I’m doing some art for my awesome chiropractor. This is a WIP of it, but he doesn’t know what it is yet. Shhhhh, don’t tell him.
First, I had the ridiculous idea: Chiroopractor. Get it? …well, you’ll get it when you see it, I hope. I record most of my ideas in one of my sketchbooks, as a sort of visual list. Very rough concept sketches only, just a few inches and a few seconds. Here’s this one:
Now do you get it? I sure hope so. My twisted sense of humor might not fit into a respectable place of business.
Next, I did three value thumbnails. Again, really quick, just helping me plan out large areas of value. I also sketched the scene a few inches wide on a very large sheet of paper (my vanishing points were pretty far away) so I could get my perspective lines right. That’s something I don’t usually mess with… but with walls and tables, this needed to be right.
What, you want a picture? Um, well, I threw that piece of paper away before I decided to do a WIP. Sorry. I’ll be better next time.
Next, I drew it full-size, using my perspective sketch as a guide and being so geeky as to measure lines with a ruler and scale it up with my calculator. Helps me learn perspective, although maybe the hard way… Anyway, I measured all the hard lines and free-sketched the roos, erasing and tweaking until I got it right.
You can see my line of sight (or horizon line) – the horizontal one going through the chiroopractor’s head. I spent some time making sure the wall lines didn’t interfere with the subject or make ugly-looking tangents or intersections. Once I had those set, I played around with the composition. I sketched in the skeleton on the left, but I tossed it out because it was an eye magnet, hogging all the focus. You can also see how I moved the framing around (this is 11×14″ by the way) until I found a composition I liked.
Don’t mind the tape – I accidentally ripped the paper.
At this point, I was ready to transfer the sketch to bristol board. I scribbled all over the back of this sheet with a nice soft graphite pencil, then taped it to the board. Then I traced everything with a blue pen (so I could see what I had traced and what I hadn’t). Ballpoint pens are good for transfer – they don’t rip the paper and they make a nice fat traced line. I peeled the paper up and traced the ball & dumbbell in a better location.
I do all these steps for whatever medium I’m using – it works for pencil, painting, and pastels.
Being a novice at the WIP, I forgot to take a photo after transfer. Take my word for it – it looks pretty much like the layout sketch above. Here’s the first shot I took, after I finished the walls (aaaaaaaaaaag, the endless walls that took forever to shade) and started the first roo.
You can see my tools – ref photos, thumbnail sketches, pencils (mostly used 6B, 2B, and 2H), erasers, a blending stump, and some tissue paper.
See how I scribbled the background into his arm in a couple places? I wasn’t strict about the fur outlines, because I can erase it later, and this makes for more natural-looking fur. Also, it prevents him from looking like a cutout.
More next time!