Assignment 2: Happy Accidents

For assignment 2 I was asked to build on my work I have produced in my previous exercises.

My Plan: I need to create and develop my characters further from the faces I had found and illustrated from on the previous exercise ‘facial pareidolia’. Once I have a few characters developed I need to create a background, this background will be from a page in a previous sketchbook, I will chose the background from my chosen page using a viewfinder that I will create. I will then enlarge my chosen background and fill up the entirety of a blank sketchbook page with it. Finally I will cut out my characters and stick them down so they appear in the foreground.

My Process:

My photos from the previous exercise where I based my faces from:

My chosen faces: These are the faces that I thought had the most potential. They are the most comical and the ones that stuck out to me the most.

My developed characters: As all of the characters are oneway and another related to technology and metal, I decided to make their body’s/accessories/features out of tools and bits and pieces I found in my tool kit.

The first image shows the top of the alarm clock: The alarm bell parts at the top look as thought the character has big scared eyes! I decided to create his arms and legs out of Allen keys. I thought the curve gave the character raised tense shoulders, I also used the Allen keys for the characters legs as well and this time faced the curved areas inwards to create the bottom of the character’s body. Lastly thought of what I could use to give the character some shoes/feet so I found some large screws, they were also black so they look even more like little boots.

The second image shows the back of my alarm clock: I decided to add some lines into the ‘moustache’ part as it just looked like it should be there! Now he looks like a worried old man! Other than that, thats the only part of the face I really exaggerated. I wanted to try and use different materials for this character so I found some broken apple headphones and thought that it was perfect for some flimsy thin arms with hands at the ends. For his body I found a small wrench and thought it was a prefect size, in the end I decided to use the Allen keys for his legs but instead I turned them around so that the bits pointing out can be his feet.

The third image shows my radio: As my radio is fancy anyway I decided to make the character a fancy fashionista. I decided to use some smaller Allen keys for her arms and legs as she is a female character and also in fashion. I found a bag in my tool kit that held a bunch of screws so I emptied it and decided to use it as her dress, I also found a small bit of fabric in the tool box, I think it is for screwing something into a wall and giving it a bit of slack? Anyway, I decided to make it into a scarf as it felt as though she needed an accessory! Out of these four characters she seems as though she doesn’t fit in very well as the other two are scared and panicking and the scissors are evil and threatening.

The forth image shows my nail scissors: As this character is already quite developed I didn’t want to add too much to it so I decided to make the character seem even more angry by using some small thin Allen keys as their angry eyebrows. When I originally sketched out the scissors character I drew some teeth and a tongue as it seemed as though the lower part of the scissors would be perfect as a mouth as they move up back and forth anyway like a mouth.

My chosen background from my previous sketchbook: This image is from my previous sketchbook (part 1 of this course: Key Steps In Illustration) When the brief said that I should really think and make a connection between my characters and my background I decided to go with this image as a background, this was I could incorporate my characters into the image and it would mean something and actually create a story behind the image. For this I decided to hide the human hands as much as I could and replace them with copies of my characters.

Incorporating my characters into my background: I printed out my UFO illustration and stuck it into my new sketchbook for this part. I then decided to make the black part stronger so drew over it with a thick black marker pen. Below you can also see the copies of my characters.

My final outcome:

I am overall really happy with my outcome, this is a big part of illustration that I love. When things before comical and head towards graphic fiction. My image below shows a swarm of evil alien scissors coming down to a dimension that is occupied by alarm clocks. I think the background and my characters really work well together.


What were the main challenges you encountered when working with unusual drawing techniques and how did you overcome them?

I found exercise 2.3: Blind Contour Drawing to be the most challenging, but I shortly overcame this idea. I originally was a bit nervous to draw without looking at the page but once I understood the process I actually really enjoyed it. I think because I normally am so used to concentrating on what I am drawing on the page my brain found what I was doing quite hard but I actually found the process quite freeing and interesting and even preferred my blind contour drawings to my semi blind ones!

Now you have drawn with unusual materials, what techniques or materials are you going to use within your next sketchbook?

In exercise 2.4: Drawing with Tea Bags, I found some of the tools really hard but what was the most difficult to use was the match sticks! I could hardly create any marks whatsoever! The main challenge I encountered has to be the idea of actually using and creating different tools, I felt like I had to really think outside the box. I think because we have all the tools e.g. pens and pencils we could wish for in this day and age we find it hard to come up with our own tools. I think in my next sketchbook I will definitely be carrying on with the use of coffee as a material/ink. It gave some really interesting outcomes in my sketchbook, I like the fact that you can use different ratios of coffee to water to change the depth of colour.

How did you find moving from observed drawings towards using ideas and more of an imaginative approach?

I really enjoyed being able to use my imagination and idea generation in the second half of this part. It allowed to to thinking entirely freely and I felt myself becoming a lot more creative with my work. I think by having this ‘freeing’ the next part of Illustration Sketchbooks (Part 3) should be a lot more creative then before. I hope to use more materials in the next part too, as I have learnt that new ideas can be revealed by using materials and techniques I wouldn’t normally use.

What have you learned about drawing quickly that you can take forward when you look at drawing people in part three?

Don’t think about it! Just do it! I spent way to much time thinking/hoping that my lines will come out perfect when I haven’t had the time to properly think about what I’m going to sketch. Also things (people, cats etc) move rapidly so I am going to definitely have to use this technique when drawing them! I’m also going to have to destroy the barrier of my work not being perfect in my sketchbook as there are going to be a lot of random lines and scribbles! I think I will also use ‘limited line drawings’ when drawing people as I seemed to get on well with that technique.

Which of the illustrators mentioned in this section work did you most enjoy looking at and why?

Christoph Niemann, definitely. His work is perfectly quirky and cool, he also has the perfect combo of his work not having much thought when creating it but also having a great deal of thought! (if that makes sense!) What I’m trying to say is that his actual mark making seems to have been done very quickly and with minimal effort but on the other hand his ideas when creating these images are amazing!

If you haven’t joined a sketchbook circle yet do you feel ready to join one?

Yes, I will now join one. Before I felt as though I didn’t have enough work to show but I am now confident that I do.

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