Even though the works of William Shakespeare are easily found in books and taught in English classes, his plays are primarily meant to be interpreted through performance. Since they originated in a day when the recording of performances was impossible, there is no record to indicate what messages Shakespeare’s plays were originally intended to convey. Because of this, it has become a rewarding exercise for artists of every kind to create their own interpretations of Shakespeare’s works, combining what is known of the playwright and the world in which he lived with modern-day sensibilities. My own interpretation of Shakespeare and a handful of his plays entitled, Shakespeare Illuminated (see figure 1), combines my interest in ancient illuminated manuscripts like The Book of Kells, and what the plays mean to me.
The next two assignments we had were to study animal anatomy and then do characters from those animals. They were to sill be animal-like–unlike Disney’s Robin Hood–and the viewers were supposed to answer certain questions about them about their characters.
Some of the questions were:
- Current Story
- Favorite Movie
- If they got incorrect change at a store, how would they react.
- How would THEY react if they met YOU in a dark alley.
So, here is what I came up with:
Obviously, the worst part of this is the hookah. Should have spent more time on it.
This one just made me laugh.
I think I’ll lump the next few assignments from this semester together. The first one was supposed to be a caricature. Can you tell who it is?
If you guessed Nicholas Cage, you’d be right.
The next two assignments were to do a Hero or a Villain, but with the added element of animating parts of them. If you know Ryan Woodward’s work, especially Bottom of the Ninth then you’d expect him as a teacher to add animated elements.
The first one that I did was a Batman-type dark super hero that is like a gargoyle type girl. Animation added in Flash.
For the next one I’ll admit that I was a little pressed for time and I didn’t put as much into it as I could–and probably should–have. But it was fun anyway. Should have added some bounce to the eyes and also maybe some bubbles or something.
Well, it’s the middle of the night and I’m still thinking about my weekend I just spent at the CTN Animation Expo. It was really cool and gave me a lot to think about regarding my future career that I’m in the process of adjusting. Anyway, what better time to post another Character Design assignment.
This is a continuation of the Silhouette project from the previous week. Ryan mostly just changed the theme to “Sci-fi Necromancer” and had us change some of the ways we did the previous assignment to be more like how he wanted them done. For me, I spent too much time on the last one putting in fine details in the second stage of the assignment when we were adding white. He still wanted us to be focusing on the shapes and not so much on what they were.
Here are the silhouettes I started out with:
I liked the bottom left one the most so that’s what I decided to expand on, mostly because at this point it was the only one that I really couldn’t see that anything had been quite defined in so it presented the biggest challenge in making it into something. In the process of adding white inner elements, I also rotated it to find an angle that I liked the most:
Of these I liked the one on the top left the most and started filling in the details and defining actually what the shapes were:
And there it is, a Sci-fi Necromancer. Quite an interesting way to come up with a character design. It’s really not something I would have come up with right out of my head so it was a great exercise and something that would be good to add to my bag of tricks, especially when inspiration is hard to come by.
For the fourth character design for this class, we focused on interesting silhouettes. First off, we took brush pens and created random blotches that weren’t really supposed to be well thought out, they were just to create an interesting shape. The theme was “tribal” and I think we could to go sci-fi a little on it if we wanted.
Here are my initial silhouettes:
After this we picked the one we liked the best and we were supposed to go over it with white to add in some detail shapes, but still nothing too defined at this point. Here are my white passes over the shape that I liked the most:
After these white passes, we picked the one of those we liked the most and then created a finished drawing from it. Here’s the final:
I really enjoyed this assignment and it really opened my eyes to one way to go about coming up with an interesting design. I’m happy with the results. The final was finished in Adobe Illustrator.
The next assignment was similar to this and I enjoyed that as well. I’ll post that one soon.