Finished 117A (Advanced Illustration) last week! It was a really tough class, but I really learned a lot, especially in regards to color! This semester, we focused mostly on visual development for a fantastic book, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
I designed the character Ilsa Hermann's library.
We started with exploratory sketches, like this:
The book described Ilsa's library as a wonderful place, but only ever mentioned her desk in regards to furniture. Liesel read on the floor. I kept in mind that Ilsa, though more wealthy than Liesel, might not have been what modern society considers extravagantly wealthy.
We moved on to isometrics and line drawings next:
After that were tonal drawings.
I didn't want Ilsa's library to feel warm and cozy. I wanted it to feel cold, but to still be a wonderful place for Liesel. Ilsa's son died in Russia from the low temperatures, and I imagined that the reason Ilsa kept her window open was to feel that coldness as well. Her austere library also reflects the emptiness Liesel now seems to help fill.
Our last assignment was to design Liesel Meminger (the protagonist), and Death (the storyteller). I learned a lot through research for Liesel's costume. The League of German Girls' dress code was strict and loose at the same time. They were required to essentially dress the same, though clothing costs limited exact uniforms.
For Death, I made a man with four arms, because he has to collect so many souls. My version of Death's cloak is odd with an atypical line of buttons, and his outfit and person is colorless. He mentions having pockets in "The Book Thief," so I put other sentimentals like Liesel's autobiography that Death's got in other pockets. My version of Death has a pipe through which he inhales the colors around him and from souls. The only color on him is from the world, and none is from himself.
Our final was to take someone else's final scene layout and to make it better as we saw fit. I got my classmate Kevin Si's library layout. Here's two hours of work:
It was fascinating how quickly I could paint this when I didn't "care" as much because it wasn't a layout I was very attached to. On my own layouts I was much more careful, but on Kevin's I was far more loose. I'll definitely remember this for my future paintings.
Although summer is starting soon, it's not going to be a break. I'm going to be studying and hopefully improving a bit throughout!
Semester Playlist: Black Keys, Feist, Mr. Little Jeans, Broken Bells, Young the Giant, Wake Owl, Pharell Williams' "Happy," Hillsong UNITED's "Oceans," "Treading Water" by Alex Clare, "Blue Moon" by Beck, and "Epic Last Song" by Does It Offend You, Yeah?