Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Basis for a Boy

Hey, I've just had an epiphany! Since this blog purports to be about art, maybe I should post some!

Okay, I've been doodling children lately... err... wait... that doesn't sound right. Let me start again...

Well, as you may know, I've been working on concepts for a children's book, so lately I've been drawing children, especially boys, since a little boy will be the protagonist of my first book. There are so many different ways to draw a child, and it's taken a lot of experimentation to find a character I feel happy with. A few weeks ago I was at work, when I rather absentmindedly drew him:

I'm not entirely sure what it is, but I love this drawing! Of the hundreds of little doodles I've made, this one stands apart. I find this boy visually striking (yet simple) and filled with personality.

"Personality?" you ask.

"Yes, personality," I say.

"But he's just standing there with a blank look," you say.

"IDIOT!!" I scream!

It's easy to draw an over-the-top character with some big, dumb smile; it's an art to portray more nuanced emotions like indifference, world-weariness, or silent wonder. And this expression fits my character - it is my character - because he is the observer in a strange and wonderful world. The quiet witness of a bizarre cast of characters. He may look rather unassuming, but to me he's alive.

The above drawing is my basis for a boy. He may change and evolve over time, but don't we all? Just yesterday I got another favorable image of him (didn't have paper handy, so he's on the back of a greeting card), and already he's changed. The main difference here is his nose. It's more rounded and less crooked. I think I like it a little bit crooked. I'll be working on this aspect.

The biggest challenge for me right now is learning to draw him consistently. Just because you draw a character once doesn't mean you can replicate it with it's original spirit. It becomes especially difficult when the character is in action poses or viewed from alternative angles.

Sunday, November 1, 2009