Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday: Seal's Process

Seal believes that artists don't create in a vacuum, so she would like to share some of her most recent inspirations and current artwork. For the past couple of weeks, Seal has been inspired by film noir and art deco architecture from the 1925-1940s. The lavish yet mathematical designs of Art Deco reflected the artists' backlash reaction against the imposed austerity by World War II and the looming Cold War. One notable artist and architect, Seal would like to share is Hugh Ferriss. His work is directly below:

Eventhough he didn't design any notable buildings during his lifetime, his style, theme, and method have continued on to influence popular culture and films like Frizt Lang's Metropolis, Batman's fictional Gotham City, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and the hardboiled detective genre.

Hugh Ferriss created his pieces on 18x24" drawing paper by using charcoal. He achieved the high contrast in values by toning his paper, lifting out the lights, and adding the darks.

In Seal's piece, she first spends time researching her materials; it can take anywhere from 1-5 hours. Often she works with a vague idea. In this case, she wanted to draw the front of a theatre-type building with some gothic gargoyles looming. She first created 5-10 small thumbnails no more than 1.5" wide to work out composition and perspective in graphite pencil. Generally the by the third one, the thumbnail is good and useable. She then works larger and draws a rough sketch in graphite. The sketch is then refined into the final line drawing (above). The next process is to do value studies in marker. Seal likes to use French Grey Prismacolor set #10, 40, 70, and 90. Seal has done one value study so far. She generally groups values into two: darks or lights (light source & shadows). Eventhough Seal loves color, details and color comes at the very last.

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