Sunday, February 15, 2009

Work-In-Progress: "Time" Part 1

This has been a busy week. Valentines falling on a Saturday really cuts in to my working in the basement time... Ha-ha! Actually, Valentines day was great. I got almost caught up on my taped episodes of "Get Ed", did a little work in my sketch book, went and saw "Coroline" with Amy (and it was AWESOME, easily the best movie I've seen in the last two years, and I've seen some really good ones too), and I got a little bit of work done.

This week, I took a break from the animals (though I do have a nice little sketch for the next one worked out, and I'm excited to get started on him! It's the drummer, and he's going to be soooo boss!) and got fully entrenched in what has turned out to be a kind of enjoyable pain in the butt. That being said, I am not finished with it so I thought I'd share a little work in progress. Amy calls this one "Old Man Jeffrey" LOL

This started out life as a drawing for the Illustration Friday topic "Time". I didn't want it to be something silly, like a watch or spinning clocks, but rather something a little more concepty. Going back and forth with ideas, one thing that struk me was that little clock that is used in regulation chess games that times the moves. Which let me to the old man playing chess in the park idea. I started with the old man, thinking that there would be two players, and that one of them would maybe be a kid. As I got into it though, the other player got scrubbed for another idea. (I feel like I have to admit here that this was mostly out of lazyness, and that I didn't want to draw the other players back. On the other hand, that's not a very interesting illustration element anyway.) I added the monsters creeping up behind him. So this is the "High Concept" story for this image.

"Time sneaks up on us loudly, as we focus our attention on the moves of our lives." I should write fortune cookies.

I did the original drawing in blue pencil, and inked it. It looks fine, but I knew I wanted to mess with it in illustrator. It started with wanting the monsters to be a certain way. I really wanted the blue outline with the dark brown fill, and the empty, glazed eyes. So I decided to build them. This was the beginning of a weekend of general irritation on my part.

After I made my new Illustrator monsters, I started working on the old man, and was just not happy with the clunkyness of some of my inking, and of course (why would I want anything to be easy?) I wasn't happy with all of his outlines being the same (Black) so now I need to cut up the trace too. So I work his right hand over (our left) till I'm happy with it, and then I get to looking at the chessboard and pieces and am just NOT happy with them. They look totally sloppy. I wouldn't buy them, so how can I expect anyone else to. So I rebuild the whole chessboard and all its pieces from scratch.

Amy says I'm too hard on myself. But what's the point of doing it, if it's not done right? So I'm mostly done with this part of the illustration, and then I just have to decide how I want to deal with the back ground. Hopefully next week, I'll have the finished illustration to show you. Until then, Take care and be good!

Your friend
Jeffrey Johnson

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