Monday, March 5, 2012

Words to Pictures: Exercises 5 & 6 OCA Illustration Course

In this post, I've combined Exercises 5 and 6 of the course. Exercise 5 is about turning words into pictures and involved taking one of the specified words (I chose "Exotic" from the list) and sketching as much as possible around this theme. Exercise 6, then involved taking the same word and creating an inspiration board around that word from pictures in magazines, fabrics, textures. I thought it would make sense to effectively do both of these exercises together.

First, I did a spider diagram around the word "Exotic" (fig. 1).

Fig. 1

The spider diagram threw up a lot of possibilities, but I decided to focus on exotic flowers and plants. I had a go at sketching things around this theme with no reference, just from my imagination and memory (fig. 2 and fig. 3).  The aim here wasn't to produce some beautiful drawings, but rather to translate into picture form some of the words from the spider diagram.  I'm not a big fan of pastels, but there were quick to work with and meant I could colour large areas quickly, even if the result wasn't really my style. 

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

To get a look at the real thing, I decided to make a visit to the Munich Botanical Gardens, where I made some sketches (fig. 4 and 5) and photographs (fig. 6 and 7):

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

Finally I went through fashion and interiors magazines, the Bridgeman on-line library and some of my own reference books, and used those materials as well as some of my own photographs from the botanical gardens to put together this colourful inspiration board (fig. 8). 

Fig. 8

What I learnt:

I was really interested to see with these exercises how I would get from words to pictures. As an ex-lawyer, I tend to find words easier than pictures. I found it particularly difficult to try and sketch ideas from memory, but was surprised once I got thinking, how I could visualise some exotic flowers and leaves from memory, even if I wasn't that impressed with my sketches of them. It was also good to go to the botanical gardens to draw the real thing and get some more drawing practice (although this did take way longer than the initial "memory" sketches. Drawing from memory is something I need to practice more, but that's something that should improve as my general drawing skills progress.

My favourite part of this exercise was pulling together all these different reference materials into my inspiration board. I can definitely see how having this up in front of me as I work, would inspire me to get painting and drawing around the theme "exotic". Who knows, this may even inspire a fabric design along this theme...

1 comment:

  1. This is brilliant - you've really inspired me to do something like this, I've bookmarked it for future reference. I liked your post last year about turing a jam jar into a make-up brush holder, that's why I had a look at the rest of the blog. Lovely blog :)