Illustration Master Class 2011: Part 4 – Storytelling

It’s been a couple weeks since IMC and I’ve been toiling away. I reworked my DUNE piece reshot some reference, and finished up a new drawing. While waiting for various parts of that process I’ve finished up another painting. Not ready to show it yet, still needs to be varnished and photographed, but soon!

At the moment I’m painting away on Paul Atreides face. I thought I’d give a little update and show the drawing for my new IMC DUNE painting.

Sam Flegal Dune Drawing

One of the themes at IMC this year was storytelling. A very basic storytelling element is the orientation of the painting itself. Iain McCraig explained that a Horizontal orientation is about a landscape or environment; a Portrait orientation is about people. Since my piece focused on the relationship between Paul and Jessica, he suggested that I consider a portrait orientation. He also suggested enlarging Paul and cropping him slightly to bring the viewer attention back to Jessica. This goes back to his idea of making one character the center of attention and making all other elements and figures an enhancement of them.

Another aspect of storytelling is body posture and expression. I made sure to talk to Rebecca Guay, as she is a master of emotion (if you don’t know her work, check out her site, you’ll see what I mean). She explained that to show that Paul is closed off from Jessica his arms should be inside his body. With him reaching out (like in my old sketch) it makes Paul too approachable.

As for Jessica’s new pose I wanted to show her concern, but due to her training she’s also very controlled. Throughout IMC I never seemed to get her pose quite right. When I got home my wife looked at it and suggested having her hands clasped. I did a few sketches, and really liked it! Once again the wife comes through.

At IMC Rebecca suggested that Jessica might not look feminine enough. An easy way to enhance Jessica’s femininity was to put her in a dress.

I hope you like the new changes. I think they are an improvement on the original sketch. For a comparison you can find my first drawing here.

Remember to do something that you love, and STAY STRANGE!

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