I get al ot of comments from students that they feel bad for "not getting perspective". Well, i get you, although i will say, it seems to be more self-flagellation, as though you will receive a benediction for it: Student: "Oh I'm no good at it ".." I can't do perspective...", "...I just want to be a character designer..." Instructor: "Well, that's OK, I 'll give you a pass, you don't really have to work very hard at anything, the world will give everything for nothing anyway, why don'y you just go and draw the same characters over and over instead."
Student: (relieved): "whew, thanks, world, that's a load off my mind!" Seems as though saying it excuses them from doing it. Or, after saying it, they expect to then be touched with a magic wand and be suddenly good at it.
Nothing i can do when you say that, except I don't buy it.
Anyone can be good at anything, they just have to do the work.
Yes, perspective is one of those things that defeats many. Don’t know why, but it is partly that we no longer live in a world where being able to draw perspective was the norm. Or a world where being able to play the piano was the norm. Or being able to fix your own car was the norm. it isn't considered a fundamental of art training and stopped being taught as such.
stopped being considered a staple of art training
In commercial art of the first part of the twentieth century, traditional art study was still in effect in most places.This meant perspective, academic drawing, painting, anatomical study,etc.
Then attitudes changed. Reasons? so many - world war two, modern art, a faster planet, technology. Solidly structured art was supplanted by more interpretive approaches. Photography took on a greater role - as the final image in advertising and journalism (see today’s illustration vs that of the 30s 40s or 50s)
and therefore the artists and teachers in place now, except for a few, don't really know the basics.
It just isn’t “in the air” any more.. plus the digital revolution that lets the computer now do it.
During the heyday of the career - Nelvana, Bluth, Disney, Pixar etc. - I never really had any discussions about perspective with my peers - that is, the other journeyman level layout artists that I worked with. It was plain they could all pretty much draw the stuff, but we never , at least not often, got into any long form theoretical discussion of horizons, VPs, etc. One would just do a quick sketch of your intentions and make sure that the story points or whatever were clear. It was kind of a given. I had never done very much theory of it, i just drew what seems right and it came out. Where did they/I get it from? And yet, there is more traditional art instruction available today than ever before.
This thinking may be a bit old fashioned..but I am a traditionalist, and I think it’s great to know this stuff.
And - when the Singularity occurs, the machines don’t let us use our computers to do perspective; we’ll be forced to rely on the old ways…then the perspective heroes will rise!
From a discussion last week in my on line class for AAU - re aspect ratios for layout and the general topic of how badly things used to get cut off on TV in the old days, thanks to pan and scan, or lack of it!
i absolutely remember watching movies on TV in the early 70s( when i first began to really "watch" them,)
staying up late, pleading with my mother to let me watch "Fall of the Roman Empire" or some such and it was still thrilling, but seeing Alec Guiness cut off on one side of the screen and Steven Boyd ditto on the other, and feeling there was something going on, but not sure what.. oh well, you just went with it.. all in black and white too, as we didn't have a colour set yet!
I am getting alot of questions these days on the specifics of drawing...what did I do to gain my drawing "chops"?
" How can I figure out a way to generate thumbnails efficiently?"
" Do you have any practical advice when it comes to thumbnail sketching in general, like how to quickly generate the idea, not to stay too long on a single thumbnail, or finding a good way to quickly generate detail?"
What was your education, and how did you come to do layout/storyboarding,?"
here are a few disjointed answers:
I drew A LOT.
A cliche answer, but simply true.
One of my pleasures in life was sitting down, putting on some good music and simply drawing away an afternoon.
I stayed in a lot of Saturday afternoons and just drew.
These are some things i drew:
-We had some books in the house, but the book field was not like today. The typical living room of the mid 60s did not have shelves creaking with books, or if they did, it would be the Book-of-the-Month Club variety.
We did have a collection: the Readers Digest Children's Library, illustrated by the likes of Robin Jaques.
We had two of the Time-Life Libraries: the Science Library and the Nature Library: I wore them out. Not alot of illustration per se, but they had the now famous illustrations of archaeology and paleontology, by the likes of Zdenek Burian and Charles Knight and Jay Matternes. This was balanced by any book on dinosaurs in the public library and the occasional issue of Star Spangled War Stories.
There was a copy of the "history of Earth by H.G.Wells, who I already connected with War of the Worlds. Had some rather disappointing ink line illustrations
I went through a phase of being besotted by engravings and 19th century art, ( might be termed "steampunk" now, but I am thinking of art like Gustave Dore) where forms are created by pen and ink/gravure cross hatching. drew them all.
We had an illustrated edition of the Bible: colour plates of old master paintings. Scared the shit out of me.
I went through a Dennis the Menace phase, acquired a number of paperback collections and simply drew them all.
We got life and Look magazine, there was the ad illustration of the time.
Built a lot of scale model kits, so saw and drew from alot of box art - the art was then done in tradtional media, very inspirational and good to copy from -Leyenwood, in particular. But more importantly, building kits developed the sense of three dimensions - handling, viewing the models increased the solidity of any drawings I did of the planes.
Hunted the paperback racks of the local smoke shops, department stores, so called book stores of which there were two in my home town and could be classed more stationary stores. This yeilded alot of sct fi and fantasy illustrations, first time i saw Frazetta, McGinnis,
The Public Library in my home town, one of the Carnegie libraries, all wooden stacks and high ceilings and stone fireplace.
I grew up in a small town, with small town values.
The local art supply store, J. James and Daughters, carried everything, was the only real source i town for art books ( agian, apart from the public library). They had all the Walter Foster books, the old original ones, large format, picked up several during these years.. They might be considered a bit meh these days, but had some solid tips.
So...How do you get to where I got with my drawing?
Do all the above.
Listen to classical music.
Develop a taste for the old masters, for classical architecture, for things that have been around long enough to stand the test of time.
For any of you who may been checking in recently, many apologies...the blog has gotten pretty sad these days. Is it possible that blogs have outlived their usefulness, what with FB and Twitter, etc.? You gotta have something burning pretty bright to be seen out there in the cyber-wilderness...
here's a match flaring up; I am doing the Intro to Perspective for CGMA again for their Spring Sememster. This didn't go up here in time for potential sign ups, but the class is full, so once more, it's VPs and horizons and grids, oh my!
Many reasons for no posts of late, not that there hasn't been a lot going on...
But here is a quick announcement - I am doing the another class for CGMA's new semester, the Intro to Perspective course. This is the third time I have done the course, guess something 's working.
The course consists of some pretty hard core fundamentals - finding basic shapes in more exact ways, that correspond to station point, picture plane, intersecting forms, translation of points, planes and shapes and forms, some using traditional drawing and some using digital 2d techniques...
if you are interested, please sign up!