Yesterday morning, my piece looked like a mess and I was ready to dump it and start over. I’m glad I stuck with it because it really came together, thanks to hard work and great advice from our amazing teachers.
I don’t think I ever explained what the idea behind this piece is. It has been a LONG time in the making. Before IMC 2011, a bunch of us on the IMC forums wanted to do an in-between IMC’s assignment and I wanted to do Lady Godiva. I thought a lot about the concept and decided that instead of Godiva riding across medieval Coventry naked to stop her husband from raising the townspeople taxes, she’d ride across medieval Coventry naked to stop her husband from raising the townspeople. The original concept was very ambitious, showing some of the architecture and the old church (before both cathedrals.) I didn’t do the piece before the IMC but at the end of last years IMC I did some thumbnails and bounced some ideas with some of the faculty. The thing is it was so ambitious that I didn’t get around to doing it and I was feeling bad about it, and I wasn’t too crazy about my Tristan and Isolde thumbs. I was packing my stuff just before leaving and I found my thumbs from last year and I decided to do that instead of one of the assignments. I’m pretty glad I did, it fits pretty well in my portfolio and it was a crazy challenge!
So it’s still far from finished, the stirrups haven’t been rendered at all, the big zombies are too bright and clean, her face is a little too bland, but I think I have all I need to finish it up fairly soon. I also got great advice regarding my portfolio, so I’m pumped!
Yesterday was hard, I was ready to toss everything out and start over. Somehow I forced myself to leave the main character alone and work on the zombies and the flames and I am back to feeling good about my piece. I also think I’m behind compared to last year even though there was much more going on last year (both more lectures and more going on in my piece.) Still, zombies are fun and today I’m tackling the horse! I’m also fairly happy with how the flames came out. It’s not the final render, I just threw a gradient on top of my shape, but it gives a good idea of what I’m going for. We also had lectures by Boris, Julie, Rebecca, Scott, Doug and Greg. Yep, all in one day.
I finally used my camera for something other than taking reference pictures.
On day 3, we were so lucky as to have a lecture by Iain McCaig about visual storytelling, but honestly, I think Iain could make a lecture about breakfast cereals and it would still be exciting. We learned a lot about story boarding and how points of view after how we feel about characters. Later that day, Iain shared with us a super hot secret project that got us all pumped up. But it’s secret so that’s all I’ll say about that.
The second lecture of the day was with Brom, this year’s special guest faculty. And if he ever tells you that he’s not good at giving lectures, don’t listen to him. It was great fun and packed full of insight, and gossip.
Doug Alexander also gave me a great portfolio crit and even did some draw overs for me. Now I know what my homeworks will be for this year!
I also got to shoot a lot of references. Giving directions for zombie shots is fun! So I have cleaned up the drawing for my main characters and I started putting colours on. I’m going for a Georges de la Tour kind of colour scheme, but with more graphical elements.
So my composition is pretty much nailed. Now I’m gathering the final refs and putting everything down, which means everything is at different levels of finish. The piece looks like a mutt but I know it has to get worse before it gets better. Some of my classmates and instructors graciously accepted to pose for the reference, so maybe you’ll recognize someone!
We also had lectures by Greg Manchess and Dan Dos Santos and we learned about myelin sheaths and talent.
Here we are, it’s day 2 of the IMC and there’s only 3 of us in the digital room at 8:11 AM. Yesterday was very very full like first days of IMC always are. We had crits all day with the different faculties and these were conveniently scheduled in small batches. We also had a Iain McCaig bootcamp where he talked about balance and about creating monsters and crazy stuff. Iain is always excited and motivating and his enthusiasm is contagious.
So my drawing was a slightly more elaborate version of this.
And the concept is basically: Lady Godiva against the zombies. As weird as it may seem, I’ve been wanting to do that piece, for a long time but my original concept was too ambitious (with Coventry and it’s cathedral in the background.) This is my revised version, after critiques by Boris Vallejo, Scott Fischer, Doug Alexander and some feedback from Irene Gallo.
I’ll keep posting my progress all week, stay tuned!
It’s already over, I have to get back to work monday and leave all these awesome passionate people behind, at least until next year.
So this is how far I’m taking my piece here, I’m going to have to work on it a lot more back home.
And here are happy artists working hard to make their piece as good as possible for the last day.
This is going to be the last super intensive day of work, tomorow is cleaning up, more lectures, and celebration. Some people are starting to feel the strain of sleep deprivation.
Yesterday, we had lectures by Adam Rex and Jeff Mack who are both charming, funny, and children books writers and illustrators. Later we also had a lecture with Boris and Julie about flair and punch and making your paintings epic.
Here’s my progress so far.
And here are busy bees in the digital room, last night at about 12:30.