Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Illustration course

Got loads of drawing I need to get on with in the next few days, so I thought I'd post something first.
Ran an 'introduction to illustration' course on Saturday at the Lowry. Eleven 11 to 16 year olds gave up their whole day - 10 til 5, though all seemed to get something out of it. We started by doing a bit on structuring the human figure, and constructing a well-proportioned wire skeleton stick man to flesh out. Once we'd had a go at getting the basic structure right, I did a few poses for them to draw from. They had a minute to draw the skeleton, then had to flesh me out from that -

One fantastic lad let me keep this in return for one of mine.

We also covered lettering (getting it centred, creating 3D and drop shadows etc), foreground and background, use of black and white contrast, and had a go at Steve Bissette's 3 Card Characters which I use all the time. I won't go into it now, but maybe I should do a set of posts describing the different games and exercises I do in these sessions.

We did something that I'd not tried before, and I must credit Lee Ford with the idea (one he's used with some Huddersfield students) - pluck horses names from the racing pages and illustrate them. The group loved it - partly because there was a smile of recognition from everyone at how they've always been mystified at the weirdness of these names but have never discussed it, and also the fun of such a ridiculous task - Count Kristo, Mr Fluffy, Hidden Bounty, and so on. Will do it again

As well as showing them TeenWitch and a load of my other drawings (including how I use my sketchbook), we finished with an illustration brief. I divided up Little Red Riding Hood so that everyone had a chunk to illustrate, allocated at random. Despite being the end of a very long day drawing, they all got stuck in and did a great job. Those finishing early were encouraged to come up with a cover design.

Same artist again, swapped for one of my demonstrations. I only got this B&W photocopy, so you have to imagine the red lettering and bloodshot eyes!

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