Saturday, November 03, 2007

Satellite Rough

A rough design for an illustration, done with pencil/photocopy/marker, with a light veneer of colorization added in Photoshop...


Blogger warren said...

What passes for a 'rough' with you, I continually find amazing! I can't imagine a client wanting changes if the brief was thorough.

You must have piles of thumbnails before this step...and next to no changes afterward? Is that the idea behind this level of realization and calling it a 'rough'? Or is it simply being a top shelf professional with each level of approvals laid out in front of you?

I think it'd be a mix of both as motivators, but what's your take?

12:12 PM  
Blogger Paul Rivoche said...

My goal on each job of course, is to get through it as efficiently as possible, while making it as good as possible...the name of the game in commercial illustration. So I'm trying to get as much worked out in the rough stage as I can, to make the final go faster...but yes there's always a tradeoff, if I do TOO much in the rough and then they change it, that's a lot of wasted effort. On the other hand, if I do too vague and simple a rough, then they also might ask for changes, or more roughs. So there's always a calculation to make, of how much effort to put in at the front end, vs the back end of the job. The answer varies according to the client and the job.
Yes I get a thorough brief from the client, read it many times, ask a lot of specific questions, especially on key things which I know from experience may trip me up later.

In this case, I believe it was for a finished illustration (don't recall exactly, it was long time ago, also the final never happened, one of those jobs which changed or got cancelled), so more effort was required than a rough for a quicker rendering. There may even have been some scribbles before this--at least for myself.

Warren, this is the type of question which could inspire a much longer reply--not aimed at you of course--but along the lines of how generally standards have completely dropped, if you look at the "roughs" of top older illustrators, most of them FAR surpass lots of proudly-displayed final art today. For example Noel Sickles did many versions of his illos, even several final versions sometimes, until he knew they were right. Same for Peter Arno, the famed cartoonist for the New Yorker. Alex Toth did this too. A firece pride and passion for honest qulaity at work---the search for truth, as lofty as that sounds.

I'm trying, is all. I want it to be good...the clients always want it faster, especially in this speed-addicted age.

You know, it's sad-my daily newspaper prints all sorts of "final illustrations" which are laughably bad, my 11-year old daughter's casual animal drawings are better than many of far standards have dropped, and nobody seems to notice or care much!

And then there's the internet, a billion miles wide and a micron deep...I'll stop there before I go off on a tangent...

12:55 PM  
Blogger Paul Rivoche said...

PS ignore the typos..please.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Dik Pose said...

Excellent Paul, I am in awe how you can make something with seemingly no reference to size seem so HUGE!!!

At least it seems huge to me... if its not suppose to be, oh well, its cooler if it is!

3:13 AM  
Blogger warren said...

Whether it's aimed at me or not it doesn't matter because it's an honest answer. I've recently cracked a book on 'creative perspective' that's really wonderfully articulate and demystifies the work of greats like Fawcett, Marinsky, etc. for numbskulls like me.

I found a link to it here.

It's incredible to me.

Even more incredible? I've never been taught 'perspective' in art college. I was of a generation of students who in the early 90s were told to 'express over impress', and that reflected in the classes and the culture there(even though I bought into it for awhile as an impressionable 18 year old). I dropped out really quickly and tried to get on with things when I realized I wasn't really improving there. Still trying!

I'll never forget when I met an instructor from Russia at the Burlington Art Center. He could draw/paint/sculpt anything he wanted after years spent copying out Renaissance masters. And he was my age (21 at the time).

'Relativism has killed technical appreciation,' he said. I think he might be right...but still, people love old-school skill when they see it. It's harder and harder to find and master.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Andrew Glazebrook said...

Love this Satellite, great design Paul !!!

7:48 PM  
Blogger Paul Rivoche said...

Thanks for all the comments--everyone! Dik, yes, it was supposed to be giant...the upshot angle helps I guess.

Andrew---thanks for saying so, BTW I looked at your site and you have some very cool stuff.

Warren...we're all numbskulls...relying on the wisdom of those who came before us. Funny...that's the number one book I recommend to people, on perspective. I bought it at age 16 or so--struggled through every last page. A gold mine of information--an eye-opening portal to true understanding of perspective. So--soldier on, it's all worth it. Your comments about art college (usually "fart college", sorry) are totally on point!! And they match my ownexperience pretty closely. I came here at age 19 or so, went to OCA briefly, dropped out when I realized most of the "instructors" were pretentious bs-peddlers who had no true technical mastery or skills to impart, which is the necessary precursor to any true artistic statement. A message lost today to the multitudes of fakers, well-intentioned as some of them may be.

Me, I dropped out for the "self-taught"(ie being taught by books, watching others, others' art, practice, etc) route, for good or bad, and have been slogging away ever since then,trying to get better each day, each job, each year...which hasn't always happened I guess, but that's the challenge.

Yes, the "old school skills" are harder and harder to master, especially when standards have slipped so much. The mob is moving in a different direction, so you find yourself somewhat alone, sniffing the winds for shreds of knowledge from a hundred years ago. And then it's easy to get complacent when people expect so much less from you; that's a real danger: you start figuring you're really doing well. But then one rainy night, you crack open an old illustration annual, or look at some of the sites that archive old work, and you remember just where you stand...a long way still to go, before you even begin to glimpse what that Eastern Bloc fella saw at age 21...

11:27 PM  

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