You are King, design your Throne!

Designing for yourself, what do you like? ...or design for a character of your own making. How do you communicate personality, emotion, character using color, shape, symbols, materials, forms?....then build it!

We had about 18 young designers from 9 years old to 12ish in our workshop.  We talked about Industrial Design and how we work. How we start by defining "key attributes".  

-Who are we designing for? Yourself or a character of your own making?

-What is important to that person? Features?Color?Appearance? 

-How do you convey these attributes in the shape, color and the forms you chose?  

-How do you build a prototype?



Library Visit tonight

I will be trying out another session with the Canton Library tonight.  I have developed simple paper models as a basis for designing a King or Queen's throne.  These are small four inch tall models that allow for a good deal of creative design freedom.  Students will design a character and identify the key characteristics that they want to embody in the design of his or her Throne. The Public Library has been very helpful as I develop this trial course.  Wish me luck.

No Hobbies ...

After a long time away from this event I went, last night, for a live drawing session.  I am not a young kid, but as I scanned the room, I was feeling 20yrs younger than the rest.  Am I walking into a senior's knitting circle?   Oh well, it's just a couple hours.  One of the members mentioned while munching on a brownie, "well what else are you going to do on a Friday night?" ...really?...But then we did some drawing...  

I met a veteran storyboard artist with tons of great work to share. He was eager to show me his work and all I could think was, this incredible talent (in this mid 70's) thirsty to talk with someone who can relate to topics like composition, materials, techniques.

Showing work to neighbors, " they just stand there for an hour while you draw?" ...yes, yes they really do.  Not making fun, but sometimes I feel so removed from the rest of the world tying to do this type of work.  I don't have "hobbies" ...I don't need to find things to "keep me busy" this is it.  I don't worry about keeping the house "curb appeal" or manicuring the lawn.  I hate small talk.  I notice how quickly the conversations change after mentioning something I enjoy back to "other" topics. aarrrrgh!   I don't want a skill that is predicated on understanding some corporate bureaucracy.  Nothing against those that do...I am just starting to scratch the surface of developing skill in visualization.  This  storyboard guy has forgotten more than I know.   It was a good night.

Morning with Maple

Ethan and Maple in the morning.  Maple (hound dog) has taken to coming up stairs a bit more often at night.  Once in a while she will be willing to get up into bed and sleep with the boy at night.

Another little Adventure...

Another little Adventure...

A storyboard narrated by Natalie about our Dungeons and Dragons adventure.

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A boy and his dog

Just a late night sketch.  Recently joined SCBWI society of children's book writers and illustrators. Had a good conference in Lansing last weekend all about Marketing, cross promotion and building a network.  My concern is getting on a regular schedule of sketching.  I have been very erratic in my work lately. I have to get on track with my schedule. 


Ethan turned into a wizard and Natalie the warrior...our neighbor broke out thirty year old books and figures to entertain the kids in a little D&D...I drew as the kids played.  Here was the initial character studies for their roles.

Drawing Classes

It's a lot of good fun. It starts out a little timid at times but when the juices get going it becomes a free for all.

Our Big Adventure

We played Dungeons and Dragons a few nights ago.  While Natalie made a dungeon and story, Ethan and I played our characters. Natalie was a little light on the descriptions so I began to draw what I imagined...this is the result.  Some gaps in the story and character development but it was fun to try keeping pace with the descriptions and story as we played...

On the Bridge

Working on more dramatic sequences.  Plus simple emotional gestures with simple shading.  Quick studies and fluid sketching to highlight camera shots. 

This drama is all about the moment of letting go.  Camera angles and pushed perspective hope this is working.

This drama is all about the moment of letting go.  Camera angles and pushed perspective hope this is working.

Initial sequence with the idea of the note in hand driving the scene

Initial sequence with the idea of the note in hand driving the scene

A trip to the Park

A quick storyboard for a trip to the park. 

-she asks if he would like directions...he misses exit ...but all ends well with shots of the park.

This references a park in Ohio called Hocking Hills..

2hocking hills black and white.jpg

Maple my Hound dog

She could star in a commercial for dog treats.  Here is a little storyboard sample.  It took about 3 hours from rough thumbnails to finished.  Not sure about the cartoony style but it is how I like to draw.  Way past bed time so time to sleep...

Here are some of the original thumbnails for direction...20 min or so 

Bed Time

A little sample of story boarding. There is something fun about sketching a scene.  Ethan is on the computer a lot but he listens better than the kid I drew in this sequence.  Simple sketches with quick shading, looking to increase my speed and using quick gesture for effect...more to come.

Warm up sketches

My little mice, a few warm ups on my new system.  After 12 years I am looking at some major changes.  I just need to sort a little out for a while.  In the short term look for a few posts that are more story boarding and scenes instead of just post

Sketching In Public

I have always been interested in sketching on site.  But I have never felt very comfortable. Now there seems to be more and more people involved in this on line. "Urban sketchers" is a great site to see the rough and loose style of capturing the moment.  I love the level of indication and quick gestures.  I LOVE THAT IT'S BEAUTY COMES FROM NOT BEING PERFECT.  I used a fine line marker for initial sketches, then a brush pen for the darks. I blended with a simple water brush pen all on a moleskin pad.  

I did these with my son at the local library and later at our coffee shop on the way home. We had a really good time together.  Away from TV and Computers just sharing some food and talking. Listening to others around us, and paying attention to our surroundings. Just focusing on the moment...very nice.  Well time for bed. Hope you like these.

Ethan in his coat, as I tried to ask him about school or reading...conversation with a 7th grader can be challenging :)

Some of the students at the library were learning about the legal system from our neighbor. She is a lawyer and works with high school students.  So busy with Ethan and sketching I didn't even notice her until she came over to say hello.  Later at the coffee house a guy in headphones and a women with long dark hair on their computers.  Each sketch was only a few minutes but I am loving the ink brush pens and simple lines.

Drawing Pigs for 5th graders

     Natalie was out sick for her Birthday last week. So my Art Parent visit was postponed one week.  For her birthday,  she asked me to visit and draw cute pigs with her class. She is my helper, to pass out paper, sometimes even sketch on the computer in front of class. I was not as prepared as I was hoping, but things worked out.  I have started to record You Tube sketching.  I was able to play these in the background as I sketched with the kids.

      I broke elements down to the simplest shapes and lines possible.  In an hour, with 30 kids, I asked the teacher to bring forward small groups of 7 or 8 to sketch with individually on newsprint.  I need to draw simple and fast, but it is fun to respond to questions and requests. All the while the video is playing on the classroom display screen.  Here is a sample of a sketch booklet I hand out ....think BIG!

Sketch booklet