corner, i’m at peace with that hue. everything is no longer desaturated. every color moves me so deeply. everything, everything, all of it. i relate more to the child of me these days. the fiery little knock-kneed crooked teeth child, the sing-song of a girl, gallop-tongued and full of life and my body, yes my body i feel it now. i spent this entire past year moving into myself again, reclaiming my territory, opening myself up to the ebbs and the flows. the world moves through me gently, and as if to make up for all the years that i have lost, everything is fucking brilliant. my hands burn into everything. everything burns into me. i’m moved so deeply by absolutely everything. the world has opened up its jaws for me again and i’m sitting on the tongue of things, laughing, feeling like a gift in the mouth of the gift horse. i’ve met people who i feel truly see me, who don’t give me the same heaviness of old scripts, who don’t make me feel as if they need me, as if their lives depend on my support. i’ve met people whose energies i crave because they create new colors, because they heal me and give me home and hope, with so much mutual respect and adoration, and i’ve never had this before. this easiness. this space. that openness. oh god. i am a different person than i was a year ago, two years ago, and it terrifies me. i’m looking at this new country, all this new, shining light, and i’m still holding onto my old familiarities because i’m used to them, because the hurt was real and painful and it was embedded into my flesh and i don’t know how to take it out of me. i’m looking at this new space before me, and i don’t know the name for it, don’t know the name for this moving forward. it’s like i’m slipping in this space between two languages. and the air is whistling past me. and i long to know where this humming is coming from but i am too afraid to follow it. and i’m rocking back and forth on my feet and trying to step out of the shade into some warmer sun, and i’m trying so hard and everything is right at the edge of my skin, and i’m rearranging my skirt, holding my heart still against my chest, and i’m here, right now, taking a deep breath. and i’ll jump. i know i have to. i’ll jump start and run forward. but for now i’m in this moment before the break. before i drop the blanket and close my eyes and fall. and i may be standing here for a while, but i think that i deserve it. there is this uncertainty, and it’s terrifying. this line has been running through me like a forest fire for days: “everything i want is on the other side of fear.” and i’ll get there. i will. i’ll get there. i fucking know it.