Saturday, December 7, 2013

That One Show Where Malcom's Dad Cooks Meth in His Underwear

      I wanted to challenge myself and create an image with a retro-movie poster influence. My focus wasn't divided by having to build the characters, world or narrative. I simply focused on design and layouts. Unfortunately, things did not go as well as I hoped on this one. The painted tiles and elements don't quite set into the background and it could use some more narrative references. That said, I felt I got what I wanted from it and it is time to move on.

      The reason I chose the show was because I appreciated the attempts at confronting audiences with some dark realities. At times it was bold enough to toss traditional worries about character likability or being too depressing. American culture is becoming increasingly consumed with comfort, self-censorship and the chase for immediate, thoughtless satisfaction. So it should be appreciated when some one comes along and sticks our face in the ugliness we try so hard to ignore. Especially when it is done with media that is somewhat mainstream.

(The final piece, I had to cut it off. I could have kept working on it, but working on it occasionally in short bursts stunted the development and it was going to go much further under my hand,)

     The show can also provoke thought regarding morality and mortality. It gives the audience time and space to reflect during and after. This is in contrast to the era of memes and viral videos that quickly make a mockery of anything or transform it into a processed digital tablet dictating stale emotion. 

     Anyway! For this the goal was to focus on design. So I constructed many sketches from reference while trying to maintain some personal flair. So I was avoiding doing direct copies. As I worked on it I took moments to make sure I was understanding the planes, form and why the light was working the way it was.

     I did many rapid sketches without erasing and with a brush that mimicked an ink pen. So the line I put down was the line I had to make work. The goal was to build confidence and understanding of the forms. It also was a way to play around with ways I can define style.

(Quick sketches, no erasing, not worrying about them looking good. It was about what is going on in my brain not on the canvas.)

(A quick design sketch, trying to capture a certain energy and composition.)

(Jesse, the character on the bottom left, looked ugly and nothing like Jesse)

(The likeness is still a bit off, but it captures the darker feel I wanted to capture in his depiction.)

 (A value pass that is very rough. Making sure the depth and forms are working with the angular style.)

 (This is a rough color pass. Color's don't need to be dead on at this point. Simply blocking in and refining the pallet.)

 (I began to feel the background design was off so I decided to experiment with changing the negative space and color. Not sure if this was working after looking at it a few seconds.)

 (Checking the value design and making sure there is a nice balance between the dark and light tones. Pushing design further I take an extra step to use value blocks to assist in guiding the and framing. Some adjustment needed to be made to balance the contrast and use it in away that guides the eye.)