Monday, April 30, 2012

What Makes You Jump?

"Jump" was this week's 'Illustration Friday' word and I had quite a bit of fun coming up with ideas.  Since I couldn't decide which idea I liked the best (and since I was also looking for a way to procrastinate working on another project), I actually ended up doing three interpretations.

My first idea was to see if I could make the word itself into things that seemed to be jumping. My first sketch was with letters shaped like people, but I couldn't get that idea to work, so I tried it with animals. The "J" duck, the "U" fish and the "M" dog came easily but I had a hard time coming up with something for the "P." First, I tried a Giraffe, but, even with it's long neck, it wouldn't cooperate.  When I thought about the elephant and it's trunk, I knew I had my solution.

My next idea was inspired by my dog.  Fortunately she doesn't have fleas, but she does scratch herself once in a while, which gave me the idea for this drawing. Fleas are powerful jumpers.  I think I read somewhere, that a flea's jumping ability, if it were translated to a human equivalent would be like a man jumping over a building.  I actually did two versions of this drawing.  In my first one, I sketched the dog very quickly and though I liked its face, the body seemed too rigid and stiff. I was going to go with it anyway until at breakfast this morning my dog began scratching and I could see all of the problems with my original pose.  So, I tackled it again.  I've put the two of them side by side so that you can see the difference.  The one on the left is my first attempt.  On the right is my final version.  You can see I decided to add some more fleas. I also changed their size and the color of their trajectory lines.

I hadn't planned to do a third interpretation but this idea came to me this afternoon and it seemed too great to pass up. I did it fairly quickly, in just under an hour, using Painter 12's 'real' watercolor brushes. I think anyone who's gone to see a good scary movie can identify with what it's like to almost jump out of your seat when an unexpected scare is sprung on the audience. I wanted this illustration to have a spontaneous and 'alive' look to it, so I didn't do much in the way of cleaning up the watercolor.  I used 4 or 5 layers and painted in the dark blue gray first.  I like the way it sort of pooled into dark spots behind the figures, almost as if the light from the movie they're watching is casting a shadow behind them.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Vincent, what fun you had with this theme! Love the first one, but have to admit I'm a little partial to anything with pups. We must have been touched by the same inspiration bug on the second one- i did a quick sketch on a similar train of thought... Now that made me "jump" wide awake when I saw yours here! :o)