Hi Everyone! Recently I have been trying to identify my creative process (how I naturally express my creativity) and how I am going to develop into my own style as an artist. When I begin to draw the first thing I notice is the shapes in my subject matter. I made a quick 5-10 minute self portrait that I am going to use to explain how I create a face when drawing, I wonder if any other artists out there can relate to my process.
I start out by identifying what I consider the main shapes that make up a face, the most dominating shapes I notice are my cheeks, forehead and chin. (I tend to map out these areas first for any figure I draw) In my case from this angle I have a rounded rectangle shape for my forehead, two overlapping ovals for my chin and under my bottom lip and for lack of better words almost butterfly wing like shapes either side of my face that make up my cheeks. Then for my neck I notice two triangles (one for shadow) and an oval, rather elongated, where the light fell. I then followed the shapes and lines I recognised in my jumper curving rectangles to make up my shoulder. I use these shapes to make up a base to place my detail on top of. You have most probably heard of the circle-box method or circle triangle specifically for drawing heads. For example:
These types of sketches are what re known as ‘skeleton sketches’, they are the basic building blocks used to draft and begin works. In a way I have extended this method into a more detail focused approach to mapping out features and key areas.
I have also noticed the concept of my process is slightly similar to cubism, in the way I use shapes. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Cubism, it is a movement (1907–08) mostly associated with artists Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Paul Cézanne. Cubism is a way of showing multiple viewpoints at once, making the subject (persons/items) appear fragmented, abstracted and made out of geometric shapes. Cubism is split into stages/phases Analytical and Synthetic, you can watch a video about this at: https://study.com/academy/lesson/analytic-cubism-vs-synthetic-cubism.html
From the description above I would say my process is similar to analytical cubism as I break down my subject into shapes and then create the desired form I am after. I have also found this quote that I find relevant to my process:
“…concept of simplifying objects by seeing them as basic shapes such as cylinders, spheres, and cones. By exploring these concepts further, representing objects various viewpoints at the same time, they revolutionised how objects could be visualised in art.” – (Exploring The Concept Of Cubism Art Essay, 2020)
I also want to incorporate surrealism into my work. Surrealism is a 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature which valued dreams and exploring the unconscious mind. The movement aimed to assert these values to the public eye.
The movement’s poets and artists found magic and strange beauty in the unexpected and the uncanny, the disregarded and the unconventional.”(Surrealism – Art Term | Tate, 2020)
My current favourite surrealist artist is Catrin Welz-Stein (http://catrinwelzstein.blogspot.com/p/about.html)
I was thinking that a I could add surrealist elements into Okko and Eartha’s story by creating a magical, dreamlike connection between them where they can enter a pocket dimension or reality just for them. Photoshop and Illustrator will be useful for experimenting with ideas in this area I believe.
I am also thinking of combining surrealism with papercrafts, this idea is inspired by the fairytale work of Sybille Schenker (https://beautifulbooks.info/2019/04/sybille-schenker-cut-paper-fairy-tales/). I particularly love the right page as the lines are so organic and elegant as well as the use of limited colour to highlight important areas as a focal point.
Paper crafting and silhouettes go hand-in-hand for me so I’m going to take this as an opportunity to expand here. Silhouettes were first used as a form of portraiture, it was a popular way to create an image/profile before the invention and common use of photography came around. In the late 19th and early 20th century several illustrators employed designs of similar appearance for making book illustrations. Silhouette pictures could easily be printed by blocks that were cheaper to produce and longer lasting than detailed black and white illustrations. Silhouette pictures sometimes appear in books of the early 20th century in conjunction with colour palettes. Arthur Rackham is an example of an illustrator who uses silhouettes.
To summarise so far, I have identified my natural artistic process and concept, I have found three other artistic aspects that I want to develop into my style. I am to take parts that I like of these styles and integrate them into one to make my own style. I now have a clear idea of what direction I am heading in and what I want to achieve and I have decided the first step will be making more self portraits from different angles and then laying on top different stylized areas of the same drawing. I will start off with putting anime eyes on my portrait I showed you at the beginning of the post, using Clip Paint Studio to draw the eyes and I will repeat this process so I have a series of emotions as my outcome.