Monday, May 19, 2008

Days 19-21 of 21... I think!

Well, according to my calculations, Saturday should have been my last day for this challenge ( I didn't count Mother's Day). Not sure where I went wrong, but don't really care! What was important was the work I did during that time. I think I made great progress and improvement, and have definitely developed a true habit of wanting (needing?) to draw everyday! And it has been great seeing everyone's progress as well. Hopefully each of you gained something! And thanks for all your comments. They are a big encouragement to me!


Inspired by another blogger's post, I challenged myself to do some different nationalities. Well, a busy weekend kept me from doing much if any drawing. I did manage to squeeze in two heads last night. The girl was my attempt at an Asian, and the boy was my attempt at an African-American.

This was a huge struggle. With the facial style I use, I found it difficult to modify it to represent other nationalities' unique facial features. However, I didn't get to get much practice in either.

Does anyone have any suggestions for creating convincing nationalities in stylized facial features! Or is that something that is really important or looked for in an illustrator's portfolio? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Alicia Padrón said...

Yay Tom! You are done then?! Wonderful! Good for you.. you worked hard and you are right what counts is practicing every day! keep it up :o) I plan on trying to stick to it too.

These 2 are so incredible sweet.. I really like them both. I think trying to convey nationalities is not easy. I had to work on a lot of different ones on the last book and let me tell you it took several sketching of the facial features. So don't feel bad, you are not alone here.

I think that there are several hints that help the nationality come thorugh. Facial features (of course), color and clothes (or details on accessories, etc..).

So right now you only worked on one of those so it is very hard to have it come across you know? Once you add color it will be easier.

As for the facial features you have now, I think the african american looks great, once you add color he'll look so cute. The asian girl needs to have her eyes a bit more elongated instead of round. Her nose is perfect and the shape of the face too. Once you add color to her with very dark sleek hair you'll see a difference.

Hope to see them in color Tom :o)

Tom Barrett said...

Thanks, Alicia. Yea, I definitely need more practice. I did color the AA boy (quickly in Photoshop, mind you), but he still didn't look right! I think what I may do is draw some blank faces with the correct hair, make a few copies, and play with the features until I get what I like.

This 21 thing was a blast. The bug is inside me for sure now!

Jess said...

Well done Tom for keeping going with the 21 day challenge. You've been an inspiration to me to be more brave with my imagination - thanks! :)

RyanLoghry said...

Hey Tom! Congrats on finishing the challenge.

I would start looking at photo reference, pictures of different types of kids. I think your idea of creating a generic head, and then testing different facial features in PS is a great idea.

carli said...

hey tom
I love your kids so far. I think adding color will make it easier to show a particular race. I think it is good that you are working on this for your portfolio because a lot of stuff that I read says being able to draw lots of different kids is very important.

Monica said...

Hi Tom--
I do think adding color makes a lot of difference. I agree, it's not easy doing different nationalities, and that was something very new for me. I have heard it does help to show you can do multicultural children, but it does take a lot of practice and references. The little boy is very sweet, and I agree with Alicia, the little girl needs to have her eyes elongated a bit and that should help. But again, color will make a huge difference!

sketched out said...

Congratulations for sticking to it and really getting far with the challenge. I know what you mean about creating a want and a "need" to draw everyday. I used to be afraid to mess up a nice pristine sketchbook, but since I started my blog, I've filled up half a dozen of them.

It's obvious that you've gotten to a great place too, you're coming into your own with your characters. Oh, and looooove the character of youself! Cute that you made it your avatar. So sad you'll only be a monster on my blog, (sniff.)

As far as drawing different ethnicities, I applaud you for working on this. It's challenging. I've been trying it on some of my projects as well. Seems like you just need to do a lot of research, not only on photos, but see how other artists tackle it. Then let it stew for a while and give it another crack. It takes practice and just really looking.

Great work Tom! Cheers!

Paola said...

Wow Tom! alredy 21! I have enjoyed the visits to your blog during this challenge, your progress and efforts to improve and find your own way are very encouraging and inspiring!
For example this last exercise is something I have never tried and is obviously very important. I will have to add it to my 'to do' list :)
You are asking for suggestions and this are mine: I agree about the girl's eyes, and also think her nose could be shorter; about the boy, I love his eyes, his glance is so sweet, and may be thickening his lips a little would help to reinforce his ethnic features.
I hope it helps .