Project is coming along

Hello! First of all – You might have noticed the changes around here. I’m just trying out some new things.  Everything should pretty much be where I left it, but please let me know if I messed something up.

Now for the thing I was going to talk about. Remember the scarecrow project? It’s still on, in case you were in doubt. In the more likely case that you have no idea what the scarecrow project is: I’m illustrating a song, and it’s about scarecrows. This is the tryout-illustration I’ve been basing the rest of this on:

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The original plan was to have a few different illustrations in a sequence that goes along with the song, to be put on youtube. But as that is clearly some sort of music video, I would love to be able to get some animation in there. Not much, but maybe just a crow flapping its wings would make such a difference, and it would be so cool if I could do that! The problem is just that I have no idea how to do that, so this is all just a big experiment.
I’ve been thinking more than I’ve been painting on this one. And finally, I have reached a plan. It’s probably the least effective one I could come up with, but it’s still a plan.

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The idea is to first put together the actual scenes. But instead of drawing them one by one, I figure it will save me some time to put them together in photoshop instead. Since I’m so modern I recently learned some things about photoshop (but still no animation program) I now have the powers to that kind of stuff!
Anyways, I put the main pictures together, with the help of the started pieces above, and then I’ll be tampering with them. Like moving the arms and change the crows here and there.  I’m pretty sure I’ve overseen a much more efficient way to go about the crows, but now this is it.

I’ve laid the brown pencil aside and moved back to ink on this one. For the only reason that it makes the cropping-everything-out-part so much faster. It’s a shame, in a way, because I really like the softer style with this motive. But this is already such a huge project, and if I were to make it even harder for myself there’s the chance that I’d give up and quit. So I’m making it as easy as I can for now. Just for now.

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Here are all the finished pieces together. And yes, I did notice that four of those crows are in there twice. No worries, I’m on it.
I didn’t make the whole heads for those last three expressions. Since they’re all in pretty much the same pose as the first two, I think it will be enough just to put those in there, and move the head slightly. I Should have thought of that before I put all that time into sketching those heads…

Now for the exciting experiment-part of the whole thing, which I’ve actually already gotten started on:SC4.jpg

I believe this is going to take quite a while, but I really have no idea.

Wish me luck :)

Em

This new exciting scarecrow-project

Hello friends!
Today I want to tell you a bit about this project that I’m working on.
It started with a woman writing me, wanting to order a few illustrations for a song that she wrote. I thought it was really cool. I’ve never illustrated a song before, and was totally up for the task. And it brought my mind to when I was a nanny.
The kid I was looking after liked to watch music videos for kids on the Ipad. And I hated it. A little bit because of the Ipad-use itself, but that’s a whole other discussion about child-upbringing that I’m not qualified to discuss. It was the actual videos that really disturbed me. It was the same annoying song over and over again, but different videos with equally horrible animations. I tried my hardest to distract her from that Ipad so I wouldn’t have to hear/see it.
I’m neither an animator nor a good song writer, so I never thought of this before. But when this woman wrote me it hit me like lightning. The lyrics she sent me was great, and I thought that we should really make a whole video out of this.
At this point, we had already agreed on a price for three illustrations, and it was a pretty good one. Her budget was a little tight, but it was enough to keep me fed during the project. However, I knew that if we were to make a video out of this, it would take much more than three illustrations. At least if it was going to be as good as I could possibly make it. And I knew that she wouldn’t be able to afford that. So, since I was (and still am) so excited about the whole thing, I simply asked her if she would be ok with giving me free range on the project. I would do the whole thing for free, as long as I could take good time (so I can do some paying jobs in the meantime) and do it just the way I want to.
And she said yes! She’s had the idea of making a video herself, but just hadn’t gotten the opportunity. So now I’m doing this super cool thing! I have no idea how much it will take, or how long, or if it’s even going to turn out good. But I’m really, really excited. I’m even planning to throw myself out in some animation!
So here’s the first parts of the process:ScarecrowSketch1
First of all, I need to find the characters. The song is about two scarecrows, holding a contest. I have a thing for scarecrows, so that probably played a part in my big excitement.

ScarecrowSketch2
Some more character sketches. Here I’m starting to consider facial expressions. The first thought was to give them the classical buttons for eyes and sown together mouths. But it’s more important to me that they can be really expressive, and I just couldn’t do that without pupils or teeth.
ScarecrowSketch3
There are some really hard facial expressions to deal with here. How do I draw someone that’s trying to look cool and maybe a little arrogant, while they’re actually suffering from a big weight?
It’s pretty funny how I’m terrible at reading other people’s faces. The intention of others often fly over my head. But when it comes to depicting it on paper, it’s not at all that hard. Probably it has something to do with the big difference between exaggerated expressions in drawings and the subtle ones which are more common in real life.ScarecrowSketch4
And some more expressions and a little color test. I’ve pretty much found my characters here.

And here is the first big illustration!
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I’ve tried out the softer style here, and I think it works really well.
This is probably not going to be a part of the final video. I think it will be better to draw the characters and backgrounds separately, for animation-purposes. But this was a good start.

This all actually relates to what I said in my last post. About working because it’s fun above anything else. I think this is the best reason to be working for free. To do it purely because you’re passionate about it. And this project is something that really sparks up my lust for creating. I’m really excited to find out how this is going to unfold.

Have a great day!

Em