Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Final thoughtz

Initially coming into Illustration, I was a tad worried because I hadn't taken a traditional 2-D studio class for a while. My drawing skills were a bit rusty. However, I think now, by the end, I have started to gain my confidence in the illustration realm of things. I think the countless watercolors we did at the beginning helped to warm up my skills, as painful and time-consuming as they were. In fact, some of those quick little comps were some of my favorite pieces.

...like the two watercolors in my portfolio: the one of the foggy lake and pines...

...and the one with the boss storm clouds.

I've always known I work better at a quick pace, because it forces be to be freer with my mark-making and more expressionistic. Also, you can do more in a shorter amount of time, so there is a better chance that something will come out good.

Of the work I produced, there were definitely some trainwrecks, most notably the corny airbrush assignment ("Ashley Loves Shad") and the conversation piece (the roller derby girls). Airbrush is the bane of my existence. I guess I just don't have the touch for it. There goes my dreams of working as a carny at the airbrush booth! Well, at least there's always a spot for me at the sno-cone place...

Another work that I produced, the memory portrait (my grandparents dancing)...

...is not necessarily awesome in terms of technical skill, but I really like the way it turned out anyway. The loose line drawing with the varying weights of line was fun, and applying non-local colors was, too. I also think this was one of my only successful "cartoon-y" illustrations. In the future, I want to work with watercolor and pen and ink more, because I think I could really like it, even if I am still trying to get a hang of the best way to use it.

I also think my 3-object gouache shows some good skillz...

I think the composition works. Also, the subject matter, though it didn't make sense, was interesting. Who doesn't love E.T., ferris wheels, and Sitting Bull?? I wish I could have perfected the gouache technique, but overall, I am pretty happy with how this one came out.

I've found that landscapes are probably my favorite thing to do. Looking through my final portfolio, you'll see this. They seem to turn out the best for me. I like doing natural settings not only because of personal taste--I like the outdoors--but also because it is way more forgiving than other, more technical, subjects. If you mess up a tree or the sky, it is easy to cover up or make it disappear, but a building has to have straight edges and all that to make sense.

I think the illustration I did of the road (Highway 100, somewhere between Washington, MO and Hermann, MO--beautiful Rhineland) is a good example of the looseness you can capture using watercolor.

I think my strongest pieces were the El Capitan poster, the Missouri postcard, and the book cover illustration.

This was done in watercolor. I worked hard to make the rockface look as rocky as possible. I think it is realistic but still has that artistic, stylistic flair that a good illustration can have. I like the dense colors of the whole thing. Also, I think the simple, center design worked out well.

This piece was one of my favorite to do. I though working on such a small scale would suck, but it turned out to be fun. I like the colors of this piece, and of course the subject matter.

I think conceptually this is my strongest piece. Some of my others fell short of really depicting a story or being really clear what was going on, but I think this one's message is clear and strong. Also, I like the layout of the text. I think it works well in the composition. The simple color scheme also adds to the power of the piece.

Overall, I am happy with the body of work I produced in this class. I've gained confidence in my illustration abilities. Now, I am not worried about having to do it for a future employer. Sure, it's not my strongest point, nor do I think it'll ever be, but at least now I have the confidence to do it if I have to. Just another tool in tool box.

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